Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Learning with Elder Bednar

It's been an incredible week. Having Elder Bednar here was absolutely amazing, I don't think I've ever been in a more spiritual, life changing meeting. But I'll talk more about that in a minute. 

Last night [Sunday, November 17], we were able to finally get in contact with one of our investigators. He's a 50 year old black man, and he's pretty awesome. Last night he was telling us about how he found God after he'd been involved in drugs and stealing and stuff like that. He told us about how he went to church and went up and repented of his sins and as he asked to be forgiven a warm feeling came over him, over his whole body. He said "Drugs would only give me that good feeling in my mind, but this was my whole body! So I didn't want to use drugs anymore." Right now he's living with his mother-in-law, who's not a very religious person, so he wants us to wait to teach him until he moves out, which will hopefully be in a month. But he invited us to come to this singing time his church is having next Sunday, and we said we'd come, so that will be very interesting. He's AME- African Methodist Episcopal. So it will be a very different experience from what I'm used to. 

Yesterday was also the Primary program at church and so many less active and nonmember people came! It was great! The husband and mom, who's Baptist, of our friend who has returned to church came. They didn't stay for Sunday school, but we were really happy to see them there. I think as our friend continues to come to church and live the gospel more, her husband will join. He just needs her to set that good example and show him how much the gospel can bless their family. 

Now about Elder Bednar. It was amazing. We met with him for three hours on Saturday night [November 16]. He didn't talk to us, he talked with us. For that entire three hours, he asked us questions and called on people to answer them and then we asked him questions. But he never really answered anyone directly. Instead he would ask the other missionaries if they had any ideas, or he would ask the missionary a question, which would allow them to answer their question on their own. I'm sorry, I don't really know how to describe what happened very clearly. But the Spirit was there, and it was the teacher, not Elder Bednar. All he did was help us to hear what the Spirit was trying to tell us, and then he shared some stories and experiences with us. And we had so much fun! I can't even count the amount of times that we all just burst out laughing because of something that someone said; Elder Bednar laughed so hard a few times his face turned red. But then in the next instant something really profound and spiritual could happen. It was just amazing. 

I'll share one really cool moment that happened. This young elder stood up and asked Elder Bednar how he could stop overcomplicating the gospel, how he could teach it more simply. Elder Bednar asked him what he thought, and the elder said that he'd been thinking about it for the last 15 minutes, and he kept overcomplicating all the possible answers he was getting. Elder Bednar asked him why he thought he was doing that, and after he'd thought for a minute the elder said, "Because I don't trust enough." And just like that, he had found the answer to his question--trust in God more. That was how the entire meeting was. 

Elder Bednar talked a lot about the Book of Mormon. He said that if we would read the Book of Mormon every single day of our lives we would never fall away from the church. That made me think about all the less actives in Moncks Corner; I don't think many of them read the Book of Mormon. I think we're going to start asking them to read it daily. 

South Carolina Columbia Mission with Elder Bednar
So, it's been an incredible week. Transfer calls are on Saturday, and while anything could happen, it's most likely that I'll be leaving Moncks Corner. I'll be sad if that happens, but for now I'm just focusing on moving the work along here. There's lots to do. I love you all, and I'm so grateful for all the support that you give me. 

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