Wonderful Family and Friends,
How's it going? Good. Well it's going great here. A lot has happened and continues to happen every day. But that is just part of the beauty of God's Plan of Happiness for His children. Each day is a new opportunity to learn a little bit more, to make mistakes and experience, and to allow the Atonement of Jesus Christ to change our lives and change US. And I think that is the greatest miracle I witnessed this week.
So I mentioned Steve last week I believe. He is the neighbor to a less active in Elsmere. He came to church on Sunday and Brent, the less active, didn't. So we joked that Steve should bring his "member" friend to church with him next week...haha, ya had to be there. In our first real lesson with Steve about 2 weeks ago, he just seemed depressed and he cried his eyes out as he described his situation. Without going into details, in and out of prison, drugs, the works. He has a cute 6-year-old, rambunxious as Tyler son also named Steven (the mother left them). He is living with his disabled mom, dad, grandpa and sister. He wants to change and he sees what Christ and the Atonement can do for him and has thus found peace in knowing that we are here to help him come unto Christ. He reads the scripture assignments we give him, he's been praying and at church he felt shy, but he was well-received and welcomed by the ward members. During the Sacrament, babies were crying up the wazzoo (sp?) and I was praying hard that he would still be able to feel the Spirit. Later last night after church, we stopped by and met with him and his mom. He told us he enjoyed church and he just seemed happy. So it has been amazing seeing the Atonement of Jesus Christ take root in his life and change his very countenance in a matter of a week or two.
And one thing I've realized this week is that my faith is not dormant. Though I struggle and have to fight to push myself to keep going sometimes, I am still able to do it. And it's only because I do in fact have the faith that I never thought I had. So I prayed that Steve would get to church, recognizing my faith in the will of God, but also recognizing that these people have agency. I can't force them to choose to follow Christ. I can help guide them toward that decision, and show them how it has blessed my life though.
We met with a former investigator named Enock (from Kenya) on Friday with my old roommates brother, James Dalton. Enock is quieter, but seems sincere about wanting to come closer to God. And I know I felt the Spirit as we taught and testified of the Doctrine of Christ being able to change him. After the lesson, we walked down Franklin St from the park we were at to his house one street down. Believe or not, another black woman in a black car pulled up and gave us another safety warning. "Ya'll parked around here? 'Cause there's a knife fight goin on right down the street. You best get out of here soon." It's probably not a good thing when I'm not shocked at such encounters anymore. Just evidence of the Lord protecting His servants though.
Oh, we were tracting around the church on Dickinson Ln and we knocked on a door and an older woman answered. We got talking and found out that she was from So Cal. So as usual, I prodded to figure out what part, being somewhat familiar with the region. She said, oh "Huntington Beach and Palos Verdes." It took my brain like 5 seconds to process the info...must have short term memory loss...then I responded, " What?! My dad grew up there and I lived there for two year." So she hadn't heard of Finecrest, but she lived on a street called Oceanford St if that sounds familiar? and Jim Bohn is her dad's name. Cool Miracle. But the best part was when I had the chance to testify of the Book of Mormon. She didn't see the need for it AND the Bible. Perfectly logical question. I felt to open up to 2 Nep. 29:8-10. (READ IT!) After reading it, I told her that, "Yes, it is blunt, but it is true. Two nations or two people testifying of the same God is better than one right?"
So I simply testified that God had told me by the power of the Holy Ghost, that the Book of Mormon is indeed true. And that along with the Bible, we can find answers to know how to get back to our Father in Heaven. With misty eyes, she thanked me for the testimony and we said goodbye. I don't know if she'll ever accept the gospel in this life, but I hope that she at least felt her Heavenly Father's love for her a little more.
And we met with Sheena again with a member this time. She is very intellectual and needs to see and understand things in her mind. The premortal existence concept is what kept her from getting baptized 20 years ago...which is interesting. But at the end of the lesson, I testified of the Plan of Salvation and the peace it brings to my life. I know that God has given us this plan because, believe it or not, He wants us to be HAPPY. He has given us the Bible to learn of Christ. And the Book of Mormon to learn more about Christ and about His plan for us. He loves each one of us. "God wants you to come home."
The Spirit bore witness to her heart that my words were true. A tear fell from her eye and she commented" That was so sweet, I'm going to cry."
That night I thanked my Heavenly Father for the power of His Spirit, leaving His thumbprint on her heart (as Sheena put it). I want you all to know that this is true. I know it, I live it, I love it.
Elder Jacob Robins
|The world needs more signs like these|
|A Buddha Ball statue in the business part of downtown, me trying to high five an inanimate object|
|Franklin St. knife fight. Idk if anyone was actually hurt, just little kids running around screaming things about it. Right after a spiritual lesson. Welcome back to the world Elders, your peaceful half hour has come to an end|