Monday, December 16, 2013

Knowing Our Heavenly Father

Hello everyone!!

This week has been another special one!  Yesterday I was able to see the first baptism on my mission and to add to it - I was able to participate in the Confirmation!  I am grateful to know of the knowledge we have that Confirmation is performed by laying on of hands - as it is spoken of in the Bible.  It has been something that has strengthened my understanding since I have been on a mission.

This past week was pretty special with an experience that my companion and I were able to have.  There is a couple that we have been visiting once a week for the past few weeks - the husband is member (less-active) and the wife was once a foreign-exchange student in Utah.  They have, in their home, The Family Proclamation and The Living Christ documents framed and sitting on a book shelf.  The couple is very much into black-metal and going to concerts like that.  It has been so awesome to teach them!  They have felt that there are some people who don't entirely accept them.  Judging others is something that occurs, but of course is not something we are taught.  Of course we are all imperfect, but we all need to be patient towards one another.  My companion and I have really been able to connect with this couple - it's been absolutely incredible!

Since we have been meeting with them, we have been showing them our desire to get to know them as individuals and not just as people you go in and immediately ask to be baptized.  This does not work in Norway.  With this couple, we've been able to get to know them for who they are.  We eventually got into speaking about the Restoration and were able to discuss and share our own personal experiences about the Restoration.  When it came towards the end of the lesson, my companion, Elder Stookey, bore a powerful testimony about not being on a mission because it was expected of him but because he knew it was the right thing to do.  Among the things he sacrificed to be here - he is here because he knows that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith is a prophet.  After he shared his testimony - the couple said they both felt goosebumps and thanked him for sharing that with them.  It was powerful.

I have been able to be a part of many powerful moments here on my mission.  It's been the greatest blessing.  I am so happy to feel the Spirit and bear testimony of it!  To add to it - one of our favorite investigators had her 40th birthday and told us that she had brought her Book of Mormon with her on her trip to Oslo.  She also said that she was grateful to come to know about the Mormon church!  This past week we asked her who her Heavenly Father is to her.  She, not coming from a religious background, told us that she knew Heavenly Father was a loving person.  He knows us and our struggles, and he knows what is best for us.  He doesn't force us to do anything that we don't want to do but that he allows us to choose for ourselves.  I wasn't entirely surprised by her answer, but I too have the same knowledge that she explained.  I know our Heavenly Father is person who loves us and knows us, He knows how to help us succeed, and He wants us to succeed.  He will not force us to do anything to choose His path, but He gives us the opportunity to choose for ourselves.

I am so grateful for the knowledge that I have of such a Heavenly Father.  I wish everyone was able to come to know the same thing.  I know it is possible, but I also know it comes from our willingness to find it out for ourselves.  I hope everyone has a great week and desires to continue to find out truths for themselves!

It's almost Christmas where I get to Skype to my family!

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