Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Keeping Strong

There are tales of awe, and epics of lore - of dazzling conquerors, and first-rate ventures. These are the legends, the fables we know. And while they're told, and gloriously sold, there are others - of greater value - that nobody knows.

The Book of Mormon captures an account of such significance when speaking of a woman, Abish, a common servant.

There was a missionary named Ammon, and he entered a land without the Gospel. During his labours, many called upon the name of Lord and fell to the earth. It was there, two chapters later, that Abish was found to have already been converted to the Lord.

She lived in a world that bitterly opposed Gospel teachings and, therefore, kept her conversion secret. Fortunately, the Lord was able to use her as a mighty instrument in bringing others to come, and see.

On Tuesday, my companion and I met such a woman. As a first encounter, we thought, she's a friend of a member, and the member would like us to share with her. And that is what we did. We went over, meeting at her workplace, and spoke about things from her past. Her relationship with God proved to be strong - and, as the tears began to fill her eyes, we discovered that she was already converted to the Gospel.

She and her family had met with missionaries years back, and - to this day - she'd continued to read from the Book of Mormon, praying day in and day out for God to prepare away. There was only one problem - her husband, and son, opposed the teachings of the Church greatly.

As we taught, and as we shared, we were able to lighten her burdens, and fill her with hope. Together we prepared a way for us to be able to meet with her family, and to discuss what she believed they needed to hear. Yet, they couldn't know that she was the one that sent us - so we were going to go when they were at home, and she was at work.

This morning, the plans were executed - and, boy, was it intense. We had no idea what we were going to say - no idea what we were going to do. And she was there.

We spoke to her son - our age. And as the conversation started, walls were immediately up, doors were shut, and he wasn't in the least bit interested in entertaining us at his gate (much less in his home). We tried talking, and when he began walking away we thought that all was lost.

We were able to call him back, and with the right words (placed in our mouths) we were able to find that he, himself, was struggling. The topic of faith cut deep, and we saw that his faith in religion was failing. He wanted to know. By nothing short of a miracle, he agreed to pour out his heart, and ask God what he should do, if this was the right path. We see the family on Thursday.

All because of one woman, keeping strong, and fighting to bring her family closer to God.

The week continued with many pleasant experiences, powerful moments, and heartfelt testimonies. Some of which include a man bearing his testimony the very second he received it, returning less-active members finding renewed faith in Christ, and members expressing gratitude, faith, and trust.

I know this Gospel is true, even when others say it isn't. I know He lives, and that He loves us, even when everything seems lost. I know there is hope, even if we don't want to believe it. I know it is, even if we don't see how.

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