Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Highs and Lows and Finally Learning How to Pray :)

Hi Family!
Sport Night
This week we had a lot of highs and lows. We saw a lot of miracles and a lot of disappointments. We had a baptism scheduled for Sunday, but he was unable to make that date. He is not quite feeling ready and he got a little sick. We met with him yesterday, shared a lesson on the atonement, filled out some baptismal forms, and then asked him to decide on a new date. It was overall a pretty effective lesson. His baptism has been rescheduled for the 17th of next month (May). That will be right at the end of the transfer, so we are ending with a bang! 

One of the highs happened while I was on splits with our zone leader. We found one of our investigators who had dropped off the map a few weeks ago and stopped answering our calls. I was so glad to see him! I invited him to a ping pong night that we hold pretty regularly at the church and he came and asked us to teach him while we were there. That was one of our miracles. Another miracle was that I was able to share Michael's conversion story and some of my experiences during that time, with one of our investigators. Afterwards he accepted our invitation to be baptized! He is still deciding on a date, but he was definitely touched. He's a pretty old guy (85) and moves pretty slowly, but he is progressing! Yesterday I met a man from Dallas, Texas. He is living here and teaching English. He's a great guy and incredibly prepared. We gave him a Book of Mormon (another miracle, I felt like we should make sure we were carrying an English one that day) and exchanged emails. We will be meeting up with him soon. Apparently he is headed back to Texas in a month. If y'all can, you should meet up with him! He seems like a really great, sincere guy.

I have also noticed a lot of answers to my prayers and thoughts over this past week. I was reading in the newest Liahona magazine and came across an article about the power of faith. The entire thing is a wonderful article but in the end it quoted part of the Bible Dictionary section on prayer that I loved. It says:

Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings.

Christians are taught to pray in Christ’s name (John 14:13-14; 15:7,16; 16:23-24). We pray in Christ’s name when our mind is the mind of Christ, and our wishes the wishes of Christ--when His words abide in us (John 15:7). We then ask for things it is possible for God to grant. Many prayers remain unanswered because they are not in Christ’s name at all; they in no way represent His mind but spring out of the selfishness of man’s heart.

For about two weeks prior to reading this article, the words in 2 Nephi 4: 35, "Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss", kept coming to my mind and I kept wondering why. I didn't feel like my prayers were getting answered. I, like the woman in the article, felt as if my faith in God's ability to accomplish what I was asking for was not the problem. I couldn't figure out why I wasn't getting an answer. I think over the past week I have gotten a lot of the answers I was looking for and I don't think I was asking for anything selfish; however, reading that article and the Bible Dictionary entry for prayer was a great reminder of a very important principle. It is so important to be aligned with the Lord's will. Sorry I gotta go! 

Love y'all!

Elder Sterling Siebach

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