This week was a "Spiritual high" as some may put it. I could even go on to say that the past few weeks of refinement and requirement to better ourselves and to depend more on the Lord.
On the previous P-day grandma had sent me a 12 days of Christmas initiative which I translated and will be starting (I'll just have to combine 2 days) but should be a great thing to help get the ward members more focused on the spirit of Christmas.
The beginning of the week on Tuesday we had MLC. This is a meeting where the mission leadership (zone leaders, assistants, and sister training leaders) come together and go over what the focus is for the month and what President Griffin wants to move forward. This meeting is one of my favorites being that there are a lot of well put together presentations that provide many tools to hasten the work. Just as a fun thing to look at is what we are doing as a mission.
In our mission we have been talking for months about culture and vision. Right now we are working to establish a culture of service in our mission. We have received many great documents that explain well on how to establish culture. As the culture gets established, we can accomplish what our mission vision is. This process has been long and methodical, but is showing a great amount of promise to having a very successful mission. Right now our mission vision is "In the APM (Arizona Phoenix Mission) we will hasten the work of salvation by ministering the ordinances of exaltation to individuals and families through a culture of Christlike service."
We're really making a push for this and as well as implementing this new plan that the quorum of the 12 has put out. It is a plan that Elder Perry had made about 2 years ago that was to get the ward more involved and on top of missionary work.
I'll send you some documents that you might enjoy taking a look see and maybe sharing them with the ward leaders. This is really good stuff!
Anyways, fast forwarding to Thursday, we had the Dixon's come and inspect our apartment. For me I was so grateful to see that our apartment was supplied with some of the top end cleaners and tools to help us clean our apartment. After we had been supplied with Kaboom, bar keepers friend, lysol and so much more with a new mob and broom, we were given guidance on how to maintain and clean our apartment. After this visit I was, as the scriptures would say, overjoyed that my fellow brethren were desirous to come closer to their Lord and Savior..., to clean our apartment.
A notable Spirit has entered into our apartment and I can feel like it is more like a home than a missionary apartment.
I know that if we can keep our lives simple, not simplistic, and clean, not cluttered, we will have an abundance of the Spirit in our lives.
Going over this week we've had many spiritual lessons with investigators and are finding that the spirit of christmas is really opening people's hearts to Christ and the message that "A Savior is Born" We've been working to plan better and also be in better contact with those we are teaching. As we have been doing this there has been a jump in our work and we went from practically no indicators one week to booming the next! All while focusing on the Spirit and working to have it more with us during this time of year.
There was one specific story that I would like to share.
This investigator is named Elias. The missionaries have been working with him on and off for quite a long time, easily over 8months, and little and slow progress would be made. As we have begun to teach him again we were running into this similar growth. Yet, the Spirit was prevalent every time we went over. As we starting working closer and using the scriptures more in the lessons, in the span of about 1 month, we saw a man with little hope for the future and little faith in himself. Now has eyes that show a greater hope and faith for a better look on life. He is reading in the Bible frequently (complete books such as Job) and is praying more.
When we went to his house last night we were getting ready to teach a lesson on prayer and not dive into the Trinity, because we didn't want the lesson to go side tracked for an hour. When we walked in we found ourselves showing the Christmas video about why Christ was born, then going from prayer into taking a transition into us explaining the Trinity for 30min.
This is where the miracle occurred. As I started, I had many scriptures come to my mind that I used that transitioned well from faith (2 Corinth 5:7) and that we need to believe. Then went to explain how they were all separate beings.
- (2 Corinth 5:4-7) tabernacle is our body, just like Christ dwelled in a tabernacle of clay
- (John 14:9) To see Christ was to see the Father. So Christ was such a perfect representative of His Father that seeing Christ was seeing the Father. So logically Christ having a body must mean that God has one as well.
- Matthew 5:48 This was before Christ was resurrected, he was still going around and teaching the people. He was commanding the people to be perfect like unto the Father.
- 3 Nephi 27:27 "...what manner of men ought ye to be? ...even as I am." This was after Christ had been resurrected as was teaching the people in the americas. By this time Christ being resurrected was perfect, and he had a body. (personal note: John 20:17 how could Christ tell Mary "touch me not" if had not a body? He couldn't have! So when Christ was raised from the 3 day tomb, he had a body)
- Then we dive into the necesity to have a testimony of Joseph Smith being called to be a prophet to restore Christ's church and that through him the Book of Mormon was translated and that he received other revelations from God in the latter days, otherwise this won't be worth anything. D&C 130:22-23 Christ and God have bodies of flesh and bone and the Spirit does not. That is why the Spirit can dwell within us and give us those feelings we experience, the love of God.
- What sealed the deal was not what had been planned to share. It was evident that the Spirit was in complete control since the first scripture was shared. Yet, this is where the Spirit took us out of the equation. Elias saw that I had made a footnote from over 9 months ago in my physical set in D&C. It was to Jeremiah 1:9 "the Lord touched my mouth" This was obvious that we could say (well Christ wasn't born yet, this is actually Christ not God) however, we had the feeling to not open our mouths. As we saw the Spirit work in him, he sat back and said "I cannot deny that they are 3 separate beings and that Christ and The Father have bodies of flesh and bone"
I sat back in amazement as I witnessed a miracle before my eyes as a man went from believing that the Trinity was one person, to being completely convinced, by the Spirit, that they were 3 separate individuals and were one in purpose.
I know that we must study in our scripture daily and seek for the guidance of the Spirit and always follow his guidance. For if we do, one day, one day, maybe even if it is months, even years down the road, what we learned can be brought together in a way that we know that what we have strived to learn and understand, will be put into perfect clarity as we bear testimony through the Spirit to our fellow brethren. I know this. I experienced it first hand. This I share in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Apparently Star Wars is getting big... so big that the action figures are nearly life sized!