Hello Mom and Dad and Family,
First off, we had Zone Leader's Conference this past week and that was really fun. I've become an entirely new person because of what I have learned, applied, and changed in who I am and who I want to become. It has been quite the roller-coaster but I enjoy crazy "roller-coasters" now. We learned more about the four things we need to have to be successful missionaries: Worthiness, Obedience, Work, Prayer. All of those things will help us to have the Spirit with us. I especially liked learning about Prayer. It's not what they said that I liked, it's what I thought about and learned from the Spirit. I thought about the talk that President Eyring gave recently about Prayer and the Priesthood and I was reminded about these words:
"All of us must speak and act in the name of God in moments when our unaided judgment will not be enough without inspiration. Those moments can come upon us when there is not time to make preparation. That has happened to me often. It did many years ago in a hospital when a father told me and my companion that the doctors had told him that his critically injured three-year-old daughter would die within minutes. As I placed my hands on the one spot on her head not covered with bandages, I had to know, as God’s servant, what He would do and say.
The words came to my mind and my lips that she would live. The doctor standing by me snorted in disgust and asked me to get out of the way. I walked out of that hospital room with a feeling of peace and love. The little girl lived and walked down the aisle into a Sacrament Meeting on my last day in that city. I still remember the joy and satisfaction I felt from what I had said and done in the Lord’s service for that little girl and her family.
The difference in my feelings at the hospital and the sadness I felt as I walked away from that door as a deacon came from what I had learned about the connection of prayer to priesthood power. As a deacon, I had not yet learned that the power to speak and act in God’s name requires revelation and that to have it when we need it requires praying and working in faith for the companionship of the Holy Ghost.
On the evening before I went to that door for fast offerings, I had said my prayers at bedtime. But for weeks and months before that phone call came from the hospital, I had followed a pattern of prayer and made the effort that President Joseph F. Smith taught will allow God to give us the inspiration necessary for us to have power in the priesthood. He put it simply:
'We do not have to cry unto him with many words. We do not have to weary him with long prayers. What we do need, and what we should do as Latter-day Saints, for our own good, is to go before him often, to witness unto him that we remember him and that we are willing to take upon us his name, keep his commandments, work righteousness; and that we desire his Spirit to help us.'
And then President Smith told us what we should pray for, as his servants pledged to speak and act for God. He said: “What do you pray for? You pray that God may recognize you, that he may hear your prayers, and that he may bless you with his Spirit.”
It is not a matter so much of which words to use, but it will take some patience. It is an approach to your Heavenly Father with the intent to be recognized by Him personally. He is the God above all, the Father of all, and yet willing to give undivided attention to one of His children. That may be why the Savior used the words “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.”
What I like about Prayer is that we simple bow are heads in humility and pray that He will guide us and give us the faith in order to work with the Spirit.
Yesterday, we had a very personal and special experience with Carmen S. We have been teaching her about baptisms for the dead and temples which she loves because she's had a daughter and her husband and her mom that have past away. She expressed with us her desires to be with them again and we promised her that she could. We gave her one of those big Triplets (the BoM, D&C, and PofGP) so that she can read more easily and we also gave her a big hymn book to sing with us. She loved those gifts a lot. At the end of the lesson she offered the prayer and when she finished she look up at us and gave us a big, teary smile and told us that she was so grateful that we came to her home and have brightened her family with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Her daughter went to church this week (she's a less-active member living in Tegucigalpa) and Carmen told us, "Only Marcelo and Maria-Elaina are left to get to church now!"
Then yesterday night, we went to another less-actives house (The M-O Family) and talked about Missionary Work. Their family consists of the mom, a daughter (22 yrs), and the son (19 yrs) and we told them of the blessings of Missionary Work and that it is hard but SUPER worth it in the end. There is nothing I would trade for these best two years.
The ward is doing good. We have good plans to get them going and working independently. They can feel the Spirit and they know this is the true church. It's just taking a while to get them to understand the blessings that come from exact obedience. Some of the issues they face are mainly from poverty issues.
Congratulations Kyle and Jess and Milo, for the new family member ! :D That's super exciting and it looks like you'll have twins that were born on two different dates! Milo and Olivia look a lot a like!
Love you all!
Elder Spencer J. Tuft