This week was so awesome!! We have had the chance to be able to do TRC with a lot of return missionaries and I got to teach a native Armenian, and it was awesome!! yesterday, we got to Skype a non-member in Armenia, I can’t say who any of these people’s names are right now sadly, but I can tell you that it’s so fun being able to talk with people from there!
I also had some challenges with faith, as usual. Actually, one of the experiences was more about learning how you should go into a first lesson. I was so confused at what I should do and how I should go about things. So, I talked with one of my teachers for about an hour and half just about what I should do. She showed me in chapter 10 of preach my gospel the how to begin teaching section. As a class we have looked at it multiple times but I never took much consideration into it until she had shown me a couple days ago. It’s really powerful, because we are not secretive with what our goals are with them are.
Also, yesterday me and my companion were preparing for one of our investigators. She had a question that she asked last time about if she already believes the book of Mormon is the word of God, why does she need to pray to him about it. So, today was the day that we were going to confront this and I had planned for me to tell her of my experience and why we still need to pray. But, I had no clue what we were supposed to do afterwards; nothing was clicking, because nothing was right. Literally everything that thought we could teach her just didn’t make sense in my mind. It was a new feeling because every single lesson that he have ever prepared always felt like the right lesson for them because we were working through the spirit, and this time I realized that the spirit just wasn’t with me and it started to get me down, really down. Nothing was making sense the next couple hours and I had prayed multiple times for help and for the spirit to be with me, but it just wasn’t working. So, about 7 hours had passed and I was still struggling and we were going into to teach Nooneh. I told my companion that maybe this is one of those times where we don’t know her needs and we should do our best to be guided by the spirit, so we prayed and went in. A couple minutes had passed, I had brought a picture of Christ with me and I looked down at it and looked back up at her and I told her that I had been thinking about her question the past couple days and did my best to answer it for her, but, I told her I just wanted to share with her my experience. I explained to her that I was in the same position as her and I believed the Book of Mormon was true and was wondering why I should still pray. So, I told her I decided to pray just to see if he would answer and he did. I told her that why we still pray is so that the answer is from God, so it is undeniable and it becomes knowledge rather than faith or belief. When I told her that I had the most peaceful feeling I have ever felt, it was then that I realized that the Holy Ghost is my best friend and my greatest ally. I started to cry afterwards because of how happy I was that God had allowed me to share that experience and how much it helped my testimony.
I constantly find my testimony getting strengthened here. I have gone through a lot of trials here but I have always pressed forward with faith and have done my best to follow the rules and do what is necessary to keep the spirit with me. I want to apologize for how long this letter is, but, I know that if you press forward with faith, doing anything possible to have the spirit with you and continually thinking about Christ, your life will change and you will be more receptive to spiritual truths. The reason I also put the part where I looked at Christ is because how can somebody ever stay in a bad mood or not want to become better when you are looking toward Christ. It’s amazing what he has done for us. He is the reason that we go on missions and why we can return to our heavenly father.
Have fun and Merry Christmas!!! I pray for every one of you all the time!!!
Elder Andrew Porcelli