Sunday, April 6, 2014
Elder Justin Thiel
This week was an interesting one. Full of ups and downs. I'll start first with the great things that happened. We had some great spiritual lessons this week. We had one great one with a woman named Mary. Through the course of the lesson my companion offered to give her a blessing and at first she said that she didn't want one but then I explained what a blessing was and after that she accepted. The second that we started the blessing, a street sweeper went driving by and seemed to slow down right next to where we were, making it impossible for Mary to hear the blessing. After that I felt prompted to promise her that she would be healed of a mental condition that she had, if she was baptized. And she questioned it, saying that doctors said that she couldn't be cured. I exhorted her to have faith that God can do anything. We then had a prayer, during which she said that she felt something touch her and she opened her eyes and said that she saw the thing return to heaven. At that point she broke down in tears, saying that this is real and that she needs to be baptized.
The next powerful thing that happened this week was with the man that we met in Walmart. We had met with him 3 times previous to the time that I am going to talk to you about. Our past discussions had been what I call a gentile Bible bash. It basically consisted of us stating our beliefs and then the other trying to prove it wrong using the Bible. It was getting us no where. Finally I told him that we had a message to share. We taught him the Restoration and all was well until we got to the great apostasy. He then told us that the scripture in Amos was talking about the apostasy that was going to happen before Christ and not one after him. I then took him to places in the New Testament about the coming apostasy and he shook them off saying that, that is not what the scriptures meant, but eventually we got past that concern. We then got to Joseph Smith and he said that he doesn't believe that he could be a prophet, but then I asked him what if God told him that he was. And he then said that if that was true, then it would change his whole view of the Bible and how he views God. I then testified that this was true but I felt prompted to share with him my whole and complete testimony using a special experience that I had as a youth. I told mom my experience, if she remembers. After that he said that the devil can send visions as well, and that I had been deceived. My companion then shared a special experience of his own, which with the two together did shake him to the very center. The spirit in the room was so strong that he could not shake it off of him. His expression was one of almost fear. You could tell on his face that he could tell it was true. He then said that he would read the Book of Mormon, but that he wanted us to read the Bible and look for things that would tell us that our faith wasn't true. I told him that I would do it if he read the Book of Mormon. What he doesn't know, is that I've already read the Bible and anyone who truly understands what it means would know then that this is the only true Church by following what is written in the book with exactness. But the key is the understanding.
There were many things that happened this week of which were miracles. We also used the priesthood to heal a member in the ward of his pain. I do not speak of these things to boast of myself for I know that if God wasn't there with us at those moments, that these things wouldn't have been possible. I know the priesthood to be the very power of God and that when used with faith and complete righteousness all things are possible.
The one downside was the loss of our car this week and on Saturday, we had to bike about 40 miles and we got fried doing it (sunburned). We need to get some sunblock. Now it seems that we are being tried to see if we will crack because our legs always seem to be tired as well as the wind seems to always be against us. One thing is certain, I will have thunder thighs by the end of this.
I hope that those medical issues will be resolved and that you will be well again soon. I have not been back to that Bible study group yet because you can't get there by bike, so we would have to get a member to come with us. I hope that things will keep going well with all of you and that you can be a blessing in someone's life. Keep trying and keep having faith and things will work for your good.