Monday, August 12, 2013

Miracles DO HAPPEN!

Hello Everyone:

Miracles DO happen. This past week was SO GOOD! I just finished reading Elder Kenny Johnston's email about the miracles he has been privileged to be a part of. I can testify alongside with him that miracles are very real. With his miracle I would like to share one of my own that occurred this last Friday night. I preface this by stating that this was one of the most POWERFUL lessons I have ever been a part of. 

This Friday I went on an exchange with an Elder Larsen in his area. He is one amazing man and a fantastic missionary. We had a lot of funny things happen during this exchange. Anyway, that evening there was an appointment set up to meet with a Don and Sister Ruth King from Utah. Sister King had traveled over here from Utah last year on a strong impression that she had received. The shuttle that had picked her up from the airport had no other passengers on it so she sat in the front seat with the driver and struck up a conversation with him. The driver's name was Don. Their conversation quickly turned to the subject of religion. When they arrived at her destination the bus driver said, "We need to continue this conversation!" So, they swapped information and parted ways. Over the next year, Don was made the subject of Sister King's prayers. This Sister prayed for this random stranger for a YEAR, before she felt the need to travel back. Upon arriving at the airport she jumps onto a shuttle and, lo and behold, there is Don. There had been no communication between these two and she "just happened" to get onto the same exact shuttle with the same exact driver a year later. That is no coincidence. Sister King felt the need to introduce Don to the missionaries and he agreed. Now, Friday evening is the first time for Elder Larsen and I to meet these two people. We met them in the Institute building on the campus of the School of William and Mary in Williamsburg. Before the lesson began, a knock comes to the door and an LDS couple, whom none of us know, enter the room stating that they had come for a lesson. Sister King hadn't called them and neither had we (none of us knew them). So, with six of us in a circle we learn about Don's story. I will briefly summarize what he shared:
He is a remarried man who has had a lifetime of terrible experiences with many religions and denominations. He has seen the hypocrisy of ministers and preachers, the lies and double-mindedness of church-goers of many faiths, and has nearly lost all faith in God Himself. He was very aware of the Bible's fallacies and the many manipulations by evil men that caused such fallacies. Our meeting with him began with what we thought were attacks and jabs at us but it soon became apparent that he was asking very serious questions and wanted answers. I can't relate all that was said and done in that lesson but one thing I will tell you: the Spirit of the Lord directed EVERY thought and word that Elder Larsen and I had. That man had a VERY real testimony of the Apostasy and was on the brink of despair. The message of the Restoration of the Gospel and CHURCH of Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith sparked a flame of hope and faith in that man's soul. I SAW IT! When I read to him the questions that Joseph Smith asked in his search for truth, Don said, with much earnest, "Where is that?" "Where can I read that?" I witnessed that man's countenance change as we shared with him what we call the First Vision. I felt impressed to ask the members who joined us to share their testimonies. Those moments built on the message Elder Larsen and I shared and testified to. He committed, TRULY committed, to read and pray. He committed to be baptized. He is actually committed to read the entire Triple Combo in 2 weeks.
My words cannot describe that most beautiful and sacred moment. I say again that that was one of the most powerful, spiritual experiences I have been a part of. I dare say that it was the most powerful. 

Elder Johnston is right: miracles happen. 
"The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done
- Joseph Smith, the Prophet.

Be worthy and ready and anxious at all times to be the instrument the Lord needs.

This work is true. I testify of it and I lie not.

Elder Smith

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