Monday, July 11, 2016

Bridges and Miracles

Hey there, Family!
 I took this video as we were travelling with President B. and his family and President S.  
It´s right as we crossed over a bridge.  Does it ring a bell?

   First, I want to express my sorrow for our loss of Uncle Jack.  He has been a key figure in my childhood, one of the people that I remember as having most taken an interest in me.  He´s a man that I truly love, and I hope and pray that we might all be part of an eternal family!
   What a great blessing our Father in Heaven has given us.  Knowing that families can be eternal brings a great sense of meaning and purpose to my life.  For this I am truly grateful.
   This week I decided to apply something that Elder Bednar said in the "Face-to-Face" several months back.  When asked how was his experience being an apostle, he replied that the work that he undertakes in the holy apostleship is largely about helping "ones," individuals that are needing to be help.  The Lord is fully willing, he said, to send an apostle half-way around the world just to help a recent convert who is struggling with the word of wisdom.  President B. told us something similar several days ago.  He said that when Elder Z. and I travel to a different area for a division, many times the Lord will have put us there to help someone who is needing to hear our testimony.  I woke up everyday this week eager to find these opportunities and fulfill the will of the Lord for these individuals in need.  And what miracles resulted! 
   The experiences that I had this week were simple in their nature, but the spirit was there with a presence so strong to testify to me that my companion and I were being used as the conduit for the tender mercies of the Lord to one of his children.
   I´ll describe just a few of these experiences right now.  One was a recent convert in U.  He was baptized about 8 months ago, but has already begun to fall away and question his testimony.  I went there with one of the Zone Leaders to help answer some of his doubts about the Book of Mormon.  After a bit of conversing, I asked him if he had prayed to know if the Book of Mormon was true.  "I won´t lie to you," he said, "I never have."  I was honestly baffled that he was even baptized without ever having read the Book of Mormon, but grateful that he had been honest with me.  I felt in that moment that we should all kneel down together, and that he should pray and ask the Lord if the Book of Mormon is true.  So we did.  I bore my testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, and I pray that he might gain and nourish a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon.
   Another was a woman named E.  When we contacted her on the streets of P, she said "you can teach me but you ought to know that I will not change my religion."  We sat in the front of her house and began to teach the Restoration.  At the moment of the first vision, when the spirit is usually most evident, I asked her what she was feeling.  She responded that she was feeling normal, even though my companion and I could feel the presence of the spirit.  We finished the lesson, and I testified to her with all my might that our families can be together forever, and that this message is true.  Still nothing.  We then invited her to say the closing prayer.  I helped her through it, but right at the end she stopped and started to cry.  We knew that she was feeling the spirit in a way that she never had before, testifying that we are servants of Jesus Christ.  I earnestly pray that she will act upon that feeling.
   There were several other individuals that we found in need of hearing our testimonies, including a less active family who´s father has a fantastic testimony, a missionary passing through a difficult time in his mission, and many others.  Simply seeking for opportunities to share my testimony with all my heart to touch the lives of my brothers and sisters has made this week one of the most miracle filled weeks of my mission.  I know that Jesus Christ is our savior, and that he died for us!  Let us all take advantage of this gift in our lives and share with all the world!
I love you all so much!  Have a great week!
Elder Sweet

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