This week I have seen the hand of the Lord so abundantly as I have tried harder to grow my knowledge and use more of my knowledge when talking to others. The biggest thing I was working on was getting more scriptures in my head that I can pull out in lessons so that people are learning from the scriptures, which we know to be the word of God, and not from little old me who may have a tendency to add many unneeded details. As I did this I found so many inspiring verses that I had never really seen before and began to memorize them just well enough to remember the reference and the story line. I began to realize very quickly that the Lord would then bring these scriptures to my remembrance so often throughout the day when it was needed to comfort someone or to take the attention off of my words and show them words of the prophets of old.
Our mission put on this mission-wide convert firesidenight where all 140 missionaries from our mission went, as well as all the recent converts we could round up. This was one of the coolest experiences I've had out here in relation to meetings or events. There were several recent converts that spoke and one of them showed up in jeans and a T-shirt thinking she was going to be standing by a big bonfire talking to a little group of individuals.... so if you ever invite someone to a fireside who hasn't been before make sure you tell them it's not a real fireside! Another recent convert that spoke talked about how he wasn't really thinking that he wanted to join the church but he didn't want to go against Christ if it really is His Gospel so he prayed and told God that he needed a big answer, something to tell him this is the right path. Well a couple weeks passed and no answer came so he thought it meant that the church wasn't true. He was about to call it quits with the missionaries but on his way home from work he needed to stop by a bank so he found the closest one on his phone and clicked "GO". The only problem was that when his phone said he had arrived he found himself sitting in the parking lot of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints building. This was a pretty funny story and he ended up taking that as part of his answer and kept meeting with the missionaries and then got baptized.
One of the coolest things for me at this fireside though was hearing/seeing these individuals who have only come to know these truths less than a year ago stand up and testify that this is Christ's Church here on the earth, this is his gospel, the book of mormon is true and it contains the word of God, Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God, and all these other things that one may testify of. But the Testimonies of those who have come to know these truths a little further into their lives than us who were born into it I believe are even more powerful because they could not have gained that testimony any way other than through direct inspiration from the Holy Ghost. I feel some aspects of my testimony come from the teachings of my parents or the conviction of my youth leaders, but this cannot be the case for those who have never heard the pleasing word of the Lord found within the Book of Mormon until now. It is my hope and prayer that we will all search for that confirmation from the spirit that the things we have been taught and are being taught are true. "No one can know of spiritual truths without prayer." -Preach My Gospel pg. 39
One last thing that I learned while at the fireside. As one of the speakers said, "I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen," I truly felt that the things he had said were something that Christ would have said. I then had to ask myself the question, "when I close something that i say with Christ's name, am i truly saying something that He would say if he were here?" I think this is a question we can all often ask ourselves, and if the answer is no, then simply study the things that Christ has said to us and pattern your words and conversations after His. We should all strive to become as Nephi and Lehi (the ones in helaman) who were given those names to invite them to pattern their lives after their forbears as it says in verses 6 and 7 of helaman 5. For we have truly taken upon us the name of Christ through baptism and now we are continually invited to pattern our lives after His.
Well that's about all I've got time for, but have a good week everybody!!! "I would desire that ye should consider upon the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God"
Love you all!
Love, Elder Cluff!