Sister Montoya here, coming at you with news from the week about the work of salvation here in my neck of the woods of Cowpens South Carolina!\
I am loving it here so much, except it is definitely a lot colder than I expected haha but I was so grateful for my family sending me a coat so that I wasnt completely freezing! This week we had a lot of amazing experiences and miracle moments so prepare yourselves! :)
So the first came as we were tracting on a street and trying to find people prepared for the gospel and we ran into this lady named Terry, and she was a little overwhelmed and busy but she invited us back after reassuring her that her baby that passed away was not going to hell... so she invited us back and when we came back a few days later, we sat down with her and immediately I felt something was wrong. There was a very bad feeling in the home and there was a definite tone that something had happened there and it wasnt good. So I really was wanting to get out of there and leave and Sister Boyson, who couldnt feel it as strongly, kept teaching and I eventually joined in. well when we got to the first vision, we told her that she needed to pay close attention and she kind of started like she had just woken up and as we told her the first vision, it was like whatever bad feeling was there completely was DESTROYED!!! and the room was filled with warmth and the Spirit!! It was so incredible! and afterwards we talked about how the spirit just came charging in like a Rhino. I felt like Heavenly Father was teaching us a lesson, looking down on us and saying "O ye of little faith, do you really believe that ANYTHING is stronger than MY power." it was a wonderful lesson of faith and of the spirit :) A couple days later we went back and Terry was telling us that indeed some bad things had happened there and that the previous owners had locked their daughter in the attic and left her there to die. and she felt that there were bad spirits in the home. so we had the opportunity to dedicate and put a blessing on her home! :) it was amazing and i look forward to checking up on it later this week :)
We also got to see a wonderful investigator who is basically teaching himself, Klyde Brown!!!! HE IS SO ELECT!! He truly believes and started the B.O.M on his own!!! :) we havent even actually taught him a lesson yet haha and he is already reading the B.O.M front to back and has read the Restoraiont pamphlet!! We also are teaching a Less Active member who is a deacon in another church and thinks the B.O.M is fake so we will see where that goes!!! please pray for his heart to be softened!!!
The highlight of the week though was on Saturday when we went to West Columbia and got to meet with Elder Bednar!!!! It was so incredible! He is the epitiome of teaching by the spirit! He really didnt even teach anything the whole 3 hours he was at the potium! we all got to do a picture with him and while we waited sang hymns as a whole mission :) Then as we went in it basically was the whole time of him asking us what we learned (for those who where here last time!) oh yeah and he said this is the first time that he has gone to the same mission twice in a row! so thats why he asked people who where there a year ago to tell what they learned last time and then had all of us ask question and then asked us at the end what we learned!!! it was so amazing!!!
Some of the highlights where when an Elder asked how he could not be negative, Elder Bednar compared it to a water bottle filled with black sand, with a cap on each end and a hole in each cap just big enough for 1 grain of sand to fit through. he said that when you put one grain of white sand in one end, a black grain pops out the other end, and that keeps happening. after 3 grains he said "does it look any different? no, but it is! There are 3 grains of white sand in there!" and then he said "Now dont go back and try it for a couple days and then give up and then say THIS DOESNT WORK, No, YOU didnt work it!" Another highlight was he said when he was a bishop that he knew a Brother who never paid his tithing, and so he called him in and asked him "Will you allow your children to be sealed to me and my wife" and the man said "Bishop, that is the stupidest thing ive ever heard!" and Elder Bednar said "You know what i think is stupid?! that you have made coventants with the Lord in the Holy temple of God and you cant go in because you dont pay your tithing!" and the man sat back and said "Well i've never thought about it that way before." and Elder Bednar said "well its about time that you did!" he said that in situations, Go with what comes, and sometimes people will need a soft reminder and other times they will need a spiritual slap in the face! Just a couple more things, So one theme of the conference was to "Jump out of the boat" just as Peter walked on the water and jumped out of the boat and kept his gaze on the Savior. Well one sister in my mission stood and asked what to do if she couldnt jump out of the boat that she was watching everyone else jump out and that she couldnt, and Elder Bednar said something but i dont even remember what it was because i was getting such a strong promting to stand and say something to her. so i locked gaze with Elder Bednar and drove my arm into the air and he promptly called on me and I turned around and told her "Dont compare yourself to anyone else jumping out of the boat! They dont matter! You should only compare how you progress jumping out of the boat and if you only feel comfortable sticking a toe in and then you go back and stick your foot in the next time then that is great! Beacause You can only compare yourself to your own efforts and strive to get a little farther each time, because if you compare yourself and are jumping out of the boat with your eyes closed because you're not ready then you're going to sink every time. Be ready at your own time so that you can jump out of the boat and keep your eye on the savior.
It was so amazing and Elder Bednar asked me how I came to know that and I couldnt really answer him... because that was something that I too needed to learn.... :)
The last thing was just something funny that he said. With everything we wanted to improve upon he told us to get a cheap paperback Book of Mormon and look for every instance that it siad "patience" or "wait upon the Lord" or whatever it was. and he said that his sons always would go and try and look in the many copies that he had of these and ask him to look in his and he would always say "If you touch them, I'll break your arm!! If you want one go get a paperback book of mormon and do one for yourslef!" and then they would always ask, well when you die, dad, then can we have them? and he would say "my last breath will be spent striking a match and burning every single copy of the Book or Mormon so that you will never see them!!" haha.... Elder Bednar is so great! Lesson learned that we cant rely on other's pieces of knowledge gained from the spirit, we must find our own! :)
Well sorry this has been so long ya'll!!! :) but one last thing that if any of your know Brandon Christiensen, He is on a video on hastening the work callled "I'll go where you want me to go" he plays the missionary!!! :) Love you all
~Sister Dominique Sage Montoya