Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Week Forty

WEEK FORTY April 7, 2014

The Lord had asked me to volunteer to pray at ward council and sacrament meeting this week in response to a very poignant plea by the bishop about the impressions of the Spirit that had been resting forcibly upon him these past few weeks regarding missionary work. In the Ward Council prayer the Lord’s focus was on supporting the bishop and building the necessary faith to bring out the miracles that the Spirit had whispered to him. The words were very different from my own as Sister H remarked and the prayer highlighted some very specific things needed to be done and a commitment from us to do as the Lord is directing. I noticed the sacrament prayer changed the typical focus from the missionaries being led to the honest in heart to the ward members being led to the honest in heart and for the blessings of miracles to flow as we respond accordingly.

Our daughter and her family from Pennsylvania came to visit with us on Saturday. They had flown from Pennsylvania to Utah, hopped in a car and drove straight to Irvine to spend a week with us. Their oldest just graduated from HS and we were able to listen to general conference with them as they chose to sleep on the floor here with us rather than take a more comfortable motel. Their loving sacrifice is a great blessing for the two of us and greatly appreciated.

We have been meeting with our minister friend, Brother Forty-Two, for nearly three months now, twice a week. On each occasion he comes with a notebook filled with questions for that meeting. Fortunately we have always been able to answer those questions prompting him to refer to me as Doctor. Well this week on Wednesday was a first, as he started the meeting, “What do you want to teach me?” Since arrangements had been made for he and his wife to attend the Saturday and Sunday morning sessions of general conference in Salt Lake City, I suggested we discuss the need for, role of, and authority of the Lord’s living prophets and we enjoyed a good discussion on that topic. He told us he had yet to arrange a motel and we warned him he should get that done as quite a crowd descends on SLC for conference. He said that they felt the Lord would provide. We told him we were anxious to learn what he experiences there and discussed general conference, the setting and proceedings that he would be witnessing. President Orgill, our mission president had secured the tickets, which I presented to him.

Had another meeting with Brother Twenty in preparation for receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood. I believe we have done what we can here and he has met with the bishop to establish a plan. It was a great experience to see this brother change right before our eyes and see the growth that he has made. It continues to amaze us with what the Lord can do with those willing to “let” him change them. This man’s confidence and understanding are powerful evidence of such changes.

Met with the Two family to start them on the journey of family history by reviewing the research we had done for them to whet their appetite. He is calling his mother to fill in some of the gaps that remain and the Spirit of Elijah if pressing mightily upon him.

Our Bible Study class this week was led by a brother from Canada, a convert to the church, who wanted to share Bible references that support the plan of salvation. He had quite a bit prepared and in reviewing it with him I suggested he spread it over three weeks.

Received a request from Brother Two asking what Ether 12 verse 6 means, “there is no witness until after the trial of your faith?” He found it on the back side of the scripture mastery card we gave him to use in the Temple Preparation class. I told him it means that the greater witness comes after we have exhibited the necessary faith and gotten into action believing that a greater witness follows. These things go in order. The Lord expects us to act on belief before we receive the greater witness.

Sister H had a root canal this week which because of infection took about four days for the pain to subside. So I found myself alone at the transfer meeting and very uncomfortable.

Bishop called to see if we could include another two individuals (one about to submit his missionary papers and another who has a temple marriage date) in the temple preparation class and bring them up to speed even though we are already into the third week. We told him we could do that bringing the twelve those in the Aliso Creek Ward preparing to attend the temple for the first time. The gospel essential teacher in the Lake Forest Ward asked if we had a change of assignment as he has not seen us because the class times conflict.

Our neighbors at home shared a letter of their missionary son and I replied—Your son does have a good spirit which many missionaries have. What I think sets him apart is the balance he has. He understands. This understanding allows him to "fit in" with whatever the Lord wants with a continuing expectation not only that the Lord's will shall be manifest but a certainty such manifestation will fill him with joy. It shows in his willingness to go and do no matter what. I personally have concluded that one of the three elements of faith, and the one most fail to grasp, is absolute trust independent of outcome. It appears to me that your son is there.

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