|You can't see it very well, but from this point we could see all of San Jose, Cartago, and a bunch more of Costa Rica!|
Alright, to start off, funny experience time!
Those of my family will know that I tend to talk a lot. Really, I think everybody knows that! But what isn't so widely known is that, some times, I talk in my sleep! I never walk in my sleep or anything like that, but every now and then I've been known to talk in my sleep.
These days we have been living the dream of a missionary. We've been repenting, improving, gaining the confidence of the members, seeing miracles, a little bit of everything. But, last night, I was also dreaming the life! Turns out that I woke my companion up because I was testifying that Jesus Christ lives and is our savior, at something like 2 in the morning! I don't remember the dream, but I guess that I just knew that I needed to get some extra practice in about my teaching haha.
Really, this week has been good. A lot has improved. I wanted to talk specifically about one of person from this week, L.
L is a less active member of the church. She has 4 kids, Yovani Alejandro and Alison (I don't know the 4th one haha I've never met him.) You can just tell when you see L that she's a nice person. She's kind, easy to get along with, just a good person! But she hasn't been going to Church.
L was baptized when she was 10 years old, in Nicaragua. She was SUPER involved in the Church. She even went on visits when she was 12 with the Young Women's president to go visit less actives and investigators and everything! But her Grandpa told her and her Grandma that they couldn't go to church anymore. That really crushed L. She just felt hopeless! Then, they moved here to Costa Rica, and she lost the desire to go to church.
She started to live for parties, and self fulfillment. She knew that the church was true, but she got lost in the things of this world.
Guess who's going to come to church this Sunday!
A little bit ago (I don't know when, I wasn't here) She felt the need to change her life. She stopped doing all those bad things that she was doing, and started to worry more about her family than about herself. On Sunday when we visited (she had to work so couldn't come to church) She expressed to us that she was stressed and worried about her family. More than anything, that she felt like she didn't know what to do so that the situation improved!
When I heard that, I got real excited, knowing exactly what to show her. It's my 2nd favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon, and one of my favorite things to teach. The Book (and chapter) of Enos! Even though this book only occupies some 4 pages of the Book of Mormon, it's had a profound impact on me.
Enos is about a man named, well, Enos. Haha. Enos was the son of a Prophet of God! But, even being the son of a prophet of God, we find that Enos had to find his own testimony. He was in a bit of a rebellious phase! But this chapter teaches us, as we look at it in reverse, how to be a good parent.
In verse 1, Enos says (writing this after his change of heart):
Behold, it came to pass that I, Enos, knowing my father that he was a just man—for he taught me in his language, and also in the nurture and admonition of the Lord—and blessed be the name of my God for it—
We see something very, very important to start things out here. What I've bolded are two phrases. That Enos' dad was a just man, and that he raised Enos in admonition to the lord! Afterwards, even though he might not have felt like this in the moment, Enos says: And blessed be the name of my God for it. I'm sure that, as parents, we all want this as the goal! That our kids, when they grown up, bless the name of our heavenly father for what we've taught them.
This chapter tells of how Enos received a remission of his sins! Which clearly means that he was living in sins. It doesn't say how serious or foolish were the things he was doing wrong, but we see that he was in a rebellious phase. Then, in verse three, we see some grand advice on how to be a parent.
Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart.
We see that as Enos was out hunting beasts of the forests (doing his own thing on his own time, away from his Dad), the words which he had often heard sunk deep into his heart. Even though he might not have responded in the moment that he had shared them, the teachings of his Father were crucial in his conversion. Verse 4 says: And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker,and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; and all the day long did I cry unto him; yea, and when the night came I did still raise my voice high that it reached the heavens.
A couple verses later, we see that Enos received a remission of his sins, and a testimony of all the things that his father had taught him.
Brothers and sisters,all of our souls will hunger from time to time. We all realize, in moments, that we need to change something. If we set the example for our children, as Enos' dad did, and frequently testify to them about the plan of salvation that God has put for us, and that joy that we've received as we've lived that plan, they will know where to turn when they have this hunger. We may not see the results the same day, but as we do these two simple things; live and share the gospel; they will be able to receive forgiveness for their transgressions, and find the path of Eternal Life.
This truth has sunk deep into my heart. As we live the gospel and repent, we gain a personal witness of it's truth, that we can then share with others. Whether it be our children, or our friends, or even our parents, we can help them turn to God in times of trouble and satisfy that hunger that we all feel, the hunger of a needy soul.
As we shared this message with L, we strongly felt the spirit testifying it's truth to us. Then, the most important part happened. She Acted! She got on her knees that night and told God her worries, her problems, and her troubles. And he answered her with feelings of tranquility and peace that she would have all the tools necessary to be a good mother to her children.
Thank you so much for everything you do, brothers and sisters! I love you all so much. I hope that you all have a wonderful week, and that you can feel the Spirit in your lives.
PS Oh my gosh Mom you wouldn't believe how much I've changed... This week we gave a capacitacion (yes I know that's not the word) (training) on finding and it was super good and we felt the spirit super strong. I've become so much more confident now. I find myself giving advice to EVERYBODY now! Haha. It's great. The Lord has really turned one of my weaknesses into one of my strengths.