It all started last Tuesday after our pday activities, we found a sick family of 5 that is super solid. The Bautista family. We met him on the street the week before and showed him a video from Easter. He loved it and said we could come back. So on Tuesday night we taught their whole family (Mario, Estela and their three kids). It was awesome. Their kids are super polite which makes a huge impact coming from some niños from 7-11 years old. They are super cool.
Other experience that was oddly similar and equally satisfying- We went to teach a member in a shelter type thing down town. She invited her friend to a little family home evening which was awesome. We sit down and get situated in the lobby and of course there is all sorts of commotion. Last week we had a visit during our lesson from the K-9 unit, we didn't skip a beat. This time a young man sat down in a bench near us and asked to use our phone to call and check on his mom. We let him use it and when he came to return it he sat next to me and launched into a really sad story about how he ended up where he is. By this point Elder laws shifted toward Hermana Vasquez and her friend Maria and was teaching the restoration by himself while I'm consoling this poor guy (Courtney is his name). There really wasn't much we could do for him. He had come to San Diego and everything he had had been taken by a guy who was going to help him. He was crying, he had nothing but the shirt on his back. We left him with a subway gift card and a restoration pamphlet and that was all he had to his name. We felt bad as we left, we just wanted to help him out. We went and taught a less active kid a really good lesson, then had a few minutes before the end of the night.
We ran home as fast as we could and grabbed what we could. He mentioned he lost his bag so we got a couple of side bags, threw in what clothes we could and ran back to the shelter. Unfortunately by the time we got back it had been an hour and he wasn't there. Keep in mind this is downtown San Diego. We said a quick prayer that we could find him and then took off driving, we decided to go by the library because that's where he had gone early he said. The Padres game was going close by so there was some weird traffic. We took an accidental left turn where it was illegal and ended up in a loop that got us a little lost but when we were stuck in there we saw him!!!! What are the chances? In a city of millions we found him and gave him the stuff we gathered. It was an awesome tender mercy to be able to find him and give him just a little bit of stuff that we could.
Yesterday we also met a super cool new investigator named Veronica (different one). We are hoping to have another lesson with her this week at the Mormon Battalion. She's super cool and super open. Just what the area needs right now. Those are just a few of the awesome experiences from this week.
We had ANOTHER general authority visit this week. This time Elder James J. Hamula of the seventy, which was awesome. He taught a lot of great principles. Here are a few of my favorites:
When you are rejected, you have experiences that only Christ’s disciples have. ... The Savior was persecuted, yet said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” ... Such compassion and mercy that is in Him should be extended to others.
• I tell you this in the name of Jesus Christ. You would not be where you are if there were not souls to save. Dig deeper, try harder. There are souls to save in every area in this mission!
• Promise – If you will become converted to the Book of Mormon, hell will have no power to take you off the strait and narrow course.
• Casualness – cultivate the virtue of sobriety – to be serious-minded. ... Spiritual sobriety permits you to see things that others cannot see. To see the signs of the times. To hear the word of the Lord. When there is too much noise, you cannot hear the Spirit,
which is a still, small voice that is quiet and whisper like. Connection – because Mormon was of a sober mind, he was visited of the Lord. (Mormon 1:15). To take it to the next level – let go of casualness. Have joyful countenances, but let go of casualness.
• What does it mean to be a witness of the “name of Christ” (D&C 107:23-24)?
1. Christ’s Identity – His characteristics, attributes, virtues. Every week, you take upon yourself the name of Christ. You agree “to be Him to the people to whom you are sent.” “You have got to be Him.” Through you, they see Him and hear His voice.
2. Christ’s Work and Labor. Agree to do His work. The work of the Lord is the salvation of souls – the most important work in the universe. When we say “Amen” to the sacrament prayer, we are agreeing to do His work, not your own. You serve in this work until you can’t anymore.
3. Christ’s Authority and Power. We assume the power and authority that name gives you.
• “You get no revelation unless you are willing to ask questions.”
THE DOCTRINE OF YOU:
• D&C 130:18-19: We gain intelligence through our diligence and obedience. Light and truth can be taken with us in the resurrection.
• Obedience/Diligence - permit us to gain knowledge and intelligence. The call to be obedient and diligent is the call to gain light and knowledge. You choose the degree to which you will be obedient and diligent.
• TREES. You are like trees. Trees are symbolic of our lives – we have roots, branches, and fruit. Trees grow slowly, not fast. The best trees grow slowly, to endure every weather condition. Don't resist the pruning, or being planted in another area. Have patience as you learn and grow slowly, drop by drop.
• WAR IN HEAVEN. The war in heaven continues today – it was transferred from heaven to earth. ... You were among the most valiant of all of our Heavenly Father’s children. You knew and loved Him. You gave everything to Him in that great war. Because of your exceeding love and faith, you were reserved to come in these last days, to fight again as you fought before. ... You are the noble and great ones. But you can’t do this on your own. Your power rests in the authority given you and your abiding faith. Go and exercise the same faith you did in the beginning.
• You overcame Satan by: (1) The Atonement of Jesus Christ (blood of the Lamb); (2) Your testimony; and (3) Consecration of soul (loved not their lives unto the death). (Rev. 12:11).
• Jesus was fully consecrated and fully committed.
• You have the privilege to ask God concerning your standing with Him. Then listen. We say a lot of prayers without listening. Slow down from getting off your knees. Slow down while praying – take time to listen. God will answer by: (1) feeling to your heart; thoughts to your mind. Even if the answer does not come immediately, keep listening. (2) Look for His voice while reading the scriptures. And (3) Wait upon the Lord when listening to His servants. If it seems that God is waiting to answer your prayer, God is proving you to see if you are sincere.
Sorry this was a long one. It's my last one everybody! I'll see y'all in a week!
Love, Elder Hansen