Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Keystone of our Religion

Hello to all!
It was another great week, filled with many spiritual moments and opportunities to share my testimony of the restored gospel. We were initially preparing a wedding/baptism for Carlos and Silvia, but they want to wait until February so that family from far away can come to see it. It brought in 2 new investigators, because out of nowhere, his 12 year old son wants to start listening and so does his 14 year old niece. We started teaching them and invited them to also be baptized, and they all went to church on Sunday, so we are hoping to have a big baptism. Carlos also brought up that he wants to be baptized in the river, so we are all super excited for that, it will be very special.  He is such a great guy, and is already converted. We had a lesson with him about the Holy Ghost, and went with a return missionary of our branch. It was on of the most spiritual lessons of my life! I am thankful for the Spirit that was felt, and for the gift of the Holy Ghost, to be able to guide us in our lives and let us know what to do.
Yesterday in church, things went great! We had 63 people, which was even more than last week! it has been so great to see the progress of the branch, and how excited everyone is to help, and do visits! We were able to do 2 service projects, one with the branch president, which involved shoveling a pile of rocks/garbage/sewage from his back yard to the front porch. Even though it was an interesting one, we were able to see his heart soften and feel our love for him. We also served Pablo and Miriam's family (recent converts) and sweeped up their entire front yard stuff. They share the front yard with the neighbors, and the neighbors were so impressed that the next visit we had there, without having to invite her, she came out and wanted to hear more. I am thankful for service, and know that when we are in the service of our fellow being, we are only in the service of our God.
We are teaching a friend of Alex (recent convert), who has read the entire Book of Mormon, but says that he doesn't feel anything different when he reads or prays...which is impossible from my point of view. We have been working on him opening his heart, and showing God that he has the "real intent" that Moroni talks about. We had an awesome lesson with him last night, and he felt the Spirit, we committed him to fast this week and pray to know the truth.
Well this week was another monumental one, given that I started the Book of Mormon back on August 1st. I finished the Book of Mormon on Friday, and even though I had asked many times before about the book, I felt the Spirit strongly to take Moroni's promise, and to ASK. I kneeled down, and before I kneeled, I could barely even talk, the Spirit was so tangible. I have never felt so sure in my whole life than in this very moment that the Book of Mormon came about like Joseph said it did, and that its the word of God. I took that experience as a good topic for my talk in church yesterday. All the missionaries talked, and we pretty much did the restoration lesson, with me ending it about the Book of Mormon/Prayer. I shared much of what Pres. Benson shared in the talk "Keystone of our Religion", and for the first time in my mission, I had a pretty emotional moment on the pulpit. I just testified from the bottom of my heart of something that I know is true, and that thing is the Book of Mormon. I plead with all of you to just read it! Let it change your life. Let it guide you and help you resist temptations. Let it endow you with power from on high. Let it change your life like it has changed mine forever.
Love you all, keep us in your prayers! Until next week,
Elder Babcock

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