Let me share an experience with you that happened to me this week. Myself and the other missionaries in the Madrid East Zone were able to attend the Madrid Temple this past wednesday to attend an endowment session. Before we went, I told myself that I needed to think of a question to ask the Lord in the celestial room. It's no secret that I've been struggling a bit out here, so I decided that the question was going to be "What should I do?" I know that it was a really general question to ask, but I figured that the Lord knew what I meant when I asked it, what should I do to be happy right now, or how to feel better, the Lord understands. If you want specific answers, though, you need to ask specific questions. So then I specified, I asked Him if He could answer my question by using The Book of Mormon, I asked Him that if I went and picked up a Book of Mormon from the table, and flipped it open, that the first verse I pointed to would be my answer. I had faith in it, knowing that the Lord could make that happen for me. So I did it... And it worked! I was stunned. I flipped to Mosiah 26:20, I almost have it memorized, but I don't want to get it wrong, so you'll have to look it up, it talks about how I'm His servant, and how He has covenanted with me that I will have eternal life. I'm very grateful that the Lord did that for me.
Are you all cheered up yet?
Elder Johnson and I worked really hard this week. We had some good moments, and some moments when I wanted to walk out of a lesson. I will tell you about the latter part of that last sentence right now. We met up with a man we had contacted last week. He wanted to meet in a park, so we met up and found a bench. He refused to sit down because he had an "operation" on his back, so Elder Johnson and I sat down, we began with a prayer, then began to share the message of the Restoration. He then cut us off, then just started railing on us, telling us how wrong we were, he even referred to himself as a prophet, he was telling us that we were wrong, and that our teaching was "mechanical" and "cold"... That there was no love and not from Jesus and that we weren't called by a prophet. It went on and on, I was mad. Elder Johnson was frustrated, too. I wanted to tabletop this man and walk away (Wyatt can describe that for you, but it's when someone gets low behind someone and another person pushes them and they fall backward onto their back... nevertheless, I'd never do that, because he's still a son of God.) But instead, Elder Johnson had an impression that he told me about later, he felt impressed by the spirit to tell this man that his companion (me) would like to share his testimony before we left... When he said that, I shot daggers at Elder Johnson from my eyes, but I knew I had to do it. So I called this man by his name, and began to bear my testimony, declaring that I know that these things are true, some things I even felt impressed to share twice, midway through I glanced at Elder Johnson and his eyes were full of tears, we then ended and went our separate ways. But no matter how short of a testimony it was, no matter how much of the message we were able to share, we knew that we had defended the faith. That man's heart is just too hard and unwilling to listen to two young men.
The mission is a refiner's fire, I'm growing, and things are getting better and better. I love you, Mom. We're going to go climb a mountain now, I'll get pictures.
Your son, Elder Koeven.