Birthday Wishes Come True!
This last week, our Zone Conference was themed "Repentance as a part of Real Growth," and I really learned a lot about Repentance and how its truly an inward turning towards God and his will, and not only limited to the turning away from sin. Another key point that was stressed was "Faith unto Repentance," which really helped me to see how as our understanding of the Atonement increases, and our faith in our agency to choose and change grows, we really can come to the point where we desire to repent, even daily, and it will become delicious to us!
I saw this principle come to life after a lesson went really sour and was saved by Elder Kalahiki-Anthony – with whom I was on exchange. Basically, I had been relying on my own strengths - explaining a principle through logic and reasoning - but that frustrated those we were teaching, and Elder Kalahiki-Anthony was able to explain it by listening to the Spirit and explaining the same principle with the focus on its sacred importance and true meaning. It was amazing to see how well he was led by the Spirit as to what he needed to say, and how well it remedied the situation. I was so inspired by this, and I began a very humbling process. Then, applying all that was learned at Zone Conference, I started to repent everyday of anything in my conduct that was not in accordance with the Lord's will or ways. I have seen that since then, it has helped me to be more humble, charitable, and receptive to the promptings of the Spirit. I have also seen a greater change in the power of my testimony as I seek to listen to, and speak by, the Spirit :)
|Mmm...ice cream and rice krispy sandwich|
Well, I turned 21 this last week, and I was concerned that it wasn't going to be so fun with the expectations I have for a birthday with a party and all; so instead, I made a goal to set one baptismal date and find one new investigator! So first off, when we went to go teach Ava, we found that she actually had stopped drinking coffee completely since our last visit, but her date was set for the 1st, and that was 9 days away, and it's required that people are living the Word of Wisdom for at least 2 weeks before baptism, so we taught her about Faith unto Real Repentance and asked her how she felt about her baptismal date and the need to move it back. She contemplated it, and then expressed how happy she was because that would give her more time to show the Lord that she is prepared and dedicated, and so her family can all be there; so we reset her date for Sept. 8 and so technically it was a new date, haha.
Then later we went to stop-by the Smalls whom we didn't get to teach on Thursday due to Zone Conference, and Brother Small gladly accepted us in to teach him and his daughter, Kayla, as usual; except this time his other daughter, Kierra (who previously was against learning about the church), got excited about the lesson we taught and she too wants to learn and come to church now! It was sweet! So all in all, the Lord blessed us to have my birthday wishes come true! and it was the best birthday I could've asked for :)
And to top it all off, Heather Woods is going to be baptized this next Saturday! I'm so excited for her and so blessed to have been able to teach her, witness the changes she has made, see how the gospel has affected her life, and have some part in her conversion process! :)
From New England with Love,
Elder Dustin Carr