I love you guys so much! I love hearing from you each week about the adventures that you are having. I hope Nate, Kelly, and Robert feel better fromt their sickness. Good thing Nate's in medical school haha. Also, happy to know that Karli and Zach went and enjoyed some Panda Garden this week. Gotta love that peking duck haha. Conner and Claire killing it in school.. good to hear.
Elder Abel and I have been working this week on becoming better at allowing the Spirit to teach the lesson and to testify to their hearts. We know that we really aren't the teachers, it is the Holy Spirit. We can do nothing in this great work if we don't rely upon the power of the Holy Ghost to testify the truth of all things. A scripture that I enjoy about this principle is found in Doctrine and Covenants section 43. It was a revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith directed toward the elders of the church "Again I say, hearken ye elders of my church, whom I have appointed: Ye are not sent forth to be taught, but to teach the children of men the things which I have put into your hands by the power of my Spirit."
We have had some experiences with this principle this past week, and I would like to share with you some of them. Elder Abel and I were walking down the street and decided to contact a nice looking family. The man turned out to be from the states and he let us in his house. Inside, was his friend from Tennessee. Let me tell you about this friend. He is about as evangelic christian as it gets. He comes to Costa Rica to teach all of the pastors how to be pastors, so I guess you could say that he is the "jefe." He loved the fact that he had two young missionaries in the house and wanted to show us our errors. The only problem was that there was some violence going on in the street so we couldn't leave. Great, we were stuck. He told us why we were wrong, how much he knew about our church and that he was such and expert because he had studied it for four years (strangely the four years of study did not include reading the Book of Mormon.) So basically, the Spirit wasn't there. We kindly listened to his outlandish statements and invited him to read the Book of Mormon and ask the fountain of all truth whether it be correct or not. He denied a closing prayer and we went on our merry way. (Karli, I now understand how it must have been to serve in Tennessee.) In short, we cannot convince anybody of anything, the Spirit does the convincing.
On the other hand, we have an investigator named Eduardo. He is about 20 years old and is really loving the message that we have been sharing with him. His biggest challenge is that he says that he does not want to turn himself over to God completely because he still enjoys some of the things of the world. We have talked to him several times about how he must show his faith through his obedience to the commandments of God. We weren't really getting anywhere because he was just stubborn. So we left Alma chapter 34 for him to read and to pray about. We promised him that as he did so, he would receive an answer from the Lord. When we arrived for the next lesson we did not teach him anymore. We asked questions that would allow him to perceive the answers of the Holy Ghost for himself. We asked "while you read this chapter in the Book of Mormon, what did the Spirit tell you?" He paused for a second and said, "He told me that I need to change." It was amazing! He is coming to church tomorrow with his mother and we are so happy for him! I love this gospel and the guide it is for us in our lives.
The Book of Mormon is the word of God. The Spirit testifies that truth to me continually as I study that inpired book. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, called and properly ordained to carry such a mantle. I know that he was everything that he claimed to be and that through him Jesus Christ restored His church to the earth. The blessings of the restoration are countless.
I love you so much! Keep on keepin on!
Mi amigo Mexicano siempre me decía "Hay que seguir el Espiritu siempre."