Okay, so I only have 4 stories to share and thats all I have this week. I’ll start in order from least spiritual to most spiritual.
1. Elder Rodríguez and I ate at this members house on…I think thursday. She was telling us about her tortillas, “the best thing in the world”. However, her special tortillas were really just old tortillas burned to a crisp. She gave us one. We choked that thing down as a team. We felt so accomplished. (She wasn’t sitting at the table with us, she just left us and was cooking or cleaning around the house.) Then she brought us another. Except this time it was at least 3 days old. I took a bite and determined we were not going to eat another bite. She came back over and told us to keep eating it. Then she left. I suggested we throw it out the window. But Elder Rodríguez said she might find it, so we broke it up into 4 pieces and shoved it in our pockets. We finished the dinner and shared a scripture with her etc. We left. We realized we hadn’t asked for references from her. So we went back. Elder Rodríguez went to pull out his planner (as did I, but I was more careful) and as he did so, out popped the piece of un-eaten tortilla onto the floor. His eyes were SOO wide…. hahaha… I’m actually laughing right now as I’m writing this. The sweet Hermanas eyes darted to the piece and then up to Elder Rodríguez. He reluctantly picked it up, looked at her, shoved it in his mouth, and choked it down while she watched. Not a Word was exchanged during this whole experience. Funniest thing I’ve seen since I’ve been out here.
2. We met another drunk guy on the road. We lovingly named that road “Calle Boracho”. He was sitting on this….curb thingy…and he called us over because he wanted to hear the Word of god. So we talked to him a bit. As Elder Rodríguez was teaching him, he went to take a drink of his alcohol mixed with Coca Cola. I screamed “NOOOO MIGUEL AHHHHH!” Elder Rodríguez busted up in laughter and the boracho was scared out of his mind!! He begged me not to hit him…? He actually continued to plead with us not to hit him while we pulled out a Word of Wisdom pamphlet and lovingly gave it to him. Later we found him passed out on the curb.
3. This is the first miracle. So we had “V” (recent convert from the family we baptized) going around to lessons with us. We were in a Colonia, which is the most dangerous área at night. Our lesson got out a Little late. Apparently the whole time we were walking down the road, Elder Rodríguez was praying for a taxi to drive by, to keep us safe. Taxis are extremely uncommon in this área. I had no idea he was doing this until later. As we were walking, he got a call from the zone leaders, and while he was busy talking to the zone leaders, a taxi drove by and pulled over. The taxi man asked in English “Hey man want a ride?” I said “No gracias no tenemos dinero”(No Thank you, we don’t have money). The taxi man then said “oh no, no, don’t worry about that, hop in!” I got Elder Rodríguez attention and he was amazed. He drove us everywhere we needed to go and then to our house. During the ride, we learned that he had worked in the US for a few years, and “the gringos were always so nice to him, so whenever he sees a gringo, he sees it as a service opportunity”. That was just a pure miracle.
4. This is cooler, at least in my mind, than number 3, because it was also a learning experience for me. We were trapped in this lady’s house after a lesson because it was raining so hard we couldn’t leave. We prayed with her together and asked if the rain would stop, according to our faith and the will of God. During the prayer the rain let up just enough so we could leave, but the change in rain was hardly noticeable. I figured it was a test of faith, so I charged out into the rain and Elder Rodríguez followed. We got soaked. We found refuge under another Little shelter after a minute or two. We stopped there for a moment. Elder Rodríguez said “well I guess its just not the will of God” and for a second I agreed, but then I realized we didn’t do everything we could. I said “Or maybe we haven’t shown enough faith. Lets go.” and so we charged out again. The rain let up a little more. Over the next 4 minutes the rain let up extremely gradually. By the time we made it to our next appointment we were completely soaked (except my socks because of my awesome boots…thanks mom and dad!!!), but the rain had stopped! This whole experience lasted about 10 minutes. It was a miracle that the rain stopped. I will testify to that. But it didn’t stop the second we prayed. No, it was more miraculous than that. It tested our faith. And we were able to learn that we don’t see miracles or gain faith until after trials, tests of faith. And sometimes, we need to be completely soaked before we make it to the other side and see our good works and the hand of God in our lives. It was just like life.
This is my testimony. I know that Jesúscristo established his church on the earth with a very specific authority, called the priesthood, which he gave to his apostles. I know that we have that exact same authority, and that exact same church, on the earth today, because of a prophet named Joseph Smith who restored the church through the power and direction of God. We have a prophet ON THE EARTH TODAY, who is just like Moses or Noah or Isaiah, and who’s purpose is to lead and to guide us. This coming weekend you can hear the words of that very prophet and 12 apostles, just like Jesucristo had, by watching General Conference. I implore you to watch it. If the testimonies of the prophets in the Bible and the Book of Mormon aren’t enough, or if the testimonies of Joseph Smith and the witnesses in the front of the Book of Mormon aren’t enough, or if the testimonies of the prophets aren’t enough, then take my simple but strong testimony. I know that God lives and loves us. I know that Jesús Christ died, was resurrected, and lives so that we can return to live with God someday. There is no problem, no trial, and no pain that cannot be mended through Jesús Christ. And I 100% guarantee that there is no struggle that we can possibly have in this life that cannot be answered in the Scriptures. Its amazing that there are so many people, so many problems, and so many situations that are so different from one another. Yet there is only one path and one way. And that path can help EVERY SINGLE ONE of those struggles. Will you need to work a little for it? Yes, just like everything good in this life. Will you need to exercise a particle of faith? Yes. But its true. And if none of these testimonies are enough for you, then pray to God and ask yourself. Ask him if Joseph Smith was a prophet. Read one chapter of the Book of Mormon, and then ask him if the Book of Mormon is his Word. Or, just ask him if he’s there at all, and if he loves you. If you ask in faith, or even if you just ask with a desire to have faith, I can guarantee you will receive an answer. You will feel the Holy Ghost confirm the truth of these things in your heart. You will feel peace, love, and tranquility. That is the Holy Ghost. That is your answer. God is not a God of confusión. He’s a God of order. All we have to do is ask. If you ask, ye shall receive. If you knock, it shall be opened to you.
With love, Elder Roberts