Sunday, August 6, 2017

The Holy Ghost

Monday July 3

Happy Fourth of July!

On Tuesday we had district meeting, then had a lesson with Tristian, who we saw three times this week. She is on fire!! Without us even talking about it, she has been going through her music to get rid of songs that swear or are otherwise degrading and she's trying to quit swearing! She is SO COOL! Even though she works and goes to school full time, she's been reading the Book of Mormon almost every day, takes notes, and asks us her questions. Also, she came to church on Sunday and asked if she can invite her friends to her baptism. It has been so neat to see the change in her since we first met her. She can feel and see Jesus Christ through His restored gospel making her more patient and kind, more like Him. :) :) :)

Wednesday was the first of three related experiences this week that Heavenly Father gave us to teach us more about following the Spirit. Sister Kirkham and I went to visit a potential investigator who lived on a cul de sac (three separate words?) Anywho, we had passed a house with some people out on the front porch. After seeing if our friend was home (she wasn't), we went around the rest of the cul de sac and passed that other house again on the way out, the people still sitting on their porch. A thought came to mind that we should go talk with them, so I told Sister Kirkham. She pulled over- we had already passed that house twice- awkward- and to add to it, Sister Kirkham had been there once before and talked to someone who lived there- even more awkward. The more we questioned the thought, the less we wanted to go back, but I remembered the joy I had felt when I had first had the thought to go talk to them, so we decided to embrace the awkward and go back. SO glad we did and that God knows best! We met Sharonia and her mom Sandra who are Catholic, but Sharonia (coolest name, right?) is leaving the Catholic church and looking for a new one- we set a return appointment and she is so excited! 

The second experience came on Friday. We were in a neighborhood near Fairhope High School when we remembered the names of a couple whose had simply been written as "behind the high school" by previous missionaries. And their phone number didn't work. Well, there are a lot more than one house behind the the high school, but we decided to go try to find it anyway. We drove to the neighborhood behind FHS, felt to turn down a certain street, and drove to the end (it was a cul de sac), where the high school was in view, and decided to knock on the door. But right after we had that thought, we thought, "oh, but it'll be awkard- what if they don't live there? We are so crazy..." but we punched Satan in the face and knocked on the door anyway. Anita and Bill did not live there, but the woman who answered the door was- get this- the clerk of the church they attend, called Bill right there, asked if she could give us their address, and Bill said, "yes, and make sure they have our number, too!" Oh, and by the way, Bill and Anita live three streets away from the house we knocked on. 

Experience number three came Friday evening when we went to see if Gilvonia was home. We circled around her cul de sac (do I sense a pattern?) to park the right way in front of her house, and saw a couple and their daughter sitting on the bed of a truck in front of another house. After parking and discovering that Gilvonia was not home, we felt we should go talk to the couple we had seen. We started walking to the end of the cul de sac, but then saw that they were now in a group talking to some other neighbors. We stopped, out of their sight, and debated- it's so awkward to approach a group of adults, we don't want to interrupt them, wow this is awkward- and we turned around, telling ourselves we would just knock on their door another day. As we drove away, we both felt unsettled and knew that we had made the wrong choice- so we turned the car around, parked, and walked back towards the people. However, the group had dispersed and the couple was again sitting on the edge of their truck, just them. Wow. Soon after introducing ourselves, the husband Craig told us that he and his wife Kim had been arguing just an hour ago, decided to come outside and cool off, and he said that he knew God had led us to them. YEAH. They live in Mississippi, but are going to get in contact with missionaries there, and said we could come back to visit Craig's mom who they were staying with. 

Three lessons learned from three experiences about the third member of the Godhead: 1-The Spirit prompts us with very gentle thoughts, and all thoughts to do or be good come from God. 2- The Spirit speaks to us through a thought and a feeling (D&C 8:2), and immediately following, Satan tries to dissuade us with thoughts of negativity and doubt and feelings of fear, including fear of awkwardness. 3-The longer we wait to act, the more appealing inaction (fear) becomes. So- there is a God, and He is incredibly involved in the smallest details of our lives, and He has given us the perfect gift of the Holy Ghost to guide us to do His will. And this is what I so dearly want people to have. In his talk "Let the Holy Spirit Guide" from the April 2017 General Conference, Elder Rasband said, "We must be confident in our first promptings. Sometimes we rationalize; we wonder if we are feeling a spiritual impression or if it is just our own thoughts. When we begin to second-guess, even third-guess, our feelings—and we all have—we are dismissing the Spirit; we are questioning divine counsel. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught that if you will listen to the first promptings, you will get it right nine times out of ten.17
Now a caution: don’t expect fireworks because you responded to the Holy Ghost. Remember, you are about the work of the still, small voice." I know that the Holy Ghost is real and that He can be received by and as the constant companion of anyone who follows the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God. I am so grateful to have Him with me, for without Him, this work would be impossible. For those with this gift: are we striving each day to live worthy of Him being with us? For those who do not yet have this gift: imagine life with it- what are you willing to do to receive it? I love you all!

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