Monday, March 27, 2017

Teaching As Christ Taught (March 27, 2017)

This week has been really interesting. We've seen so many miracles! And I can't even write a third of what happened this whole week.
   Wednesday was really interesting. That morning we went and did singing service and then we had in our plans to go home and do companion and language study. So we go home but we just kind of sat in the car because something felt weird. We felt like we shouldn't go in to study, we needed to be somewhere else. We said a prayer asking for guidance because we didn't know what else to do! Our tank of gas was getting low and so we went to a very specific Chevron gas station. Of course, being new to the area I accidentally turned the wrong way and we stumbled into a Studio apartment type thing so we turned around, got gas and then felt like we should go back to that complex and knock doors. When we get there we didn't actually knock, we walked around. We met two people - Rafael and Jainey, both who once we left we knew we were supposed to talk to. We still didn't feel like we should go back to the apartment yet and I kept thinking about the food bank and so we went to the food bank. We figured we needed to talk to Bobbie, one of the guys who has asked us to visit his gf but once we get there he was totally busy. So we go around back to find the sisters to ask them a question and they ask - "Did you get our text? We need a ride back home." Hna Petersen and I looked at each other like "Woah that is so cool" because we totally didn't get a text from the sisters. Not only that but they were short staffed and so we were able to help them finish the senior citizen bags before talking to Bobbie and taking them home.
   That morning when we had been planning one of the referral's names kept popping into my head but she lived way out of our area (we did get permission) and so we hadn't contacted her yet. So after studies we headed out there and got to her house by 3 only to find that they were in the middle of moving! We had managed to arrive at the perfect time to help them finish packing and get everything in order so that they could move back to Ephrata! I was able to give him some of the numbers of the missionaries and members and give him a referral of where he could get a job out there. It was so inspired of God it was just cool to be a part of it.
   At 5 we had dinner with a part member family and had a really stellar conversation where we got to know them. We shared a spiritual thought with them about increasing their faith, we showed them the new Restoration video and added our testimonies to the promise we find in James 1:5. It was really cool.
   Finally, at 8 that night we went and contacted Armando and Sandra where we had an incredible lesson about families and how they can be eternal, how death is not the end and that through the gospel we can have that eternal happiness. It was really neat. I also am somewhat bold with people and when he kept taking the Lord's name in vain I called him out on it. He felt bad about it and now is trying to really work on not saying it and we have a good laugh every time he catches it.

   We had a couple of other experiences like that this week. It has been so wonderful to me to stop and pray and ask for guidance and be an instrument in His hands. I wish I could just be told what to do or where to go all the time but my mantra is D&C 58:28-30 and so I know that can't possibly be a thing.
    The funeral on Saturday went well. It was such a privilege to be able to play the violin for it. It was a beautiful rendition of "God Be With You Till We Meet Again." It's been cool to be in a ward where they have been completely proactive and have gone out and found music, have been more than willing to let me use their copy of a Stradivarius. Like, I have never in my whole mission been able to play such a beautiful violin. Probably in my life. And the members made it happen. It was so cool.
    Saturday night we had a seriously intense lesson with Armando. I testified in that lesson with a power that was almost more than I have ever before. It reminded me of Christ in the scriptures. He taught with power and authority and in that lesson I felt as though I was teaching with HIS power and authority. I was not afraid of stepping on his toes, I simply taught and testified as Christ did and made no excuses for the laws of God. And in that moment, as it says in the scriptures he marveled at the words that I had spoken and yet just like in the scriptures, although he marveled, he understood not. At least, he didn't understand as much as I wish he had. I am so grateful that I was able to be a conduit because I know that it wasn't me, but finally the true teacher was the Holy Ghost. I love being a missionary and learning how to become a true disciple of Christ. I am so far away from what I know I can become but in that lesson and in the lesson we had with Rick a couple of days later, I got to see a glimpse of who Heavenly Father wants me to become because I was privileged to hear from my investigators what they glimpsed, what they saw me as. I only wish that I had learned this sooner, but I am also glad it only took me a year.

   The theme this week has truly been teaching as Christ taught. Becoming better teachers, becoming more than what we were yesterday. I have grown so much this week and  I am so excited for some of the study habits that I will be changing. I loved in the General Woman Session of Conference the talk that reminded us about the importance of taking time to study. I love to dissect the scriptures, and in reading the Bible I have learned more and more about how the Savior taught and have developed my teaching to be more like His. In the Pearl of Great Price I've learned so much more about my divine potential and in the Book of Mormon I have found great treasures of knowledge that I haven't before seen.
   I know life gets busy and it's hard to find time to get everything we want to get done done. But I also promise you that if you will set aside even 30 minutes a day to study your scriptures, and truly study them, not just read them half heartedly, you will have the Spirit with you as a guide throughout your day, you will become an instrument in the hands of the Lord as you are prompted to serve those around you.
   Take it from a missionary who used to view studying as a burden because I wanted to be knocking doors instead. STUDIES ARE IMPORTANT. And just like the excuse "We don't have time to tract!" is a lie, (there is ALWAYS time to tract) the excuse "I don't have time to read my scriptures/pray/go to church/study" is a lie!
    To put it simply, we are not using the time allotted to us as mortals efficiently if we are somehow not having time to study the gospel. And so in the words of Elder Uceda, I invite all of you to repent with me and take time to study the words that God has been so merciful to give us.
I hope you all have a fantastic week!
Hna Baird

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