Sunday, December 7, 2008

November 4, 2008

Dear Family

This week I want to tell you about Luis. Luis is a mystic/catholic. He did 7 years of catholic seminary and has spent his life on a religious quest to figure out the universe. He loves to read and has recently entered into mysticism as he has become a bit disenchanted with the organized religion bit. But he has meditated and read and thought a lot about God and life. And he has all kinds of faith in Christ. And almost all of the things that he has figured out are actually true. They fit into the gospel perfectly. But he talks a lot. He explained a lot of his views on life instead of letting us teach the same old lesson.

After our first few visits I had to go home and read the section in Chapter 10 of Preach My Gospel about Listening. Because it's not always easy. It's actually harder to listen than to teach. But if you listen first and then teach, your teaching is a hundred million times better. After our fist visit we left the 3 parts of the book of mormon that you always leave... Introduction, 3 Nefi 11, and Moroni 10:3-5. When we went back he had read. So we talked about the reading assignment and he talked a lot... a lot about all of his doubts and philosophies and complaints about religion... and we didn't get to say much. But the thing that I remember that I said was that we agree with what he said... and that all of his ideas and beliefs "encaixar" or fit in the gospel. I testified of that. And we said that in our next visit we would teach about the Plan of Salvation. We left him with the little booklet about the Plan of Salvation and marked ALL the chapters in the Book of Mormon that are recommended in Preach My Gospel about the Plan of Salvation. And we left.

We came back a few days later and he'd read it all and thought about it all. And it all made sense to him... but all his life things have been so complicated... And he just started talking and talking about all his ideas and going off on tangents about angels and baptism and faith and life after and before death and the fall and I don't even remember what else... But after a long time I finally said: So... you've read a lot of the Book of Mormon, but have you prayed to know if it's true? And he started to say that he didn't need too, because it's "The Gospel" and it's explaining everything right and he knows that it's good and everything that's good comes from God, etc. So I said, ok, just a second. The Book of Mormon was written on plates of gold and buried in the Earth for hundreds of years and found by a young man with little formal education and translated by the power of God. And this young man claimed to be a prophet called of God and to have received the authority of God on the Earth to reestablish the kingdom of God on the Earth. A church with the authority of God to act for the salvation of all humanity--to perfect the saints, preach the gospel, and redeem the dead. If you don't have the courage to say that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that the Kingdom of God is here on the Earth again, you have to ask God if the Book of Mormon is true. Because all of this comes together. If the Book of Mormon is true, he was a prophet and the Church is the only true church on earth. We are inviting you to know that these things are true. To be a part of the Kingdom of God here on earth. To be baptised and receive the priesthood of God and act for the salvation of all humanity. And I said a lot more. I've never said things like that before. I've never taught anyone who could see the big picture. I have never been so bold. And he accepted the invitation to ask God. And he said that it could be true. A lot of things are "encaixando" (fitting together). He said that maybe he would be able to tell his children what church they should go to... and he's never been able to say that before in his life. It could be true.

In that moment I was a missionary.

I know that he already has a testimony of the Book of Mormon. He's already felt it. He already knows that it's true. Now he just has to get the courage to admit it. Admit that he's come to the end of a life-long search. That there is an answer. I'm praying really hard for him to be able to admit it. I am so grateful to know that armed with the truth and the Spirit I can teach people who are much more intelligent and educated than I am.


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