Monday, November 16, 2015

The LA, The Physicist, and the Ward's Hope. (By C.S. Lewis)

Good day, everyone! Cause it's a good morning! It's a good good morning morning, good morning to day... (Bum dum dum bum dum dum dah)
Oh, what a glorious song. I would say that an apt description of this week would be: "intriguing in some aspects, but in many ways a let down."
Yep, that is a very apt description. Before you get too sad about that, however, I would like to say that I can plainly see the Lord's handiwork in this area. 
One thing that I have realized this week is the importance of holding my tongue at times. People are really stupid, and a lot of times they think that they're smart. For example, this week we met a physicist who we got into a discussion with about religion. He has his own sort of Christian religion that he wouldn't tell us because he said we'd have to have a good understanding of theoretical physics. Rather than argue are knowledge of physics, we just let him continue to tell us why he thought we were wrong. Oh boy. It was so tempting at times to just rip his arguments to shreds because he was so ridiculously misinformed. By himself. He mentioned the Jesus teaching the two great commandments, and then he started to quote it. I thought he was going to quote the ones about loving the Lord and and loving our neighbor, because those are the two great commandments, but instead he said something completely different that was clearly not what he was talking about in the first place. He might have been a little bit drunk. However, we actually convinced him to pray about the Book of Mormon after an hour of discussion, and so it was good. Anyway, as I pondered on this lesson I realized two things: 1. Pride is a huge stumbling block to spiritual learning and progression.
2. There are many times where we need to hold our tongues. We can't just have theological bashes with everyone who says something blatantly stupid. In Alma 14: 14-26, we see the example of Alma and Amulek, that even as they are mocked and smote upon by evil people and challenged with many things, they were silent. This happened for many days, and they are a huge example to me.
Anyway, it was fun talking to this guy, and very frustrating at the same time.
So, an LA is a Less Active member, if you didn't know that (because I didn't before I got here).
Eddie is a 14 year old member who refuses to come to church. He's on the football team, and he thinks he's way buff, so at the Ward Holiday Dinner on Saturday, Elder Geddes challenged him to an arm wrestle, and if Elder Geddes won, he'd have to come to church. Well, Elder Geddes won, withing 10 seconds. It was pretty funny. So, Eddie came to church the next day. Unfortunately, he kept saying that the church was "ritualistic, like the KKK" and other really weird things like that that are clearly not founded within the bounds of reason. It sounds like he has some really bad friends at school that teach him garbage. It was pretty frustrating. 
We also got dropped by Van Gelders after Sacrament meeting. Michael's mom hasn't been pushing him too much to keep his commitments, and because Michael is afraid to get baptized, she told us that we "probably won't be continuing the lessons, but I'll talk to Michael about it and text you his decision."
So, yeah. It sounds like we're going to get dropped. It was way sad, especially because I've really come to love the Van Gelders. The two-and-a-half year old, Mason, is way cute. He reminds me a little bit of my brothers Joshua and Enoch. Mixed together. I was trying to keep him quiet in sacrament meeting by telling him a story about Moroni. Once I said the words "swords " and "bad guys" He leapt out of his seat and started sparring with invisible enemies. It was awesome.
Despite our discouragements, we have been very blessed this week. We found Jia, a mother who was searching for truth. She recognized that just because she grew up with a certain religion didn't mean it was true. She already started reading the Book of Mormon, and loved the message of the Restoration. We will be following up with her soon.
Neil, the Atheist, is still as challenging as playing football while crippled. Last meeting, he brought his (and I say this in the nicest way) stupid atheist brother Chad. Chad is great, but he really doesn't know what he's talking about. The problem is that as we were trying to teach Neil, Chad kept saying classic stupid atheist things. Fortunately, he was still respectful, and the Spirit was there. 
Keep praying for Jia, Adrian, Neil, Michael, and David that their hearts will be softened and that their prayers will be answered. It is such a wonderful thing to be in the service of the Lord. I know that this church is true, and I know that Joseph Smith was called by God to restore the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.
If you have time, I would invite you to study just a few verses sometime this week, namely, Helaman 10: 1-12. And don't just read it. Study it. Ponder it. Think about it. I was able to find so many useful principles in these verses, and I know if you seek them, you can find some, too.
Have a good week. Keep up the good fight of faith. 
Also, Elder Geddes showed me how to do my hair. So, here you go. (Okay. It doesn't look that good in the picture. Oh well.)

Elder Benge

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