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Tuesday, September 4, 2012
9.3.12 -- Nogales
Well, we didn´t have much time on Monday to write but we´re waiting for the bus to get here to go back to Nogales, so E. Campos and I wanted to take advantage of the time to write.
A few experiences.
These past few weeks I´ve been studying a bit more about humility. Once you start focusing on a certain subject in your studies, you start seeing it everywhere in the scriptures. Haha, E. Campos even told me one day, "Yeah, I get it, you´re working on that, you tell me about it every single time we have companionship study." E. Campos is awesome, by the way.
So, I started thinking about the need to repent when it comes to pride. I asked in a prayer for the Lord to humble me, without taking away the blessings of others. He obliged. A ton of things started happening every day to remind me that I honestly know nothing and I have no right to start thinking that I´m better than anyone else, or any other missionary.
That´s what I miss about being a newbie. When I didn´t speak Spanish, I had to rely completely on the Spirit. The most powerful spiritual experiences that I´ve had happened near the beginning of the mission. Maybe because I wasn´t as used to feeling the Spirit as I am now, but I know that it also has something to do with my awareness of my own nothingness. In the GEE (Guía para el Estudio de las Escrituras, like the Bible Dictionary in Spanish), you can read that humility is the power to be changed and guided by God. If you are prideful, your eternal progression comes grinding to a halt. "Condemnation" can also be understood as the inability to change. Because if you are condemned, whether to outer darkness or whatever place, you can no longer spiritually progress.
An example of what God has been doing to me are the lessons in English. I am not used to teaching in English. I´ve gotten to the point with my Spanish that I can talk and teach without thinking. That´s a good ability (and is very useful when preparing last minute talks), but when you do not focus, with your mind or with your heart, the Spirit is offended, and recedes. But when you have to teach a lesson in a language that you thought you knew but have not spoken for almost 2 years, you cannot teach without striving to do so. But when that happens, your words may not be as eloquent, but the Spirit is stronger and the people are converted.
For example, we taught a lady from Ohio a few weeks ago. She said that she had heard the missionaries around 10 years ago. When we began teaching (E. Campos says the prayer and testifies, but that´s about it for his English), she told us, "This is different. They didn´t teach like this before." I told her about the way teaching has changed. We don´t recite lessons anymore, we teach them according to the Spirit. She said that she had never felt the way she had felt when we explained about the Restoration.
I have a testimony of Preach My Gospel. I know that people are converted by the Spirit, not by pretty words. I know that humility is the key to eternal progress. I know that this is true. Not because anyone else has told me, but because the Spirit has testified to me. I know it.