Monday, September 14, 2015

Week 51.... Catalina and the Power of the Atonement!!!

Elder Saune
This was a week full of intercambios, and a lunch of mission conferences. I think I spent more time out of my sector than I was in my sector. It was a good week to get to know other missionaries. I was able to work with Elder Sauñe from Peru and Elder Haynes from Florida. It was good to get to know them, and also be able to work with them. Also I was able to work and get to know Elder Callister who is a greenie from Idaho. It was fun to get to know him and help him, because he only has like 2 weeks in the mission. 
One of the coolest things that happened this week was on the intercambio with Elder Haynes. Elder Haynes and Elder Callister have this investigator who is 13 years old, she is being really stubborn about baptism. Her mom was baptized about a year ago. We went to this appointment to see where she was spiritually and to find her needs. Apparently she has been very closed off and has not been very accepting to the missionaries. So when Elder Haynes and I went in there we just started asking questions. The nice thing about coming from another sector is that you can ask any question because you don’t know anything about them. So I was able to dig into her beliefs. The whole first part of the lesson we asked questions. She ended up telling us that she doesn’t believe in God. That she just wants to do her own thing. She feels really pressured from her mom to be baptized and doesn’t want anything to do with the church. We asked her if she had seen a change in her mom. She told us that she had seen a huge change. We asked her if she would want to see that change in her own life. She said of course. Then we went on and taught about the Dad of King Lamoni. And how Aaron went in and taught him the plan of salvation. The king did not believe in God. Just like Catalina. So we started reading the scriptures with her. And every time it said "the king" we replaced it with her name "Catalina" as we read more and more, she opened up more and more to us. You could see the power of the scriptures coming to life. It started working in her and her heart was slowly softened. 

In vs 16 of chapter 22 of Alma it says:

"But Aaron said unto him: If thou desirest this thing, if thou wilt bow down before God, yea, if thou wilt repent of all thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest." 

Aaron asks the king to pray to know if God exists. He asks him to repent and act on his faith to know if these things are true. In that moment we asked Catalina to kneel down and pray to God and see if he existed. In that moment she sat there in silence thinking if she was going to pray. We sat there for over 2 minutes and just listened to what the spirit was saying. The spirit filled the room as we sat there in silence. She sat there and thought, we sat there and waited for her. After about three minutes she just started bawling. She ran to the bathroom. She stayed in the bathroom crying for a while. It was the first time that she had felt God in her life. She knew that God existed. It was one of the coolest experiences to see that huge change in her life. To see her receive her answer that God exists and loves each and every one of us. I learned so much from that little 13 year old girl. 

For my spiritual thought this week I wanted to bare my testimony on the power of the Atonement. The Atonement and suffering of Jesus Christ is by far the most important event ever to happen in Church History. It is amazing what the Atonement can do in our lives. I want to challenge all of you to read Mosiah 24:14-15.
It talks about how through the Atonement God can relieve us of our burdens. At times we feel weighed down by our callings, by our lives, by our mistakes, and by everything. But through the atonement we receive strength through our Savior Jesus Christ to overcome these trials. Our load will instantly become lighter as we use and focus on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

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