Wednesday, June 11, 2014

"I'm hungry!"

Dear Family and Friends,

This week can only be described as miraculous. I just love, love, love the people we're teaching because they are elect. Their spirits are just elect.

Gade was baptized yesterday after first teaching her last week on a friday. AKA, that baptism took place within 9 days of our first sit-down lesson. Just try to convince me that this "hastening" of the work isn't real. D&C 88 says it perfectly, and I have witnessed it: "I will hasten my work in it's time."
Let me just tell you a story about a boy named Dome.

He's 19 years ago, very quiet, isn't an eloquent speaker, but knows when something is sacred. His confidence isn't high and his grades aren't supreme. He thinks hard about what he's taught but it doesn't make a lot of sense. This week on a tuesday evening, we sat down for a second lesson. He came into the lesson telling us, "I'm not ready and don't know if I want to change my religion. And besides that, I can't stop smoking, that's for sure. It's impossible." We taught the restoration of the gospel and testified with all our hearts and many scriptures that God could help him quit smoking and be a witness to him that this was all true, what we had taught.

By the end, I asked, "How do you feel right now?" because the spirit was so strong. In his sincerity but misunderstanding, he replied, "I'm hungry." I laughed and sort of rolled my eyes and we testified one more time and committed him to pray that night about all of it and to read in that Book of Mormon he's got.

I look back and think to myself, knowing what I do about Dome today, that it was I that misunderstood his answer.

Yesterday, we had another sit down lesson, requested by him. He came up to me after his second day at church and seeing a baptism and said, "Sister, I want to know the commandments so I can know where I stand and what I need to do." This time I was on splits and it was just Sister Film and I teaching him. She had been with us that tuesday night that I had described to my district leader as, "A bad lesson" because of how I thought he had taken the message.

I sat with him yesterday. Found out he had been praying and reading, he added his own name to the Book of Mormon chart and as he said the opening prayer, his prayer of "Help the weather to not be hot- Amen" had expanded and grown to a very deep soul-search. Not eloquent or decorated, but straight-forward, "Is this true what they're telling me?"

He told us in that lesson that he knew God was real. He knew for himself. He told us that that Tuesday evening he smoked the rest of his cigarettes that he had in his possession, and prayed before he went to sleep that God would help him quit.

Dome woke up that next morning, and in his words, "Usually, I would smoke 20 sticks in a day. Since last time I went to church, I had cut it to 10 sticks a day. But that Wednesday morning, I woke up, and when I would usually light up, I woke up to find I didn't want to smoke."

"Sister, I haven't smoked for 5 days. Since that day you made me pray, I haven't smoked a single cigarette."

I realize now that despite him answering my spiritual question with, "I'm hungry", it was actually a defining answer. His spirit was hungry.

This unlearned boy, raised in an school of poor-test-takers and those that have simply been raised in a environment of low-opportunity, has found a safe haven within the church. He shows up to church clean, tidy, necktie, white shirt. He knows the influences there are only good.

He comes to church.... hungry.

Sister Painter
 I went to an elephant farm and my new favorite animal is big, wrinkly, and squishy!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! Presents from my family which I chose myself.

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