Monday, March 24, 2014

Like a Child

This week was awesome. It was pretty stressful at first because when you get a new companion and he is new to everything, you kind of have to run the whole zone and area by yourself until they can get a grip of things. It pushed me out of my comfort zone, but it was a great learning experience in the end. Me and Elder Gardner are getting along great. He's a very skilled communicator and he is able to express his thoughts very well. I can't believe how young missionaries are getting out here though...or I am just getting old (relative to missionaries ;)!! Anyways, this ward and area is on fire right now, we are teaching the gospel to so many families. We had 9 people that we invited show up to church on sunday and the Stake Presidency was there for ward conference. Needless to say, it was a legit meeting. 

We also had a baptism this past thursday and a confirmation on Sunday for Rosa Wagner. She is SO COOL!! I love that family, it was such an exciting time. It was an amazing spiritual experience. That family is set to get to the temple in a year now to be sealed forever by Gods power and authority.

We are set to have a baptism this week with a girl named Amber, but there has been some opposition so pray for her!! Then we have another one for sure the week after that. We have baptisms scheduled for every weekend of April so we have a lot of work to do to make sure people are ready to make those covenants. The easy part is the commitment, the hard part is consistency. 

Here is a very special experience to me from this week that I felt I needed to share...

At the baptism on thursday, there was a special musical number performed by one of the young men in the ward on the Ukelele. He sang and played "Oh Lord, My Redeemer". Well during the song, I watched Iran Wagner, Rosa's son, who was baptized 1 month ago out of a pure desire on his own to follow Christ. I watched him as he reacted to the song that was being sung. Sure, the Spirit was very strong in the room, but this boy, Iran, seemed to be having a much different experience then most people in the room. This 10 year old kid had tears streaming down his face with the most calm and peaceful look I had seen in a long time. I could tell that he already had a deep love for this Redeemer that the song was about, but how? As I watched Iran I wondered how it was possible that he already had such a deep love for this "Christ" in the short 10 years of his life? His family had not been active in the church or any church his whole life. He had not been taught about Christ growing up. What was causing these feelings then? They were very real feelings that no one could deny. This 10 year old boy had not yet had any unusual experiences in his life with the Atonement that might have caused these feelings. He had not yet felt on this earth the peace, love and joy that comes because of repentance and forgiveness through Christ's Atonement. He did not yet have a profound knowledge of the scriptures that teach about Christ and what He did for us. He had never seen Christ...How was it possible that he was having such a spiritual experience? Then my answer came to me in a very powerful way by the Spirit. The reason Iran felt the way he did was because this 10 year old boy did know Christ from somewhere. He had already once loved Him from somewhere. He had already felt the Atonement's power from somewhere. Before the "foundations of the earth" Iran had already developed a very deep and trusting relationship with His Redeemer. They had known each other. They didn't just know OF each other. They once had a relationship and Iran had already developed a deep and abiding love for this Jesus Christ before he ever came to earth. He just doesn't remember it always because of some sort of veil, and so it is with us. Deep down inside of Iran, there was an undeniable light, a love in his soul, a yearning for this Jesus Christ who he once lived with. This yearning, or this light that is within all of us, was awakened by the Spirit in the room and it came alive in Iran. For that short moment, Iran's soul/spirit "remembered" what it was like to live in the presence of God and Christ. The Spirit was able to awaken that light because of Iran's humility and his "CHILD-LIKE" state. I'll leave you with this scripture to think about in 3 Nephi 9:22...

Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will receive, for of such is the kingdom of God.Behold, for such have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved.

I know that within each of us there is a yearning for this Christ. It can only be awakened if we become "as a little child, humble, submissive, meek, lowly in heart, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon His Children". The Spirit of God will awaken this "previous impression" in our "souls/spirits" if we will be like a child.  We will then begin to yearn for and remember that Christ who we once knew and loved. "then, is not this real? say unto you, Yea, because it is lightand whatsoever is light, is goodbecause it is discernible,therefore ye must know that it is good; and now behold, after ye have tasted this light is your knowledge perfect? Behold say unto you, Nay; neither must ye lay aside your faith, for ye have only exercised your faith to plant the seed that ye might try the experiment to know if the seed was good..." (Alma 32:35-36).

I love you all.

Elder Dallin Cutler

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