Monday, February 3, 2014

"Lots to be Grateful for, Great Miracles, and "Snow Intelligence!"

Hey everybody,
MIRACLE AFTER MIRACLE... Where to start....

First off... when it snows in North Carolina, as it did, there's something called 'Ice rain' that falls, and just freezes everything.  It is then blanketed by a fresh layer of snow, hiding all the ice. Needless to say, these people go crazy...
Some things that were observed:
- Probably about 4 wrecks
-  A mom recording her kid in a laundry basket, tied to the bumper of a car, going in circles in the church parking lot
- Sweat pants= snow pants, as did hunting gear, and full on ski gear.
- People had garden shovels and bobcats trying to pick the snow up!
-(My favorite): A guy in a fancy car was getting a video made by a friend in a parking lot, doing some crazy never before seen, 'half donut fish-tailing'. Someone call guiness.
- Full grown man playing with an RC truck on the ice
-YSA videos, along with a member in the ward, knee boarding and skiing behind trucks, and john deers.
As far as everyone else, they typically stayed indoors... Hiding from the monstrous ice. We have about 0 tread left on our front wheel driving Malibu, and with safety of course, we had a blast driving on these roads ;)
Also, two people's stories to quickly tell:
Brother Johnathan:
We've been meeting with him for almost 12 weeks, and in that time, he's gained and regained electricity, water, heat, and food many a time. He's been relentlessly hunting for a job with no success yet. He's trying to get unemployment and even has disability and veteran benefits, and has had little to no success. He told us in a time of complete and utter discouragement, that he was done. He didn't know if he believed in church or the Book of Mormon anymore. The spirit bore powerful testimony through me and my companion, to tell him to quit smoking, and to do all that he could to try and live the gospel in not just part, but it's fullness, so that there could be no confusion or doubt. He shrugged it and said sure, and the next day we asked if he needed a ride to church, and he said no because he probably wasn't coming. We texted him simply that we loved him, we were praying for him, and to sleep well. HE CAME. We went to see him afterwards, and he was a new man. I have never seen such a clear and concise manifestation of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. He was asking us how to repent more fully, and how to feel the burden of his past mistakes made up. It's the only time I've seen this 50-60 veteren cry. We had a great hug, and talked about the atonement, in where he told us that it is only by this book and this gospel, that he's been able to be sane through all of these events. He said he will work toward his baptismal date, and will do all in his power to continually read from this book and live this gospel. He doesn't always fully grasp it, or the concepts, so he reads it 4-5 times to make sure, and then if he still doesn't get it, he talks about how he'll get it the next time through the book. He says that the book and the gospel, through faith in Christ, open that little pocket of hope that the spirit brings, to help him carry on, and when that's not there, he feels nothing. Wow... then he offered the most humble and grateful prayer I've heard, especially coming from a man who has next to nothing in earthly possessions. It was powerful... 
So we can learn to be grateful for 2 things.
- The perfect brightness of Hope the gospel has naturally brought to your day to day life
- Your family, your house, your electricity, your running water.
- Your personal, unborrowed testimony that Jesus is the Christ.
-The ability to be grateful for what you do have.

Story number 2:
Brother Joe (name changed):
When we first met him, he told us that he had social anxiety that was extremely heightened, to a point where church was a long shot away, and that he also smoked, and drank coffee and tea as well. We talked about the enabling power of the atonement and how he felt trapped at that point. We read from 2 Nephi chapter one, as Lehi talks about shaking off the awful chains of Hell, and being embraced by our Redeemer and Savior. As he read that, he said he no longer wanted to feel trapped, he no longer wanted to go through these things, but that he wanted to be made free through Christ, and to experience that peace that he felt on a daily basis as we taught him. We set a baptismal date and talked about the things that needed to change. The following week, we talked about the word of wisdom, and told him that if he was ready to make the commitment, that he could give it all up that night. I have never felt as such a conduit to the spirit as I did giving him that blessing before we left. This man had such great faith, and I could feel the Lord literally pouring in blessings to promise him. He gave us everything. All his nicotine packets for his electronic cigarette, his tea, and all his coffee. He called us the next day saying he was having a couple withdrawals, so we headed back armed with cinnamon gum, and some grapefruit juice! He said that he was soo close to running to the store to just buy some  cigarettes, but he didn't, because He wanted this. He wanted this change in his life. So we talked and testified how this is a trial to overcome. As his perspective changed through his on going repenting, he readily agreed, and told us that he could do this, viewing it as an inconvenient, but manageable trial. The next time we went over we talked about church attendance, and felt prompted to promise him that as he came to church with us this week, that he'd be guided by angels bearing him up. He overcame his anxiety and came. He stayed for an hour and kind of snuck out the front door. As we walked up to him, he had a huge smile on his face, saying "I did it! next week we'll go for the more if not the whole meeting." I've never seen such great faith in Christ through trials as this man had. Two more things to be grateful for this week:

- freedom from addiction
-the ability to talk to people around you.

We've also got a baptism coming up this week for a 15 year old girl.  
She's incredible, and has been coming to seminary for a quite a while. She's a next door neighbor to

the stake president and his wonderful family. We've been able to get to know them really well, and are always so blessed by their kindness and generosity to have us in their teaching lessons, and getting to know them and our investigator better. We're so excited for her, and we're excited in two weeks for these two great brothers.  
I love you all so much! Never take the truth you have for granted!
Also, be grateful for your snow intelligence. :)  Take care!
Love, Elder Langford

No comments:

Post a Comment