Monday, December 15, 2014

everything for a reason

Transfer news first! On Wednesday, I am off to Lovell 1st & 2nd wards. Mixed feelings on this one. I need change, but there is work here. Lovell is infamous for not having work because everyone there is already a member. So I will miss everyone here, especially Sister DeBry. But hey, I haven't seen the Wyoming part of the mission yet.

So I want to tell you about a story with one of our investigators! 
I think I talked about the high school kid that is dating an active member girl that is in college right now. We had our first lesson with him last week, and our second lesson (Plan of Salvation) with him this week.
I think I told you how hardened he was at first. He very clearly told us that he was only learning for his girlfriend and her family. He didn't do his reading assignment for this week, so we read Alma 32 with him. That got him thinking, especially about whether or not his "ground was barren" or if he was "casting out the seed by his unbelief". Then we started with the Plan of Salvation, testifying of eternal families and purpose from the very beginning. 

Our member present was awesome, with bearing testimony and inviting him and his girlfriend over for dinner in the future.

Anyways. It was the weirdest thing, because he would kind of listen to Sister DeBry and the member, but he would REALLY pay attention whenever I spoke. Every time. I don't know why. Maybe it was because during the previous lesson, I told him that I was in his girlfriend's exact situation about four years ago.

But honestly, having that experience with Ryan, in addition to the spirit, did really help me with what to say and what to testify about. I wanted to say to this investigator everything that I wish Ryan could have known and understood. Because the Plan of Salvation really lays out the purpose behind everything in the gospel, and the purpose in our individual lives. The Plan of Salvation is why marriage in the temple is so important. Understanding our purpose here on earth comes from knowing about the premortal life, and our excitement in accepting Christ and God's plan. The Plan of Salvation really answers many of the peculiarities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints. And I wanted this investigator to understand that. For his sake and his girlfriend's sake. 
The Spirit was so strong at every point, especially as we took turns testifying.

At the end, we asked him what his feelings were about the lessons. He said he always maintained that he was only learning for his girlfriend, but that he was discovering that there was something to what we were saying. He said he felt his motivation changing.

We asked if he had felt good or different during the lesson. 
He said "yes", and looked as though he was wondering, "how did you know? and what is that feeling?" We testified that was the Spirit, telling him that what he was hearing was true and good, and what God wanted for him. And he accepted that answer.

Major softening of his heart, especially because when we found him, he claimed to almost atheist, only believing there might be something higher, but not that it could do him any good.
So everything is for a reason. I really feel that I had that experience with Ryan partly because I could be able to help this investigator. 

So that's my story. Things happen for many reasons, and sometimes down the road we get to see why. Even in the Book of Mormon, you read so often of its purpose, that in time it would be a great converting power. God knows all, and has all in His great plan. Sometimes we just have to remember, 

"Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. 
Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me" (D&C 50:40-41)

We may not understand God's plan. But we can know and understand the role of Christ and his Atonement, which fixes and heals all.


This week has been great, additionally. We have taught many lessons, seen new faces, set baptismal dates for three of the children of the Native recent convert family that moved in, etc.. The family that was baptized back by Halloween is doing great, the husband blessed the sacrament this Sunday for the first time. He also has been going to the YM activities, since he is in the presidency. 

I am running out of time, I hope things get better. I am keeping the Parke family & the whole ward in my prayers.

Much love,
Sister Griffin

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