This week was full of miracles. It has been more than incredible to see the changes in peoples lives from the gospel. It truly is from small and simple means, and the Lord is hastening His work. If only I could just reach into my heart and give you all of those things I've felt this week. But, alas, I have no choice but to resort to words once again.
A few weeks ago we were walking down a road to one of our appointments. We noticed a small side-road we hadn't taken before and felt prompted to check it out. We ended up meeting Rodolfo Nolasco, who just moved from Manila a year ago. He suffered from a stroke many years ago, and consequently cannot work due to mobility problems in his leg and arm. His wife is still working in Manila and his kids are either moved out or at school for long hours. When we started teaching him, we weren't really sure it would amount to anything big. When we returned for our next appointment, however, he had read the entirety of the Restoration pamphlet we had given him, and had many questions that signified a genuine interest to join. When we explained the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith, he understood quickly the message, and his prayers at the end of lessons were truly heartfelt. His relationship with God, we could tell, was strengthening, and consequentially, the truth became clearer. We gave him a Book of Mormon, and within one week of reading, he is now in the middle of 2 Nephi! He's come to church twice now, accompanied by President Mesde, and is always eager for our return visits. We've invited him to be baptized on July 19, which he accepted.
If that's not a miracle, I don't know what is.
On Saturday, as we were taking a shortcut to the Calao Bridge down by the river, we ran into a former investigator who had become very busy and hadn't been taught in probably 4 months. We've run into her many instances before, but the answer was always the same: "Nope, too busy, maybe next time." Randomly (or not so randomly), however, on Saturday afternoon, she told us we could come teach her on Sunday afternoon. We were a bit taken back that she gave us a specific time to come back and teach her, after the many other times she had turned us, and past missionaries, down. Yesterday, as we gathered for the lesson, we found out she hadn't really absorbed anything from past lessons she had had, and wasn't even given a Book of Mormon. However, when the lesson began, the Spirit really took over, and we all bore testimony that Christ runs this church today, and that the fullness of the gospel blesses us beyond that which we could imagine. We also bore testimony that in any other church, she would find something lacking, but that in this church, she would find the Everlasting Gospel, which if we partake of, we will never hunger nor thirst for the words of the true and living God. After the lesson, she basically asked us how soon she could be baptized. We explained the requirements, she explained that she was willing to change her life for the gospel, and it looks like she's goaled herself for the end of July to be baptized.
If that's not a miracle as well, then I really don't know what I'm talking about.
This is what I'd like to stress to you about these miracles. Obedience. Obedience to the commandments we have been given. Obedience is the medium through which the Spirit can be felt. If there is any other medium present, you're relying on your own knowledge. Obedience can bring blessings, but being exactly obedient brings miracles. And we need miracles. These dear people deserve miracles. They are children of God. All of us. They don't need a hollow sermon about faith. If that's all we can offer, than we are sleeping through the restoration. It reads in Mormon 9:10-11, "And now, if ye have imagined up unto yourselves a god who doth vary, and in whom there is shadow of changing, then have ye imagined up unto yourselves a god who is not a God of miracles. But behold, I will show unto you a God of miracles, even the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and it is that same God who created the heavens and the earth, and all things that in them are." He's called upon the weak things of the world to show forth this power, so I know if we can do our best, however insignificant we may think it is, he will bring us miracles, peoples lives will change for the better, and we will all come unto the living Christ.
Prayer is very powerful. This is how we communicate with our Father. However far away he may be, we remember how we felt in His presence long ago when we converse with him in our quiet places. Inviting people to pray during lessons can be just about the most powerful thing you can do for them to experience the Spirit, as they converse with their Heavenly Father. Even if it's small, or long, or they can't find the perfect words to say, they always feel the presence of the Spirit, and that God truly is there for them, and that the Spirit will let them know what is true and what is ere.
This is what I leave for you this week. Continue in what you know is true. For the truth is of God, and it is what we must cleave to. I leave this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
P.S. Jethro drove us home in a tricee last night and he kept on killing the clutch and it was super funny. Anyways. You had to be there.