Arizona Mesa Mission Address

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

February 8, 2011

Dear Family,

Thank you so much for the Valentine's Day package you sent me.  The chocolate covered sunflower seeds were really good -- I've never had them before.  I will probably tear into the jerky a little bit later today.  I was also able to see the video that you guys made for Frankie's birthday.  Unfortunately, I am not able to hear any sound on the computer that I use, but it was really good to see your faces.  It seems like you have really taught Frankie how to howl!!  I seriously miss Frankie so much, especially when I see boxers while I am proselytizing.

This past week was pretty good and a bit slow because all of the senior companions had to go to leadership training meetings from 9am-4pm every day this past week, which left Elder Tuttle (the other junior companion in the apartment), Elder Nilsen (an English Elder), and I to share our areas while our companions were at meetings all day.  Right now we have a baptism coming up with a 25-year-old guy named Angel (pronounced: On Hell) who is a total bro.  He works in two really nice restaurants and sometimes he gives us free food.  Every time we go to teach him, it is usually in the morning and we end up having to bang on his window to wake him up.  He lives in a pretty nice house and he is a rapper.  He is really good at it too.  The cool thing is is that ever since he has been investigating the church, it has inspired him to create a lot of music about God and Jesus Christ.  He knows the church is true but as a 25-year-old rapper who is, how can I say ... very acquainted with the party lifestyle, his biggest problems are the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity.  Thankfully, he knows the importance of those commandments and why we have them.  He also has a sister who was also in that kind of lifestyle who was baptized about a year ago.  She lives a long ways away but we set up an appointment where she can come and sit in with us when we teach Angel.  He has a baptismal date for the 19th this month.

I have never known or dealt with the Jehovah's witnesses so much until I served a mission.  They are basically the only ones out on the streets like us, trying to spread their message.  Run-ins with them usually don't go down so well.  They see us and immediately ask "quien es Dios?" (who is God or what is his name).  As you probably know, they think that God is Jehovah and Jesus Christ is his Son and they love to shove it in our face.  The problem is that in the Spanish Bible, it says Jehovah like a billion times, almost every time that it would say God or Lord in the English version.  The other problem is that they are VERY versed in the Bible (no pun intended) and when I say very, I mean very.  Some of them are really smart when it comes to the Bible and they are all about logic too so they get some stuff right that a lot of other major Christians don't.  Luckily, we have the power and authority on our side so we can handle them pretty well.  We have a couple bible verses we use on them, but the problem with the Bible is there is always another verse to shoot out -- another reason we need the Book of Mormon.

This past week we were in a lesson with a less-active member and some of her non-member friends.  We were teaching them the first lesson and it was going really well, especially for one of the non-members.  Unfortunately, this guy who had been working outside for most of the lesson comes in and just kind of leans against the wall and starts listening to us as we introduce the Book of Mormon and how we can use it to know that God has restored his church on the earth.  All of the sudden he butts in and starts spewing out Bible verses from memory for about 10 minutes ... and he was really good at his argument.  As soon as he started talking, the Spirit immediately left.  He started talking about how we don't need prophets anymore, how God and any of us can do amazing things and prophesy, and how the only way God speaks to us was through the Holy Ghost.  He probably thought that he had us so beat, but I am telling you that our words were guided by the Spirit at that moment.  Instead of immediately firing back at him and perpetuating the argument we told him that he was right in the way that through the Holy Ghost we can know the truth of all things and that through the Holy Ghost we can know that God has restored his Church on the earth today.  We bore testimony that contention is of the devil and that without a prophet we have confusion and arguments about the doctrine just like we were both saying two different things in that moment and claiming them to be truth.  I can barely explain the rest of what we said but I can say that it was baller status and that the one non-member lady felt the Spirit as we spoke.  That experience was a strong testimony builder for me in that -- we always need to have the Spirit with us so that we can confound the devil and his false doctrine, that Satan puts people in your path to hinder you from completing your purpose, and most importantly, that the message we are sharing is SOOO true.  Without the Holy Ghost, missionary work is impossible.  It is so true in D&C 100:5-6* when it talks about the Lord putting the words in our head that we need so we will not be confounded by men.  I continue to learn and grow in my testimony and my Spanish every week  as I strive to be obedient and feel the spirit ... meanwhile, my English abilities are rapidly plummeting.

Hope all is well.


Elder Kinney

*Doctrine & Covenants 100:5-6

5  Therefore, verily I say unto you, lift up your voice unto this people; speak the thoughts that I shall put into your hearts, and you shall not be confounded before men;
6  For it shall be given you in the very hour, yea, in the very moment, what ye shall say.

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