Monday, July 25, 2011

Drink Up Of The Waters While I'm Standing At The Fountain

This is weird.  In 2 days, I will have 6 weeks left on my mission.  My group will be the oldest missionaries in Paraguay (besides President and Hermana Callan).  We´re on deck for going home.  Freaks me out.  Don´t like to think about it.

Hermana Callan is actually going home this week for 2 weeks.  Their youngest 2 daughters are getting married both within those 2 weeks, and they´re the last two of the Callan children to get married, so she gets to go home for that.  There are also 5 birthdays in those two weeks, 2 grandchildren to meet that they haven´t met before, and one of those little ones is getting blessed in church one of the 2 Sundays.  So she´ll be busy!  She told me that there are some missionaries who have already gone home that are going to be there too, so that will be neat.  I don´t know how it works, if she´s on an authorized 2 week release, or she´s still on missionary duties or what, but she gets to go home.  She´s really excited, so that will be good for her.

We had a really good lesson with the family - Pedro and Sonia - who we are trying to get baptized and married.  We had planned on going there to watch the Restoration video with them, but we got there and they had

loaned their DVD player to Sonia´s little sister, so we had nothing planned.  It started off bad, because Pedro was like "I have a question.  Should I leave and look for another girl to be with who likes the scriptures and the Gospel and that I´ll get along better with?" haha.  Yikes.  I was like "Well, I would never ever counsel you to leave your baby daughter and her mother, quite the contrary, but luckily for me I don´t have any say in that and that´s between you two and the Lord."  Well, the Spirit took over and we had a really good lesson with them.  Pedro is really open about voicing his appreciation for and newfound love of the Gospel, but Sonia is normally pretty silent.  She had doubts before (like thinking that we get paid for baptizing them haha) that we didn´t know about because she never expressed them.  Well this time she really opened up to us.  We were like "Well Sonia, we know how Pedro feels about marriage and baptism and all of this, but you´ve been pretty silent.  What is holding you back?  We know that you´re not exactly enthused to get married, but is it more than that?  Is it just that or are there doubts about the doctrine we´ve been teaching you?"  She said it was kind of a mixture of both, but more about the marriage.  So we asked what doubts about the doctrine she had.  She said that she didn´t have any "doubts", persay, but she just wanted to be sure about what she was doing.  She grew up Catholic (like everybody here), but she didn´t like it and never learned anything, and she said that she´s learning a lot with us for the first time, and she likes it.  She´s just nervous about messing up and actually taking that step.  We talked a bit more with her and helped her to understand from a scripture in 1 Corinthians (I think it´s like chapter 3 or 4 or something) that says that all truth of God is learned through the Spirit of God.  We explained that if she really wants to know if this is the right thing to do, she needs to do her part to look for and obtain that Spirit through 3 things: reading the Book of Mormon, praying about it, and going to church every week.  She asked how she would recognize the answer from the Spirit (because EVERYBODY believes in dreams here and that every dream has significance and that´s how God talks to us).  We shared in Doctrine and Covenants 9 (or maybe 8) about how the Lord told Oliver Cowdery that he was to first study it out and then ask Him and then if it was right, you would FEEL it and your chest would burn inside of you.  She understood, and they came to church on Sunday.  It was just fantastic.  I´m determined on helping them to get baptized before I leave here.

Real quickly as a last comment, I learned something in a lesson with another man as well that I´d like to share.  The investigator actually made the analogy, and I´d like to expand on it and pitch it to you guys.  When you´re at the beach, some people only get their feet in the water.  Some people get up to their knees or waist.  But some people go all the way in and even under the water.  Only those that go all the way in can really swim.  The complete immersion sets you free to swim and explore as you please, whereas those who are only in up to their knees can only just stand there and feel the resistance of the waves (which really isn´t that much fun anyway).  It is the same concept with the Gospel.  Those who only stick their feet in or get up to their knees (be it for fear, discomfort, lack of knowledge, indifference, or whatever it may be) and choose not to immerse themselves in the Gospel miss out on the blessings.  They´re stuck there not having much fun, and often can´t figure out why.  They lose out on the freedom to swim when they choose to go to church and read their scriptures, but not to pay tithing or keep the word of wisdom or do their home teaching.  Complete immersion in the Gospel sets us free, hence the oft-quoted scriptural addage "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."  The Gospel in reality serves us very little when we take the buffet approach to obedience, choosing only what pleases our personal appetites and leaving other spiritually nourishing aspects untouched and thus useless to us.  I have seen that on my mission.  I will honestly miss the ability to immerse myself this deep in the spiritual waters, so like Uncle Matt counseled me, I´ll have to "drink up of the waters while I'm standing at the fountain."  I invite you all to do the same.  To those of you who haven´t felt the freedom of movement and liberation that comes from the living water that is Christ, come and see.  Give it a try, and I promise that if you honestly do so, you´ll never want to get out.

I miss you and love you all tons.

-Élder Moore

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