Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 63 - October 5, 2015


Looking back throughout the course of my mission, I've come to realize how blessed we truly are.  I've seen the hand of the Lord countless times, I've seen and experienced God's perfect and infinite love He has for His children and most importantly, I've seen, felt and have come to know that the blessings of the Atonement are infinite when we come unto him, purify our hearts, and consecrate our minds.

The miracle of which I want to share today is one I saw in my fourth transfer serving in my first area, 광주.
It was a cold Wednesday night after zone conference when Elder Oehler and I were on the street walking home, talking and pondering upon what we had just learned in the conference and how we could apply the principles we learned in our everyday missionary work.  It was when President Shin first came out with the consecration talk and it was the time in our mission when we were focusing on consecration ourselves, giving up everything for the Lord, becoming one as a Daejeon Mission.  I remember at the time in our companionship, we didn't have a lot of investigators--if any at all.  I remember talking with Elder Oehler and hearing about some of his past experiences and I yearned for my own.  I was a young missionary and I remember telling Elder Oehler that I just wanted an investigator to love.  I have always heard missionaries talking about the perfect Christ-like love you see and feel when you teach and progress with investigators in the Gospel, but being a young missionary and not being able to quite hold on to investigators long enough, I hadn't quite experienced it yet.
As we arrived to our home that night after planning, I remember us sharing a few more of our thoughts and feelings from the uplifting meeting, coming to a conclusion, that in order to truly humble and consecrate ourselves, becoming one, giving everything to the Lord, we would dedicate a 24-hour fast to Him, calling upon His name and asking for His help.  Throughout the course of the fast, we shared ideas and set goals for the things we wanted to accomplish. We wrote down our weaknesses and any difficulties in  obedience where improvement was needed.  We made plans and did so accordingly.

Being the start of a new transfer, we knew we had a fresh start and the opportunity of baptizing someone within the period of those upcoming six weeks.  We understood it was according to God's will but made the promise to trust in Him to lead us to His prepared children. 
As the fast came to an end, we knelt down and offered a prayer, telling the Lord what it was exactly that we were able to realize during the course of the fast.  We told Him of our plans and how we would carry them out throughout the transfer.  Most importantly, we asked the Lord to please guide us in our everyday efforts and to receive special guidance from the Spirit. 

After ending the fast, I remember having a feeling of urgency that we needed to go somewhere.  I remember Elder Oehler as well having the same sense of urgency, not quite understanding what it was or where it was coming from. According to the feeling of which we felt, we directly acted and we went outside.  I will never forget the feeling that was in my heart that day as we walked out the door, feeling the special Love of God.  

After being in the area for already one transfer, there were two paths to take to get out to the main street.  I recall just about every day taking the left path.  But the day we ended our fast as we went down the left path, I had a feeling come in to my heart that we needed to take the right path that day.  I ignored the feeling and continued down the path.  The feeling came very strongly again.  I finally told my companion.  We agreed and said, "Why not Choose the Right?!" (CTR)  
As we got down to the bottom of the hill down the right path, I remember having another feeling.  "Look behind you."  It was a very strong feeling that I will forever remember.  We introduced ourselves to the first person we talked to that day... It was six weeks later that this young college student who became my eternal friend, 천준상 came unto the waters of baptism to commit to follow the Savior Jesus Christ for the rest of his life by being baptized.  During the course of teaching him, we fasted and prayed for him.  I also recall us fasting for him to receive his witness that the Savior lives and that God knows him perfectly.  Immediately after breaking our fast that day, he suddenly called and told us that he believed God and His Son, Jesus Christ, live.

That day my testimony was forever impacted, and I came to know that God Lives and His Son Jesus Christ is with us every step of the way.  I am grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He lives and loves us perfectly. I am grateful for my mission and words can't quite describe the love I have for my mission, these people, the Gospel, and the Savior. He is our Redeemer and in deed, he is the way.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Elder Cole Johnson 

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