Investigators that strengthen us
So me and Elder Han took a jump out of routine and tried doing our Monday emails at the Oakland Public Library; and finally finding a nice pair of computers, sat down right next to trouble. The same guy who followed us shouting Jesus was black was right there, and he just smiled at us and sang "Hey Elders!". My heart sunk knowing I'd be stuck with this guy whispering in my ear for an hour... But it turned out alright; turns out the Gospel is true;) Everything he said was just smashed by the true doctrines of GOD, the truths of the universe, the LAW! As me and Elder Han taught him, his face lost his anger, and he talked less and less. He looked defeated that what he believed could be so easily blown away by two boys.
I know that he believed himself more than anything we said, but we don't come to this life to believe in ourselves, but in our God. This reminds me now of our faith. In Alma 32, faith is compared to a seed. Make sure the seeds we plant are pure and true; if you procrastinate in doing something righteous, thinking you'll just do it later, you are really planting a desire to avoid doing it altogether.
Plant the Good Seed: Faith
What you sow is what you reap, and it was sad to see this man had planted this empty seed that grew into something so temporal and unstable; to see someone lose their faith is truly one of the great sorrows in this world. I've seen others and myself lose faith, often off guard and subtly, and from that perspective, hope seems to be further and further away. So how do we overcome this lack of faith? Plant good seeds, that others will eat a pure and delicious fruit. We are continually planting seeds, they grow as we improve and as we nourish them with good works.
I think the wonderful thing of participating in this Work is that as teachers, we continually go through the exact same learning process that our investigators are going through. I go through similar periods of pain, confusion, and eventually acceptance that I'm not as I should be, and that I'm wrong. We discover our faith, and all need to repent; we experience great trials of our faith, and we all need God's help. But we also fall, and failure is inevitable to life and necessary for growth. And we wallow in our sorrow, and we cry for help in that sorrow. And as we cry in that Sorrow, God sends his Comforters. I've needed that greater recognition this week for myself, to realize I could be better, but it's my choice. The lyric in "More Holiness Give Me" (#131) did not make sense before, but in the light of God, "more sorrow for sin" is going to be a part of this process of LIFE. Now we do not need to experience this sorrow unless we need to repent, and since our faith can overcome despair, we have that control. Read D&C 88:51-60
Think of the great work that we all can participate and have all received a calling for in these days.
We are living testaments of God, and are the fruits of hard labors; do not hold these fruits, but share them with others that they may taste and know it is good!
All have need to repent, but we will all receive that greatest feeling of joy from being cleansed of sin, no matter how big or small! I know that the smallest forgiveness has changed my heart just as the largest repentance requires a great sacrifice. Let others know of the truth of the Gospel, and all will be gathered in!
Investigators that Prepared by God
Even more fantastic, an investigator from China has come, with a PHD in religion.... (he got it in Malaysia) the kindest and most interesting person I've met. He's been in Oakland for a month, and he is truly prepared by God; he is willing to give up anything for the Gospel, and we are very happy with his involvement; tending to his seed of faith is hard, but we end up with the purest of waters and lights to grow! A baptism date for every Sunday for the next two months!