Yeeeeaaaahhh... I talk too much. Sorry... I'll try and keep it a little more readable this week, though no promises are made.
The exciting news from this week goes pretty much along with last week's; Cody and Lindsey. They are both moving along so rapidly, it can be hard to keep up with them! On top of that, the members in the ward are starting to get the missionary fever, with everyone doing boatloads to fellowship, share, teach, and invite. We actually had one of only a very few dinners where the members invited one of our investigators! That one was for Lindsey and Nick, and it went awesome. Lindsey even asked for a priesthood blessing afterwards, and once again said how much the Spirit has touched her over the past few weeks. Thanks be to Nick for being so out going and fearless! Now, we are just counting down the days until she gets baptized, which happens to be on General Conference Saturday. We're excited...
On Cody's end of things, the mission is full of all kinds of firsts, and I had another one on Saturday. I went to my first Baseball Game! ...It was good, just slow. We left after the third inning, because it had already been two hours, and we had work to do. It was still really fun, and Cody was the one who invited us, so it was a great chance to get to know him a bit more, and for me to learn about something new. One of the things that stood out to me? Baseball is as much of learning a new language, as learning a sport. The words these guys were spitting out just flew right over my head half of the time, and the other half stayed just low enough to clock me in the forehead, before jetting passed me. By the time that we left, I did start catching on to some of the lingo, but it was still hit or miss.
We did have another really good lesson with Cody, too. It was Sunday afternoon, and he had stayed through all three meetings, like he usually does. This Sunday, though, both the Elder's Quorum and the High Priest group were missing their teachers, so we all met with the High Priests, and the Group Leader gave the lesson. It kind of devolved into a jumbled up discussion about Adam's authority, Priesthood Lines of Authority, and other deep stuff that I can barely get a grip of. I looked at Cody towards the end of the lesson, and he had an expression on his face that was somewhere between shell-shocked and deer-in-the-headlights. When class was over, I asked if his head had stopped spinning yet. He smiled and shook his head hard.
During the actual lesson, Cody said that he had been to a lot of churches over time, and none of them had what we had, with the priesthood and the different quorums, and all of the different titles that were being thrown around, such as elder or high priest. We were able to show him how Christ had set up His church while he was on the earth, and as part of that, he gave different people various callings, along with the authority to act in God's name, in other words, the priesthood. That led smoothly into teaching the Great Apostasy, and the Restoration through Joseph Smith. It never stops standing out to me, how much that simple phrase that Joseph uses to describe the First Vision affects people when they hear it.
"I saw a pillar of light, exactly over my head, which descended gradually, until it fell upon me. When the light rested upon me, I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name, and said, pointing to the other, "This is my Beloved Son. Hear him.'"
Just like it always does, that hit Cody pretty hard, from just what I could see. As the lesson went on, Cody told us that he's been thinking a lot about baptism, and something keeps telling him that he needs to do it, but he wants to make sure that he understands everything that he needs to before he makes that decision. We were able to tell him that when he is prompted to do something good, it's the Holy Ghost telling him, and that we don't have to know everything in order to be baptized. I made sure to stress that the fact that he is reading the scriptures, that he's praying, and that he's coming to church, really is enough. He'll learn the things that he needs as time goes on, and just the fact that he is willing to do those things that will bring him closer to Christ, shows that he is doing what he needs to. Elder Reischman challenged him to read 2 Nephi 31, and I have a feeling that we will see some major progress the next time we teach him.
Well, I did a little bit better. It's only half mind numbing, rather than all the way. Thanks for reading these things, and for everything else.
Love, Elder Nathanael Stuver