November 18, 2013
The Upside of the Roller-Coaster (names have been changed for privacy reasons)
After dinner at the Burke's home, Brother Burke invited us into the living room for a discussion about the Book of Mormon. Brother Giles, who was also eating with us, joined in. Sister Burke and their daughter, June, did not join us. The conversation was nice, but it was definitely lacking something. June was sitting behind us at the table, and I had the thought, "I should ask June to talk about her testimony of the Book of Mormon." I asked, she obliged, and with tears in her eyes she talked about how she came to know it was true. I won't go into details, but it was almost exactly how I came to know it was true. I hadn't ever found anyone with a similar testimony. Sister Burke jokingly chastised us for making her daughter cry and then entered the conversation on her own. I don't know why she needed to talk about it, maybe I needed it. Maybe Brother Giles needed it. Sometimes God leaves us hanging for a little while before we see how much good really happened.
Louis, who we met last week and began teaching, read from the Book of Mormon between lessons once. He said he did it because he was really depressed and he remembered how reading it brought the Spirit into his home before, when we read with him. He recognizes how it can help him. Then this last time, he hadn't read. Instead he got really drunk. During the visit, he said he probably wouldn't stop drinking for a while. Considering how well he was doing before, that was disappointing. But it wasn't discouraging. He'll take one step at a time, starting with reading a chapter between appointments. When we first knocked on his door, I remember we asked "Can we come in and share a message that will change your life?" He was still doubtful, but I know it can change his life. I have faith that it will. That's why Christ did what he has done for us. It's supposed to change us 180 degrees.
We had a barbecue at the local Southern Baptist preacher's house. He said he likes having us over because "No one lights the grill to cook for one." He's going to be moving soon and we've been helping him get organized so he can sell most of his stuff. He needs the help, and it's a joy to help him.
This happened this week.
Love, Elder Jon Harrison Richins