Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Week 80, I know that the Book of Mormon is true! I know it.

I am getting transferred! I was shocked when I heard that I was leaving. I have only been here for 3 transfers (just 4 months). I was feeling that I did not work hard enough here in Jamaica and didn't do my part. I was praying earnestly that I could just feel the spirit and know that I am worthy and ready to move on from this area. I baptized Lovern, and Mike Davis. I have been an influence to many people here in this area! I love this ward in Jamaica. Bro Hack has done an awesome job as we have been putting together a "teaching the teachers how to teach" class and he announced it in Elder's Quorum. We met with the Elders Quorum presidency and made a plan to have every Elder have a temple recommend by June 29th. The EQ Pres announced it in class and as I was sitting there, I felt that this is what The Lord wanted me to do- strengthen the ward. This ward does not have much motivation and I feel that because of The Lord leading me I was able to be a huge asset to this ward, helping the auxiliary leaders has blessed me tremendously. I know that I did what The Lord wanted me to do here. I will miss Jamaica.

We also got 20 new investigators again this transfer!

Michael and Tiffany's lesson was awesome! Sister Mendoza came with us as well which made it even better. We made a nice PowerPoint presentation on temples and the different things we do inside and it was just what they needed as they were thinking about temples and getting sealed. They are walking miracles! Tiffany has seen mane blessings as she has started believing in God and exercising faith. She has seen her relationship with her mother heal and she miraculously got Sundays off! She had a other job interview with Denny's and asked the corporate manager interviewing her for Sundays off because she is Mormon (she technically isn't yet) and the manager said "of course, I am Mormon too". What in the world!? This is NYC. That never happens! Michael has had the same thing happen too. He has been listening to the lessons in church about work and honesty and he found a job interview after he was tired searching, but he just felt that because he learned that he needs to work hard because of the lesson he received he looked one more time to find that there was going to be a job interview at a restaurant in Time Square in the next we hours so he got dressed and hurried down. It was a group interview and the other people were very qualified for the job as a server. They were corporate servers, restaurant managers, and he had had a year of experience at a restaurant and can't carry 7 plates at a time like they can. He said that he wanted to be dishonest about his skills to look better, but because of the lesson in church he knew that honesty was important so he didn't lie. He was hired right after the interview! Obedience brings blessings. They are amazing. I just felt the spirit as I was teaching them! I love this couple. 

The beginning of the week was a bit crazy as well. Just from last week with all the masonry stuff, I was again bombarded with more Anti-Mormon individuals. One man that the sisters gave a church tour to was Atheist, but said that he would be Mormon if he did believe. He talked about how the Book of Mormon is such foolishness, etc. That didn't bother me at all, but then at another lesson we had that same night, one of my favorite families was giving us some grief about the doctrine of the Restoration. They were telling us to be careful not to grieve the spirit by what we were saying (that did offend me a bit). He asked us to open our hearts and really ask God if what he have is true. By this point I was just so frustrated with all of this. With all of this opposition, I needed some answers from my Father in Heaven
I pleaded with the Lord to help me understand his ways and his path. I love the Lord and want to follow Him. I acknowledged my weaknesses. I told him my struggles, my questions, and my fears. I told Him that I needed a witness if the Book of Mormon was true, if Joseph Smith was truly called as a Prophet, and if Jesus Christ was the Savior. I felt that I have received a witness many years ago, but pleaded for one more so that I could continue to share His word with conviction. After I pleaded for what felt like an hour, I opened my mind and I allowed the Lord to speak. I felt strongly that Jesus was the Christ and that God was my Father. My mind was drawn back to a time when I was 16 years old when I was in the first hour of hour worship service; the speaker said “God and Jesus Christ love you”. That simple testimony filled my soul. I felt the Lord’s love surround me and knew that they loved me. A few months later while attending a wedding in Salt Lake City, Utah, my family and I went into a visitor’s center at Temple Square. On the second floor of the building, which is accessed by a curved ramp way, houses a large statue of Christ called the “Christus”. I remember walking up that ramp way next to my mom and a strong, warm feeling entered my heart. When I beheld the Christus statue, the Holy Ghost bore witness to me that Jesus Christ was the Savior. I know He lives. After I thanked the Lord for giving me this witness I asked for more.

As I sat waiting for further inspiration, I began thinking about Joseph Smith. I again felt my mind was enlightened and I felt strongly that he was indeed called as a Prophet of God. My mind was brought back to more experiences when I was in high school of watching an hour long film of the life of Joseph when the part of the movie where Joseph Smith sees God and Jesus Christ, I remember having this incredibly strong feeling in my heart and in my mind that I knew he was a Prophet. I have had many other instances where the Holy Ghost has testified to me that he was called by God.

I also know that the Book of Mormon is true! I know it. I felt as I continued to listen to the Spirit that it is true and is divine scripture written by ancient prophets. With the Book of Mormon as a sacred companion to the Bible, we gain so much understanding of the Godhead and the role of the Savior’s Atonement.

Elder Hooper

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