This week was Elder Ramirez's birthday! The big 2-1. That doesn't mean anything in Peru, but we all know why that's important here in the U.S.-- you can get a sideways driver's license!!
Elder Ramirez made the mistake of telling me that there's a Peruvian tradition of smashing an egg on the birthday-boy's head. So I did it. I don't think he was expecting it, because he told me like a week before. So that was tons of fun!
On Tuesday I got to go down to Denver for a District Leader's training meeting. It was good; I always like being in Denver. That night we had dinner with a less-active member named Jesse and taught him about the Spirit World and the importance of using our time here on earth wisely. It was really good! If you look in Alma 30-40, there's a ton of good stuff about that. Don't procrastinate the day of your repentance!
The next day we taught a short lesson on a doorstep to a Hispanic man named Victor. He was really active in his Christian Church, which is good, but he was also a little frustrating. We did our survey questionnaire with him, and asked, "If you knew there was another book of scripture, written by prophets, that testified of Jesus Christ, would you read it?" He said no. Some people say no because they don't like to read, others say no because they don't have any interest in religion or a belief in Christ. Victor said no because... because I guess he thinks God can't speak anymore... I think he just didn't understand the question. "If you knew that other prophets had testified of Christ, would you read their writings?" So, in my frustration (this kind of frustration doesn't happen a lot with Hispanics) I tried to think of what I should do. Because I could have stood there and argued with him, or quoted the Lord in 2nd Nephi 29:
Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible,and we need no more Bible... Know ye not that I, the Lord your God,... bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?
Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another?... And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished;neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.
Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written.
So anyway, I digress. I could have said something like that to him, but I didn't. Instead, I tried to think of what the Savior would have me do. So I imagined Him standing there with us. He was our third Companion, invisible to Victor, but not to me. If I knew He were standing there watching this conversation progress, what would I do? So I testified that God is not dead, that He still speaks. I told him the He has restored His Church through a modern prophet, and that the fullness of the Gospel is on the earth today. If he was willing, we would be more than happy to share with him how that knowledge could bless his life. He didn't accept my invitation, but there was nothing he could say to refute the things of which I testified. I think that helped a lot. I'm sure if I could have actually seen the Savior standing there with us I would have been way more nervous than I was. But it was a good exercise for me, because He is always watching, and He's aware of our efforts on His behalf.
Other than that we had a few good lessons and met a few good people. we've started reading the Book of Mormon with an inactive member in the ward who's wife and children are active. They're one of the two families that speak Spanish in the ward. It's been pretty good, and just a reminder to me of how important it is to "search the Book of Mormon and the words of the living prophets every day, every day, every day!" (Elder Pearson from the most recent General Conference). I hope you're all doing that! May the Lord bless you to know that this Church is true and that the Gospel is restored! I know it is!
A Thought from Mom:
Jesus taught us in simple language: “If ye love me, keep my commandments” and “Come follow me.”