Craig is a returned missionary, but less active. He is 30, so he is barely YSA, but we have had so many amazing experiences with him. Two weeks ago, we weren't going to go to our FHE activity, because we had a lesson. Well, the lesson fell through, so we decided to go back. After the activity (it was about) we walked outside and Craig was there. (I had never met him before). He told us that he just felt like he needed to come to church, so he came, and there we were! We were able to have a mini lesson with him outside, and somehow we ended up talking about tithing. We showed him how to pay tithing on his phone, so that he would never have any excuse not to. Craig knows the doctrine, and he knows that the gospel is true, he even admits it. He has just been through so much heartache over the last year that he is broken. He wants to be good, but he doesn't want to. He just has this war going on inside of him. Well, since that lesson, he has paid his tithing TWICE! Last Sunday, Craig even came to our sacrament meeting! Then, last Monday, we ran into him at the church again and had another surprise lesson with him, and this time we set up an appointment.
We were going to see Craigafternoon. Well, evening (after we were already home) he texted us and told us "I'm not worth it, I am too far gone, and I don't want to waste the time of the Lord's anointed." Wow. We sent him several scriptures, but nothing seemed to help, so finally my amazing companion felt inspired to call him and sing a himn. He answered the phone, and we sang "Be Still My Soul," which really helped to invite the spirit, and we were able to talk with him for a while, but he was still fighting it. Eventually he told us "It's a good thing you didn't sing my favorite song. I really like Be Still My Soul, but I couldn't handle my favorite song right now. If you sang it, it would be a sign from God that I had to come to church every week!" He absolutely refused to tell us what song it was, but eventually we found out that it was in the children's hymn book. We finally gave up trying to figure out which song it was, but we asked his permission to sing him one more song, from the children's book. He agreed. As I looked through the book, I saw "My Heavenly Father Loves Me," which is my favorite primary song. And if Craig needed to know anything, it was that his Heavenly Father loved him. So we sang that primary song, and when we had finished, Craig was very quiet. He finally said "My mother..... used to sing that song to me every night. I don't know how you picked out that song out of so many." It was such an amazing miracle! Craig just kept saying "I can't believe you picked that song. I don't know how you did it. Well, I do know, and you know, but I still can't believe it."
I am so thankful for the spirit that allows us to be instruments in the hands of God! I am thankful that I am learning to recognize how it works for me. I didn't get an overwhelming feeling that we should sing that song. I had the simple thought: Craig needs to know that God loves him. For some reason I never realized that the spirit could work through logic... but God knows that I trust my logic more that my feelings, so he knows exactly how I need to receive inspiration. I am so thankful that I was able to be a part of that moment; it was one of the most sacred experiences that I have had on my mission.
And yes, Craig then allowed us to have a lesson with him the next day, and he came to sacrament meeting again yesterday! He is still struggling, but he is coming around!
-- Hermana Nielsen
-Hear the song of a bird, or look at the blue and red sky,
-Get tamales for dinner (what a tender mercy!)
Yes I know Heavenly Father loves me!