June 16, 2016

 

As you can tell from the subject title, I am very happy to report that we finally got our investigators to come to church. Coming from a ward like Alderwood 1st (or is it Olympic View now?), I have never known what it was like to be part of small branch that is just starting out. In reality its like being part of a little family, each member contributing a little here and there to create a bigger picture. Bringing new investigators into that picture is like welcoming a new member of the family. Having investigators come to church has been a struggle all my mission, its one of our biggest problems in our mission in general. But this last Sunday the Lord really gave us a hand and we had 5 investigators come to church with us for the whole 3 hours. I don’t know about you guys but for me that’s a big deal. Each said they had a great time and one of them, a 17 year old boy named Kevin asked us after church “What do I have to do to be Mormon?”. Needless to say he was interested and he accepted a baptismal date for the 9th of July. Lets hope all goes well.

 Last week we found ourselves talking with one of the converts in our area. His name is Anthony. Last week we found him sitting down on the sidewalk at 9:00 at night and we could tell something was wrong. We sat down with him and he told us all about what had been going on recently. Anthony is a good guy, he used to be an atheist before meeting the missionaries. He doesn’t come from a very united family, he has cancer, lives alone, and due to his illness finds it hard to find work, so he doesn’t have many outlets through which to feel personal accomplishment. He recently has been going through some very rough spiritual difficulties with the law of chastity and has been struggling to keep his goals so he can be worthy to take the sacrament. We sat down with him on the sidewalk that night and as we talked he began to cry and he confessed that he simply could not go on. He told us he had lost trust in God and was just so confused. He didn’t feel like God was keeping his promises. To be quite honest, I didn’t know what to say. We did our best to console him and I offered him a prayer right there in the street. He said he didn’t feel like a priesthood blessing would be any help. We left him that night still sitting on the sidewalk and I began to think  very deeply about what we could do to help him.

 After this experience I was shuffling through some of our old stuff and I found a 2011 October copy of the Liahona, which was a special issue the Church put out to reemphasize the importance of the Book of Mormon. I began to leaf through its pages and within the hour I found myself reading the whole 60 or something pages of that Liahona. There was a special spirit I felt as I read through the articles of prophets testifying of the Books truthfulness and power. I took my Book of Mormon in my hand and just held it there for a bit and I don’t think I can describe what I felt as I just thought to myself what impact the book had on me. It hit me that the Book of Mormon was what Anthony needed more than anything else. We went to his house the next day and we sat down, we took out the Book, and we began to read with him.

 I cannot tell you the joy that came over me as we read the book together and I saw a smile come across his face. His whole image changed. He looked calmer, more at peace. Anthony told us that he did indeed feel better, and that he would continue to read more. I testify with all my heart that this book can change lives. I have seen it time and time again, and as I think about Anthony and all that we experienced with him this week, I can say once more with conviction that this book is indeed inspired of God and has the power to heal any soul, and answer any question.

 

Elder Cruz

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