Thursday, April 11, 2013

Matt #51 Testify

Well everyone what a great General confrence huh? I had the great chance to watch it live with all of you back home but I wont lie... During General Confrence is when I feel the most homesickness in the Mission feild but I realized that many of my dear memories of my family were during confrence, and that explains why! Anyway I just love Confrence... The Spirit we can feel as we feast on the words from the living Prophets and feel their love as they testify and share examples only to strengthen our faith is something thats priceless to us as latter saints. There were many talks that touched my heart and answered many of the questions I needed help with, I especially loved the Preisthood Session and the connection I felt with my own Father as we watched the words of the Prophets together in Spirit but it diffrent locations. I'm not sure how to describe it but I just felt like I was with all of you during this sacred time it was great! The last session on Sunday I also had the chance to watch in Portuguese as I sat with some recent converts who were hearing the Prophet for the first time... I wish you could have seen what I saw family and friends as several recent converts just feasted on the words of the living Prophet with all their energy. I guess when I was back home Confrence became such a normal routine that I really missed the importance of what was happening when they were speaking... but as Thomas S. Monson closed yesterdays Confrence the room that I was sitting in full of faithfull latter day Saints, Investigators, and recent converts grew to a hush and all eyes were on the big screen. As President Monson said his wonderful closing remarks many emotions of joy and gratitude raced through my heart and as I turned and looked at my wonderful Converts I knew they were feeling the same emotions. Family and Friends I testify to you all that I know that Thomas S. Monson is a Prophet of God and he does love each and everyone of us so much. Sometimes we become so relaxed with confrence that we may miss the true meaning of what is happening. Remember we are recieving revelation from a Prophet of God... Thats pretty awesome huh? I loved everything about Confrence! 

One talk that really touched my heart was during the Priesthood session when Our Prophet spoke of the impotance to follow four basic principles to have success. 1. Search the Scriptures. 2. Plan your life with purpose. 3.Teach the truth of the Gospel and Testify. 4.Love the Lord. I would like to focus on the the third point entitled "Testify." During his incredible talk the President Monson mentioned a story of young Missionarys who were teaching a man but the man didnt show much intrest in the message they had to share and as they were living the house the man said "You cant honestly believe that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God." At that final statement the door was shut and the two Missionarys were left only on the front porch. As they were walking away from the house the younger Missionary turned to the Experinced Missionary and said "Elder, he told us we couldnt honestly believe Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God and we did even tell why we know and believe he his! We have to go back." After this statement the younger Missionary returned to the house and knocked on the door... when the man answered this young and inexperinced Missionary testified of the Prophet Joseph Smith and how he knew he was a man called by God. Because of this young Missionarys faith and desire to preach the Gospel and Testify of truth is man now a member of the Church was changed. I had some what of a similar experince just one day before I heard this talk from President Monson... As my wonderful companion and I were finding news to teach we remembered a young women we had taught a few days previously so we made the decison to pass by her house and teach the Book of Mormon. When we showed up to her house she was home but so was her mother and when her mother saw us a smile crossed her face, she seemed very happy to see us! My companin and I looked at each other with big smiles and we were excited to begin teaching because her Mother looked so excited to be there... but when we saw her daughter she had a frown on her face and she wouldnt look us in the eye and then I noticed her mother had a really big scary smile on her face and then I saw it... Her Bible was on her lap wide open and I knew that we had just entered what we as Misisonarys call a "BIBLE BASH LESSON".... the first thing that crossed my mind was "No Elder we shouldnt be here or do this" but it was to late... Round 1 had started and the Scriptures against us began flowing from her mouth. We as Missionarys are not encouraged to be involved with Bible Bashes as they build walls of contention and hate, it blocks the Spirit and allows for no Spiritual progression on both sides of the fight. When all is said and done both sides lose and nothing is accomplished. Only feelings of angry are left behind but it already had started and we are told as Missionarys that when it starts to accept whatever she says and get out of there as soon as possible. Well she talked and attacked us for 45 Minutes and my companion and I didnt say a word. We only agreed with what she said and when she asked a question about doctrine we would respond and testify and then allow her to countinue her attack... It was hard to have her attack are believes and I could tell my companions patience was running thin and so was mine... She could see it and she looked happy and satisfied almost like she won some great victory. To end her final bash she picked up the Book of Mormon and held it up in the air and said or more like shouted to the Heavens "I dont agree with this Bible of your religion and I dont agree of you worship of this man named Joseph Smith!" She then handed me the Sacred Book with a smudge look of accomplishment on her face. As I took the Book of Mormon in my hands I just stared at the front cover and the most over whealming peace came over me... I looked up at this women who was standing in the middle of her living room and with tears of joys in the rims of my eyes and with a smile on my face I said "I have a question for you ma'm... How can you not agree with or not accept something you dont know? I said with a smile and joy "We would like to invite you to hear our message and come to understand why this Book is special and why we show deep love and appreciation for our dear Prophet Joseph Smith. You must understand that we dont worship Jospeh. Look at the cover of the Book of Mormon or look at our nametags. We worship the true God and his Son Jesus Christ. We know these things are true and you can to if you only read and pray of these things." After I said these words my companion also testified and she looked scarred as two young boys were sitting in her living room, who she just attacked for the past hour smiling and bearing testimony of the things she just said werent true! She then said to us "Your both just young boys that are un-experinced in the things of God and the world. Dont worry some day you'll understand what Im saying." We then smiled and told her together "Sorry we may be inexperinced boys but we did recieve an answer from our Heavenly Father these things are true and we cant deny that." She then walked out of the room and said "Your welcome to countinue to speak with my family about your religion but I wont participate any more or listen to what you say about this church." She then walked out with a very confused and angry look on her face. We then looked at her Daughter and she had a puzzeled look on her face. She than said "I dont know what you believe or what this Book is but when you were talking I really felt something... Something diffrent." Can you both please explain what makes you diffrent from all the other realigions. We gladly told her yes and countinued to feel a wonderful Spirit there as we testified of the truthfullness of this Gospel.

Family and Friends I want to bear testimony to you all that I know these things are true... I know many have a hard time excepting the Gospel but we need to remember that its something so simple. Something so special. Something that will change your life. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints truly is Gods church restored on the earth today and when you follow its teaches you will become a new person in Chirst. I love this Gospel and the Experince I am having. I love this work and the amazing people of Brazil. They have touched and blessed my life just like all of you have and I hope that I can repay them and all of you back by working as hard as I can this coming year. Ben I hope you know that I love you so much. I think of and pray for you each day of my time on the Mission. Sometimes I imagine what it will be like once we are all back together but the only thing I think of is a love and Joy that is undescribable. I love the Gospel and I love my Savior. I know my Savior lives and hes always here for us and I hope I can give him my all here in the next year. I also know that Joseph Smith was a true Prophet of God and he saw God the Father and his living and beloved Son Jesus Christ. I love you all so much and I hope you all make this coming week a great week. Love Elder Matthew Ryan Doggett

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