Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Power of Prayer

Elder Anderson, although feeling very mortal from getting rained on all the time in Vancouver, WA, has been having some awesome spiritual experiences which make the mortal, earthly trials a bit more palatable.  Well, a lot more palatable!  Here is an example from his e-mail this week:

"Our testimony of prayer become even bigger and makes us even more excited to do mission work over here in the evergreen ward.. . On Thursday night we were planning for the next day and we started out by saying a prayer like we are supposed to.  Elder Dixon decided to offer the prayer and he started out saying a normal prayer that didn't touch me at any part until on little part where both of us kinda were a little surprised about what he said.  In his prayer he said something to the effect of,  "please help us answer somebody's prayers tomorrow."   Well we both didn't say anything about it but we did notice it in the prayer and decided to finish the day by writing in our journals and going to bed.   In the morning nothing was different.  But that last night we had planned on going up to the north part of our area to see a family we had never seen before.  And it is in the middle of no where.  Really far away and I didn't want to bike over there at all.   The streets were really busy, we almost got hit a couple times by cars, there are no side walks, no bike paths and there is a swamp and river on the side of us so we either fall into that or we get hit by a car.  I continued to just keep peddling at my own speed and trying to get there as fast as I could.  I was pretty tired and sweaty by the time we got to the area. . .   We then proceeded to go to the house that we had planned on seeing.  The house wasn't far away but when we got there nobody answered the door.  We where pretty bummed about that. But we continued onward and went to a less active's house and knew that she should be home for us to at least visit with her. We then arrived and found out that she as well wasn't home and that we were pretty much done with our time up there and wasted all of that effort and scary biking for nothing.  We then started towards the street when I felt like we should stop and go back to a house in a circle that had a man that was dis-fellowshipped from the church a few years back.  We decided to stop there and see if the man was home.  We knocked on the door and nobody answered. So we rang the door bell and it seemed like nobody was home. But we sat there a little bit longer than normal just because, and all of the sudden the door opened and the man we were trying to see was standing there at the door and welcoming us in.  His name is Joel and he is a sailor and he is a very tough man who you can tell you don't want to mess with.  We then sat down and we started to talk to him about things we noticed and starting up a conversation when he all of a sudden he said.  "I'm glad you men came over.  I got up this morning and said a prayer for somebody to help me and give me a priesthood blessing".  Not even  thinking about what I was going to say my mouth opened and I said something that was completely his own business.  I asked. "Why do you need a blessing, Joel"?   He then stopped and choked up.  He told us that this morning he got up and was drunk.  He had been drinking since he was 13 and wants to stop.  He is now 29 and has lost every contact he had from the church.  He needs to stop and he prayed for the Lord to help him that very day and have somebody help him with the things he was messing up with.  He told us that he wanted to come back to church.  That he is getting a new job that allows him to go back to church in a few weeks and that he is planning on quitting drinking but he needed some help from someone and a blessing.  And who was there on that very day at the very morning in that very area?  Us, the missionaries the very people that want to help him and will do anything to help him.  We told him that we were going to always be there for him and he asked me to give him a blessing.  We did so and left and told him that the Lord has given him a clean slate.  He has the chance to change his life right now and he has the opportunity to. 
Prayer is one of the most powerful tools that the Lord has given us. . .we are to use it and the Lord will bless us through prayer.  This young man will now be going back to church and will be a wonderful example for others.  I know that Heavenly Father listens and answers prayers, and that he always will.  I know that it works and that he loves us.  I love you all as well and hope you pray for others and for yourself. 
I hope all goes well this week. I will continue to pray for you and for the work."

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