My Faithful Blog Followers,
It's still raining here in Ohio. I'm wondering if I should start building an arc and collect the animals two-by-two... I'll probably be okay. But we've been having some pretty wicked thunder/lightening storms. We were driving two days ago and a HUGE bolt of lightening shot across the sky. So I pulled over into the parking lot of The First Christian Church (people were looking at us funny) and we sat and watched the lightening for a couple minutes. It would streak across they sky, and then the thunder would boom so loudly that you would think someone shot a gun right by your ear! And I'm not exaggerating! It was loud! And then it started to pour rain really, really hard - I thought it was a monsoon or something, but my companion assured me it was just a rain storm. The lady at the front desk of the library just told one of her co-workers we are expecting rain everyday this week. Sounds like I'd better go buy some arm-floaties!
It was transfers week this week (I'm staying in Canton) and we have quite a few changes in our zone. Change is always good, and we're excited to see what we can accomplish this transfer (a transfer = 6 weeks).
We taught the Neville's and Dorothy again this week. Unfortunately the William's called us and told us that they would like to end our meetings, that they don't want to become Mormon anymore. This kind of news is always hard, but it's important to stay postitive and know that the Lord will take care of everything.
The Nevilles are truly feasting upon the words of Christ and write down many questions for us from their reading of The Book of Mormon. Sister Neville tells us that she finds the Book of Mormon so much easier to understand than the Bible, yet they seem and feel so similar. She also noted that when she has been reading during her lunch break at work, she seems to always gets interrupted! When she would read the Bible at work before we met her, no one ever distracted her, but ever since the Book of Mormon she feels like it's hard to find time to read it - but this doesn't stop her! She recognized that it is definitely Satan trying to pull her away from reading something that would help her grow closer to God.
What she likes about the Book of Mormon is it's simplicity. The Bible can be interpreted in so many ways (why do we have so many churches? Ah! Joseph Smith asked a similar question) while the Book of Mormon is much more direct. A concept that would make sense as we look at the history of the two books. Both writings come from Prophets called by God. The Bible originates from the Middle Eastern part of the world, the Book of Mormon from the Americas. The Bible is a compilation of the writings of Apostles and Prophets, put together by a group of men who decided what should and should not be in the Bible and has been translated numerous times- what precious truths have been taken out and lost? We don't know. The Book of Mormon is also a compilation of the prophets, was abridged and put together by a prophet, and hundreds of years later was translated once by a prophet. We can find comfort in knowing that the Book of Mormon is so completely true to it's original writings. And thus it would make sense why it's so much easier to understand. God wouldn't want his prophets to writing confusing and controversial doctrines in his Holy book. He has made his commandments simple enough for EVERYONE to understand, regardless of your schooling or spirituality. I'm glad that the Nevilles are finding such comfort and peace as they read the Book of Mormon, because I find similar peace and understanding as I read. As Joseph Smith said, "the Book of Mormon [is] the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book" (Introduction to The Book of Mormon).
In The Doctrine and Covenants it reads, "Wherefore, he that preacheth and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together" (Section 50 verse 22). This is how I feel when I teach our investigators by the Spirit; as I teach them, they teach me. We understand one another and are both edified by the Holy Ghost. My testimony has grown so much on my mission, and I imagine it will continue to grow. I have witnessed a light enter into people's eyes as they learn more about this true gospel. As verse 24 in the same section reads, "That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day." Dorothy's baptism is scheduled for this Saturday and we are so excited for her to make these wonderful convenents with our Heavenly Father. I am so grateful to have been able to see the light enter her eyes and fill her life.
I love what I am doing right now. I can feel myself coming closer to my Heavenly Father each and every day. I know that we can all find such great peace and a literal "filling" feeling as we come closer to him and witness His great love for us.
Have a geat week!
Love, Elder Dransfield
District Picture last week before transfers