Wednesday, November 5, 2014

E-mail Nov. 4, 2014 "Oh come on, just a little won't hurt!"

But when it comes to chili powder "just a little bit" really does hurt. A lot.

I used to think I could handle spicy foods, in fact whenever I would go to a Mexican restaurant I would liberally apply the jalapenos and habanero sauce to prove my ability to tolerate it.

Then I got sent to India.

To put it simply the spiciest food you'll ever find in America is what the natives here would feed to their newborn children. The amount of chili powder they use here is inconceivable (and yes, that does mean what I think it means). The curries all have chili powder, the two minute noodles I've become so familiar with have chili powder, the jam that I had at a member's home for breakfast was more chili powder than fruit; and, thanks to one of the other elders, I found out the hard way that my chocolate milk was also full of chili powder. Regardless though the food here is unbelievably delicious. Even the simplest dish prepared by an Indian puts an expensive restaurant back home to shame; and so despite having to apply ice packs to my tongue each night, I'm happy. :)

We often read in the scriptures how we're supposed to plead with the Lord for those things we stand in need of, but how many of us actually know what it feels like to desperately cry to and beg our Heavenly Father for the spirit to touch our hearts? I don't think I know that I've ever felt that to the extent that God wants me to, but this week I met someone who did. I was on exchange with the other Elders and they were teaching an investigator who had taken more than a year to really progress in the gospel. They had previously invited him to fast to receive an answer about the truthfulness of the gospel and when we met him at 8:00 that night he confirmed that he had started his fast early that morning but then surprised us all when he told us that he was still going (we took him out to dinner afterwards). At the end of an excellent lesson he was invited to give the closing prayer, and it was unlike any prayer I've ever heard before. This humble man didn't go through the motions as he spoke, he truly and fervently petitioned the Lord to give him that witness that couldn't come from anyone else, and he didn't stop praying until he had literally poured out his soul in that request. To make a somewhat long story short, he got his answer, and it was an experience I'll never forget.

As I was walking with my companion down a busy street one day we were discussing some of Christ's teachings from the bible. We talked about how we shouldn't notice others imperfections before acknowledging and trying to correct our own, as He taught using the symbolism of the beam and the mote. I learned a valuable lesson that day: If you're going to demonstrate what it might look like to physically pull a beam out of your eye make sure you're not on a busy street where the people who are around aren't already watching you.

Yeah I know you probably think I'm a geek, but I'm just grateful I learned to not act out scripture stories in public before trying to put a camel through the eye of a needle.

Anyways until next time- pray daily, seek the spirit, and rock on. 
-Elder Cloward

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