Sunday, February 23, 2014

From February 10, 2014: "...Don't Lose"

So, fascinating week this week.  There sure were some miracles though, as there always are.  I guess we can start with the earliest days of the week.  So we go on splits or splinters (semi-splits where one of us goes visiting people with a member and the other two stick together) almost every night because there are too many appointments to cover and they are in different quadrants of our rather large area so we have to in order to keep up with everyone.  It's tiring but also a lot of fun. 
And in the course of 2 hours one night Elder Sw. and I got asked the same question by two separate people in two entirely different situations.  One was a less-active girl in college at downtown ASU and one was a guy we met at Little Caesar's.  Both are wonderful people and both are from mind-numbingly different backgrounds and traditions and circumstances.  Anyway, the question itself was what really caught my attention.  It was: "Do you know the gospel/church is true, or do you just believe it with all your heart?  Don't you just hope it and then you really find out after you're dead?"

Ponder for a second on how you would respond.  Do you know the gospel/church is true?  Or do you believe it with all your heart?  Or with even a tiny part of your heart?  There's no wrong answer, as we can always be gaining further conviction and light and knowledge.  But it's a very personal answer.  How can we know though?  How can we know?  We know by experience.  We know by the Spirit.  And we know by the joy that fills us when we live the gospel and keep the commandments.
And I know it.  I know it because I have seen too much, and heard too much, and felt too much, and experienced too much to ever deny that Jesus is the Christ and that miracles happen and that prayer is real, that the priesthood is restored, and that Christ's Church is back on Earth today.  I know it because I helped ordain "W" to that priesthood this week.  I know because of the man who passed me the sacrament this week, who a month ago sat before us smoking a cigarette while we re-taught him the gospel.  I know because of the work and the glory, and the pain, and the phenomenon of being a part of the other side of the Atonement.  I know because of the Spirit and the words that are given you and the protection I am afforded and the healing in the eyes of those who come to Christ.  I know by the Spirit that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  And that's enough.

We also went to the Gilbert temple open house this week with "W".  And let me just say, it is perfect.  It's a perfect building.  And even though it hasn't been dedicated yet, it's amazing the hush that falls over the people --members and nonmembers alike -- as they walk into the temple.  It is gorgeous and HUGE, for sure in the top 5 most amazing temples I've ever seen.  "W" loved it and it was a great experience to go through with him, even though I was "crutching" all the way. 
We also found one of the most prepared people I've ever met before.  Her name is "R" and she found us more than we found her.  She's just ready and she's keeping all her commitments and she's just an overall all star.  She sang in the choir on Sunday.  We also had to drop an investigator this Sunday because he has no intentions of quitting smoking.  It was sad, but necessary. 
What else happened this week.  OH.  My watch broke.  One of the larger blessings of my life though, because now that I don't know what time it is ever, I'm not nearly as stressed!  I never know if we are on time or not!  At the same time, I'm on the prowl for a new watch.  Ya' know, because it's impossible to be on time without it!  haha. 
So we think they are splitting the area.  That would be super useful because there is a lot to keep track of. 
Oh yeah, and I'm gonna start a quote of the week segment because we have some investigators who say SUPER profound or legitimately hilarious things and I want you to be able to share in them with me.
First up:profound-- "Use things; love people."-- "J"
This same man had another profound moment this week, but in an entirely different way.  He wants with all his heart to follow what God wants him to do.  In his own words, he wants to "adventure with Christ."  And in that pursuit, he had this exchange with us:
Him: "I feel like I need to sacrifice something.......... ya' know?  Like I just need to sacrifice."  His voice trailed off to a whisper.  He contemplated and suddenly had a light bulb moment. 
"I have a little, black.............................donkey........."
Silence.  Cricket noise.
Me: " 'J,' you've been reading in Exodus, haven't you?"
Him: "I have."
Fear not, we got that all cleared up.
Another week, another black donkey saved.  All in a day's work.  Haha! I love you guys.  Have a great week and happy Valentine's Day to all.  Be happy.  Satan is a jerk; don't let him win. 
And ask yourselves, "If the Book of Mormon is true, what am I going to do about it?"

Elder Molinaro

Elder S, Elder Molinaro and Elder Sw

The trio with one of their YSA ward member friends

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