On last Monday, we were lead by the spirit to a home of a less-active woman, Carinha. It was the first time we met her. As we sat and spoke, I sincerely listened and thought about she was saying. Each time I paused to think what I could ask her, and the right question always came. Within minutes we were both feeling the spirit strongly and I said ´The Savior wants to forgive....´She and I both had tears fill our eyes as the spirit confirmed that truth. The message was short, and we left, i felt excited and joyful. (she was at church this week) My companion was frustrated. He asked me how I felt in the lesson, I told him I felt the spirit strongly. He told me that he didn´t, he didn´t feel anything. he said "I just opened a scripture and shared it, but I didn´t feel anything, I didn´t have any desire to cry like you guys did. Why not? I´m obedient, I´m working hard, why didn´t I feel the spirit in the lesson?" I didn´t know what to tell him.
We went to another lesson with a less-active woman Antonita and her husband (Himundo, i think). Himundo isn´t member, and we´re the first missionaries he´s taken the time to listen to. He was rather closed, and I didn´t feel like were we´re getting anywhere. I looked to my companion to trade off, he just stayed quiet, than after moments of silence asked an inspired question and began teaching with power. I could see in his face and the face of the investigator, they were feeling the spirit, but I felt nothing... just normal. After the lesson, we found our positions had been switched. Elder Driscoll was fiery and pumped up, and I felt discouraged. We conversed asking what does the Lord want us to learn from this.
The Gift of Discernment has been one we have both been searching to receive. We learned how we must first use the gift of observing, listening, and then the gift of discerning before even teaching. We have been making a more full effort to get out of the way of the spirit, He is the only true teacher. A missionary who thinks he knows more than the investigator and takes his knowledge and just throws it at the investigator is neither teaching people nor lessons, rather he is talking to himself in front of the investigator. He may wonder why the people lack desire or don´t understand. That way of teaching is not of God, and the moment we think we know more than the learner and that we are the teacher, we need to repent. (Alma 1:26)
We learned, what I did in the first lesson that my companion failed to do, was that I first sincerely loved and believed in the less active. I sought to understand her needs through the spirit, I was in constant prayer, before I asked a question or said anything, I listened and thought what would the Savior have me say? She and I were both edified by the spirit, because he taught us both in those moments of silence as we asked for it.
Where as the 2nd lesson, I had failed to see the man´s potential. I couldn´t see him changing his ways. I had failed to ask God in the very moment what his needs were. My companion, said a silent prayer, and asked ´Lord, what would you say?´Than he said the words the spirit gave him. It wasn´t his thoughts or his lesson, it was given him. (2 Nephi 32:4-5)
Now, those scriptures mean more to me.
We use to have an attitude of finding the Lord´s elect, the people prepared to receive the gospel. Another gift we have been searching for has been charity, and He has taught us about that. These few weeks have been difficult to find these people, then in our struggles He taught us this amazing truth. They are all elect to Him. All of them are His children, and He loves each of them eternally. I could hear His voice ´Do you love the investigator who progress quickly, just has much as you love those with many challenges, because I do.´ He see´s all as becoming perfect. That´s how He can love us so much and forgive so many times. When we see the potential in others, and believe and trust them, we start to have charity, we´ll start to love them. Looking at even the most vial sinners as future bishops and stake presidents has helped me, to have compassion and stop judging them and rather look to how to help them, get where I know they can be. The moment we think on cannot change, or their heart is too hard right now, we cut ourselves off from God. We cut of ourselves off from Faith, Hope, And Charity, revelation and discernment for that person. The Lord will give those things, to those He can trust that will love His child.
On Tuesday, met a lady in front of her house smoking. We tired to introduce ourselves, but she cut us off with a rude remark and a statement of ´I´m Catholic, I´ll stay Catholic, not interested, I don´t want to hear it from you Mormons.´That would have normally been enough for me to just give up and leave her alone. But we sought to love her, we asked for help from on high and asked. ´who´s Jesus Christ for you?´ She answered ´He created everything, us, the world the heaven....everything.´ Than we paused and asked ´But.....why? Why did he make all this?´ In a frustrated way she said ´I don´t know! Why? You tell me, why did he?´ We told her, we knew, but would only tell if we could go inside, after assuring her it would be quick, 7 min, she let us in.
We explained that the spirit will teach the lesson, not us, so there may be moments of silence, it´s not odd, we are just searching for revelation and thinking about what´s been said. The spirit filled the room, within moments, by the time we left. This woman had completely changed, committed herself to stop drinking coffee, beer, and stop smoking. She was committed to be baptized after she stopped, she had a new countenance a large smile.
This is the Lord´s work. I am sure of it. I love preaching the Lord´s Gospel. I hope I can stand spotless before Him at that last day, that I found all those He sent me to find. I don´t want any regrets.