Monday, May 7, 2012

Wonderful missionary experience...

This is an email from Elder Lapeyrouse to his parents. We would like to share it with you. This Elder used to serve here in Chuuk with us, he is now serving in Siapan. ~~~Elder Lapeyrouse~~~
Last week I got to go on an exchange with Elder Mafi so that I could do a baptisimal interview. While I was there we had an appointment with a man from Thailand. An older guy probably in his 50's that didn't speak very much English. As I was turning in my papers to go on my mission I was nervous that I would be called to a place where I would have to teach the gospel to people who didn't have a christian background. Not that I was afraid of teaching people who God and Jesus Christ were, but that I wasn't sure how to explain these two important figures in our lives and their role in our lives to people who had never heard of sure doctrine. Before the lesson the other night I said, "Elder Mafi, I've never taught someone like this before." He was like "We'll get it, or try to" We were supposed to teach about baptism, but as we sat down, Elder Mafi leaned over and whispered that we would teach about Who Jesus Christ was. I've come to love my Gospel Art Book on my mission and I use it in teaching all the time because people learn better when they can see it. I pulled out the Gospel art book hoping it would help and opened to the first page, A picture of the Savior. Elder Mafi looked at the man then pointed to the picture and said "This, this Jesus Christ. This man name Jesus Christ" The man nodded. "Jesus Christ, big power this guy. Big power." Elder Mafi then pointed to the picture of the Earth and the Universe that was right next to it. "He make this. He make Earth. He make stars. The dogs. You and me." "big power this guy." Flip a couple pages and there's the Saviors birth, a couple more and there he is teaching, calling his apostles, giving them Priesthood Authority, performing miracles, healing and helping the sick, suffering in the Garden of Gethsemene, hanging on the cross, and rising from the dead. In sentences no bigger than about 5 words, using words no bigger than 5 or so letters, we sat there and page by page highlighted and illustrated the important aspects and characteristics of our Savior. Near the end I felt prompted to turn to one of my favorite pictures in the book. A picture or The Savior holding the lost lamb. I opened it and layed it on the table, withdrew my hands and we waited. He picked it up and brought it close because his eyes aren't so good. He pointed at the lamb and said "This one, sick. This one hurt. Need help." Elder Mafi touched the lamb and said "This one, you. You, sick, you hurt. You need help." The Spirit filled the room and we just sat there I in complete awe at the feeling. The outside world disappeared and in probably the most touching moment on my mission this man who had never heard of Jesus Christ before raised his hand and lightly touched the savior as he quietly said. "he help us." I fought back tears as I found myself, An American boy from North Carolina, on this itty bitty island of Saipan, teaching with a guy from Hawaii, the essential and simple truths of our Savior and Redeemer to a man from Thailand who didn't really speak English, And in his little room/appt. This man, through the Spirit discovered the simplest, coolest, and essential aspect of the Gospel. He died for us. He suffered for us. He perfectly knows each and everyone one of us. Our trials, our concerns, our afflictions. Our burdens, our pains, our guilt and our sorrow. Perfectly. Jesus Christ The Son of God IS our Savior and Redeemer. He helps us. He guides us. He knows the way out and he lovingly does all he can and did for us. All of us.
"You or I in a moment of weakness may cry out. 'No one understands. No one knows.' No human being, perhaps, knows. But the Son of God Perfectly knows and understands, for he felt and bore our burdens before we ever did. And because he paid the ultimate price and bore that burden, he has perfect empathy and can extend to us his arm of mercy in so many phases or our life. He can reach out, touch, succor -literally run to us- and strengthen us" -Elder David A. Bednar
I haven't been able to watch conference yet this year but I do remember a talk by Jeffery R. Holland in an April conference some years ago in which he spoke about the Savior and His selfless acts in a talk entitled None Were With Him. I want to quote Elder Holland as he says "May we stand by Jesus Christ at all times, in all things, and in all places that we may be in, even until death...For surely that is how he stood by us. When it was unto death, and when he had to stand completely and utterly alone. In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen."

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