Monday, September 1, 2014

Gaining My Own Testimony - July 28, 2014
 
Sorry I can´t be there to help Hunter out to prepare for college... but yes you should probably get started on that long list of things he still is lacking for school. Glad to hear you had a good time with cousin Broc.  There is definitely no dull moment when he's around.  
I´m still chilling out here in Puerto Cortes with Hermana Luna.  Today I took out money to start buying you people cool things from Honduras, so please send requests. 

Things suddenly started going very downhill this week, idk why. Our investigators  suddenly started fighting and decided they don´t want to be together anymore.  Our other investigator that was so incredibly smart and really looking for the truth in his life, even to the point that he said he´d like to become a missionary one day, decided life would be easier if he stuck with his old church where his family goes.  Our investigator who has always had to work on Sundays but at last had this past Sunday off, decided at the very last minute to not go.  And so we had exactly ZERO investigators at church on Sunday.  This is something that is just shameful if you are a missionary here in Central America.... Also we found out a recent convert has been meeting with a witch in Guatemala these past few weeks, as apparently she comes from a family that practices witchcraft.  WHAT?!  Idk why things suddenly started going so very down south all at once, but I guess that just means we´ve got to work a little bit harder.  Things just get a little bit stressful sometimes.
I know more than ever that this gospel is true and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church in existence.  Whenever I feel disconnected from the spiritual side of things or feel like God´s not listening to my prayers, I just have to think how is it that I received my testimony that these things are true.  Even those of us who have been members our whole lives must search for our own answers from our Heavenly Father.  It was clear to me this week as Saturday in the morning we left with a young member who has always been a member of the church her whole life.  In a lesson we asked her to share how the Book of Mormon had helped her in her life, and she didn´t even speak.  We thought she was just nervous because it was her first time visiting, but she revealed to us that she had never actually read the Book of Mormon and really didn´t know if it was true or not and just was feeling really bad about herself.... In contrast that same day in the afternoon we left to visit with a girl who is 17 and was baptized just a month ago, but shared openly all her feelings about the gospel, about Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon as she really knows in her heart that those things are true and thus has a desire to share it with everyone.  All of us must seek our own testimony and knowledge of how to grow closer to our Savior Jesus Christ.

When I was 17 I went to a summer school program at Stanford University and met people from all over the world from all backgrounds and religions.  And while many respected my religious beliefs, others questioned and ridiculed them and got me to think, "Why is it that I live the way I live?"  I felt like right then, as soon in my life I´d be running off to college and all the big decisions in life were coming my way, that I needed to decide if I really wanted to stay in the church where my parents raised me, or go in a new direction.  I always knew in my heart since I was a little girl that there was a God, so I just told my Heavenly Father in that moment that I was willing to go in whatever path He wanted to take me, if He would just reveal to me what that was.  I was willing to be Baptist, Evangelist, Jehovah´s Witness, Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, whatever, I just wanted to know what it is that God really wanted of me.  And like everyone knows, if you want to know if the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church, you´ve got to read the Book of Mormon.
Summer 2011 at Stanford

 
So every single night after all my classes and homework, I would go sit in my bed in my dorm and read the Book of Mormon,  and I would pray to God to let me know if the Book of Mormon was really true and if this was really His church or not. 
After just two weeks of praying and reading every night to really know if those things were true, I was sitting alone in my dorm reading the Book of Mormon and just had the most peaceful feeling.  I felt as if angels were in my room with me.  It was so strong the peace I felt I knew it did not come from myself, but from God and I knew that the Book of Mormon really is true and that His church was where God wanted me to stay. 
God answers our prayers.  He will lead and guide us, but only when we are willing to do as He tells us. 
 
If the Book of Mormon really is true, that means Joseph Smith was a Prophet who saw God the Father and His son Jesus Christ.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church as Christ sent three of His original apostles to give Joseph Smith the same priesthood power Jesus Christ used Himself in ancient times to baptize, heal the sick, and raise the dead.  This is a divine authority that comes directly from God and only one church can have it.  Straight is the way and narrow the gate that leads to Salvation... not all the churches can be right as suddenly that pathway grows pretty darn wide quickly. 
As a representative of Jesus Christ, I testify that Joseph Smith was a prophet, just as Moses, Abraham, Noah, and Enoch.  Our Heavenly Father still leads and guides us today through His servant Thomas S. Monson.   I know it because the angels of God have witnessed it to me and no one can tell me otherwise. 
If God has answered our prayers, we must follow through with the answer.  Those answers don´t magically change with the changing of the times.  If it was right when you received your answer, well it is still right. 
Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith as President Uchtdorf says.  And don´t be a blind saint.  Seek and the answers of heaven can be opened unto you. 

I love you and thank you for all the love and hope you bring to my life!  Keep calm and preach the gospel wherever you may be found.
Hermana Johnson

 

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