My, what a marvelous week this has been. =)
Have I told you all lately how beautiful this life is? I have been so filled lately with the simple love and peace that the Holy Spirit brings. President Pitt has challenged each of us to read the Book of Mormon by the end of June. As I have been spending a precious 30 minutes each day at lunch reading from the pages of this incredible book, I have felt so sweetly the peace of the Spirit. I have had my mind and my heart opened to receive understanding and revelation. There is a quote I keep hearing lately. It comes from a talk given by President Ezra Taft Benson in October, 1986:
It is not just that the Book of Mormon teaches us truth, though it indeed does that. It is not just that the Book of Mormon bears testimony of Christ, though it indeed does that, too. But there is something more. There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path. The scriptures are called “the words of life” (D&C 84:85), and nowhere is that more true than it is of the Book of Mormon. When you begin to hunger and thirst after those words, you will find life in greater and greater abundance. (The Book of Mormon–the Keystone of our Religion)
As a result of the challenge, I moved my reading of the Book of Mormon to lunchtime and began to seriously study from the book during my morning studies. The resulting increase in revelation and the Spirit I have felt have been powerful.
As for the work, everything is going so great here in Salem. We have been led to people lately who are truly looking for the Gospel. One woman has been carrying a heavy emotional burden for a long time, and as we talked with her one day at her work, she opened up and shared it with us. Yesterday, she brought her boyfriend and we sat outside of our church building in the soft breeze and the whispering trees and felt the love of God as we listened. She shared that she remembered feeling God when she was young. It would come as she laid down to sleep. She would feel a warm peace that washed over her and she would be asleep in an instant. She said that she hadn’t felt that in a long time. We were able to teach her about the Holy Ghost, and introduce her to the Book of Mormon, and she has committed to read it, and to study the Family Proclamation together with her boyfriend. The Spirit was sweet during the lesson. I look forward to their future.
Another man we met recently when I walked into his house thinking it was an apartment building. He was very nice about the situation and invited us to come back another time. This week we finally did, and we sat in his living room and listened to him tell us of his terminal illness, and the way that it has awakened him to try and find God. He wants to learn how to pray, he wants to find understanding in the scriptures, and he wants to find a church he can attend. We were able to relate his relationship to his son to help him understand the love of his Father in Heaven. It was a powerful discussion, and the Spirit was felt. We saw a change in his countenance. We look forward to many incredible meetings with him.
The work is moving forward, and I am just watching it happen as we ask the Lord to guide us and walk out the door. I am so filled with gratitude to be here. I love my mission. I love my mission president. I love the Lord. What a marvelous time in my life this is. It’s all because of Him, and it’s all for Him.
There is nowhere I would rather be than here, now. 1 year gone. Here’s to an amazing second year. =)
I pray for you daily. I love and miss you all.
Your brother and friend,