Monday, April 21, 2014

Week 37: Uncharted Waters

Rapid fire update.  Ready go.

Sister Creager's birthday was on Thursday.  We were in M-Hall that day, wore matching dresses we got at Walmart, super cute.  We talked to Manson on the porch for a long time, he thinks Jesus at the second coming will be a hippie who recycles and hangs out with potheads but doesn't chastise them, just passively tells them they don't need the weed.  Manson is off his rocker.  And I conclude he's scared to read too far into the Book of Mormon and pray earnestly about because then it would disprove his assertion that there is no such thing as an incorrupt organized religion.  The C family we stay with surprised Sister C with fabulous strawberry shortcake.  We chatted with a lady at the burger wagon over sliders and by the end she was interested in having us come over and talk sometime.  I think if you talk to anyone long enough and show that you actually care about their life, that could be all it takes to get a foot in the door.  We brought a Finding Faith in Christ dvd to a referral (the kind we get by text), and it was a little girl that the C family's 8 yr old daughter have given a pass along card to at school.  Guys, if an 8 year old can do it, you can too.  Come on.

Funny story.  Remember the curious kid we taught that asked questions until we'd relayed the entire Restoration and Plan of Salvation in one sitting?  Well we went to recontact him twice, second time talked to his mom, she wasn't interested, asked if she knew anyone who needed help she said "My sister needs her roof fixed" and gave us her info, we were like "Ok leaky roof, here we go" and we meet the lady, she's kinda interested in our message, lets us teach her, we go back the next day and her daughter is there, who saw the Book of Mormon in her mom's house and wanted to read it and has been looking for a church and loved learning about the Restoration.  She accepted a baptismal date for May 10.  She was a potential's mom's sister's daughter.  Right?  This neighborhood she was in was not even on our incomplete map, i.e. we probably never would have found her otherwise.  God's got it all figured out though.  Leads us along a breadcrumb trail until we get where we were REALLY supposed to go.

We tracted a lot in that same neighborhood, it being uncharted waters, it was bound to be riddled with gold.  Which was correct.  We found another lady, who, since we talked to her awhile and actually cared about her life, was open to hearing about the Plan of Salvation.  People really like this.  Know why?  Because it makes more sense than clouds-or-fire heaven-or-hell.  Because it's both just AND merciful.  We found another woman, same hood, who's attention was caught when we mentioned a modern day prophet.  Even when her obnoxious neighbor walked up and tried to tell us our Book of Mormon was adding to the Bible, she rolled her eyes and said "Well it makes a lot of sense to me, even if it doesn't to.. some people..." and I felt victorious because this neighbor's unwelcome presence just made us look even better.

Sometimes I just wish we could soapbox this place.  Problem is, there are no big cities where people just walk around in crowds.  But how awesome would it be to stand on a crate and shout the verses of Alma 5?  Real awesome.  Some days, all I wanna do is rebuke.  All day.  But it's okay.  Because I still get to cry repentance.  Usually not until after someone's begun to have a testimony of the restored gospel, and then you bring up the commandments, where many people have to slow down and reconsider how much faith they have.  Such as with Diddy, who's roadblock is still the law of chastity.  Marrying her live-in boyfriend and thus potentially sacrificing her pension, which they've been living on.  However!  She reads and prays everyday, AND receives comfort and revelation AND found out that she may possibly get to keep her income even if she remarries. Finally!  Someone who can move forward because they're actually keeping commitments!  That's the only way to build faith, and only faith will keep you afloat when you step into uncharted waters.

Speaking of faith.  We had an awesome discussion with an atheist this week.  For real, it was a rush.  Felt like I was in college again.  So this guy, late 20's, an attorney, is asking all these questions about "if there is a God, how do you justify such and such," but he's sincere, like he wishes he had evidence enough to believe in God cause he knows he'd be happier. So we answer as best we can using Plan of Salvation and eternal perspective, and then he asks "If God is all knowing and already knows what we're going to choose in the end, then how is there free will?  Are we not already pre-destined?"  Not the first time I've heard this one, so I looked at my comp like "I got this" and gave my view on the matter.  "First of all, no matter what we're going to choose in the end, God never stops working on every single one of his children, in hopes that they will ALL choose Him in the end.  Secondly, while Heavenly Father may know the outcome, we do not.  And He's not going to tell us.  Therefore, so long as WE don't know the outcome, it's still a choice for us.  We still have to choose."  Well, he told me that was the first coherent answer he'd ever received for that particular question, and I boast not of myself but very much of my God for that.  Because I came up with that answer when I was like 16 and what 16 year old could do so without having received it divinely.  Like we studied this morning, all truth and light which giveth understanding, come from God.  He's the one with ALL the answers.  And he's given us SO many of them through ancient and modern day prophets in the gospel we have today.  That's how I know I have the right one.  That plus, the confirmation from the Holy Ghost.  God wasn't going to let us sail into this mortal world without a reliable guide, no matter how much remains uncharted.

 He that aascended up on high, as also he bdescended below all things, in that he ccomprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the dlight of truth;
 Which truth shineth. This is the alight of Christ. As also he is in the sun, and the light of the sun, and the power thereof by which it was bmade...
 11 And the light which shineth, which giveth you light, is through him who enlighteneth your eyes, which is the same light that quickeneth your aunderstandings;
 12 Which alight proceedeth forth from the presence of God to bfill the immensity of space—
 13 The alight which is in all things, which giveth blife to all things, which is the claw by which all things are governed, even the dpower of God who esitteth upon his throne, who is in the bosom of eternity, who is in the midst of all things.

God governs by light, and light is everywhere.  Find it. Walk in it.  Sail by it.  Like the primary song says, it is "the light of his love."

Sister Valdez

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