Well, it happened and I see it, after zone meeting in Lexington VA on Thursday, the things that I had that were holding me back from being completely unified with my companion just didn't seem to matter anymore, during the first part of the meeting I felt fuming mad and was keeping to myself, (which was very out of character for me), for no apparent reason other than the spirit of contention trying to detour the Holy Ghost from confirming to me what I needed to give. After wrestling with the spirit and at last praying again and again, just for peace during the zone meeting;
"I will do it, whatever you want, just please bring me peace" was my thought,
Then the arguing in my head ceased, and I was able to enjoy lunch in beautiful Downtown Lexington and then on the two hour drive back to my area, I felt an overpowering peace come upon me, and felt at rest, an my desire caught hold of that feeling and I decided I wanted to feel that more constantly, and so the next few days were more and more and it kept building, Studying was easier, and more powerful, with the spirit guiding me the whole way, the days were happy as I felt no distance with my companion, and then the miraculous part was teaching, it was totally different.
One example we went to go teach Alan this week, he is our top investigator, and we have been working with him regarding the Book of Mormon and the Bible as companion scriptures, and after a very effective study, and role playing the lesson with my companion so we could be unified in our lesson plan, and ultimately the companionship with the spirit, Heavenly father provided the perfect atmosphere in Alan's quiet living room and after watching the Restoration DVD we talked and shared the scriptures we planned to demonstrate how the Book of Mormon and Bible support each other, Using Matthew 3:14-15 with 2 Nephi 31: 5-9 and seeking for the meaning of the phrase "Fulfill all righteousness"
Following up with Scriptures such as 2 Nephi 3:12 and 2 Corinthians 13:1 and that was all we needed to say, then Alan brought out his true sincere feelings, he told us outside of his other influences (church, family, friends) he wants to know between him and God if the Book of Mormon is true
He himself even pointed out if he had only the new testament and Old testament being two different testaments testifying of christ.
When in the promised way in the moment of teaching the spirit told me exactly what to say, bringing the book of mormon in as another testament of Jesus Christ and ether 12 acting in faith he came to the conclusion with excitement, if God wants to give him another testament (the Book of Mormon) then he should find out...and upon our parting we were all on cloud 9 with the spirit, and Alan is excited and wants more things to test including coming to church and living the word of wisdom! and act in faith to find an answer
The Thing that made this lesson, wasn't our preparedness (although it was a close second because without it we couldn't of had the first) the first being the presence of the Holy Ghost as our third companion.
Alan after our meeting, showing off his Base Guitar skills (shout-out Dad)...the little one on the floor is his youngest of three kids:)
Ultimately this spirit didn't leave the rest of the week and out of the woodwork came a former investigator by the name of carol who gave us a call Sunday night, asking for a book of Mormon and we just happened to be around the corner and were at her home just moments after her call, she sat down and told us that when she read the book a few weeks prior, she felt the Holy Ghost tell her the book is true, out right she told us she quit smoking, moved away from bad influences and want to be faithful in coming to church, we extended the invitation to be baptized and she immediately accepted and wrote it down, and is set to work with all her heart might mind and strength to be ready by that day which is April 18th by the way.
The only interruption from the spirit was during planning on Sunday night, when my companion and I had a petty disagreement and the feeling was empty, as I could feel the spirit fleeing our apartment in what had just been a miracle filled night, surely Satan didn't want us to be unified with the spirit, so after cooling our heads for a few minutes we met and talked it out, recognizing that we needed the spirit and each other as soon as possible and in my nightly personal prayer I felt the spirit nudging me to fast from non-hymn music this week, (this was something that my companion loves he loves the hymns) I felt he Holy Ghost prompting me not because out of obedience, but out of love and sacrifice for my companion and for the sake of unity, "inspirational non-hymn music is okay, but for this week show your companion you care about his needs and I will work miracles" was the thought I felt the spirit whisper to me and so I committed to heavenly father to fast from non-hymn music this week, and when I did the spirit came rushing...flooding our apartment and my heart again like it had never left.
Don't get me wrong, I don't feel that other music that I was listening to outside of the hymns (which were in the bounds of the music guidelines that you set for the mission) was wrong, I felt the spirit and was in tune with the spirit the whole week while listening to music beyond the hymns, but this was something that I personally felt the spirit prompting me to sacrifice for the benefit of my companion and thus for unity and thus for our investigators this week.
the concluding thought I had upon going to bed this week I felt the spirit remind me of, actually came from one of my favorite films Frozen...
"Love is putting someone else's needs above you own."
It may be silly but it struck me and when I went to bed last night with that thought I was at peace and was joyful looking forward to the miracles, blessings and excitement that are surely in store this week.
I am grateful for President Salisbury for giving us the room to choose for ourselves I don't feel that I would have been blessed or impacted in the way I have been this week if I was guided by a very strict and specific law, which didn't give me room to judge on my own and learn on my own, but with his stewardship, guidance and teaching to help me to choose what would bring me happiness, and ultimately trusting me and the spirit to make the right choice (while it took some time to get it right) now it is my choice and I have a genuine desire for the blessings that come from a higher law, higher desire for unity and the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
I guess that is kind of how heavenly father feels sometimes about our agency, sometimes it might seem easier to give us specifics and every little detail of law, but he knows we grow more when we learn for our self the right choice and he will let us know when we have made the right choice.
I also went on exchanges with Elder Johnson in Covington VA...so I now have 4 states on my mission...Kentucky (the #1 state), Ohio, WV and VA...stumbled across this sign and had to photograph it.
Just Driving...notice how every photograph this week is sunny...it was simply splendid:)
Driving Through Virginia on our way back from Zone Meeting in Lexington was a pleasant scenic drive, I can't wait to see it in a few weeks when the green starts to come back, we already spotted a just few green buds on some trees.
Below: Coming back across the W. VA. Border and into Greenbriar County
#shoutout to Elder Cluff #BOLTRules! #TMNT...Alan is a fan of TMNT so it was he served us some soda in this glass. Made me think of my man BOLT!
This Truck is a usual in Downtown Lewisburg, Elder Sawyer and I had a fun time seeing how many characters we could name on the truck.
The Weather has been nothing short of Amazing this week, getting up into the 70's with clear skies, and still no sign of snow this winter, no complaints and has made is so much easier to get out and work more so than we usually could, the warm weather I have noticed just makes it that much easier to talk to people when they don't want to escape the cold. #CountYourManyBlessings