Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Spiritual Awakenings

Hey Everyone!! Things are going well here!! This past week was a little bit slower, but we saw such a great miracle happen. So on Wednesday We were out working on the other side of our area. We were trying to stop by different less active members as well as investigators we haven't seen in a while! Well we were working till around 2 and decided to go grab a quick lunch. 

So we went in and had lunch, and after we were leaving and someone came up to us and asked us if we spoke Spanish. Well my companion Elder Alvarenga speaks Spanish. So he started talking with him, and the guys name was Gerardo, and long story short he came from California and he is trying to start a new job. Well he needed somewhere to stay for a couple nights until he would start his new job the next week. We gave him the address to our church, and the missionaries phone number in the Spanish ward if he would ever be interested in coming and seeing the building. We told him we would also see if we could find him a place to stay for a couple nights. 

After we left, and we were trying to meet with a couple more people and 30 min later we got a call from Gerardo, and he was at the church and wanted a church tour. So we biked over there and gave him a tour of the church! Elder Alvarenga did all the speaking. He also began to go into the restoration and I was listening very close. I could understand a lot of what they were talking about. By the end of the tour Gerardo committed himself to be baptized one June 21st! At the end he also asked about a priesthood blessing! I was expecting Elder Alvarenga to give it, and then he asked me to do it. I accepted and gave him a blessing in English, but I know the spirit was telling him what  I was saying! I felt that this blessing was truly directed by the spirit, and that he felt the message of what we taught him was true! 

At the end he let out a sigh of relief and told Elder Alvarenga that he felt really really good! We went our separate ways but we kept in close contact with him. Just in that first night he began reading the Book of Mormon and got through 2nd Nephi, and he said he prayed to ask if it was true and said that he knew it was true and once his family comes up from Mexico he wants his whole family to be baptized as well! It was such a blessing to be able to talk with him and to hear that!
Also this week I had the chance to go to my final MLC with President Pingree!! And it was such a great meeting! Topic was on spiritual awakenings! We went through Alma chapter 5. And we talked a lot about what a spiritual awakening is and how we experience them. And there was a common pattern that we see happen during a spiritual awakening! 

1. Usually there is some kind of trial or struggle.
2 We begin to read the words of God
3 We have a facilitator that helps us during this time!
4 Act of faith, which is where we begin to read and pray with sincere intent to know its true and to change!
5 And the spirit testifies to us of the truthfulness of that! 

I wish I had more time to go more into detail with all of these, but it was such a great experience to really see how they all play into each other! I would invite all of you to read in the scriptures and look for examples of when this happens. I know that we all go through out points in our lives where we have spiritual awakenings! 
Our life here on earth is about Spiritual awakenings and becoming closer to God and more prepared to meet him! 

Now the trials I am going through right now are preparing me to become more enlightened by the spirit! It makes me have a completely different look at my life and the things I go through! I would just also invite you to look back through your life and ponder about spiritual awakenings in your life! And then think of how they helped you to become a better person and closer to God! 

I know that as you do this that you will feel a greater relationship with Heavenly Father, and you will have your perspective changed to see how we can grow and change! I know this to be true, and I leave that with you in the name of Jesus Christ amen.

I hope all y'all have a wonderful week!
Elder Joshua V. Christensen

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