Divine Influence

March 19, 2012 – Gyumri, Week 8
Divine Influence

We went to this church last monday. It was beautiful.  I feel a sorrow to see other religions who lack the understanding of the need to serve. We cannot find what the scriptures refer to as ” a fullness of joy” unless we begin to forget ourselves and serve others. Serving others is the only way to serve God. It is the only way that we can try to “pay him back”. I think this is understood mostly by parents, however I wouldn’t know. I have come to learn a little here in Armenia. But we must find a balance between our work, family, others and ourselves.

I have been learning a lot about the role of the Holy Ghost. I have come to a greater understanding as I have learned about why Christ said
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is aexpedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the bComforterwill not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
12 I have yet many things to asay unto you, but ye cannot bbear them now.
13 Howbeit when he, the aSpirit of truth, is come, he will bguide you into all ctruth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will dshew you things to come.
14 He shall aglorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
(John 16:7, 12-14)

Sacrament Meeting is the most important meeting in the church. I have come to realize that it is because of the spirit. When we partake of the sacramnet which has been blessed by those who have recieved the authority of God to do so, we renew our baptisimal covenant/promise. Therefore, in return we recieve the oppurtunity to have the Spirit’s constant companionship. The spirit is the most important gift in this life, because without it we cannot recieve the rest of the gifts that God wants to give us.
We can recieve answers to questions, learn and receive other spiritual gifts from him. I have noticed that as I have prayed for his influence and guidance he has influenced my thoughts and decisions more fully. I did not realize that what I was thinking was acutally the spirit working within me, until I did what I thought was right and saw the results.
We were walking home from a meeting on tuesday night, when almost randomly one of us pointed out another path. We sort of agreed that it was a faster route, but after finding and meeting certain people on that path that night we realized that we were under the influence of the spirit and we didnt’ even know it. In that moment of decision we connected our change in thought process with logic but I know that it was not a coincidence that we felt a small need to go the way that we went. Righteous and worthy disciples will be under the influence of the spirit without fully realizing it. This is how God blesses us for obeying his commandments and entering into the covenant of baptism. He gives us the spirit, who knows all things. All things.

We found a lot this week. more than I have ever found in my mission. I would accredit that to our reliance on the spirit. We didn’t do anything more than our best. normally our best would have resulted in a zero. But when the spirit is involved our efforts are magnified. We met a young man who just became a father. I thought our conversation was normal. I didn’t think he was very interested, but was willing to exchange numbers. It turns out he was really excited and within a few hours started texting us. We met with him on sunday, he brought his brother. He has already prayed and he is learning how prayer can bless his family and especially his four month old daughter who just got sick. The spirit is the key to knowing what we need to do in a given situation. The question is whether we are ready to follow or worthy of the direction he wants to give us.

Pray for that which is most important.
Elder Cook

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