Monday, June 24, 2013

A Muddy Field and a Heavy Storm

Hi I am sister Christensen and this is my companion Sister Farnes and we are missionaries for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Yeah! The mormons, have you met missionaries before.  We know that it is 7:30 at night and you are busy with you family and in fact you have never met us but can we come in to your home and share a message with you?...... so Where are you from?  How many kids do you have? Wow brother you have so many trophies from tennis that is very impressive! Our message is about Jesus Christ and about what God’s plan is for you… After the death of Jesus Christ the priesthood was taken from the earth and that’s why we have so many churches on the earth today.  A young boy only 14 years old, named joseph smith was very confused and so he prayed to god.  His faith was so strong that the actual God of all the earth and His Son, Jesus Christ appeared to this boy.  Then there were more angels and the translation of some gold plates and if you come to know that this is true will you be baptized? 

This is a shortened version of my day to day communications with people all throughout the city of Goa. 

This last Friday night we experienced such a communication.  We were walking through a very muddy field in a heavy rain storm and had another hour before we needed to be home so we decided to follow the council that has been given to us and share the gospel to people that have cars (to try to help build up the leadership in the pines).  We were let in to one home.  A couple, they were watching TV.  They have one son but he is a nurse in Naga.  As we walked through their front door we looked down at our feet covered in mud and I thought of how strange we must seem.  Two young American girls covered in mud stuttering out Tagalog late at night and wanting to be let in.  We were able to teach them about the Restoration and they had a lot of questions about the priesthood and about joseph smith.  They invited us back for dinner later tonight so hopefully something we said made an impression.  Later that night as I kneeled to pray I asked again if the Restoration was true, if Joseph Smith really was a prophet.  Not necessarily questioning, but wanting a more firm answer for myself so that I can more honestly testify of the truth.  I went to bed that night thinking of the miraculous story we tell people every day.  That a young 14 year old boy saw God the Father and His Son, could that really happen? I read through the story in Luke, the one Elder Holland used in his last conference talk where Christ tells the young, pleading father… “if thou Canst believe.” The father replies to Christ, “I believe, help thou mine unbelief.”  I realized that the only way to really know the truth of the Restoration is to ask through prayer in the name of Jesus Christ.  We may all have things we don’t understand about the gospel and if we rely on that knowledge alone none of it will make sense.  It is when we ask through prayer that the savior is able to help our unbelief and the truth is made clear. 

I don’t understand everything but I have received a warm spiritual confirmation to my own prayers. I do know that Joseph Smith is the prophet of the restoration.  I believe him, all that he did and said that he saw. And I believe in the God and in the Son that he saw on that bright morning in Palmyra. 

It is fiesta in Goa.  There are flags strung across every street in the city.  Each barangay or neighborhood has a different color and each of the high schools had a presentation in the parade earlier.  We have so many food appointments today we don’t know exactly what to do with ourselves.  Lots of sticky rice and  egg roll like dishes.  It has a very 4th of july feel to the festivities, I wish there would be fireworks. 

We had our last interviews with President.  It is hard to say good bye to my mission parents but I am grateful for the sacrifices they have made and the impact they have had on me as a person and as a missionary.  They have been a wonderful source of inspiration, love, encouragement and foundational to the growth of my  testimony.  They head back to the U.S.  on the 30th and we are excited to meet President and sister Reeder the first week of July. 

Things here in Goa are going great.  We are heading on a “vacation” this week because we have exachanges in a city 4 hours away.  We leave at 5 am tomorrow and then will get back hopefully in time for our District Meeting on Thursday. Hope all is going well back in SLC.  Glad the World travelers are home safe.

Lagi mahal ko kayo .

Sister Christensen 

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