Monday, July 21, 2014

June 30, 2014

It has been a fantastic week.

So much has happened, I don't think I'd ever get everything out into email, but there are a few things I know I want to share with you today.

We picked up four investigators this week! Woohoo! We still have loads of potential investigators to go see as well, so the work is really taking off right now.
I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with a set of missionaries in my district last week. One of them, Elder Buhler, is from American Fork, so he and I had lots to talk about. He said he knows Jenna DeHoyes and has been to their house a few times. He also told me that The Purple Turtle burnt down... Is that true?
The next day I was with an Elder Campbell, working in his area which is Belleville IL. It was a long, hot day full of lot's of walking and riding those fun city buses. At the end of the day, after trying to contact some of their potential investigators but not finding much success, we made our way back to the metro station to catch the next train to the bus station. Walking up the ramps to the boarding area, we passed a man sitting on a bench. I gave him a smile and a friendly 'hello' and kept walking up the ramp. Immediately I got this impression that that man needed us to talk to him. But for some half-witted reason I kept walking until we came to the other end of the boarding area and sat down next to another young man and talked to him a little bit as we awaited the arrival of the train.
When it arrived I got on the vacant train and took the nearest seat to me. A few moments later the same man I said hello to on the ramp walked past and sat down about half a dozen rows in front of us. I thought it was odd that he sat there. He must have walked the entire, nearly empty train to sit there. Once again I got that impression that he needed us to talk to him. Still I sat there. But I couldn't get him out of my mind. I looked at him and I was overcome with feelings of concern for him and thought there was no visible evidence I just knew he was having a very rough day. Still I sat there. If the Spirit wasn't a still, small voice, it would have been screaming at me because it was telling me very clearly and powerfully that this man needed comfort. Simply stupid rationalizations kept coming to my head such as 'Oh, I wont have enough time to get anywhere with him because we're getting off on the first stop and we're halfway there anyway.' Well this is when I felt the quiet, gentle screams of the Spirit as it chastised me for already wasting so much time. Then I swear it nudged me halfway off my seat. I finally, finally came to my senses, brought myself to my feet, and walked over to him. As I sat down in the seat across from him I said, "Hey! Been a hard day, huh?"
Surprised, he looked at me and opened his mouth to say something that would have been a optimistic response, but resisting the urge to lie, he very very quietly said, "Yes."
With 100% guidance from the Spirit I explained how I had been impressed to come over there and tell him "Jesus Christ loves you very much and He is here for you. God loves you." I can't remember everything that came out of my mouth, but I remember bearing testimony of Christ talking about the scripture in Matthew 11:28-30 and encouraging him to come unto Christ. As this happened I literally saw the light come back into his wet eyes. I saw that hope that he had lost return to him.
As the train slowed for the stop, he asked what stop I was getting off. I told him "Right here". He shook my hand and thanked me. I left him with a card in his hand and hope in his soul.
This is what this gospel brings: Access to the healing, cleansing, enabling power of the atonement of Christ, which gives us reason and ability to believe, hope, and endure all things. This is the work of Salvation: To share that with all of Gods children, that they too may have full access to the atonement and enjoy the presence of the God's Holy Spirit. It is the duty of all them who have been warned to warn his neighbor.
Leaving the train, I felt the familiar peace of testifying of Christ and helping another. However, I was also brought to humble correction of my ignorance and procrastination. Oh how I wish I had obeyed that first prompting given to me by the Spirit. How much more could I have helped that man? I have no idea what he was going through that day, but it was quite evident that God did and was desperate to give him the help he desperately needed. God works through us to help those in need of help. It is up to us if we answer the call to help or not. After that experience and thinking of what might have happened had I continued to ignore the prompting, I don't ever want to miss another opportunity. I still haven't quite gathered all of my thoughts on this. There is so much I have to learn about God and following and recognizing His Spirit from this one experience alone. I want to be more in tune and especially more willing to follow. That is my goal.
I know God is real. I know Jesus Christ is God's Son, who came to this earth to put on Himself all of our pains, trials, weaknesses and afflictions so that we could overcome all things and become like God. I know He did overcome all things, therefore we can too. I know that as we continue in faith, believing and trusting in His word, He will work mighty miracles in our lives. And as we trust Him completely and give ourselves to Him, He will improve our nature, helping us become more like Him. I know Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world. He is here to help us. This is His church and His gospel and all things in it will help us find happiness. All things are possible to us because He lives! I know He lives.
I hope all of you will see the Lords hand in your life each day this week, and give thanks to Him for all He has done for you. I want to thank each of you for the influence you have had on me by following the Spirit on my behalf. I pray for your continual love and patience for me as I keep working on being more Christlike to you.
I love you all so much!
-Elder Curtis

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