Wow so there is a lot that I happened this week but I hate how little of time I get to tell you about it. Our P-Day was switched to tuesday just for this week because of a zone meeting. So I'm sorry I didn't get to make all of your guy'ses monday's like I usually do... jk jk... I am still working on my humility haha!
So we had a baptism this week for a 19 year old guy named Mohamed Barry. I met him the first day I got out here and realized very quick that he was ready for baptism. Man... He is so sweet. He told me about how he knew that everything the missionaries had told him was true. He explained the feelings he gets every time he prays and reads his scriptures. I love it when investigators share their experiences because it totally boosts the spirit and gives me so much joy that what we missionaries are doing is truly making them happier.
In salone... and Im sure in other places as well, the people are people pleasers. They will keep commitments or come to church for us the missionaries rather than to please god or themselves. When old missionaries leave the area their recent converts testimonies can waver. They love the excuse of... well my missionaries left me and I had no one to come teach me anymore so I just stopped going. I think this is why I was so impressed with mohamed is because... His testimony is his own. He has felt the spirit and he follows the commandments and comes to church because He loves it, not because He likes his missionaries. However... he does like us quite a bit haha!
Classic salone though. There was no water in the baptismal font. Apparently you need water to do a baptism... who knew...? haha so we pushed it back to sunday after church. Baptisms are so cool. I love the clean fresh vibe you can feel from someone who has just covenanted with God. So sweet. We can have that same feeling every week when we partake of the sacrament. I use to be very jealous of a newly baptized people because they are as clean from sin as a newborn. Well... duhhhh Cody.... or Elder Crandall... Every single week God promises us that we can be 100% clean from sin when we take the sacrament. Sometimes we forget this, but when we remind ourselves of the importance of the sacrament we can feel that same joy.
So... one of the things I pray for almost daily is to have a spiritual experience. There is nothing betta than the burning feelings of the spirit or knowing that your testimony is being strengthened. Well, God answers your prayers much different than you would think sometimes. So we got bounced and were looking for someone to teach when this guy with a very weird accent yelled to us. He had a bug muslim beard but sounded very different from the people we usually talk with. He is apparently from Rhode Island and he talks like it too! haha! We asked if we could sit down with him and talk for a little bit. He was all for it. He kept asking us if we knew that Islam is number 1... haha kinda weird but I would just laugh to myself and think. "no" haha! We asked him some of his beliefs and he would have kept going until the sun when down if we didn't interject a couple of times. It was so interesting though. While he talked... He spoke soooooo much truth!! He talked about Agency, premortal life, this earth life, life after death and so much more that I was just like.. Ya we believe this stuff too! However... the one thing that he didn't understand... which kinda ruins his beliefs are the Characteristics of God. He would say God is 100% love... he is perfect... he can do anything... he is limitless never ending. Amen brotha!! God is that!! but then he COULD NOT believe anything that had to do with christ. He would then say God can't have a son... God can't do this... or God wouldn't do that... So he thought he understood the idea of a limitless god... but then again... he would restrict what God apparantely can do. Very very intersting to listen to. I wanted to just play back what he had told me and see if he realized that what he was saying contradicted himself. He also didn't understand Justice and Mercy of God. God has such an amazing plan for we but it is all made possible because of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ pays for the demands of Justice. We tried explaining the atonement in a very calm and spiritual manner. He just sat and shook his head. Well, good missionaries don't leave without helping someone to grow. So I asked him if He would pray and ask God if what we had shared is true... Well apparanetly he didn't like that too much. He Said, I know you are wrong and I wont pray about it because I know Jesus Christ is not the son of God. He then verbally attacked me... not me and my companion... but just me... about not loving God. He told me for about 5 minutes of how I do not love god and I am distracted by jesus Christ. Well, Missionaries don't like contention... But I also don't sit and let someone try and destroy my spirit and beliefs. I let him finish and then I bore One of the strongest testimonies I have given about how much I love God. How much I love Jesus Christ. and how I will do anything for God. I told him that I know God loves him. We left and I felt the spirit for like 25 minutes after. My heart wouldn't stop pounding. Not for a tinge of a second did I doubt my testimony or my love for Heavenly Father. I love experiences like this because my testimony was tested. It is not often in salone that someone will go after your testimony or beliefs so when they do.. you have to stand tall and never waver... only let it build you up from the inside.
So many other sweet experiences but so little time. I love you all and I hope you know you are in my prayers. Be thankful for your trials... we go through every trial in life for a reason. Heavenly Father knows what is best for you!
I want you all to know that I love my Father in Heaven more than anything. I cannot wait for the day I kneel before him with Jesus Christ by my side. I love the plan of Salvation and I love this Gospel.
Shout out to all my missionary buds and friends at home. I miss you guys like crazy. Thank you all for helping me to become who I am. My friends are the ones who truly helped shape me.
Love Elder Crandall the Vandal