Wednesday, May 12, 2010

IF WE COULD JUST SEE THEM LIKE GOD DOES

Hello Family! It seems like.... well, 2 days since we last spoke! Felt good, not going to lie, I loved your voices and loved hearing the stories and reminders of life at home. And its not distracting me, I feel more motivated to work now. Ha, we heard that the moms here in our little branch found out that if they keep saying "OH just 5 more minutes!" to their missionary sons, and then keep talking so they couldn’t hang up, you can milk an extra hour out of your phone call home! haah. Worth a shot in the future, eh?


Things are good here. We hiked a mountain again today, in the rain. Actually, where we were, it was snowing. Kinda cool being in the middle of the clouds, barely can see, next to a raging waterfall, with snow falling everywhere. Loved it. Very different from the daily rushing and running to contact everyone we see.

Which is something we've been doing times 10. I admit I've looked at people and not talked to them on my mission. "Oh, he's scary." "Oh, he looks happy already." "He looks busy..." As we've focused on EVERYONE, we have started flipping the car around to talk to the guy on the other side of the street, walking through lawns to talk to the guy mowing his lawn, strike up a conversation at the gas station... as we have put the effort forth, we can see results - we meet many more of God's children who are seeking the truth. Its amazing. How many people do we pass without noticing and doing all we can to help? Do we think about them? I remember Jeffrey, a song you showed me "Give me your eyes for just one second" -I have it in our apartment,  but that's kind of the message I've felt, think about everyone a little more, all these people we see... if we could just see them like God does...

Like I said before, lots of good things this week. Jorge, just 20 years old, lost everything his job, his wife, his family a month ago. We fasted to know how to help him - at the lesson Sunday, he said he felt a great peace in his life that started when we began to come by. He feels less tempted to do dumb things, he actually sat down and talked to God for the first time in years and years, he went to Church on Sunday for all 3 hours - and EVERY class and subject talked directly to him, to his needs. Amazing.

Then last night, we met with Claudia and Alfredo. Amazing people. She said she really doesn’t trust any certain religion, because they are all made and guided by man, and not God. We talked about having a prophet and she began to demand signs and proof, saying it was crazy to believe that, how could it be possible. I just started to talk - boldly, but with love, and testified with all I could about the fact that our Church, wonderfully, wasn’t started by a MAN, wasn’t started by an inexperienced youth named Joseph Smith, and isn’t guided now by man alone. It was started like God's truth is always given - by revelation, by giving authority to a prophet. It is guided today NOT by a man, but by God and Jesus Christ, by revelation. I asked her if she knew when God was present, and when He is speaking to her. She said of course. We testified that we have felt THAT as we've prayed for a testimony of the prophet, of the book of Mormon, of the truthfulness of this Church. The people are not perfect - who is, besides the Savior? The people aren’t perfect, but the doctrine, the authority, the organization IS. It is not of man, as Elder Uchtdorf said in a recent conference talk (Love of God, or We are doing a great work), it is not someone's best guess as to the meaning of ancient scripture, this is the TRUTH, this is Christ's church restored. As we testified, the contention left, the Spirit was there, and she just stayed quiet, thinking. We shared Ether 12:6. We need to pass the trial of our faith before receiving a testimony, a surety, something to "prove it". She felt strongly about that scripture.

It was a great lesson, and not because of what we were saying. The Spirit helped. It’s funny, people demand signs, or prove it all by reason, but really, without faith, all the signs in the world aren’t enough. We could see God Himself and still persist in doubt if we don’t have faith. Faith is the key. My mission is teaching me more than anything else to have faith. It is a strange thing, stepping into the dark without seeing the whole picture. I don’t understand everything. I've fought for a testimony more than many I have known. It’s easy to second guess and let criticism and confusion creep in. I have literally felt Satan's attacks on my quality of faith, mounting as I came to the mission, and during. But I have also seen more proof of the truth, more reason to have faith, than ever before. What I say to these investigators isn’t something I blindly believed in since birth (some anti said we're like horses with blinders on, refuse to see the light, etc) It would be like that if I hadn't have prayed 7 years ago, and read the whole Book of Mormon, and received an answer. It would be like that, if I hadn't have felt the Spirit guiding us to bring THIS message to specific people for the past year and a half. It would be like that if I was just sharing these things, but when everyone in the room feels the same peace of the Savior as we speak of the divine beginnings of this Church, it means something more. I have seen promises from prophets fulfilled, I have seen miracles wrought by the priesthood, I have seen Satan attacking and the truth sending him back, and I have felt the Spirit answering every prayer. It’s not easy, I understand where these people come from, but I have fought to know, and I KNOW. I don’t understand it all, and I don’t always know what to say, but I do know the truth.

Yesterday at Zone Conference, Alex Boye (very popular singer from London, family from Nigeria (British African?) came to our conference to speak and sing to us. He got baptized when he was 16 in London - and thrown out of his house. Literally. Lived on the streets, eating out of garbage cans. In that time he asked the Lord many things, and received specific real answers. Amazing. He served a mission. First day, a man came up, laughed at him, and started attacking the church. Alex had never heard of any of that. He stood there, then chose to laugh. He said, Sir, I don’t know if what you said is true, but it doesn’t matter. I prayed, and I know. I know this is true. I will not deny the witnesses I've received. He prayed that whole night, fighting doubt and struggle over these things he didn’t understand - and felt more strongly than anything, that this is right, the truth. Amazing speaker. As he sang his testimony, it filled us with strength and the spirit. Look him up, cool stuff.

Ha, sorry, I made a sermon out of those experiences, it’s just I've had so much mulling about in my head as we've talked to people this week, that I thought I'd write it here. I love you all, don’t have much more time, but take care, be strong, trust the Savior.  It’s all true folks! I love you and am praying for you always,

Elder Thelin

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful testimony. Thank you so much. Beautiful.

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