Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A chosen baptism...and Exact Obedience brings JOY!

So the other day as we were getting ready and listening to music I started singing along to "If you could Hie to Kolob". There is not a translation in Spanish, so Hermana Ortega started singing along but with the words of "La oracion del Profeta". In this amazing moment of revelation, we discovered that the words of "La oracion del Profeta" totally work with the music of "If you could Hie to Kolob".

We thought our discovery was amazing, so we started singing it to EVERYONE. Members, investigators, people in the street, less actives...everyone. Until last week, when we were in Tuxtla and we visited Hermana I. and her family. We sang it for them, and when we finished, Hermono E. said, "That was pretty cool. It's like a pop version, right?" Oops. apparently we accidentally changed "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" into a punky pop version of the real thing. Yeah..we haven't sung it since.

This week was a week of revelation and escogidos. HERMANO H. FINALLY GOT BAPTISED! He's been ready for about 2 weeks. With the 5 church attendance rule, he had to wait. But, he finally did it! His story is beautiful. He's the most escogido escogido I've ever met. A recent convert in another stake invited him to go church with her, and he found it was exactly what he needed. He has been passing through some really hard times these last few years, and he was just filled when he went for the first time.

 So she sent him to his real ward, but they got the times confused. He arrived at 8am, and our service didn't start until 11! So he jumped in with Jardines at 9. Elder de Jesus found him waiting patiently outside and helped him out. Then at 12 he jumped in with our ward until 2!

Since then he has completed with all of his commitments, gained a strong testimony, and brought his dad and son to church with him. When he was finally baptised, he shared his testimony. He said, "I love my savior, Jesus Christ. I'm here to serve Him. I´m ready to serve you all, and I want to be a faithful member until the last day."

Alma 16: 16 And there was no inequality among them; the Lord did pour out his Spirit on all the face of the land to prepare the minds of the children of men, or to prepare their hearts to receive the word which should be taught among them at the time of his coming--
17 That they might not be hardened against the word, that they might not be unbelieving, and go on to destruction, but that they might receive the word with joy, and as a branch be grafted into the true vine, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord their God.

I can totally see him as a bishop, or even a stake president.

This week was also amazing because I learned something that I hope I will be able to shape my mission and my life around...about exact obedience. My whole mission, it's something I have strived for, worked for, but never have been able to achieve. It's not big things, just little things; like staying a little too long in lunch or going to bed 5 minutes late. But, as we have learned, and as we have taught to all the missionaries in our zone, developing the Christ-like quality of exact obedience in the mission, is essencial to success and miracles in the mission, and for our whole lives. The mostly obedient missionaries will probably be the mostly obedient members, picking and choosing what commandments to follow, and in the end, not having joy, not reaching their full potential, and not reaching all that the celestial kingdom has in store for us. It's a dangerous route.

 10 baptisms for every companionship for this transfer 
because when we put our trust in god HE WORKS MIRACLES

 So I was a little discouraged about this, and I had a little extra time before our 8 o clock study started. I started reading a book President gave me, called "The Journey to the Veil." I read a chapter about how exact obedience is reached by following EVERY prompting, and I mean EVERY prompting from the Spirit. Then, once 8 o clock hit, I started reading in the Book of Mormon in Alma 27. I started thinking about how I could reach the same joy that Ammon felt when he found his friend and fellow missionary. 

Alma 17 Now the joy of Ammon was so great even that he was full; yea, he was swallowed up in the joy of his God, even to the exhausting of his strength; and he fell again to the earth.
18 Now was not this exceeding joy? Behold, this is joy which none receiveth save it be the truly penitent and humble seeker of happiness.
Suddenly, it hit me. Exceeding joy only comes from living righteously, which only comes from exact obedience.... which we can achieve only if we listen and follow and are exactly obedient to EVERY prompting of the spirit...and I mean every prompting. Exact obedience is less about what we should STOP doing, and more about what we should BE doing. When we do something disobedient, the Spirit will let us know. We should start listening to Him, and start doing what He wants us to do. Only when we try to follow the spirit exactly, can we reach obedience exactly.

So, I tried it, I put it in practice. And for the fist time in a long time, the Spirit guided my every word in all my lessons that day. We visited Hermano P., our old investigator who dropped us, told us he didn't believe in God and never wanted to see us again. I had NO IDEA what to teach him. How do you teach someone who claims to not believe in God?

I felt the prompting to pray. So I prayed in my head and heart. Then I felt the prompting, open your scriptures, and look to the left. SO I did, and my scriptures fell open to Alma 22. We randomly started reading 13-18. I honestly didn't know exactly what it said. I knew that it was the conversion of the dad of the King Lamoni but I didn't have any idea about the details. As it turns out, the king in the story is in the exact same situation as Hermono P. He really could relate to him. I was amazed at how similar their stories were.

We are not perfect. We are never going to be able to be exactly obedient alone. But if we concentrate on following every prompting of the spirit, we will be able to reach it, and experience EXCEEDING JOY. I invite you all to pay very close attention, and follow every prompting from the Spirit you receive...no matter how weird it may be.

Hermana Hansen