This week has been crazy. Once again filled with crazy “district leader stuff” there might me an E.T. going on so there have been lots of crazy exchanges. Not a lot of work was able to get done here in 5th ward. But it was still an amazing week. A hard one but a good one.
This week I have learned a lot about how the Spirit works.
First I learned that the Spirit is happiness. We were able to go to a girls baptism in our ward. She is 8 and her dad is the Elders Quorum President. It was such a neat experience to see him baptize his daughter. It made me excited to be a dad. Then we had the confirmation. Elder Rice and I were able to be apart of the confirmation. It was amazing. I love using the Priesthood. I learned that the Spirit was happiness because K. (the girl who got baptized) could not sit still after her confirmation. As soon as the closing prayer was done she was up and was dancing around and jumping and singing and the only way to describe her emotion is just pure joy. When we have the Spirit in our lives we can have pure joy. K. was just baptized so she was pure so for those few moments she was perfect. Because she was perfect the spirit was able to be with her perfectly. To the point where she could not contain it. Just imagine what Heaven will be like when we are all perfect and have the Spirit perfectly, Pure Joy!!!!
I also learned that the Spirit some times waits until you are ready, and that when needed the Spirit can be fierce. This week I came to the hard, sad and difficult realization that I was being a terrible District Leader. I was not being Christ like I was just being mean. My intentions really were pure I was just trying to help the District be more unified and obedient. I wasn’t doing it the way Christ would, I allowed my pride to take control. I looked back and realized that I was a jerk and that I was driving the Spirit out of the District. I then read Doctrine and Covenants 121: 39-46
39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.40 Hence many are called, but few are chosen. 41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;44 That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.45 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.
That stung a little because it was exactly what I was doing. I felt so bad, all I wanted to do was be a good District Leader and help people but what I realized through the Spirit is that I was called as a District Leader when I was for who I was, I then let my pride turn me into some one else and I was no longer the District Leader I needed to be. I am who I am because that is who Heavenly Father needs me to be. As are all of you. yes I still need to match my will to His will but I can be myself in the process and that is what Heavenly Father wants. That is why I am not just Elder. Missionaries (or people in general) are not a one size fits all. I am Elder JOHNSTON because I need to be in the mix for it to work.
Lastly I learned that the Spirit is quite. So Elder Thalman has been sick lately and one night Elder Rice and I were driving home about 6:30 (because I was sick and needed to go home) and I had a strong feeling that we should go visit the Elders to give Elder Thalman a blessing. (I didn’t realize at the time but that wasn’t the real prompting). Elder Rice just said lets go home because he wasn’t feeling it. So we went home, the feeling didn’t go away. So I called them just in case and they were driving to their ward mission leaders house so I told them to call us when they get home. Then I went to bed because I didn’t feel very good. Well about 8:45 Elder Thalman and Elder Cornu showed up at our house, they were driving home and our house was on the way so they thought they would just stop by. Well I woke up and was telling Elder Thalman why I called ( I was laying on the floor looking up at him) and he said “I just got he feeling some one needs a blessing” and the feeling instantly came back. ( I then realized that the original prompting I had was that someone needed a blessing but I thought it was Elder Thalman because he has been sick too) Well then the four of us (Elder Thalman, Rice, Cornu and I) were trying to listen to the Spirit and discover who exactly needed the blessing. Well we concluded it had to be someone in the District because I (the district leader) and Elder Thalman (the zone leader) were the ones that were getting the prompting. So I went and prayed and went through all the names of the people in the District. Elder Waite was the only one that had the slightest feeling. I came out and said it was Elder Waite. Elder Thalman wasn’t feeling it, then I said “rather be safe than sorry” So we headed to the Elder place and stopped at the church on the way just to see if there was anyone there looking for a blessing. No body was at the church. Well Elder Thalman and Corny got a text from a member so they headed there to see if it was them that needed it (it wasn’t) while Elder Rice and I headed to the other Elders place (keep in mind it is like 9:15 an night and it is snowing. Yes I know we were breaking curfew but the Spirit said so so it was okay) well on the way from the church to the other Elders place I had Elder Rice text our Elders Quorum President and Bishop asking if they knew of anyone needing a blessing. (it was the Spirit that told me to do that) well we show up at the other Elders place and ask Elder Waite if he needs a blessing. He says yes he does, he had been wanting one for a while. YES quest complete, or so we thought. Just then President Smith texted us back telling us that he needed a blessing. So we left to his house, as Elder Thalman and Cornu were coming in. I told them that Elder Waite did need a blessing and that we were heading off to a members house that needed a blessing. So we took off across Kirtland as fast as Tiwi would let us. haha we get to President Smiths house and he opens the door and says “there is no way you guys can be that in tune” So we came in and told him the story and then he said that he has just been struggling. He works 2 jobs, has six kids all under the age of eight, goes to school part time and has a heavy calling. He then told us that he had been wanting a blessing for about 3 days but had been pushing it off. So we gave him a blessing and it was very powerful, then we went home and went to bed. I realize very quickly and powerfully that sometimes the Spirit is so quite that you really have to listen some times even ask a bit more. It was a wonderful experience.
Along with this super awesome spiritual stuff going on funny stuff happens too.
The winter here is a lot colder than it normally is and our hot water pipes froze so we had to take showers at the other Elders place. So we would go over in our pajamas and take our change of clothes, well I didn’t want to carry my suite coat so I would just wear it with my Pajamas.