Monday, March 6, 2017

I've Got Chills, (They're Multiplying)

This world's out of control
And the power
from testifying
Is electrifying!
Tell the world to shape up, (Doo doo doo!)
And beat the natural man!
For we know what we teach is true.
And one day we'll be judged. (Doo doo doo!)
On the things we've done.
And without Christ we'd all be doomed....

That's all I've got. Ha ha! I hope I just got a song stuck in your head. I challenge you all to finish the parody and send back what you have. If you want to change the part I wrote to make it fit your parody better, then you absolutely may.
Anyway, this week was interesting. Probably the coolest part was when I saw a fulfillment of part of a blessing my father gave me before I came on my mission. 
I have always had a difficult time dealing with people who want to logically analyze and critique the church and our doctrine. This frustration should be no surprise to anyone who knows me or has read my emails. I just get frustrated because my brain does not let me just let go of misconceptions people have about our beliefs. I feel like I have to correct them or else I'm not doing my job right (even if they are being snarky and don't even care what we actually believe). Well, recently I have been working on responding to objections as the Savior would. I try to be patient, and loving, and to testify of truth without arguing over unimportant tangential dogma. Well, I was tested.  A man invited Elder Muñoz and I in, and then prefaced our conversation by telling us that he loved debating with missionaries. Whoop-de-doo. Anyway, instead of focusing on knowledge and proofs and logical arguments, this time I silently prayed for the Spirit, and for patience and love for this man. As he asked us our questions, I would answer them, but this time my answers were more simple and thoughtful. I asked him questions back, not to be aggressive, but to gauge his sincerity and to help him ponder. I took the opportunity to share the first vision with him. His questions began to delve into the realm of ridiculousness, and I bore a firm and powerful testimony of the simple truths we cherish. I talked about the Book of Mormon, and of Joseph Smith. I told him that I could not deny what I had felt because God had told me they were true by the power of the Holy Ghost. I bore my testimony that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and that he loves each and every one of us. The Spirit was very powerful. I told told him that if he humbly asked God whether the book was true, he could know for himself, regardless of what he had heard from the philosophies of man. I could tell he had felt the Spirit. He was shaken in his cynicism, and was hesitant to respond. He asked a couple more, less aggressive questions, and Elder Muñoz bore simple testimony as well of the Gospel being for everyone and being able to reach into everyone's lives. We shared a passage from the Book of Mormon with him. As Elder Muñoz and I stepped out into the cold night, we said a quick prayer. I thanked God for helping me to control my impulsiveness. We thanked Him for allowing the Spirit to be there. We prayed that the man would humble himself and ask God what was true. I do not know what that man will choose to do, but I will never regret following the Spirit that night. It was a powerful experience, and I learned that to be learned is to be good, if we follow the counsels of God. I learned this not just from looking at the man in his life, but also realizing that I rely on my own learning too much in teaching the Gospel, and that teaching completely by the Spirit is always the better way.

You are probably bored to death with that story. I can't think of anything else that happened this week. Except that Elder Jocelyn cleaned out a huge mess in our apartment called "Narnia". 
Basically, a bunch of Elders have died in this area and they just left all they stuff they didn't want in a little storage space behind where we hang our clothes. It was just an enormous, overwhelming mess. Well, Elder Jocelyn being the organizer he is, decided to tackle the challenge. We are proud to report that he was successful in his undertakings.
I will send pictures.
Elder Jocelyn may here be seen by the careful observer, in his natural habitat, namely: Narnia.
Narnia is hidden behind rows of hanging clothing.
Elder Benge

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