Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Pastor Searching

I had a study this past Wednesday that literally burned me. I felt like Shadrach, Meeshack, and Abednego (yikes on the spelling) burning in a furnace without any pain. I was so filled with the hope the Spirit brings, I left our apartment yelling (in a loving voice) that ´´Christ loves you!´´ Realizing how ridiculous I was, I cooled down a little bit, but not very much. Here´s why.

I had already had this knowledge in my head but the Spirit finally burned the testimony in my heart that I couldn't help but share it. This is the time in the history of the world unlike anything before. Every prophet, every dispensation, looked and awed at our day - probably giving them motivation. How depressing it would be to be a prophet back in the days of Moses or Noah, knowing that your work would eventually end in apostasy? As Elder Holland has said, they probably were able to stiffen their shoulders knowing that one day, our day, the gospel would roll forth and spread to every land and reach every heart. I'm living in this day. I'm a missionary who just got subbed in to hit a couple free-throws and seal the deal at the end of the game.
I started thinking about the examples of the missionaries in the scriptures. One of them that inspired me was Ammon, who stood bold in front of the king, called him to repentance, and converted the entire land! Right now, I'm only reaching one person at a time. If I'm lucky, baptizing or rescuing one soul every other week. But this is the TIME for missionary work. Because of Ammon´s example, along with the story of Christ and Peter at the end of the book of John, I went ´´Pastor Searching.´´
Every street contact I did this week that ended in ´´Sorry, I have my own religion,´´ I asked them where their leader lived. AsSunday night came to a close, we had 7 addresses of pastors and leaders of different churches here in Soccorro - 7th day Adventist, Jehovah Witness, Catholic, Congregation of Christians... You name it, we have it! Why? I have this dream of baptizing hundreds and hundreds of people, and I can´t do this only going door to door.
As I explained last week, I´ve been putting the Book of Mormon up to the test to every one of these leaders. Not with the purpose to boost my pride, but to have the opportunity to reach more of our Heavenly Father´s children. If I could work with the Spirit to convert one leader, imagine how many souls would be rescued... It gives me goosebumps.

I quickly learned however how key it is to be bold. Ive begun standing face to face (not bible bashing) and putting all the marbles on the table with the Book of Mormon. 7th day worship, mode of baptism, priest craft, etc... All based on the Book of Mormon. With my companion, we have begun inviting these leaders to be baptized. One has already accepted, on the condition if the Book of Mormon is true (yes! count on it!)

Anyway, I knelt down one night this week incredibly sad. I saw for the first time in my life, the hand of the enemy incredibly evident. Just about every drug that exists I saw this week, 12 year old girls living with 20 year old men, 27 year old men living with 44 year old women... The sin that exists in this city was killing me, so I knelt down with a desire to reach more, faster.
During this prayer, the story of Peter and Christ came to my mind, proving that prayer is a two way communication.

Peter and the apostles fished the entire night and didn't catch one fish. They didn't catch ONE SINGLE, TINY FISH, not even a bass, that seems to eat the same bait off the same hook every ten minutes. Christ that morning walked along the shore and simply said,
´´Children! (You look hungry!) Do you have anything to eat?´´
Frustrated probably, they replied, ´´No! Leave us alone!´´
 With a simple command to put their fishing net on the other side of the boat, and obedience to this command, the apostles caught 153 fish - bearing testimony to John that, ´´It was the Lord.´´
The two questions, ´´Children, are you hungry?´´ and ``(Elder Welch) do you love me?´´ are still causing me to think. I've changed and changed and changed to try to put my line on the ´´other side of the boat´´ but I'm not dragging in the 153 fishes that Peter and the apostles dragged in. Why not, if this is the time, baptize 153 in one setting? or 204 like Alma did at the waters of Mormon. Orrrr, 3000 like Peter did later in Acts chapter 2.

I'm examining where my fishing net is, and will strive to put it on the right side of the boat this week. I'm excited for the results!

With faith!
Elder Welch

1 comment:

  1. Elder Welch,

    Your post here struck a chord with me. Like you, I have been upset many times by these men who abuse young girls. When you come that close to the enemy, it really burns you up, and angers your spirit. I know how you feel.

    It reminds me of the essay recently posted on the Church website, lds.org, about the prophet Joseph Smith.

    "Most of those sealed to Joseph Smith were between 20 and 40 years of age at the time of their sealing to him. The oldest, Fanny Young, was 56 years old. The youngest was Helen Mar Kimball, daughter of Joseph’s close friends Heber C. and Vilate Murray Kimball, who was sealed to Joseph several months before her 15th birthday. Marriage at such an age, inappropriate by today’s standards, was legal in that era, and some women married in their mid-teens."

    Here's a link to the essay published in your own language. Keep up the good fight against those who would abuse young girls, especially the ones that already have a wife (or several).