Tuesday, June 17, 2014

16 June 2014

This is a picture of the children of a beautiful family outside the Adelaide temple. We are doing everything we can to help this family! They come from an Indian background which is very steeped in tradition and culture. Facets of it are so beautiful, and the food is so great! And another thing I've come to appreciate a lot more too is the language. 
One evening, we committed the family to baptism and the two children accepted. Then later, their mother texted us saying sorry that she can't commit because she talked to her husband and he said no and she was so sorry and was begging for us to still come and see her. We love this family so much. Sometimes people think when they say 'no' or they drop us, then they are wasting our time. This isn't really true. Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ and if we succeeded with that even a little bit then we are fulfilling our purpose. I truly believe that those that we teach, those that say no, or 'we have our own religion' or slam their door in our faces, one day they will come to know that these things are true. But it is not this day. But that's okay! Because maybe we will meet someone who is ready! 
Anyway, so my companion had this inspired idea to say a speech, addressed to the father, in their language - in Hindi! A mission impossible considering besides 'namaste' which someone I tutored taught me once - our Hindi was pretty much non-existent. But a member came to the rescue! She was baptised when she was 14 and she comes from a Hindu background so she 100% understands. We wrote the letter, prayerfully working together and she translated it. And then the morning before the temple trip, we read it together out to the family. It begins with, 'Namaste (his name) Ji, Hum aapke parivaar se bahoot pyaar karte hain.' One day if you meet me you can ask for the rest of the letter. And then we were blessed with something that I personally had never been blessed with before. Have you heard of the gift of tongues? It is one of the fruits of the Spirit. Something about me is that although both of my parents were born and raised in the Philippines, when they came to Australia they didn't want me to face the discrimination they did in relation to their language or accent, they wanted English to be my first language. And so it was and it became my only language really. And my whole life I have yearned to be a closer part of my culture, and I have done language studies in other cultures (before I haha gave up and pursued things which came more naturally). But when we read this letter out, not only did they understand what we were saying. We sounded like native speakers. They kept asking my companion whether I had written the letter myself in Hindi because they couldn't believe it. Through the letter which we read out, many things came to light, and the Spirit was so strong as the member we took with us bore powerful testimony of the restoration. I know that this gospel is true. I know that it is true all around the world, regardless of age, ethnicity, culture or upbringing. I know that the gospel is here to bless families and that true and lasting happiness, even salvation, can be attained through this gospel. Or even can only be attained through this gospel. How wonderful is it to be but a mere instrument in the hand of the Lord in bringing about this great work. 

I love you all and I leave you these things, this miracle and outpouring of the Spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.