Monday, January 30, 2012

No Effort Is Wasted - All Service Is Service to God

So Chinese New Year is almost over.  It was cool to be here for that but I'm so glad it's about done with. I thought holidays as a missionary would be awesome, but actually it's not because everyone we have to teach can't meet or went back to their villages far away to be with family.  So it's a little lonely and I get antsy.  But the fireworks were pretty cool--I watched them from Elder and Sister Larson's house (they're the senior couple here), and they live in a tower so we saw, from above, about 6 different places all doing fireworks. It was a beautiful few minutes.

Okay... so my favorite thing = really good lessons.  There's this great man named Ichabod that we've been meeting every now and then, but it's really hard to meet with him because of his work schedule.  We go weeks without seeing him, so he hasn't been progressing very fast at all, but he reads the Bible every day and also the Book of Mormon.  He comes to church whenever he doesn't have work and always comments to me about how he loves and learns from the talks at church.  Yesterday he texted us asking us to meet, because he didn't have work that day, and so I prayed a lot before that lesson and had a very spiritual time preparing, I had a really good feeling about meeting him.  When we met him, he was very happy (he's been very happy lately whenever I do see him).  He received whatever we teach so thoughtfully.  We began to teach him about faith and how faith in Christ leads us to action.  He somehow started talking about his feelings about the church... like about how the last few months he's come here instead of his old church.  He said it was interesting because even though his old church is a lot closer to him, and thus easier to go to on Sundays, he's lost his desire to go there and just wants to come to the Church of Jesus Christ.  He said he's noticed a "change" since he's been coming to this church.  Something inside of him.  He said he's been thinking on his own about being baptized (!!!!!).  He expressed a few thoughts about how he's already been baptized in another church and how this church hasn't yet reached his village in Indonesia, but we bore testimony of the restored priesthood power and how he still needs to be baptized by someone holding priesthood authority.  He agreed.  We also told him how although he might be the first from his village to accept the gospel, the church WILL be in his village someday.  He said he wants to think and pray about being baptized (committed himself).  We gave him 2 Nephi 31 to read and pray about, which he received gratefully.  The Spirit was strong.  He knows this is the true Church of Jesus Christ, and it was amazing to see how the Spirit has been working on him the past few weeks as he's come to church, read, and prayed.  It was the best lesson I'd ever been to with him.  Gonna keep following up and trying to meet him soon.

Also Flower is amazing, getting baptized on Saturday.  She was a referral from one of the branch presidency (who is like 21 years old--she's 22).  She is like a member already... she understands so deeply, she is so spiritual, willing to serve, comes to everything, always taking notes, hungry to read the word of God, and is quick to share her testimony.  Her testimony of prayer is rock solid. Her family isn't totally supportive, but the opposition has strengthened her testimony.  She's told them "I know that what I'm doing is right."  And she really, really does. She's already made the decision to serve a mission, which I find incredible.  After she's baptized she wants to come out and teach with us whenever she can. She was so, so prepared to receive the restored Gospel.  We had a really great lesson about temples with her.  The Spirit was strong and we each joyfully made a resolve to keep the temple in our sights, live worthily, and get there as soon as possible.

Ah.  It's so great.  I truly get to spend time with some of the most exceptional people in the world.

Mosiah 2:17 teaches that when we serve those around us, we are serving God. I'm beginning to realize that whatever I do now for others will be accepted by God, even if it's not accepted by the person I was trying to serve.  No effort is wasted because all service is service to God, who will, of course, freely accept my love.

God answers prayers.  This is His church.  I know that for myself, independently of the opinions of others. Our testimony grows as we share it with others.  Let it shine.

Sister Gopi

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