Monday, May 22, 2017

Life In The Fast Lane

This week we had a cool experience. Lately, we have been teaching a part member family. The parents are not married. The mother is not a member, but wants to be. She just can't get baptized yet because they need to get married first. They also have a 9 year old who wants to be baptized. We met with them on Thursday, encouraging them once again to take some steps toward marriage. We also asked if we could help the daughter progress toward baptism. The father told us he didn't think she was ready yet (although later he confessed to us that he wasn't letting her get baptized because he really wanted to be the one to baptize her). Our pleas for their marriage were becoming repetitive, and our hearts were beginning to get despondent. It didn't seem like they were planning on getting married soon. They were too afraid of the mother's parents, who were very against the marriage. As we talked, the mentioned that the mother's mother would be coming down to visit in a couple of weeks. We invited them to commit to talking to her about them getting married when she came, and they seemed reluctant. I then felt prompted to invite them to join with us in a day of fasting and prayer so that they would be able to see have the courage to talk to her and that they would be able to see a miracle. We set the day of fast to be this last Sunday, and we held to it. In church on that day, we learned about marriage and repentance. The father came up to us afterward and told us that he had felt that he really just needed to man up and talk to his girlfriend's parents. It was a direct answer to prayer, because we knew that he had been the one holding them back. It was a really cool experience. I definitely know of the power of fasting. We really do come to be more in tune with the God's will as we feel the Spirit during our fasting and sincere prayer.
I can testify that God is a God of miracles. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. If there are no miracles, it means that there is no faith, because God works according to our faith.
I had a wonderful study on miracles this week. I also got to go on exchanges to Belfair with Elder Stuart, one of my favorite Elders. I served around him in Olympia, and it turns out he is from Layton, Utah as well. This is his last transfer and, consequently, it was going to be our last exchange. Too celebrate, we bough a dozen donuts and tried to eat all of them in one evening. I succeeded with my half, but Elder Stuart wasn't feeling up to it. It was good to see members of the ward again. We got to teach one the recent converts that I had taught a year ago before they were baptized. He was struggling a little, but starting to do better.
Anyway, God really does love us.
Just as a final thought, I wanted to remind all of you, my dear friends and family, that true happiness only comes through obedience to God. I have a very strong testimony of that, and I wish I could make it even clearer. Permit me to say it one more time:
True happiness only comes through obedience to God. Therein lies the key to joy. God loves us. He knows what is best for us. Through Jesus Christ, it is possible to repent of our sins and overcome our weaknesses, and we receive strength to do what we never would be able to do without Him. We can only have joy in life as we submit our wills to Heavenly Father, and repent. 
Alma 41:10
10 Do not suppose, because it has been spoken concerning restoration, that ye shall be restored from sin to happiness. Behold, I say unto you, wickedness never was happiness.

See also Mosiah 2:41

I love you all. Have a wonderful week. Remember that God can work miracles in your life.
Farewell, be of good comfort. 
Watch out for crazy people.
Elder Benge

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