Monday, July 13, 2015

Teaching the Gospel and Eating Bugs

Hey there everyone! Another week has come and gone and it has been a really good week.

So I guess I will start by addressing the title of my email.  Yes, I really ate live bugs, beetles to be exact.  No, it was not bad as you would think, and yes, I did it of my own free will and choice.  Surprised? I was too.  Anyway, so yesterday we were visiting a recent convert and his wife was in the kitchen and had this container with bread covered in beetles.  Usually I am grossed out by bugs but for whatever reason I was intrigued.  I had heard of these little guys (Chinese beetles) before but hadn't actually met anyone who ate them.  Well my thought process was "I wonder if I could actually eat one of those...I kind of want to try...If they offer I am going to eat one" And then they offered. I started out with just two.  I put them in my mouth live and then swallowed them like pills.  They are actually kind of spicy.  Hermana Porter and I decided though that two was too wimpy so we went for a little handful.  Needless to say we ate them and we didn't throw up and we didn't die.  I can now check eating a bug on purpose of my list of things I have done.  I am also feeling a little more confident that if I ever go to a country and am offered bugs for a meal I might actually be able to do it!

Bug's aside, we have had some really awesome experiences with investigators this week as well.  Right now we are teaching this couple named Beatrice and Enrique.  They were taught by the sisters before us but then were really busy for a month and so we hadn't met with them until about a week and a half ago.  We had some really awesome lessons with them this week and the spirit was really strong.  Our lesson on Saturday was especially good though. We had the opportunity to ask her about if she believed that the Book of Mormon was true and if Joseph Smith was a prophet.  She looked at us and without pausing gave a sincere "Si, se que todo de estas cosas son verdaderas y yo quiero ser bautizado esta mez." In english that is yes, I know that all of these things are true and I want to be baptized this month.  It has been so amazing to see how quickly she has gained a testimony as she has sincerely studied the Book of Mormon and prayed.  Her husband isn't quite there yet and she is so funny because she told him during our lesson that she thought it was because she was reading the Book of Mormon and he wasn't.  We had to laugh a little inside because it is so true. The Book of Mormon really is key in conversion.  

I have thought a lot this week about Beatrice and my other investigators and about conversion.  One thing I have really been thinking about in relation to them is the importance of feeling the gospel.  It is not simply enough to learn the gospel.  Acquired facts, even about truths, are not enough to lead to a lasting conversion.  It isn't enough simply to believe what is being said because it makes sense.  We have to do our part to feel what is being said is true.  The more I am on my mission the more I have come to understand that from the point of view of a teacher and also the point of view as someone who is seeking to know what is true in this life.  I know that I am an active member of this church not because of what I know factually but in reality because what I have felt in my heart as I study the Book of Mormon and as I listen to and live the teachings of Jesus Christ and his servants. My goal lately as I teach and bear testimony has been to really focus on this aspect. On helping those I teach to feel the power of the Book of Mormon, to feel the small whispering of the spirit testifying of the truthfulness of the gospel.  

I know that this is the reason Beatrice is where she is at. I know this is why when at church yesterday and her husband wanted to go home after the first hour she held her ground and said she was going to stay all three even if it meant it was without him.  She feels it, and Hermana Porter and I can feel it as she bears simple testimony of the things she is learning and feeling.  
I love the scripture in Alma 5:26 that says "And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?"  Can you feel it? Are we doing what we need to everyday to fell the gospel and in reality the love of Jesus Christ every day?  Are we allowing our hearts to be continually changed by his words and his teachings?  I try to ask these questions to myself on a regular basis and if I find myself feeling like it has been a while since I have felt it I do all I can to bring myself back where I need to be.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful week! Thanks for all of the love and support and early birthday wishes! Love you all!


Hermana Carpenter

p.s. hope you enjoy my bug pictures!

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