Wow another fast week! I feel like time is starting to go faster than I have time for. Haha! This week, I feel like I have grown so much, both emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I have been trying so hard to learn how to be a more effective missionary, and I still feel like I don't know what I am doing. I guess I will always feel this way. There is just so much to learn and such a short amount of time. Haha!
Every week, my companion and I teach a Bible class at the church. It is an English Bible class, so we read the Book of Mormon Stories book in English and discuss what we learned from the certain story. A week ago, we were discussing the story of Alma the Younger and his conversion to the church. One of the woman rose her hand and asked us why so many people in the Bible and the Book of Mormon were visited by angels, but how in our days no one sees angels or God. This week, we answered her question. We read about the prophet Joseph Smith and his experience of seeing God the Father and Jesus Christ. I had the opportunity to lead the class and explain the story after we read it. I had to speak in English that was simple and easy for them to understand. From that experience, I am forever changed. I was explaining the story of the First Vision simply, as I would be explaining it to a Primary class. The spirit filled the room like I have never before felt it in my life. All was silent and all eyes on me as I knelt down and explained what Joseph had done on that spring morning. I knew at that moment that God and Jesus Christ did appear to an innocent young boy of just 14 years old. I knew that he became that prophet of Jesus Christ's full gospel and that we have that full gospel on the earth today. I could feel my spirit sing as I expressed my testimony of what happened in that experience and that we do in our day still receive revelations from Heavenly Father.
I have also been very moved this week by the power of music. One of the Elders that I serve with plays the violin. On Thursday for English class, the topic was communication, so I choose to give my spiritual thought on communication with God through prayer. Before I started with the thought, this Elder played his violin to the song "Israel, Israel God is Calling." The spirit filled the room again, just as it had during our Bible class, and as I looked into the faces of our class members, I could see a change in their eyes. When I got up in front of the class, they were ready and eager to be taught. I taught the importance of prayer and communication with our Father in Heaven. One woman in the audience was crying and everyone was changed by the power of music and the spirit.
I learned three simple truths this week. 1) This gospel is simple. It is simple to understand and it is simple to apply into our lives. When we teach with simplicity to our investigators, friends, or family, they will be able to understand because the simple feelings of the spirit will enter into their hearts. 2) Music brings conversion. Music brings a spirit that is sacred and indescribable. My testimony has been strengthened and gained through music. I see how powerful music is in touching others' hearts. And 3) Heavenly Father loves us. We are His children and He wants to hear from us. And more important, He wants us to listen so that He can respond to us. It is through purity of heart, just like a young 14 year old boy, that was innocent and pure enough to simply ask a direct question to His Heavenly Father, having unwavering faith that he would receive an answer, that we are able to have the truth on the earth today. What if we all had such pure hearts and such unwavering faith? Our prayers would not only be heard, but would be answered.
I know that this gospel is true. I know that it is simple to understand and live. I know that we can all have a personal, intimate relationship with our Heavenly Father, who loves us and knows us more than we know ourselves. I have a firm testimony that as we purify our hearts, we will be able to come to know Him and also come to know who we really are. I love this gospel. I love all of you. I am thankful for an eternal family that I know will be together forever.