Monday, October 13, 2014

when darkness reaches in (Katie-Angers)

This week is going to be a little bit different. I'm going to share with you an incredible experience with you all that is going to be absolutely random and nothing at all like all of those other "big miracles" that we talk about in missionary work. This was personalized just for me.

A little while ago, we met this adorable girl named Gladys. We had a rendezvous (appointment) with her just the other day, and found out that she is Témoin de Jehovah (Jehovah's Witness), but because she is so young and inexperienced, she isn't allowed to meet with us unless she has her darling friend, Isabelle, who has been preaching TJ doctrine for 40 years (if you're not good at math, that's twice as long as I have been alive). Scared to death but praying with all our hearts for the sincerity that brings the Spirit, we began to teach the Rétablissement (Restoration) to these daughters of our Heavenly Father. We finally got to the end, where we invited them with more love and sincerity than I have ever before been able to muster to pray and ask God if Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. We then described the feelings that we can get in response to our question, and how we can feel the truth of our message through the power of the Holy Ghost. 

Gladys' friend responded simply with, "But where is the proof in the Bible? One cannot base his entire conviction on a feeling in his heart." 

This shook me. This tore at my soul because I honestly had no response. What do you say to someone who believes that an answer from the Holy Ghost has no merit? So we left. And I left with a broken heart. This experience bothered me all the rest of the day and into the night. I laid in bed thinking about this, wondering what I did wrong. Did they not feel the spirit? Do they not believe in revelation from God? What could I have done better to help them better understand? I felt so broken inside.

During studies the next morning, I prayed sincerely asking for help. I didn't have any other words because I didn't really know what I was looking for, but I just kept asking Heavenly Father to help me understand. Then I opened to where I had been reading in the Book of Mormon and proceeded to read first verse 1, then 2, and then I got to verse 3 of 2 Nephi chapter 28:

 For it shall come to pass in that day that the churches which are built up, and not unto the Lord, when the one shall say unto the other: Behold, I, I am the Lord’s; and the others shall say: I, I am the Lord’s; and thus shall every one say that hath built up churches, and not unto the Lord—

This caught my attention, and I thought to myself, Uh, okay Heavenly Father I'm ready for whatever it is you're going to say. And then I continued on to verse 4:

 And they shall contend one with another; and their priests shall contend one with another, and they shall teach with their learning, and deny the Holy Ghost, which giveth utterance.

This is my miracle. I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers, but more importantly, I KNOW that this church is true. How do I know this? I've prayed, and I've asked, and I have felt the power of the Holy Ghost witnessing to me that it is true. I learned an important lesson through this experience: The world is changing. People are now questioning even my simple testimony. But what does this change for me? Nothing. I will continue to teach all who will listen, and my testimony stands strong. I love being a missionary, but even more than that, I love KNOWING that this gospel is from God. If you have a question, ask. If you have a doubt, face it. If you aren't sure, than become sure. Because that is the test of life. 

I hope that each of you feels the strength and the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as I did in this moment. And I hope that you all have a fantastic week. I know I will :)

With all my love and prayers and concern,
Soeur Katie Pettingill
my umbrella broke...oops!
exchanges with my twinner Soeur Barton :)
I got a pink donut. you gotta cave when your stomach craves

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