Water Day!

August 1, 2011 – Ajapnyak (Davtashen), Week 2
Water Day!
Well this week Elder Andersen and I got acquainted with more of the members here in Davtashen/Ajapnyak.
We got to teach a lesson in President and Sister Carter’s home with a potential investigator. She is Suren’s wife. Suren was recently baptized. He is just a great guy with a friendly and happy countenance about him. Her name is Melania. We get to know her very well. We shared pictures talked about our families and then we helped her understand that there is even more joy and happiness available to us. We watched a movie called, “Finding Faith in Christ”. The Spirit was there, there was a spirit of clarity, peace and gratitude for the Savior. We promised her that she was see her deceased parents and brother again. We helped her understand that God loves us and that he has given us a path, a way to live with our family forever. She not only came to understand but she felt that what we had said was true, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
The Holy Ghost is a “personage of spirit” he has a spirit body, but he does not have flesh and bone as our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ do. I know that the spirit can touch our spirits. I know that we can learn truths through our feelings. Often times we do not understand our feelings, but when we are seeking truth and greater lights, despite our religion, or personal beliefs, the spirit can teach us and expand our understanding. The Spirit has been called the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, the Comforter and has many important roles in our lives. It fills us with God’s love and power. It reminds us of certain things and teach us the truth of all things. It can guide us and keep us from danger. It can enlighten our minds, helps us understand and learn more quickly. It can help us learn a language quickly as well as help us become more patient, humble, diligent, hopeful, faithful and charitable. He is a loving member of the Godhead who gives us priceless gifts and experiences.
Sometimes people don’t know what it means to “feel” the Holy Ghost. It can be a difficult thing. How do we know whether we are feeling it? How can be receive all of these wonderful gifts? How can we more frequently have this divine influence in our lives?
I would, from me simple understanding, like to share a few things that I have learned from prophets, the scriptures, pondering and personal experience.
– We can only receive the majority of these spiritual gifts if we have followed Christ’s example and been baptized by water and the Holy Ghost. We can only receive this gift if the one giving the gift has the “right” or “authority” from God to give it.
– The act of being under the complete influence of the Holy Ghost should be our greatest quest in this life, but will take a life-time to master.
– The Holy Ghost can only dwell in holy places, we should not dismiss him with crude, immoral, glutenous, flippant, mindless or inappropriate thoughts, language or actions.
– We invite his divine influence when we put God and others before ourselves. When we strive to keep God’s commandments and help other people the Lord will give us the gifts to accomplish our righteous desires.
– We must realize that most often we receive guidance and answers to our prayers when we give help and assistance to others, through loving service
– We will receive an exponentially greater portion of theses spiritual gifts if we consistently strive to use them to fulfill God’s purposes and live as the Savior lived.
– There is an almost limitless list of things that distance us from the Spirit of God. They can be summarized into two points 1) the lack of desire to repent 2) the lack of desire to forgive
We must learn how to repent if we want the spirit in our lives. We also must learn what it means to fully forgive someone.
I know that God loves us. He did not leave us on this earth alone, to guess our way through life. He did not leave us with a dead end. He does not do meaningless things.
The world is filled with evil and darkness. That is apparent, life is a wrenching experience. The question/prayer is not “God, why did you allow this to happen?” the question that Christ would ask his Father in Heaven is , “God, what can I do to fill my life and the others’ lives with power to overcome, the hope to have faith and light to fill my life with vision?”
God wants us to be happy, that is his central purpose. That is the root of all his decisions. I think about that a lot. It is my duty and privilege to see everyone I meet as a child of the most loving being in the universe. Just this morning as I was walking. I looked up at all the the buildings surrounding me and realized once again how much God loves each and every one of these people. I looked at a man and thought about how much God wants to help him and guide him. For a moment I was filled with the Spirit of God and felt a deep love for him, a fraction of what God feels.
I know that God requires us to do specific things to receive these spiritual gifts. I know that life is not easy, but I know that a life with the Gift of the Holy Ghost has purpose, hope and joy whereas a life without it seems visionless, hopeless and sad. I know it because I have lived with the Holy Ghost and without it to some degree or another. I know what it feels like to have the burden of sin. Like I said before God, through that Holy Spirit can cleanse us from those burdens and sins.
Yesterday was  Vardavari or@ that means the Burning Rose Day. We call it Water Day. It is a day when everyone mercilessly splashes water on you. If you go outside you should expect to get drenched. So we walked out of the church building and got about 12 buckets of water splashed on us, so we grabbed a few buckets and water ballons from our apartment and went back out to battle.
Love,
Elder Cook

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