[Shared with permission of Sisters Colina and Vautier] Note: Sister Colina has recently been switched to French work – becoming our latest Sister to become tri-lingual (English, Spanish and French).
Sis. Vautier, is the boldest most fearless, companion I’ve ever had. She literally talks to everyone in her path! Yet, she comes off as this sweet, innocent, and quiet, Tahitian women. As we were looking for a member’s home in an apartment, disappointed at our failure to find “Karina”, I turned around from the door we thought she lived at ready to go home. My companion in her broken Spanish yelled “wait! *points at the neighbors door, raises her eyebrows and says* Karina??” I reply, “no, we know she doesn’t live there!” She insists, and by this time I’ve learned to follow my companions promptings. I say “ok, fine”. She proceeds to knock. A young 20 something year old guy answers. She says “Karina?? Does she live here?” He apologetically says “no, sorry”. She then acts like her puppy just died saying “Oh my!, no Karina?! Oh, no, oh no!”…, then stops, smiles like she just had the best idea ever and says “Well, can we give you Karina’s invitation?” We talk with him for a while and learn that he’s actually been looking for a church, feeling a void in his heart, and wanting to meet with us. We have now taught him 3 times and he continues to want to know more. He’s been so kind, open, and courteous. I am stumped! To think it all just started with “Does Karina live here?”. Never doubt your companions promptings, especially when she’s a spiritual power house!
We were again looking for a less active member. It was dark, sketchy, and I was a little paranoid and afraid. We walk up to the house and it’s totally barricaded. S. Vautier wants to keep trying. I tell her, sister, I don’t feel good about it. We start walking to the car and as we start getting in the neighbor pulls in next door. We sit, I sigh and say “You want to go talk to the neighbor don’t you.” She reply’s “Oui!”. Me: “Okay, let’s do it.” She approaches him the interaction starts very sketchily. With him responding dryly. After she said the name of who she was looking for he change completely. He brightens up and says “That’s me!”. We have an awesome conversation and learn that he’s actually working on coming back to church with his dad and they had been attending a family Ward together. He tells us how he’s been preparing to go on a mission but was wanting to see his dad come back to church first. It was so great to talk to him and get to know him. We now have a new less active to work with!
[Shared with permission from Elder O’Brien]
Well, I guess we did have one out of the ordinary experience, which just happened this morning. Before I talk about it though, let me just say I am truly grateful for the authority of the priesthood, and more so the power behind it. All 4 of us elders were starting to make some breakfast when a car pulls in to our place from the road. Apparently Elder Meza and Kapisi met with a lady yesterday who was concerned about evil spirits around and in her home. It was her who pulled up, along with her daughter, her daughter’s fiancé and their three little girls. Her daughter and daughter’s fiancé (Telesa and Roger) were literally seeing these evil spirits around them. Telesa and Roger were in tears by the time they got to the church. The whole car ride to the church, they said the spirits were hiding under their car seats taunting them.
I dealt with evil spirits in my first area. I am now grateful that I had gone through that because I was now able to speak knowledgeably with Telesa and Roger about how they can get rid of, and then keep themselves free from these things. The first big thing we did, was we gave them priesthood blessings of healing. In the blessing, we were allowed to command the evil spirits to leave from their bodies and to not harm them. After the blessing, I talked with them both a little bit about a story told by Pres. Sweeney to me of a missionary who brought an evil spirit into his mission home and the general authority that was visiting was able to cast it out with love. I also shared with them that we allow these dark forces to enter into us or around us through our own spiritual death by disobedience to God’s commandments (especially the word of wisdom, I have seen). Love is a repellent against these spirits.
Elder David A Bednar gave a really good example that I like to use from his “patterns of light” videos, I’ll paraphrase a little bit here to say what he said: Have you ever been in a completely dark room with no light coming in whatsoever? What happens when you strike a match in this pitch black room? You see light! Even the smallest light, the darkness will never overtake it. The darkness flees from the source of light.
Thinking of this example, consider the darkness to be the evil spirits, and then consider the light to be Christ’s love. It is by no coincidence that Christ’s Apostle John spoke of Christ as life and light:
“In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” – John 1:4-5
After we helped Telesa and Roger learn what they can do to keep these spirits away, they both said that they could still see the spirits around them. However, they were cowering away from them. Just like that small flame among the darkness, the spirits were being kept at bay around these two people. It is my testimony of the priesthood, that God has given men a trust, a power from heaven to combat evil.