Monday, March 16, 2015

"In Your Wilderness"

Hey Everyone! 

I feel to complain about typing on the iPad, ohhh wahhh, this takes forever! Then I think about Nephi and the Book of Mormon prophets who etched their words into golden plates. Yikes. There's a reason that wasn't me. Well more than A reason. Just before the Yi kids had their baptismal interviews, we were talking with Derek, we had to teach them 2x2 rather than all four at a time to keep them focused. Anyway we had Derek and Kyle or Soreena and we asked who Joseph Smith was. Derek responded "Mary's boyfriend?" Oh good heavens. Are we really teaching that poorly or have you been crying "squirrel!" Every time we sit down with you? Bless his heart. 

So Kerian, Soreena, Kyle, and Derek all got baptized yesterday. Kerian It was funny, elder Bergman baptized Soreena and you would have thought he was trying to make a wave pool out of the baptismal font! By golly he splashed a few drops over the glass and onto some child in the front row. Our recent convert came up to him after the baptism and said, "You're quite an aggressive dunker!" The first time she didn't go under all the way, so round two got her under. But amidst all the hyperactivity and craziness and Derek running around like a drunk Baffoon, there was a powerful Spirit in attendance and I have scarcely felt more love for that family. The relief society room was packed with members and non members. Kerian had 5 of her non member friends show up, Sheila had a sister and their family who drove over an hour to be there for the baptism. It was a great turnout, great talks and great Spirit. I was grateful for the whole day. And in fact I made an effort to make a list of 10 things I was grateful for yesterday. 7/10 were people. And I wasn't too surprised. 

We went on exchanges with Elder Moreira from Texas. He's a good kid and we had kind of a miracle exchange. We went to Sister Miller's par with a member named Zac and we were let in by a lady who introduced herself as Sandi. Made me miss my aunt! It's almost like she had been waiting for us as much as Sister Miller had. I had never met her, but felt some sort of connection with her. She asked about the Mormon faith and felt the Spirit during the lesson. Later we met two other boys in Norristown who sat down with us, were taught the ️Restoration and accepted baptismal dates right then and there. The next morning, I was talking with elder Moreira about the experience we had had and kind of analyzing it. 

We came to a point in that day where I had a decision to make, to either go see a family 30+ minutes away in Schwenky or follow the plans I had set the night before. We were stopping by potentials to clean out our area book. So of course the latter was a bit more appealing to me because I knew them. But I had absolutely no idea what to do, so I put my head on the steering wheel and we prayed. I felt to stick with the plans we had made. There was a potential named  Tawana that we found out no longer lived at said address. But before we left, I felt to invite a little further. These two 20 year old black guys let us right in, we taught a lesson and set them both with baptismal dates. They were really nice kids though and seemed interested. In my convo with Elder Moreira we talked about how these people we met may not progress toward baptism, they may not even keep their next appt. But it taught us both a powerful lesson that is hard to put into words. God expects us to trust Him and listen to and follow His Spirit. I know that He will prepare who He will prepare, and it is our duty to BE prepared to receive them.

In Sacrament Meeting, brother Swenson gave an interesting and rather moving talk about the path our lives take. He referenced Alma 34 where Amulek teaches of the importance of sincere prayer. After listing multiple places and circumstances in which we should pray, he says "But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your secret places and  in your wilderness."  This is one of those phrases that is sloughed off and skipped over I'd imagine. But theres some profound meaning behind it. God knows we all have those dark corners of our mind where we have thoughts or memories or sins or anything that haunt us. We do our best to keep it all at bay, because I think in our loneliest moments we are vulnerable, we are in that wilderness. Being in the wilderness alone does not sound fun to me. No amount of scout camp's infamous wilderness survival training will be sufficient for what we're talking about here. Perhaps there's a reason Amulek gives a whole sermon primarily on prayer. Because in those moments of isolation or fear or temptation, when you are "in your wilderness" there really is no where to turn BUT to God. What a profound truth that has been solidified again and again in this crazy awesome experience we call a mission.  Love you all, smile big and reach out this week!

Elder Jake Robins

It's blurry and we look a little special. But smiles! 

Derek is in between us. Then from left to right in the back is Seung-joon (Shawn-dad), Soreena, Sheila, Kyle, Kerian, Lisa-With Justin, their brother Justin, Shawn-brother, family friend whose name I forgot.

No comments:

Post a Comment