Hello Familia -
This week has been pretty good! We picked up 3 new investigators and we have a good potential of picking up 3 more! Pretty exciting! We've been meeting with a guy named Chris. This last week we taught him about the Law of Tithing and the Word of Wisdom.. It was kind of a tough lesson. We taught the Tithing lesson because he had an issue with giving money to a man the week prior. So we explained where that went and everything and he was really happy to hear that. He just recently had gone and bought a sleeping bag and a backpack for this homeless guy he knows. He walked by a week later and saw that the guy had picked through what he bought and only cared about certain things, so Chris was upset to see his charity go to waste. We taught him the Word of Wisdom because the week before he said that he had had a cup of coffee. That was something that stuck out to me and my companion. He drinks coffee and beer. But, only on occasion. He isn't an alcoholic nor does he HAVE to have his cup of joe in the morning. He drinks coffee as a pick me up in the middle of the day, maybe twice a week, and a beer maybe 4 times a week. Giving up beer, he could understand why but the coffee is where he really struggled to come to understand. We read through the WOW in D&C 89 and he said, "so it doesn't specifically say coffee or tea... I mean, was it like after he had this revelation and everything he just walked down stairs and someone spilled some coffee on him and Joseph said 'Alright! That's out too!'" So, at any rate, this was hard for me to explain and we are going to finish going over it this upcoming Wednesday. BUT! he did commit to "trying" to go the whole month without beer or coffee. And the only reason he is "trying" instead of "doing" is because of the holidays... Which kind of stinks but, given where he is in his life and me struggling with the lesson, every little step is a blessing. Oh! And he instantly paid fast offerings as soon as the lesson was done! He recognized that it was going to a good place so he said, "Alright... so this whole tithing and fast offering thing... How do I do that?" We explained how it works and he said,"OK, now where do I find the slips... I have some money with me that I wanna give." How awesome is that?!
The spiritual high this week came in the form of a Priesthood blessing. There is this family that is really an awesome family. They are non-member with 2 kids and a single mother. I have never met a family that is so... sincere in looking for help. The mom has an LDS friend that talked to her about the church a little bit. Her friend told her about Priesthood blessings and she asked if she could get one. We went over that night and talked with her for a bit. She is working 3 jobs to support her family. She hasn't gotten any child support since February and her apartment complex just hiked up the rent from $750 to $900 a month. We explained the mechanics of a Priesthood blessing... oil, laying on of hands, anointing, sealing, blessing etc. She asked if each of her kids could get a blessing as well as her. We were happy to do it. We explained that these are given one at a time. She started to assign who would bless who and I was kind of hoping to get her 17 year old son. It was almost as if I had already started to receive his blessing before we were told who we were going to bless. I ended up being assigned to bless her 9 year old daughter. No regrets whatsoever! The blessing that I gave her was the second most powerful experience with the Spirit I have had in my life. I have now given 4 blessings since holding the Melchizedek Priesthood and I have cried through 2 of them. It's slightly embarrassing haha. BUT, my comp said that its a good thing because it lets everyone know that the Spirit is the one talking instead of myself. Part of the blessing (remember that she is a 9 year old girl. You would have thought that I was confirming her a member of the church with the words that were being said!) was to let her know that her role in the family is going to be one that will be most beneficial to her and her family. That she will learn and grow from the experiences she has at school and in the course of the next year and that those experiences will help guide her in doing that which her Father in Heaven has in store for her to do. Now, I cant remember most of the blessing but those were two things that really stuck out to me. The fact that this 9 year old girl, will influence her family in a way that they cant even foresee... How amazing that is to me. How amazing it is to be a vessel for the Spirit to work through. Now... prior to that night I had repented of some of the instances where I kind of snapped on my companion. I asked for forgiveness so that I might be able to "be a proxy for the Holy Ghost when giving the blessing, if I were called up to do so."
The Atonement is real. The power and ability it has given each of us is uncomprehensible. The Lord loves each and every one of us as if we were his own. He knows exactly what we are going through and will help us become the instrument that we need to be in order to bless the lives of other as He sees fit. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Elder Daniel Peterson