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Tuesday, December 14, 2010
. . . I’m in such a good mood right now! Ah! This is what it’s like to have the Spirit! Awesome!
There’s a few reasons I’m so happy right now. This week, Elder Roberts & I have done really well. For example, a few days ago, we taught the plan of salvation entirely in Spanish to an Elder that was role-playing his former non-member self. That’s right, an Elder we were teaching was a very recent convert. One year, in fact. He reminded me of Dad & Bro. Aten, going on a mission almost right after getting baptized. That takes some guts. I admire him, oh, and Dad, and all the other convert missionaries. THANK YOU CONVERTS!
Anyway, we taught him really well. Spanish came easier, we taught in unity, and we applied it to his life. Because that’s what we’ve been told to do the most: apply the gospel, don’t just teach it. That way, the gospel will be more personal, more meaningful. Great lesson.
Another thing we did was have an appointment with a tutor, with just our companionship and the tutor. The tutor was Elder Roberts’ old roommate from BYU, Bro. Auna, a Hawaiian man who served in Rome, Italy. And guess what? This man is amazing. Probably one of the most loving people I’ve ever met, and I had only met him for 45 minutes. We talked about making the message personal, like we did in the lesson with the role-playing convert Elder. He bore his testimony, and it was probably the most powerful testimony I’ve ever heard. Amazing. Unfortunately, I can’t remember then entire 45-minute lesson since it seemed as though it went by in about 5 min. Amazing. I would also go into more detail if it weren’t for the fact that I’m writing this quiet late in the day, since I studied all morning.
Elder W. Craig Zwick, of the Quorum of the 70! Awesome talk, as usual! Man, I love Tuesdays, no matter how tired I am.
His wife spoke first, and set the tone for the rest of the night: using our personal testimony of Christ to withstand the trials of our missions. She spoke of two instances of incredible faith in the midst of horrible circumstance. The first was a story of when she and her husband were in Santiago, Chile, serving as mission president & wife. The first week, they got a phone call from a very freaked out missionary. He was standing in a phone booth, wearing nothing but his overcoat, since when he was teaching a lesson at the Church, his companion and him were ambushed. 7 men with machine guns came in, made them take off their clothes, and burned their clothes and the chapel to the ground. After telling his story, the missionary said, “Mission president, what should we do?”
The second is even . . . sadder. A sister missionary was telling her story to Sister Zwick, and what circumstances she had come from. When she was 16, a fire started at her home. She was able to escape, but her parents and 4 siblings died in the fire. She had absolutely nothing left in her life. Except for one thing.
In both instances, the people involved had a choice: stop and despair, or ask, “What should I do?” and then made the right decision. And in both cases, they chose right. The missionaries picked up where they left off and kept working with brand new suits, pants, and shoes. The sister didn’t choose to despair. She chose faith, and knowing that he family was safe in heaven, did all she could to insure that she would live with them again. She stayed active, and was currently serving a mission. She would see them again. AH! I LOVE THE PLAN OF SALVATION!
Elder Zwick then spoke. He talked of how he served in Bolivia 40 years ago, and the trials he faced as he helped create/build/design the first chapel in all of Bolivia.He talked of the miles the crossed on horseback, the mountain trails he trod, the storms he walked through, the materials he carried on burros (donkeys.) The entire time, he wasn’t talking about his own strength.He talked of the time he was on a mountain switchback while in a storm. The trail he was on had turned to mud, and the river beneath them was overflowing. Suddenly, one of the burros carrying building materials strayed too close to the edge. The path gave way, and the donkey fell, taking its materials, itself, and part of the pathway into the water below. When they peered over the edge, only raging mud was visible. It was gone.
Elder Zwick then spoke of how he had a choice then, wallow in despair on the switchback, scared to walk further, or keep on going. He thought of the village he was headed to, and the people there, and how much they needed the gospel in their lives to help them feel happy in one of the poorest places in South America. He kept on going.
He talked of how he thought of Christ’s example, and how He kept on going. Even when He could have stopped, He kept go; He had many worse things to work through, and never stopped. He knew the Atonement He would bring would make people happy no matter what their circumstances were. AH! GREAT TALK!
Sorry if all these letters end on the same slightly corny note. But, you know, even if they’re corny, they’re all true.