Tuesday, October 13, 2009
This last Sunday Victor wasn’t going to be able to come to church at 12:30 so we brought him to the English ward which started at 8:30. He speaks English fairly well and understands quite a bit. Spanish is definitely a lot easier for him though. Since it was fast and testimony meeting people were of course bearing their testimonies. To be honest they were a little bit boring. There were quite a few that were very eloquent and long but I really didn't get anything out of them. Then a man, who was probably in his late 20's and who was a little scraggly looking, got up. He was very nervous and in few and stammered words shared that he had fallen away from the church but now had come back and was experiencing a lot of joy from it. He was very emotional and fought so hard to express his feelings. It wasn't very long but it hit my heart. Following him a little girl got up. She was probably about 8 years old or so. Maybe a little older. She was very calm almost monotone. She shared her testimony on the priesthood. As she began I was stunned and shocked at the things she was saying. She shared an experience of how her father and uncle gave a priesthood blessing to her little brother who had fallen down a flight of stairs. The teachings of Jesus Christ came to my mind as this little girl spoke. Be even as a child, meek, submissive, humble. These two testimonies were more powerful and influential than every other eloquent speaker that I heard that day. These two testimonies were heartfelt. They were sincere and the spirit carried the message to the hearts of the listeners. Wow. What an experience.
Update on Victor: We moved the date back to the 24th. Everything was being pretty rushed and unorganized. And we wanted everything to be well prepared and to go smooth. Ever since we had General Conference he has changed in his outlook on what we teach him. He has told us very firmly that everything we've taught him is true. I already told you that he came to the English ward. I think I told you earlier that he had a problem with coffee. He thought he was going to have a hard time quitting. The morning after we committed him to not drink it anymore he called us and told us that he had had a small cup. But that he wasn't going to drink anymore. And since then he hasn't. He told us that he thought it was going to be a lot harder than it was. The Lord supported him as he showed forth his faith. It's been a really cool experience to see the difference in him since the day I met him at Devin's house, expecting our lesson to be boring, to today where he is really excited for his baptism.
Tomorrow is Elder Godinez's birthday. He turns 23. We've been having a really good time in our companionship. I'm pretty sure that he's going to finish his last transfer, the next one, here in Pasco. So I should be here for at least a couple more. Did you know that after two more transfers in Pasco I'll have spent one year here? That's pretty intense. I love it here in Pasco.
Elder Godinez and I having been working with the Stake quite a bit recently and they're very excited about missionary work. It's all been coming from their end. They are providing a lot of support. We are expecting to see a lot of good things happen before the end of the year.
I've got kind of a sad story. We were teaching this young lady. I think I told you about her last week. She read. She's really smart and going to college. She was showing interest and starting to pick up even after just our first lesson. Her dad didn't like that we were meeting with her. So the lessons had to end. It's really frustrating when stuff like that happens. Especially with a person as prepared as she is. We're just going to have to pray that his heart is softened.
I know that this is the work of the Lord. I love listening to his prophet and apostles. Serving him in the way that I am has brought me so much joy.
I love you all so much,
Elder Ben Arnold
PS In the picture of me holding the banana is the Ramirez family over in Vancouver. They were recent converts of something like 6 months to a year when I got there. I think just recently they have been going through some hard times financially. They are a really cool family.
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