Posted by: elderleach | May 28, 2010

Count Your Many Blessings

Let me explain just one more experiencethat has strengthened my testimony concerning this “work and glory” (Moses 1:39). Until yesterday, I had yet to experience a teaching moment where I legitimately felt the Spirit in control. I felt, for the most part, alone and if the Spirit played any role, it was minor. My prayer a few nights ago contained a petition to the Lord that maybe I might experience the Spirit in a strong, unmistakable way during a teaching appointment. The very next day we had a teaching opportunity with a teacher acting like an investigator. The investigator he pretended to be like was someone that didn’t knowmuch or believe in God. Talk about a curveball! I began to panic, but then realized the Spirit does most of the talking anyway, so I said a prayer in my heart.
 
Elder Rogers and I dove into the lesson, but then it occured to me that maybe we should all say a prayer together to invite the Spirit in the room. I offered the prayer and we resumed. It ishard to explain what happened next, but I felt like (and sorry in advance for this cheezy explanation) a cloud was surrounding me. When Elder Rogers and I saw this investigator, Austin, just wasn’t getting it all the way, I felt impresed to reach into my backpack and pull out my mini-hymnbook. I explained to him we sing “hymns” or songs in church that praise God. The one I chose to read to him was Hymn #241, “Count Your Blessings.” I read,
 
“When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings; name the one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”
 
As I read these words to Austin, an overwhelming Spirit enveloped me and, for what I imagine is the first time in a long time, began to get emotional. There was such a strong feeling of love, peace, and gratitude that engulfed the room as those words were spoken. “Austin,” after the lessons, really desired another appointment and we happily made one! Something a little odd, though. I asked on our way to class,
 
“Elder Rogers, did you feel that Spirit?!”
 
He responded in his now typical way, “Umm… yeah. That was… uh, pretty cool.”
 
I chastized him long and hard about that. The Spirit in the room was UNDENIABLE, MISTER! It was not “pretty cool,” it was transforming! I would be lying if I told you the Spirit played a minor role in that lesson.
 
Anyway, this was my “serious epistle.” I strongly believe in periods of humor so we don’t take life too seriously, so I’ll be sure to send some of my “humorous epistles” soon.
 
I love you more than you can know. The Gospel has been resotred, or brought back to the Earth. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t firmly believe that!
 
With Love,
Elder Matthew G. Leach

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