This week was awesome, yet crazy busy with loads of travelling. It's made the time we have to work and find very precious, so we're working hard to stay on top of everything. But here's my miracle for the week:
We met Marwan on Friday evening last week. We asked him about his beliefs in God, and he said he had none. We asked about his background and how he decided that, and he said that it just didn't make sense. We bore a simple testimony of the reality of a Heavenly Father, and invited him to learn more. It was nothing special. I didn't feel a huge manifestation of the spirit or anything crazy, but he said sure so we set up an appointment for Tuesday and went our separate ways. I honestly didn't think he'd be there for the appointment. I texted him before to see if it would still be okay to meet. He said yes, so we went to IKEA to wait for him. And there he was! Standing right outside. He was smoking a cigarette, and seemed to be deep in thought. We asked how his week was. He said that ever since he'd spoken to us, he'd felt something strange. He put his hand over his chest and looked like he was thinking super hard. He said that all he's thought about is God the past few days. He kept saying, "What if He's there? I mean, what if? I'd never thought about it before." We sat down with him, and began to teach. Honestly, I have never felt the spirit more strongly in my life. It was very real, and made my heart pound. As I talked about the Restoration and Joseph Smith, my belief in the event grew. We talked about the Book of Mormon and prayer at the end. When we finished, we gave him the book. He said, "Really? Are you sure? I can't take this.." And when we insisted, he kept thanking us. Before we left, we said his first prayer with him. We sat there silently for a second afterward. Even in the busy IKEA cafe, I felt like us three were in our own little world. We sat silently to let him feel. He told us he's never felt this strongly, and he didn't know how to describe it. And honestly, I don't know how to describe how I felt either.
Also, when I get home, I hope that you'll see a difference in me. I guess I've made many discoveries on my mission, and I've shared a lot of them with you, but here's just one more I was thinking about recently...
When I live the gospel, I am happier. Simple as that. At first, I lived it because that's what I'd learned to do. I'll be completely honest, there was a good chunk of time in my life that I didn't live it in many aspects. I didn't keep certain commandments because I didn't see the need. But there came a time where I knew something needed to change. I wasn't happy. Now I live it because it keeps me happy all the time. Things are still sad at times. I still experience normal grief and sadness from failures, but it's different. I don't know how to describe it. Ha, I guess another thing I've found on my mission is I'm terrible with words and can never adequately express how I really feel. Frustrating, but I'm over it. I just wish I could convey to you the feelings in my heart at this moment. The gospel is true! You don't even have to take my word for it. At no cost to you (actually to your benefit) you can try and live it yourself and see the difference. My pride held me back for so long from actually accepting that it brings peace. And I've seen it out here as well. And it's not just me. I've seen it bring happiness to those who are homeless, I've seen it change those who would appear to have it all - a perfect family with a career they love that brings in money and many friends. I've seen those same people sacrifice for the gospel. Some of my friends here have given up the hope of having a relationship with their parents for the gospel. They've given up careers. And the cool thing is, all these people are different. Each has different lives with different interests and opinions. The gospel has not made them the same. That would defeat God's purposes anyway. The gospel and the Atonement of Jesus Christ is meant to make us happy and perfect in our own way.
So sorry for the rant.
And sorry for being preachy again today.
ANYWAY. Life is good.
Funny: This week a red headed 18 year old that came up to my shoulder asked if he could take me on a date when I'm done being a missionary. #truelove
Reunited at last
Friends from Wales came to visit :)