Monday, January 30, 2017

Spiritual Experiences

Dear Dad,

This week had its highs and lows. The high of the week was definitely hearing from Elder Quentin L. Cook on Tuesday. We had a conference with him and another of the Lima missions. It was a powerful meeting we he said many things that were very insightful. One thing that was very interesting that he said was that the Brethren were trying to distinguish more and more between the Atonement and the Resurrection. He didn't expand on this to much. I think it will be something to look for in upcoming conference talks and other devotionals by the leaders of the church. I have some ideas about why this may be. I doubt my speculations are right so I don't try to dwell on them too much. 

The other thing he said was extremely powerful.

He closed the meeting with a testimony, or a witness, and a blessing. In the witness he said that he is going to try to be more frank about the spiritual experiences he has had in the past. He made sure to let us know that spiritual experiences are not to be taken likely or joked around about, not to be shared with every single person we see. But what he said after was the most frank witness of the Savior I have ever heard in my own life. I could feel the power of his words course throughout my body. The spirit was in that room. Not a sound was heard. I do not know if he will share this witness at the next general conference. I don't share this to show off that I had this experience. I have always felt the church is true. I have always felt the Christ is the Savior. I have not always shown this through my actions, not by any means. 

His words awoke something in me, I truth I have always felt good about Jesus, but I don't think until this point I've truly known: Christ lives, He knows us, He died and suffered for us, and if we turn ourselves to Him, if we try every day to live His Gospel -- having faith in Christ, engaging in sincere and earnest repentance, receiving baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring, or in Spanish, persevering to the end -- He will redeem our souls from the bonds of sin and make us clean. 

The next day we received the new missionary schedule. We have pretty significant changes. Overall the changes are designed to make missionaries better teachers of the gospel. They could also make it easier for people to break rules and become worse teachers of the gospel, but I feel the changes are inspired. For Latin American countries, the wake up time and sleeping time has been changed. We wake up at 7:30 now and go to sleep at 11:30. We proselyte from 10 am to 10:30 pm. This is the first day we officially adopt the changes so I`m not really use to them yet but by next week I should be able to describe them and their effects better. 

The week was pretty normal after that. It will be another month without a baptism. On Saturday at a ward activity a member chewed my companion and I out about how we weren't good enough or friendly enough missionaries. I would be easy to get down about it but I`m not. It is another chance to improve. Maybe he is right. We had five investigators in church on Sunday and will keep working with them to get baptized. My companion was called to be district leader at the start of the new change and so he`s been kinda stressed lately. It will mean we will have a lot of exchanges of the next couple of weeks. the other two sets of elders also have a new gringo a peace so it will be interesting when we do have exchanges to see what goes down. 

Could you give Jack a birthday shout out. I don't have his email and I`m gonna email his dad to wish him a happy birthday but just to make sure, please tell him I hope he had a great day.

I've realized these last few months that missionary service gives you one of the greatest opportunities in your life to change. I'm trying to change. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate the soccer information or information about the country or family. I don't know what it means, actually. I just want to try my best in this life. I want us all to try our best because I want to be with all of you for time and eternity. I use to think that was a given. It`s not. I realize that now. 

These are terrible times for our country. Find peace through the gospel. I don't mean through church members or activities but I mean through the scriptures, through the prophets, through family. Maybe through little Lucky as well, who knows. I love you. I hope you have a great week. I miss you so much. 

Elder McMurray 

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