Monday, February 9, 2015

Letter #81 - The Only True Path to God

This week, was FILLED with spiritual highs and spiritual lows. But, it was one of my favorite weeks on the mission. It's amazing how often these occur. The biggest highlight of them all, was the wonderful opportunity of giving a theme [thought?] (idk how to best say it in English) at a camp/fireside for those who are preparing to go on missions. We talked about having a testimony and really preparing yourself spiritually. I talked about the Book of Mormon and shared my testimony of it. Then, we asked them to just take 5 minutes to pray and ask God where they are at, and ask the questions of their hearts. Well, after that and after the APs gave their theme, we had a testimony meeting. One of the boys said that he had been praying for so long to know if the Book of Mormon was true. He had gone on some wrong paths and as he did that. He said that he got a confirming answer that it was true, that he is forgiven, and that God loves him. It has changed his life. The Spirit there was incredibly strong. To top that off, another boy bore testimony that the gospel is what is perfect, not the people, and that the Spirit told him that. It was really just one of the most amazing experiences.

I had my own experience with the Spirit. I had a lot of thoughts this week about life, and what not. Then, in my mind came a thought. I woke up into a dark room, and as I looked around, there was no light other then the light seeping through the cracks of the door across the room. I stood and up and immediately noticed the shape and conditions of my hands, feet and arms. I was a yellow, bright clay figure. I touched my square head and wondered in awe at what I was.

After I examined myself completely, my curiosity came back to me and I walked to the door and opened it. As I opened it, whatever expectations that I had, were in vain. I walked into an absolutely gray world - gray skies, gray buildings, gray grass, everything was gray. As I started to walk about, I felt cold, and a little afraid. Then, a drop of gray appeared on my toe. I was astonished. I tried to wipe it off, but couldn't. So I finally accepted it, and decided to explore more of the new gray world. I walked for a while, and then started to see other clay figures. I ran to them, hoping that I would get information of where I was, and who/what I was. But, I noticed something different about them. I could tell there pace was slow, dragging their feet. Their features were plain, and the only distinctions that I noticed were 2 slits for eyes and one for a mouth. They had their heads down, and walked with pitiful pain in their eyes. They were the same shade of gray as everything else around us. I came up to one and touched him on the shoulder. His countenance immediately sprung backward, and he looked upon me with sheer terror. As we stood there staring at each other, I noticed that where I had touched him, was now a spot of yellow. He became furious and starting yelling, but no words came out. His countenance had said enough, and I felt ashamed, as if I had done something terribly wrong. He left with no breath, and also with no more yellow on his shoulder. I looked down and had a bad feeling in my heart. I saw to my surprise that my legs were now splattered with gray. Again as I tried to furiously wash away the marks, they wouldn't come off. I couldn't help but ask myself, "Why am I here?" And, "why am I yellow, and everyone else is gray?"

These thoughts occupied my mind until a large bell, that I hadn't noticed before, rang in the middle of the square. Immediately, from every different angle, these clay people would appear, with there heads down and moving at a slow paced walk. They walked into one building, one after the other. After I watched these people pass by, I noticed that some would look up occasionally, and see me. Each would have different reactions. Some would turn to the other and laugh or say something. Others would immediately look away. But, the reaction I saw the most, would be the ones that looked at me longingly, as if I looked familiar to them.

I watched them all walk into this building, and as the last ones piled in, my curiosity got the best of me, and I walked in too.

The building was a Mess Hall- a cafeteria. Everyone was sitting down and eating. It looked like people were talking to each other, but I couldn't hear anything. As I walked over and down each isle, I kept feeling more and more uncomfortable. I just felt like I didn't fit in. I felt uneasy. I felt like I shouldn't be there. I turned to go back, and then found myself face to face with one of the gray figures. His strong stance said he didn't want to move. I tried to go around him, but He moved to block me. I felt trapped. I turned around and walked down another isle and tried to go up a different way. Again, another figure stood up to block my path. I felt lost. I looked down and noticed that more than half of my body was now gray. I began to worry. I didn't want to lose all of the yellow. I looked around at the other figures hoping that they could offer me help. I reached out and grabbed one of them by the shoulder. He froze. His body slowly began to turn yellow. I was amazed. And then suddenly, everyone surrounding him started yelling their silent screams. Almost immediately, like the flip of a switch, he turned gray again, and shook my hand off his shoulder. I couldn't comprehend what I saw. I was in agony, but I didn't understand why. I wished I could help him. But then my thoughts turned to back to me. I saw that people were getting up from their tables and were walking towards me. I didn't want to be in there anymore. So, I started running. I only got so far, before another figure blocked my path, and then another, and another. I was suddenly completely surrounded. I couldn't see an opening, much less the door where I had entered. It seemed like there was a thousand of them, just standing there, watching me. What could I do? What should I do? Then, they moved in on me. I crumbled to the floor and put my face over my head, and started to cry. They were all around me. In silence, I was left to my desolate self. I looked at myself, and notice that almost my entire body had become gray. Only a small part remained, on the left side of my chest. It felt like it was the only life left inside of me. I cried out for help, as if someone in this world of gray would be there, to help me keep this small part of yellow inside of me.

As soon as I cried out, a light came, as if it was from the sky. The Light filled the room and was brighter than anything I had ever seen.  All of the figures around me fled away, except for a few who were so enticed by the new appearance. In the Light came a figure, one that was not of clay, but still familiar. He came down right next to me and knelt down and, as he looked at me, my first thought was to run away. I was scared. I felt unworthy, as if every part of my being was not worthy to look upon this man. My thoughts raced back and forth, and just before I decided to get up and run, the angel spoke: "Fear not my child. Come unto me, and be clean." I pushed all thoughts out of my mind, and made a sudden movement. It felt like I leaped into his open arms. I felt the overwhelming feeling that I knew I had felt before. I just did not remember where. I knew I was where I was supposed to be. I looked into His eyes, and I knew He felt the feelings I had just experienced as well. As I took in the moments of His embrace, I opened my eyes. I saw my hands. They were yellow again. I looked down at my body, and it had returned to it's perfect yellow. I straight away looked around me and saw that the other clay figures, who stayed behind, were also yellow. They had turned back to the way they had been before.

I love this Gospel, and I know that the Atonement is real. I know that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ. The Atonement is the ultimate example of charity, and it is for everyone, no matter what state you are in. I invite you all, to take a step back and see if what you are doing, is really what you think you can do, or is it what the world has told you to do. As you read my story, I hope you will follow whatever impressions you had.

Love you and have a great week!!! :)

Elder Mayne

 Beautiful Heidelberg, and me stickin' my head out the car. :)

The "Homies": Joe Murphy and Christian Allred, 
who both are recently returned missionaries (Christian this week). 
They literally are the tightest homies. :)

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