October 3, 2011 – Charentsavan, Week 5
May We Slow Down A Little, Focus On the Significant
This week was filled with small but priceless experiences. These seemingly small experiences taught me immeasurably important lessons. It reminds me of the video “Moments that Matter Most”
President Uchtdorf said “May we slow down a little, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most…diligently doing the things that matter most, will lead us to the Savior of the World”
This week started off with an interesting experience. We met with Major’s Deputy of Charentsavan at the Town Hall. It was amazing to see how President Carter represented the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The first thing that he did was ask the Deputy about his family. Then he showed this man of political position some his family pictures. Then he asked a few simple questions about the town’s population and history. The conversation ended with an offer to serve the city. We made light plans to clean up Charetsavan’s major park. That is a great opportunity to increase how people see us here. There have been a few members of the Church who have been fired in this city because of their religious beliefs.
This week taught a women who received her answer about the Book of Mormon. Her countenance had changed. She could not wait to come to church to feel that special feeling that she only feels around us. I was surprised that she noticed something different. I knew we were different, but I have never met someone who has felt that they have a spiritual unity with us, without having heard or seen us before.
I learned again that God is preparing his children to make promises with him forever.
She will have a baptism interview today.
I had the opportunity to interview her grandson (18 yr old) for baptism). He too has received his answer.
He was preparing to be baptized. I was the one who had the responsibility to receive the revelation as to whether he was prepared or not. We finished meeting, I had really only known him for 45 minutes. I got on my knees and I prayed. I asked some very specific questions about the young man. I asked if he needed to do certain things in order to better prepare. God answered my questions immediately. I realized how important this young man was to God and what God wanted him to do before being baptized and making that promise. God will not lead his children astray. He will not put them on the wrong path, we just need to be humble enough to say that we weren’t perfect and that we can improve.
We gather together once a month as leaders to discuss the needs of our missionaries. God enlightened our minds as we discussed concerns, topics, ideas. The Holy Spirit confirmed our decisions. At the end of the meeting I came to realize what a group of 19, 20 and 21 year old young men had just experienced. We received guidance, or in other words, revelation from God as to how to continue. I realized that I has able to be present for such a special occasion. We didn’t just find a solution to the problems here, we found the roots of the consequences and the Lord helped us identify the most affective solution.
I know that God listens to prayer and that we can come to know his nature and will through prayer. He doesn’t leave life’s most important questions unanswered. They will only remain unknown to those who do not ask.
This week it snowed. It’s starting to get cold here. Charetsavan is apparently the coldest part of Armenia.
Next week we will be going to an ancient church (built in 350 AD) next to Armenia’s Lake Sevan. I’ll tell you about that next week.
Love Elder Cook