Sent: Monday, February 24, 2014 10:34:18 AM
Subject: Halfway to the top
ahh, this week was so amazing. It was filled with miracles, especially the miracle of grace.
I love teaching children. It really is one of the most humbling things. This week we had a lesson with Tobìas who is 10. He had said to his father that he no longer wanted to be baptized, so we went to talk with him. His dad talks...a lot... so my companion was listening to him, and Tobìas was sitting on the ground, covering his face. I got down on my knee and talked with him. I asked him why he didn't want to be baptized...no response. "Are you a little scared to do it?" , he nodded his head. I told him that it is okay that he is scared, and he can be completely honest with us about how he feels, and he does not have to do anything he doesn't want to. He put his head up, we read together Alma 7:15, it says that we dont have to fear, just come to Christ and be baptized. "What is this saying?" I asked him, "we dont have to be scared, we just have to follow Christ." he said. "Tobìas, do you want to follow Christ?" "Yes...because it is good, it is the right thing."
"Then Tobìas, you do not have to be scared if you are following Him. Tobìas, do you want to follow Jesus Christ and be baptized?" I asked... "Yes...I want to be baptized." It was such a sweet moment just talking with this humble child and seeing his love for Christ even though he has only learned a little about Him. Children really are the perfect examples of meekness, humility, and love.
Yesterday, we made plans with Teresa and Juan to come to church and have everything ready to be confirmed. We got to the church, sent a text message, they said they were coming. Church started, we sang a hymn, the prayer was said, the hymn before the sacrament started, and still they weren't there. But luckily jus before the sacrament started they came, so they were still confirmed. It was wonderful. Later that day we had a lesson with them and I was in aw seeing the fire they have. Teresa was asking so many questions like, "When can I go to the temple?" "What is family night?" "Where can I get this book?" and she was filled with light. Her whole countenance showed that she was filled with the spirit. It is the most joyful moment I have had in all my mission to see someone filled with that light and joy, the light that shows they are converted. It made me reflect in a question that I have pondered for much time.
During all my time in the mission and especially in Argentina, I have wondered how can we really know when someone is converted, not just teach all the lessons and keep commitments, but really really converted, determined to be a disciple of Jesus Christ for life. Because there are converts everywhere who lacked that, and never came to church again. Is it after 3 weeks of living the gospel? 3 months? I have come to the conclusion that it doesn't matter how much time it takes because it wont always be the same. But the important part is that it happens, and when it happens it is so sweet. It is the most beautiful thing is the world. Just to see a person change, transform into another person. I love what the guide to the scriptures says, something like, "conversion is the conscious decision to leave behind our old life and change to become a disciple of Jesus Christ." That is the greatest miracle, conversion. I love seeing conversion.
I can't believe it has already been a year that I have been a set apart servant of Christ. I have learned so much about conversion this past year, especially in myself. Many people have told me "You are starting the downhill portion of your mission, you're at the top of the mountain." But, I try not to view it that way, because I am just starting the mountain. I am just half way to the top, and I am never going to come down from this mountain. I am never going to come down from this sacred privledge to serve Jesus Christ. I now view the scripture in Isaiah differently that says, "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!" Those feet aren't beautiful just because of what he is doing, but because of what he is seeing and experiencing. Because he that is publishing peace is seeing miracles, he is seeing the hand of God in the lives of others, he really is seeing conversion. His feet are beautiful because he is surrounded by beauty.
I don't know if this makes sense for everyone else, maybe not. But basicially, I love Christ. I love serving Him. I'm never going to stop. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Have a wonderful week!
Elder Heath Tenney