Monday, May 6, 2013

Refiner's Fire

Zdravo vsi družina in prijatelji!
The last few days large thunderstorms have been rolling through the mission, bringing lots of rain and cooler weather. They are actually the first thunderstorms I have seen in Slovenia, so it is a good experience. Also it makes me glad that I learned the words for storm and thunder months ago before I needed to actually use them.
This week the big success of the work is with one of the people we work with, whom we inherited months ago from the Sisters when they left Celje. She had largely already come to know the truthfulness of the message of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ we share, but is prevented from baptism because she needs to get married first (a challenge which is proving to be a refiner's fire). None the less, we have been working with her to not lose her fire and light of the gospel through enduring the challenges she must face. Her fire in the gospel shown bright on Sunday as she came to the pulpit and bore a strong, sincere testimony, to which the Spirit accompanied to testify of its truth. I have little doubt she will join the community of the saints one day soon, and be an ever stronger member here in Celje.
Largely, I have found that the more opposition, whether from others or from self, they and we must endure to become active members of the restored gospel, the stronger we become once we finally overcome our challenges and enter the waters of baptism. And still after that, if opposition still exists, if we endure it, they continue to become ever stronger and resilient in the faith. I have seen this especially when I was in Kranj, that it was a true sacrifice of time, and for some, money, to travel the 30 minute to hour long trip each way to church each Sunday. This dedication and action, and their very presence, showed and still strengthened their resolve to the gospel of Christ and increased love and dedication to the Savior.
Each of us has our own unique challenges and circumstances with which we must each overcome, and it is my wish that we would all use them as opportunities to become ever stronger, instead of letting them pull us down and make us weaker.
Much love and care to each of you across the large ocean!
-Starešina Benson

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