So I experienced two pretty huge miracles this week. One of them is kind of weird and silly and the other is BAPTISM!!
So Layla got baptized and Sister Shober and I got permission to go. We had to go to Anaheim mission which was kind of awkward. We also met the Anaheim mission president which was super awkward. We almost stayed in Anaheim too long and turned into pumpkins.
"If we stay in Anaheim much longer we might turn into pumpkins." -Me
"Yeah that's what happens to us after two years we turn into pumpkins" -An Anaheim Elder
This explains a lot about Aaron Pitt actually.
So anyway this is Layla. I only taught her twice, but Sister Shober and I were the initial contact. Turns out she was super elect and got baptized two months later. She shared how she decided to be baptized, and it was one of the coolest descriptions of conversion I've ever heard.
"I've read the Book of Mormon every day since Sister Atchley and Sister Shober gave it to me two months ago. I was laying in bed read it one day when I realized that God has always been in my life we just had not been formally introduced until I met the sisters two months ago." -Layla
It was such a cool experience to be on the other side of a convert baptism. It makes me think of all the times that missionaries share the gospel and DON'T get to see the fruits of their efforts. It also makes me think of all the times we try to share the gospel with people who are not ready to hear it.
That's the topic of my other miracle. This one is kind of convoluted, but I definitely saw the hand of the Lord in my life this week. Earlier this week I was having an average personal study like I typically do when the spirit told me to go over the how to begin teaching points. So if you don't know what that means there's some pointers on how to begin teaching in Preach My Gospel, and my heart was super hard to them for like my first two entire transfers. So I decided to go through them and find scriptural evidence for all of them. I only got to point two because it lead me to Alma7:11-13 and I proceeded to receive an extremely powerful witness of Christ and a ton of revelation for the rest of personal study.
The next day the zone leaders decided it would be a good idea to have a frisbee activity together as a zone for our exercise. I literally never play frisbee ever because I'm so lame and I hate fun, but something told me that it would be a good idea on this particular occasion. So as y'all probably know I'm not super good at anything that requires running or hand-eye coordination. Basically I was just being super lame and feeling pretty useless for the entire time. So I said a prayer in my heart which was basically along the lines of "Heavenly Father I know this is such a stupid request, but I feel really useless right now can you please just help me do something useful one time during this frisbee game?" I hear my name, the frisbee falls out of the sky right into my hands, I pass it to Elder Chain, who is like a pro at frisbee, and our team wins the game. So now my testimony of prayer is at an all time high.
"It may not seem important in the grand scheme of things, but if it's important to you it's important to Him, because YOU are important to Him." -President Orgill
Then I go see someone get baptized. So I've just seen an ordinance of salvation performed. My testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel is off the chain.
That night Sister Peterson and I decided to go contacting in the park and we met the nastiest basher I've probably met on my mission. I mean he was trying to destroy us. He was trying to twist our words, and tell us that we don't believe in the real christ, and that the only way you can know truth is by the bible, not by feelings etc. He just got really aggressive and slammed us for a solid 10 minutes. Several things happened in this bash that were pretty amazing to be a part of.
First of all, the things he tried to convince me I was wrong about were things that I had just spent the past two days having my testimony of strengthened in huge ways by the power of the Holy Ghost. Second, all I did was bear testimony over and over again. So when he tried to refute my words or corner me he just got himself into an awkward situation. Example:
"Mormons don't believe in the christ of the bible." -This guy
"I believe that christ is my savior and my redeemer, and I know that he suffered for my sins and died on the cross." -me
"THAT'S NOT THE CHRIST OF THE BIBLE"- The dude
"YOU'RE BEING DECEIVED BLAH BLAH"-the guy
"Thank you for informing me, tonight I will pray about the things that you have said and I know that Heavenly Father who loves me will answer my question through the power of the holy ghost. I know Heavenly Father always answers prayers. Seek and ye shall find knock and it shall be opened unto you." -me
"You don't get answers from the "Holy Ghost" you get them from the bible!! It doesn't matter how big of a "feeling" you get blah blah." - homeboy
So basically I learned why you only bear testimony to bashers. If you try to teach them they will twist your words and try to confound you and attempt to shake your testimony. If you bear simple pure testimony and they argue back they are only arguing against the godhead.
Third, this guy tried to share ONE scripture with us to prove us wrong. Between him and his wife they absolutely could not find this scripture. They couldn't find it in the entire time they were talking to us even with the help of the internet. I on the other hand quoted out of the air probably about 15 scriptures. They just kept coming to my mind. This is because the spirit, who is my constant companion, was bringing things to my remembrance, but confounding his thoughts.
D&C100: 5 Therefore, Verily I say unto you, lift up your voices unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men;
6 For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say.
Fourth is the most important miracle that happened through all of this. Sometimes when you talk to bashers you get this pit in your stomach and this sinking feeling in your heart, because you know what they're saying isn't true. I had this feeling for the first half of our conversation and about half way through I said a prayer in my heart. It was something along the lines of "Heavenly Father, I know this is your child, please help me to have Christlike love for him." As I said this the feelings in my heart melted away and I had christlike love for this individual. As soon as this happened he started stumbling on his ideas and ran out of things to say. I walked away with a stronger testimony of the gospel and he was left standing there calling us names.
D&C62:3 Nevertheless, ye are blessed, for the testimony which ye have borne is recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon; and they rejoice over you, and your sins are forgiven you.
Your reading assignment is Alma7:11-13 and I want you to pay very close attention to the reason behind the word "nevertheless".
"It's an effective study if you receive revelation from an angel of the Lord" -Elder King
"I don't actually know your first name" -Elder Robinson
"It rhymes with shmadeleine" -Sister Fullmer
"Maybe the waffle has miracle grow in it." -Elder Center
"Maybe Sister Atchley should eat it." -Elder Davis
"As sisters in zion we'll all go play frisbee...." -Elder Anthony + Elder Chain