S** applied the enabling power of the Atonement this week as she resisted the temptation to smoke and enlisted in the Army of God. Her baptism was a success and was amazing to be a part of. She has family who has been quite negative and very against her being baptized. However, she has received an answer from the power of the Holy Ghost that this message is true. She knows it... and she knows that God knows it... and she cannot deny it. Her knowledge of the scriptures is unreal... she said it best when she said, "If people would just pick up the Book of Mormon and read it they would understand!"
I will attach a picture below which is entitled the Growth cycle... I wish I could make it look prettier but I didn't have time to redraw it. This is based on something my brother taught me before my mission and reminded me of this past week. We were able to use it many times and see not only our faith grow... but also missionaries we went on exchanges with... sisters we trained in a meeting... and an investigator who sincerely prayed for the first time.
I'll start with our exchange. Our focus was on thinking of something that makes you reach out of your comfort zone or that you think is possible but sounds difficult to do... then praying for specific help in that area... and then watching the evidence of your faith appear... or in other words witness a miracle. The zone leader I went with said that he always feels uncomfortable talking to people who look busy. So, that was what we prayed for... to find someone who was prepared for our message but looked busy. We were able to find not only 1... but 2 people that were busy and set them with Baptismal dates. The first was a man living in the richest part of our area... in which I've never found a new investigator. He was about to take his son to soccer practice but put that on hold for 15 minutes to hear our message. Miracle. The second man ran outside randomly to yell at his dogs to stop barking right as we were walking by. We asked him how his night was going and he said "busy, I'm fixing my truck"... well we chatted him up for a few minutes and then began to share our message with him. He also set aside his "busyness" to hear us and he walked away with renewed hope. Miracle.
Also, on our exchange it was around 8:45 when Elder Horan and Low ran into Elder Warby and me. I said jokingly... "There must be a reason we ran into each other at this very moment.." Well, there is truth to every joke. We decided to knock a door, all four of us, and see how it goes. The first door we knocked a lady came out and all four of us taught her the restoration and set her with a baptismal date. We each taught a part of the lesson and it had to have been one of the best times I've ever taught with so much unity. Elder Warby happened to record it... so if I get the recording I'll send it to you!;)
Next. We used this same idea in a meeting we held with the Sister Training Leaders. We had each of them give us something that would push their faith. We then did some really funny and hilarious roleplay's that focused on these area's. Each of them had to "Face their Fear" in front of all the other sisters and as a result we saw each of their own pool of faith expand. Miracle. (By far one of the funnest and most revelatory meetings I've been to.) I was able to share my own experience I had with Tanner when I applied the Growth cycle for my first time and had one of my most powerful spiritual experiences.
Lastly. We had a lesson tonight with the M**'s. We taught them the Plan of Salvation and told them that next time we come over... they would teach us the Plan of Salvation. It was a really really good lesson in which they asked lots of great questions. N** M** is the only one in the family who hasn't been baptized and hasn't even come to church... However, he participates in every lesson. We were coming to a close when we asked each of them "Do you want to live with your family forever?" All of their responses were yes. We then pointed out that the only way to do accomplish that goal is to Follow the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The spirit was pressing on N** and he blurted out "I don't know if I should be rebaptized" We asked him if he would be willing ask God.. right here.. right now.. He said yes. We all got on our knees and listened as he offered a very humble and heart felt prayer. When he finished we all stayed silent. After about 4 minutes of complete silence we asked how he felt and his response was"I know the Holy Ghost is here." He said the spirit keeps telling me to open the door... stop just peaking through... and open it!" I wish you could feel the power of the spirit that was in that room. He and his mom hugged each other while they were on their knees and just held each other for a long while. That had to have been one of the best moments of my entire mission. Miracle.
I know with a surety that is Gospel is True.
Elder Crandall the Vandal