Wednesday, January 15, 2014

12/29/13 Puzzles

I made it through my first Christmas away from home! It never really felt like Christmas (which is probably a good thing), but it was actually a good Christmas! Mostly because I got to call home! That was by far the best thing ever! For Christmas Eve we made pazookies and on Christmas Day we made French Toast for breakfast, took some great boy band pics with the moustaches Sister Ogden's mom sent, opened packages from home and then went out and worked!  Oh, we also picked out a pig for our lechon on Christmas. That is something I will never forget- pig shopping in the Philippines on Christmas. It was so wrong....Then the next day we had to walk our pig on a leash to the place that cooks it. Then the next day we watched it being cooked (even helped out) and then ate it. I don't think I will ever eat pig again. I have never been so involved in my food...The things we do to have a fun district lunch. 

The good news about this week is that no one in our apartment is being transferred! Me and my companion get to stay together for another transfer and so do the other Sisters in out apartment! I am so thankful! Me and my companion have been able to work really hard and also have a lot of fun- the perfect balance! We had a lot of good lessons this week and we are hoping to see some of the fruits of our labors this next transfer. Yesterday we had 2 investigators come to church that we never expected to come! We were so happy! I was literally shocked when they walked in!
So now for Roeal- the roler coaster. So we taught him three times this week. The first was on Christmas Day and so we just taught about the Atonement and about Christ. But of course Roeal being Roeal, he doesn't celebrate Christmas because it isn't the actual date of Christ's birth. But the spirit was really strong in the lesson and he didn't have any of his crazy questions. So then lesson 2- We taught the end of the Plan of Salvation and it was so good! He told us that he couldn't yet say that he believed it was true, but he said that if it was it was absolutely beautiful and he committed to pray about it. The best part though was at the end. We watched the 20 minute Restoration video because he hasn't received an answer about Joseph Smith. The spirit was SO STRONG! His eyes and his wives eyes didn't leave that screen the whole time and when it was over they both has tears in his eyes. Right when it ended his wife just looked at us and said "That was beautiful" and Roeal said "Joseph Smith was a really good man." I know he felt the spirit and it was telling him Joseph Smith is a prophet. So we are all excited and then we went to teach again yesterday and it started out so well, but then at the end he told us that he doesn't believe it because he doesn't believe Joseph Smith could have seen Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ because they are one. I was heartbroken! He was totally denying what he felt and all the progress we have made with him. After the lesson me and my comp both cried. I have come to love Roeal so much and have never given so much to an investigator, and now there really isn't much more we can do if he won't listen to the spirit telling him Joseph Smith is a prophet and The Book of Mormon is true. He is to caught up on the Bible. I feel so bad for him because he is missing out of the fullness of the gospel.
After our lesson with Roeal we found a puzzle piece in the path way that we walk home and I just couldn't stop thinking about it and thinking about Roeal. With a puzzle if one tiny piece is missing, the puzzle isn't complete. I am so thankful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints where we have the fullness of the gospel. All the puzzle pieces are in place. There are many good churches that do SO MUCH good for the world and are so amazing, but they are not complete. I am thankful that even if I don't completely understand every puzzle piece that makes up the Restored Gospel, that Heavenly Father does. His plan and his doctrine is perfect and I can fill in my missing puzzle pieces with faith and trust in him. I think the biggest thing I have learned on my mission is that perfect knowledge of doctrine doesn't come even by the testimony of Prophets or Apostles, or even the Book of Mormon, it comes through the witness of the Holy Ghost. It comes when we have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost to help us progress and learn. ( 2 Nephi 28:31, D&C 121:26, John) For example, Lorenzo Snow said that his testimony of Joseph Smith didn't come by knowing him or listening to him speak, but through the power and the witness of the Holy Ghost. So how can we know? How can we receive the witness of the Holy Ghost? We can ask of God through prayer. (James 1:5, Moroni 10:3-5) And why do we need the fullness of the Gospel? For me it is because this knowledge changes everything. It changes how we see ourselves, how we treat people, how we spend our time. We know who we are, why we are here, what our potential is, and what it means to be Children of God. But mostly it brings true and everlasting happiness, and it brings peace. 14:27.
So maybe Roeal is a great person and he will still be happy, but he won't have the fullness of the Gospel if he never seeks knowledge through the Holy Ghost. And that breaks my heart. Who wants a puzzle where one piece is missing?
So Roeal kinda broke my heart this week, but it was still a good week and I know that my companion and I did all that we can do for him and now it is up to him to really pray and find out for himself. 
So that was my week! I love you all so much! I miss you all everyday! Have a great New Years! 

-Sister Gardner

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