February 8, 2016 — Distractions from Teaching

Week 58

I have some good experiences to share for this week and personal insights.

On Wednesday Elder Ramirez and I taught some excellent lessons that
day. 2 of the lessons were back to back also. The first lesson was
with a new family that we are now teaching and it was just simple. We
went into the home, conversed with the family for a little to get to
know them, then just taught them the Restoration of the Gospel. We
answered their questions, bore our testimonies of how much of a
blessing that the Gospel has been in our own personal lives and how
much it could be in their lives, and committed them to both be
baptized if and when they would come to know that these things are all
true. They preferred to not except a date yet, but they excepted the
commitment to eventually be baptized. It was such a simple and basic
lesson, and it was so satisfying and so spiritual. It is always nice
as a missionary to have such a straight forward lesson with
investigators that almost seems like it’s out of a TV show since they
are the ideal experiences that all missionaries would usually prefer
to have. At least every once in awhile since they are far less
stressful and exhausting.

The following lesson was with this old Hispanic man who is married to
a Chinese woman. It is an interesting relation that they have, but,
the lesson we had with this man from the first half turned out to be
one of the most frustrating lessons that Elder Ramirez and I have both
had on our missions. As we would try and steer our conversation over
to the topic of what this man remembered about the lesson of the
Restoration, he would go on some biblical tangent about false
information that he misunderstood about the Bible. At one point, I
was just ready to cut him off because I knew exactly how to save this
lesson, but the Spirit told me to let Elder Ramirez speak first and
say what he had to say. I was confused why I would have just been
told what needed to be said if Elder Ramirez was the one who needed to
speak, but I just trusted the feeling and waited for him to speak.
After about another 5 minutes of listening to this old man talk, Elder
Ramirez finally just cut him off and ironically said, “excuse me, but
I think that my companion has something to say about all of this.” I
just laughed inside and thought to the Spirit that that works too,
since Elder Ramirez cut the old man off in a much more polite manner
than I would have. What I later found out after the lesson is that
Elder Ramirez assumed that since I know a lot about the scriptures,
that I would just be able to correct this man’s understanding of all
these things when in actuality I was just going to focus on the the
Apostasy and the Priesthood, or Authority of God. So I now went on to
teach almost the full Restoration not giving any pauses or breaks and
only allowing the man to give one word responses to make sure that he
was understanding everything that I was explaining. The only pause
that I left was during the first vision and that only lasted about 3
seconds for there to be silence for the spirit to work on the man,
which the man thankfully did not interrupt. After I explained how the
Book of Mormon came about, tied in everything about the apostasy and
the lost Authority of God and what it would mean if the book was true
and everything that that entails. By this point, the man was left
speechless not really knowing what to say, which I then took the
opportunity to invite him to now do what he needs to do to find the
answer about all of this from God through the Spirit. He was still
speechless until I demanded, politely, a response from him. He said
that he would read the book, and pray about it, and still sat there
speechless not having any words to say aside from how everything that
had just been explained to him made so much sense. We closed with a
prayer and left after that. This experience was amazing to me because
this is literally one of the ONLY instances on my entire mission where
someone that I have taught has just understood what the message of the
Restoration meant, even with all of their own false understandings of
things that they have developed throughout there entire life. Elder
Ramirez and I vented a little about how frustrated the lesson had been
at first but were extremely glad that we had just waited patiently for
the spirit to give us what we needed to take control again and teach
what needed to be taught. It was a cool experience for us both.
Elder Ramirez recognized as well that had he not spoke, I wouldn’t
have been able to teach all of that to the man. We are coming to
learn that we make an effective companionship together. Similar to my
companionship with Elder Grasinger.

The final amazing lesson from that day was with a member who was
baptized a little over a year ago named Victor. This lesson included
the other set of Spanish Elders in this area, Elder Flynn and Elder
Jordan, and the Hermanas in this area, Hermana Eldredge and Hermana
Alvarez. Now Victor loves to talk and he loves to take as much of the
missionaries’ time as he can. He just really loves the missionaries.
So he had us all share one or two of each of our most
interesting/crazy experiences on the mission which took quite a while
to get through before we cut him off to actually teach our lesson. I
opened after we sang a hymn to invite the Spirit and stated the topic
of this lesson, being the Atonement. I read an excerpt from the talk,
“The Purifying Power Of Gethsemane” by Elder Bruce R. McConkie (one of
the best talks ever written on the Atonement probably in the history
of the church) and shared a little of my own understanding of the
Atonement before Elder Flynn shared a personal experience of how he
has really come to appreciate the Atonement more. Then Hermana
Eldredge shared some insights on the Atonement before we invited the
other 3 to share anything they had to say as well. All 3 said that
what had been said was perfect and exactly what they all felt Victor
needed to hear, before I rapped things up and shared a testimony
representing all 6 of us on how important the Atonement is in every
single person’s lives in existence. This Spirit just enveloped the
room and everything was so reverent and peaceful as though we were
sitting in the lobby of the Temple. It was an amazing spiritual
experience for everyone and one of the most powerful lessons I have
been on regarding the Atonement. It was a great experience.

That was a bit of my week. Happy Valentines Day everyone for when it
comes on Sunday. I hope everyone has a great week and is able to feel
loved by those around them.

Sincerely,
Elder Adam R. F. Scoville

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