Well this week was pretty jammed packed full of some really good info from Elder Daniel L. Johnson. He's a member of the Seventy that was born in Mexico and has spent a lot of time working over there. So he knows how to work with the Mexican people. He told us a lot of really neat things about their culture and generally how they think.
But before I get into that I'm gonna talk about the rest of my week. It was pretty darn hot at the beginning of the week, but it cooled down and eventually rained on Thursday I think. It was super nice to have it cool down and not be over a hundred degrees. Sadly it's back up there again and this week is looking pretty darn hot.
Daniel is progressing really well, but he's not actually married, and his wife is still married to someone living in Mexico right now. So once we figured this out we brought our branch president over and they spent a long time trying to figure out how that would all work so they can get married. I guess the fastest it can take is at minimum a 3 month period, so your prayers on their behalf would be really appreciated. They’re both still doing super great though. They showed up to church yesterday in nice clothes for the first time since they began coming to church. He loves to learn and his natural instincts on gospel topics are surprisingly accurate. We also met someone else really cool as well. Her name is Harmosa, or Armosa, you never know because "H" is always silent. Her and her family have had a rough last few months and they're looking for some strength in their lives.
Ok, now to get to Elder Johnson. So the first time we had a meeting with him was on Thursday. So it was a pretty sweet birthday present. Anyways we had a special Spanish conference up in Wenatchee which is about a two hour drive from Yakima. It was a super good conference and I learned a ton from it. To begin we talked about all the promises and prophecies that have been given to or about the Hispanic people, since they're descendants of Lehi. Basically that they are going to grow and become a powerful group of people (or leaders) among the gentile nations (US and Canada). That was really cool to see and it's something that we can see right now. There are a lot of Hispanics with really good paying jobs, working in the government, and such. One of my favorite things I learned from Elder Johnson was that he said that the biggest difference between Mexicans and white people is that Mexicans learn by feelings and white people learn by logic. So he said the best way to teach them is to not beat around the bush trying to explain things. Be blunt, straightforward, and simple, and then bear your testimony to them. I've been working on that a lot this week and have seen some good success. Not that I didn't bear my testimony before, but now I'm focusing on the testimony instead of doctrinal topics. He taught a lot of really good stuff but that's what stuck out the most to me.
Then on Friday we got to have zone conference with him again, so that was pretty awesome. A quote that I really liked from him was "A logical answer leaves as quickly as it comes, but when the Holy Ghost testifies to you - it's yours." I thought that was really cool and it shows just how important praying to know is. So many people try to reason things out, and with this they may get an answer but it won't last long. Another thing that he focused on was the importance of teaching our investigators the nature of God. He said that this is the most skipped over thing by missionaries but it is easily one of the most important. Then he challenged us to figure it all out ourselves. He gave us 5 questions that he challenged us to pray about.
1. Are you really there? / Do you exist?
2. Do you have a body of flesh and bone?
3. Do you know that I exist?
4. Am I really your son (or daughter)?
5. Do you really love me?
He said in order to challenge our investigators to do this we have to do it ourselves. So that night I took the challenge and prayed about all of those questions, and wow it was quite the experience. I'm not really sure how to describe it, but it kinda felt like my soul expanded each time I asked a question and I felt a confirmatory "yes" every time. It was such a strange feeling that describing it sounds weird, but I'm not denying what I felt. What I felt was the Holy Ghost confirming that the answer to each one of those questions was “yes”. It was a really amazing experience, one that I will always remember.
Now what kind of missionary would I be if I didn't challenge you all to do the same? I can promise you that if you do it, that you will get an answer. I know that because I did it and got an answer.
Love you all!!
Washington Yakima Mission