Monday, January 25, 2016
This week was jam packed with one awesome experience after another.
Monday one was one of the coolest—yet sketchiest—evenings of my whole life! We met up with Elijah, a guy from Africa we had a lesson with the week before last! We were planning on passing him off to the Elders in Wesel because he lives in their area, but they had something else planned so the three of us just went ahead and met with him...and I'm so glad we did!! (:
He met us at the train station and we hopped on a bus. Got off at some super random stop in the middle of nowhere and started walking down some super random street which was also in the middle of nowhere. Turns out, he was taking us to a refugee home.
While heading towards his friend’s house, he ran into another buddy, gave him a hug, and invited him to join us! The friend agreed and walked with us back to the apartment complex he was just walking away from. Once we sat down, Elijah left the room for a minute or two, and came back with about five other friends! The guy literally just went around knocking on doors, inviting everyone he knew to come listen to us. We ended up having a Muslim, a Hindu and a bunch of Christians in the room. WHY DON’T WE ALL HAVE THAT SAME KIND OF EXCITMENT?! WHY AREN’T WE INVITING ALL OUR BROTHAHS, REGARDLESS OF THEIR INTEREST LEVELS OR RELIGIOUS BACKGROUND, TO MEET WITH THE MISSIONARIES AND HEAR THE GOOD WORD OF GOD? Because we should. Anyway, the lesson went beautifully, and we'll be meeting with them again this week! I'm so sad we're going to have to give them over!! They have such special places in my heart (:
On Tuesday, we had a lesson with Ben! It went incredibly well! Basically, he just doesn't understand that joining a church would increase his spirituality as opposed to stifling it...he's just so "free spirited" that that concept is hard for him to grasp, so we've been focusing on helping him overcome that little mental road block over the past little bit. During our lesson, the spirit led us to talk a little bit about the Book of Mormon. He doesn't read every day because he spends his time reading other works he classifies as holy scripture—written by random people who definitely weren't and aren't prophets of God. During our companion study, we talked about how that is probably the root of a lot of his concerns—the fact that he's not anchored in the Book of Mormon and praying about its truthfulness. During our lesson, we committed him to read every day and promised him that if he would, his doubts and concerns would flee. The next day, we got a couple super neat texts from him.
I shall translate them for you:
"I read chapter 31. It was so beautiful, it brought me to tears! I have felt so humbled today! Can y'all tell me about temporal and spiritual repentance!?"
Later on we got this one:
"The light that you see in my eyes is the light of God, which shines in you and reflects onto me. I am the mirror by which you see yourselves. You light my candle and I want to be able to light other's! It's so nice not being in darkness anymore!
My translation skills may not be the best, but you get the picture! The Book of Mormon is MAGICAL. It really is the most powerful tool (aside from the spirit) in conversion. It softens hearts! It opens minds! I'm so grateful for this experience and what a testimony strengthener it has been (:
On Friday, while waiting for the bus, we met two guys from India—Rahi and Minor—and talked with them a little bit about Jesus Christ. We explained our purpose as missionaries, gave them a Book of Mormon and set up an appointment for the next day. Can I just tell you? Church tours here in Neuenkamp have been some of the most wonderful experiences of my whole mission! The spirit is SO strong in our meeting house—EVERYONE who who has walked through the halls and sat in the chapel has said they've felt something special. It was no different with these two! We took them around, showing them the classrooms and explaining the pictures of Christ hanging up on the walls. They're Muslim and their understanding of Christianity is based on the teachings of the Catholic Church, so they had lots of questions which we were able to answer! Minor, who speaks super broken English, kept saying (in regards to the organization of our church verses that of the Catholic's) "system no good. Your system? Good". A little while later, we were talking about Jesus Christ after having watched a video about him in the chapel, and he said "if al quaeda come here, they would change their ways!" There you have it. The spirit is strong in Mormon church buildings, even terrorists would convert. Booyaa.
We ran into Rahi about 2 or 3 other times on Saturday and ended up finding out that he lived in Russia for a period of about 6 months and while there, he would play basketball with the Elders! So what did the Lord do? Sent him to Neuenkamp with a church building and sister missionaries within a two-minute walking distance. That, my friends, is definitely not a coincidence.
Ralph is doing great! He rants for about 5-10 minutes every time we meet about how incredible it is that he was able to quit smoking. He's tried many, many times and has never succeeded....until now! He says he doesn't even feel tempted to do so!!! The priesthood is REAL, my friends. The power of God is HERE. We should all be freaking out like Ralph a little more. And like Elijia. And Ben. And Rahi & Minor.
I love y'all lots!! (:
Have a great week!!
- Sister Terry