What a beautiful week?! Jam packed with all sorts of goodies! I shall do my best to share all my favorite moments (and i guess my not so favorites;)
Tuesday we had got a text from President Porter asking us to call him when we got in..... (shudder!) (stomach in my toes) ("what did we do????") We've been working with a counselor in the Stake Presidency (the coolest man ever) with Rick. I guess he called President with some questions about Rick concerning the matter of Tithing..... dun dun dun. So President called us and we had an AWESOME talk about how to help Rick with the Law of Tithing. He asked us to let him know how the lesson went the next day... the bishop as well texted us with counsel. and well as the stake pres. counselor. SO we have these amazing priesthood leaders all waiting to hear how this lesson goes with Rick the next day..... (do you feel the pressure mounting?! ;) ha ha!
That next morning Sister Murdoch and I both had super powerful study about tithing.... now the issue here was pretty severe. He is on fixed income and if he chose to give 10%, it'd be the amount of a weeks worth of groceries. He is too old to get a job and he does't have a car if he did want a job. He texted us saying he was heartbroken he couldn't join the church because he couldn't afford to "buy in". Told us his baptism was off etc. soooooo... we prepared the best we could and invited a recent convert who had similar issues with tithing to come to drop by Rick's home that day.... We show up and he was about to "leave." ha ha! lets just say my heart was crushed!! the whole day I felt like we were wading through mud!! all our appointments fell through, it was pouring rain and our morale was shattered. We were praying like crazy but our impressions were muddled. We attend ward coordination that night and the Ward needed all the info about the baptism.... (lets add another 50 lbs to the shoulders...) but we kept pushing and finally were able to get a lesson with Him at 8:30. As I entered his apartment i knew something was off... just felt weird. Then my ears started buzzing like a bomb just went off! super intense, high pitched buzz. Rick's phone kept ringing over and over. I realized there was a spiritual battle going on in that room. There were forces who DID NOT want dearest Rick to receive this lesson- and more importantly be baptized. I started casting out evil spirits and later found out Sister Murdoch was as well without communicating what was going on. There was a large bang on his front door and yet no one was there.... yeah. creepy. after what seemed like forever- the buzzing went away and i felt the spirit in abundance. there were angels in that room as we continued to teach him about the sacred blessing of tithing. He started by saying he would just stick to the catholic religion- he couldn't possibly donate 10%- no way, JOSE!. by the end of the lesson he was willing to walk up to a food pantry and get free food if he was starving. GOD is REAL!! Rick later told us that as I said "It doesn't make sense. It doesn't seem possible but just DO IT! just try it! it is a matter of faith not logic." it hit him. it clicked and he was willing to act on his faith and pay tithing--- Heavenly Father loves us so much that he gives us commandments. Commandments are to test our faith. It is a way for HF to show us he is apart of our lives. HE asks us to sacrifice so he can bless us. Strengthen us.
Rick was baptized on Saturday. It felt like being in the temple. the spirit was so present! so powerful!! Time is short so i will share what i wrote in my journal about the experience. " I hope I adequately depicted this wonderful experience but I can be assured I did not. Words cannot express the emotion, the pure joy that filled my soul seeing my dear friend enter the water of baptism and overcoming the evil forces that plague this earth. "One down, hundreds to go!" I was able to teach Rick about the Holy Ghost- tears streamed down his face as I testified of the precious gift that the HG is. He texted us after e was confirmed on sunday and asked "Do i really have the Holy Ghost??" we assured him that he did and he answered " i feel like i need to pinch myself!"
The image of ushering Rick into Heavenly Father's presence kept me going as we struggled through out the week. Baptism is the gate by which we enter into the Celestial kingdom of God. A life filled with joy and in the presence of our dear Heavenly Father. This gospel is of eternal consequence. I felt angels fill the room during the baptism- bearing record. AH! soo amazing.
Well- there are many more stories I would love to share but alas, I cannot.
Before i sign off i wanted to share a thought about the Holy Ghost. Read 3 Nephi 9:20. How it says that we receive promptings of the spirit and "receive it not". The holy ghost is the most precious and essential gift Father has given us. what in your life is preventing you from hearing the whispering of the spirit?....... and STOP IT! ha ha!!
LOVE YOU ALL!!!
I pray for you.
May we unite again all disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.
PS. Read "Joseph Smith- the chosen of God and the friend of man" by Ivan j. Barrett
HE IS FAMILY!!! what a legacy to follow.