Monday, February 10, 2014

Then, my brethren, ye shall reap the rewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you.

Oh my sweet friends!

What a wonderful week. SO good. SO SO SO COLD. SO snowy! I've never seen it snow so many days in my life! I'm staying warm. Hand warmers in my gloves and scarf! It's a like a legit burning in the bosom! :)

I'll cut to the chase. On Thursday we had the BEST, the best lesson with Ramon and Miguel. In MLC on Tuesday, President and Sister Mullen taught the doctrine from Alma 32 and it was so perfect. In our Zone Training, I was supposed to train on what they taught so I read up on Alma 32 and knew it was what we needed to share with Ramon and Miguel. We had already given them the chapter to read before but we knew a good refresher would help. The power of the word is better than anything that I could ever say. We had a lot of people in their lesson. We invited Brother Torres and then Elder Wilson wanted to join and then Jose Estrada wanted to too. Lots of talkers. But I just wanted the spirit to speak the most. Oh it was beautiful. The scriptures carry so much power. I'm truly converted to the Book of Mormon for life. It is my very favorite book. We read through faith and the word and talked to them about what those could mean. Then we read verse 27 about feeling swelled, enlighted, enlarged and tasting the deliciousness of the goodness of God. I asked Ramon if he had every felt that before and he smiled and said, "yeah, every time I read the Book of Mormon I feel that way." And then Brother Torres cut in and asked him to be baptized. It wasn't the first time they've been asked. We've probably asked them like 8 times. But it wasn't the right moment. The spirit was there but it wasn't the peak. And it just felt weird coming from Brother Torres, bless his heart. So we just kept reading and reading about growing faith and experimenting. And then I felt impressed to let us have a moment of silence for the Spirit to really work on their hearts and minds. So we invited them to pray and read and ponder. We sat in silence for at least 12 minutes. But I was watching Ramon and Miguel and their heads were bowed and so I didn't want to interrupt them. Finally I felt the push to ask them, "what are you thinking?" I looked at Miguel because usually Ramon is the talker and I think Ramon is more prepared and maybe some of his hesitation is that Miguel doesn't want it as much. So I knew Miguel needed to share his feelings.

He said, "I don't know why but I remembered a time in my life when I was younger. My family is Catholic but we didn't go to church all the time. But I remember one weekend I went to this thing for the youth where we sang and worshiped and prayed. I just felt really happy and felt the Spirit. Then a lot of the kids started receiving different gifts of the Spirit and good speak in tongues and were doing amazing things. I just really wanted to have that experience too. So I kept praying that I would be able to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We were getting ready to leave and even getting on the bus and I was just praying and praying that God would hear me and then all of a sudden, I felt a surge go through me. I felt tingly and alive and it felt so good and happy. I knew that God answered my prayer. During those days, all I wanted was to be close to God. But when I grew up I forgot about that and made some bad choices to take me away from God. But I want that again. I want to be close to God."

I told him that the Spirit brings things to our remembrance to help us. And he said, "yeah. because I also remember having doubts that I really would be able to feel the Holy Spirit. I wasn't sure if it was possible. But I did. And that is how it feels when I read the Book of Mormon too."

Then I looked at him and I said,

Miguel, se preparará para ser bautizado el 22 de febrero?

He paused and then smiled and said,

AHH! Happiness and Joy!
Then Elder Wilson looked at Ramon and said, y tu, Ramon?

Creo que sí

The spirit swarmed in so powerfully. SO incredibly strong. It was amazing.

I asked Ramon what he was thinking and miraculously he had a very similar experience. He said, "I also thought about a time when I was younger. My mom always took us to church and I always grew up believing and doing good things. I remembered one time that all the kids had to go through this maze to get to a Bible because it represented God. People would get lost and turned around but eventually everyone made it back to God."
Then he paused and got choked up.
"After my mom died, I was lost and turned around from God."

Then Elder Wilson said, "Ramon, the reason the missionaries found you is because you were never lost to God. He wanted you to be found."

It was beautiful. We closed the lesson there. At the peak of the spirit and we asked Ramon to pray. He didn't want to because he was crying but we waited a moment and then he said the most beautiful prayer. 

Thank you God, for finally letting us say yes. Thank you for letting us say yes and come closer to you.

OH! so happy! And yesterday after church, we made a brainstorm list of all the people in their lives that they could invite to their baptism. They thought of more than 200 people combined. And they are SO excited, SO happy. All their doubts and reservations are out the window. It is a TRUE MIRACLE!

Adriana dropped us a couple weeks ago and we were pretty shocked and bummed about it and we finally decided it was time to stop by to see how she was doing and it turned out that the last time we stopped by (she wasn't there, we left a note) she got pretty mad. It was a big misunderstanding and we felt REALLY bad and she felt really bad and then we had a nice lesson with her and she felt the spirit again. I wish so badly she'd soften her heart and take the step of faith to come to church. It would bless her immensely. She forgave us but we're still easing back into things with her so hopefully we'll get to teach her again.

Hispanics are popping up. It's a good, happy work! I love it. And I love my Savior. And boy do I LOVE the Book of Mormon.

Hermana Judd

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