Sa Aking Pamilya, Mabuhay at Magandang Umaga sa Inyong Lahat!
trans. "To my family, greetings and good morning to you all!"
Well, this week has been pretty crazy. So for this email, I'll just go ahead and break it down for you all. I'll start... From the beginning.
On Monday night, we decided to go give a Restoration message to one of our returning less-active families in the ward, the Ianeta family. We started the lesson out by asking them to relate their conversion story. It was amazing, and full of experiences concerning the power of prayer. Brother's faith was super strong when it came to him being sure his prayers are always answered. You could tell they both knew for themselves. They also related the strength they receive by keeping their temple covenants, specifically mentioning that wearing the temple garment has kept them safe from danger and weariness without fail. After their story, we watched the Restoration DVD, featuring the Joseph Smith story. Considering the Spirit that was already present, the message of the Restoration hit into our hearts powerfully, in a way none of us were expecting, and there wasn't a dry eye in the place. It was such a beautiful experience, receiving witness together that the church is true, and I'll never forget it. After the lesson, Sister came up to me expressing her gratitude again for the Spirit. I then asked her for referrals, and let me tell you, asking for referrals means a whole lot more after an experience like that. I nearly choked up just saying it: "who do you know that would be interested in this message?" Who do we know who could benefit from feeling like we did, in their homes, in their lives, through the restored gospel of Jesus Christ? I think we can come up with a long list! Give it to the missionaries!
On Tuesday, I had splits with Elder Monilla again, but this time he came to our area. We had an awesome time again. We were talking with our recent convert, sister Corazon, about how life is for Elder Monilla in Saudi Arabia. The middle east is insane, needless to say. Islamic law, bombs... you know, the works. He tells us that Jeffrey R. Holland visited their ward one day in their hidden underground church, and he called on Elder Monilla to bear his testimony! Whether it's a chapel with a basketball court in Happy Valley Utah, or the basement of a mansion, complete with indoor swimming pool, in the Islamic country of Saudi Arabia, we have members with burning testimonies of the truthfulness of this church, and our duty within it. Speaking of which, Sister Corazon is doing amazing! Reteaching the lessons for her has been more of her teaching us. She's been finding so many amazing things in the Book of Mormon, and has received the clearest insight; typical of someone who is keeping their covenants after receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. It's crazy how tangible that gift is, when you are observing it in work.
I received some great insight this week again about how the gospel helps us improve upon our talents. The gospel is an instrument for us to achieve our dreams, however big they may be. The gospel helps us from selling our full potential for fleeting desires. It really all makes sense when you put it in that perspective... The parable of the talents, progression being one eternal round, repentance and the Atonement helping us overcome challenges... It is all built up for us to achieve our dreams. It is so personally tailored for all of us!
Elder Delaney had been going through some troubles with his companion, Elder Almaras, and it all sort of exploded yesterday after church. I don't feel it appropriate to go into details, but from what I have observed, I think Elder Almaras has a form of Bi-Polar Disorder, and he hit a mental breaking point yesterday which seemed familiar to things I've seen before. It's been kind of crazy here as of late. Pray for his well being. He's gone into a very dark place. The apartment had a seriously dark spirit in it yesterday. We got rid of that with a little prayer and cleaning with Jethro, Rusell, and Henry, but I fear the problem is far from being solved. Here's hoping it will all end well.
We've met a lot of new investigators this week who have been progressing miraculously fast! It has been such an amazing blessing to be apart of. I'll tell you about them next week, as we seem to be short of time now. The work is hastening, and will boldly go forth. Are you sleeping through the restoration? Well, wake up and do something more than dream of your mansions above. Doing good is a pleasure, a joy without measure, a blessing of duty and love. Keep the Spirit in your life. It is a miraculous companion, and will give you opportunities to do great things if you are ready for them and know how to listen. Take advantage of it! I love you all, and pray for your continual success in this great work, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
P.S. Oh, I totally jammed out on the piano with the other Stake President to Wasted Time by the Eagles yesterday. That was a thing. It was awesome.