Utah: Home of the Latter Day Saints (1)
I have been in Salt Lake City for the last week as part of a missions team sent out by TMC. Fourteen others and I spent our Spring Break witnessing to students at Weber State University, Latter Day Saint (LDS or Mormons) Missionaries at Temple Square, and replacing a bathroom in The Blue House. Over the next week, intend to post selections from my travel journals for every day of the week. It is hard to put a missions trip into words, but I shall do my best, and trust something may be gained from it. Thank you very much for those who were consistently praying for my team and I. We were greatly blessed by the incredible support we received from back home. Trust God will work in the hearts of those we met.
It is easy to witness to an LDS, but difficult to make them understand the difference between their “Christ” and the realJesus Christ of the Bible. The trip as a whole was exhilarating, exhausting, frustrating, and joy-producing. It was painful to see how close they are to the truth as they speak, but to see how far away Satan keeps them by means of twisting the truth. Partial truth is so much more difficult to counter than a bold-faced lie, for it keeps men believing they are indeed saved when they indeed are not. Every day I was drawn again to
Here is my journal from Saturday, March 10th, when we drove the entire distance from Newhall, California to Ogden, Utah.
I am lying in bed right now. A strange bed. With strange sheets, strange pillows, and strange allergens. Today started at 4:04 AM. It was supposed to start at 4:55 (precious fifty minutes of sleep), but I typoed on my alarm clock. Bummer. The team met together in Dixon at 6:00 to leave. Not surprisingly, we didn’t make it out until quarter till seven. You know how those things go. The drive lasted roughly eleven hours, not counting our getting lost in Provo and Salt Lake City. Five stops, three tanks of gas, and seven hundred thirty two miles across three states. We only saw two policemen the whole time. We drove in pairs rather than all four in a row. Probably a good idea given our “California Driver” tendencies. Bri and I and Keenan were the drivers for our group. I drove the whole way since there were only three people who knew how to drive a stick in our car squadron. I alternated from not being able to feel the lower half of my body to being acutely aware of the fact that I had spent “x” hours pushing down on the gas pedal. The scenery here is stunning. I love mountains and snow, and this place has both in abundance. Hopefully, we will head up to the mountains sometime this week.
The drive went exceptionally well. The only adventures came when I hit eighty eight on the freeway and a gust of wind came up at the same time. Woo! We got lost in Salt Lake City, but it all came through okay. Praise God for His protection and provision. I gained two new friends today, Jennifer and Mia. Spending twelve hours in a car together will do that! Jennifer is a music major and fellow Pastor’s Kid. We talked for several hours about practical holiness, the sovereignty of God in the midst of trying circumstances, and our lack of knowledge about Mormonism. I pray we both will be able to effectively witness despite our shortcomings. Mia is a Presbyterian (gasp), and we had a rousing conversation about the end times. It is wonderful to see how doctrinal differences melt away in the face of the importance of sharing the gospel in a united effort to those who are going to hell apart from a miracle.
I am utterly exhausted right now. It is 12:30 PM due to the time zone change and spring ahead. It is interesting to contrast the billboards in Nevada and Utah. Nevada was disgusting, especially Las Vegas. I won’t put into words everything we saw but I began to wonder if anyone wears clothes in that town! In Utah, it was funny to see all the bridal billboards. We must have passed thirty “utahbrides.com” advertisements. It isn’t too surprising considering the pressure to get married in Mormonism. I’ve also never seen so much Mountain Dew in my life. Going to sleep now God, thank you for today and thank you for the great group of people I’m with. God bless them all with good, needed rest.
Mia, Heather, Bri, Ellen, Leslie, Jennifer, Roderick, Nate, Keenan, Cameron, Brian, Eric, Kasey, Rebecca, and Molly (from left to right) right before heading out.
Meeting at 6 AM has its consequences. (Rebecca and Ellen)
One of five stops for gas. We drove 700+ miles that day.
I don’t remember the name, but we drove through a series of gorges in Utah. The red rock formations were spectacular.
These are small hills, nothing like the mountains found farther north in Ogden. (Molly)
The guys lived in “The Cave,” the basement of the cave. This is Cameron, Keenan, and I after driving for 12 hours.
Here’s our sleeping quarters. (Keenan and Me)