Thursday, August 6, 2015

Week Thirteen - Miracles

It's been almost three months since Elder Lovgren began serving his mission and I miss my 'little buddy' but am happy for him to have this life changing experience. His message this week said a miracle and how the timing of everything happened so perfectly. He said:

     Miracles
  • I think I'm starting to understand what a miracle is. I think a miracle is seeing the Lord's hand in our lives. Jesus Christ is a miracle - the fact that he chose to come to earth, sacrifice, and perform the Atonement is a miracle. 
     Miracle Experience
  • An experience I had this week showed me the Lord's hand. We were on exchanges with one of the AP's (Assistant to the Mission President) - so it was me, Elder Cedeńo, and Elder Corcus.  On that day, Elder Cedeńo and Elder Corcus decided to fast. They had been fasting all day - showing the Lord they were willing to give up food to let Him fill them instead. 
     Miracle Experience, continued - take two
  • Elder Cedeńo and Elder Corcus were doing a baptismal interview at the building. I went to go get something from the car. As I was walking to go outside I passed this lady and this girl inside the church. The lady goes, "Hi Elder! This is great! Talk to this young sweet lady here, she got lost looking for the Catholic church." The the lady kind of pushed the girl out and the girl was holding a Book of Mormon.

  • I was like, "Sweet!" and asked her, "What's your name? Where are you from? Did you find the church? and other questions. She said her name, that she just moved here two days prior from Canada, and that she was going to UCI for computer science. What happened was she was in Irvine (about 15 minutes from her school) looking for the Catholic church - which really is right down the street - but she came to our church instead, ran into this lady who gave her a Book of Mormon, then she ran into me.
     Miracle Experience, continued - take three
  • As I'm talking to her, Elder Cedeńo met us, introduced himself, and we continued talking. She asked, "So what do Mormons believe?" and we were like, "That's a great question!" We had a Restoration pamphlet and so taught her the first lesson.

  • We shared that God's our loving Heavenly Father. That the gospel blesses families. That families are central to His plan. That Heavenly Father reveals His gospel in every dispensation (period of time). That He calls Prophets and Apostles to preach and speak in the name of God through the Priesthood. That Christ established his church on earth but his church was lost after many years - after the Prophet and Apostles were killed and He was crucified. That time's were twisted and there were the dark ages. That in this dispensation (the time we live in now) God revealed His gospel again to Joseph Smith who had an experience as a 14 year old boy where he saw God and Jesus Christ in a grove of trees -he was praying about what church he should join. He had read in the Bible (in James 1:5) "If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God" so he knelt in a grove of trees and saw God, the Father and Jesus Christ.

  • In the vision he saw he said, "I saw a pillar of light, exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. When the light rested upon me I saw two personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name, and said, pointing to the other - This is my beloved son. Hear him!" They instructed Joseph that he need not join any church but that Jesus Christ's church was going to be restored on the earth. Later, Joseph received the same Priesthood that Jesus Christ gave to his apostles. He was led to the Book of Mormon - ancient scripture from two civilizations in the Americas that had encounters with the Lord. 
     Miracle Experience, continued - take four
  • The Book of Mormon is another witness that Jesus Christ is real. Jesus Christ lives now. His Priesthood is on earth. Christ walks with us on our journey - He knows us individually. The Book of Mormon has a promise from God (we can pray to know if it's true and He'll tell us in our hearts.) Why would we want to know if the Book of Mormon is true? Because we want to return to Heavenly Father. Because we want to have peace of mind. We have the amazing opportunity of choosing for ourselves to know what is true.
     Reward of the Miracle Experience
  • We taught her right there and seeing the look on her face and the smile in her eyes was great! She said, "Thank you, I really appreciate that." We asked her if she'd ever prayed before and she said she had. We said, "Do you believe Heavenly Father answers your prayers? Do you think He hears you?" She said, "I don't really know. I've never felt that." We told her that the Holy Ghost is how we're taught - that he speaks our language.

  • We asked her if she'd ever had the spirit in her life and she said, "No, I don't think I've ever felt the Holy Ghost in my life. To be honest, when I attend the Catholic church I fall asleep." (I'm not gonna lie, sometimes I fall asleep in church, too.) We said, "We don't want to keep you from the rest of your night but could we get your number and maybe meet up and continue to discuss more? We have a message we want to share with you about faith, families, and Jesus Christ." She said, "Of course. I would love that." We got her number and said goodbye and I was thinking "What a miracle - that was out of the blue!"
     Precisely the Miracle
  • The miracle part of that experience was the lady who introduced me to her lives far away from the Stake Center but happened to be there because her son was doing something with one of the Stake Presidents. To pass the time, she looked for a Book or Mormon to read. She found a Book of Mormon and it just so happened that the girl asked her, "Is this the Catholic church?" She said, "No, this is the LDS church" and "Oh, here's a Book of Mormon" - giving her the book in her hand. She was just doing that when I walked by. 
Elder Cedeńo, Elder Lovgren, Investigator, and Elder Cannon on their investigator's baptism day

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