Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 1:54 p.m.
How is everyone?? This last week was fantastic. Here goes:
We have now heard from FIVE Apostles. Elder Holland came to talk with us last night and we sat so close. I could literally feel his stare. It was intense. I had an amazing experience as I sat and listened to him. He speaks with such power and such devotion. I’m going to share notes here because his talk was so powerful.
– “My mission has meant everything to me…. I came home changed forever in ways I hope I can always be true to.”
– My mission has affected every single significant decision since coming home – every good thing has come through that little tiny narrow channel of 24 months.
– Don’t ever turn your back on this MTC experience or on the Gospel that you’ve been called to preach.
– “I want your mission to mean to you what mine means to me, that’s what I want.”
– Preach My Gospel was made “because the missionaries were not getting the message.” It was made to convert the missionary.
– President Hinckley said: “If any missionary can come home and be less active, something’s wrong.”
– At the heart and soul of the matter, we are bringing people unto Christ, not unto baptism.
– Baptism is an outcome of bringing people unto Christ and His Atonement.
– Repentance and Baptism are for REMISSION OF SINS, not just membership in the church.
– We ALL take the gift of the Holy Ghost TOO LIGHTLY. It is the most universal gift Heavenly Father gives to His children. It is under-acknowledged, under-appreciated, and under-used.
– This is the closest to REAL LIFE that we’ll ever be (being on missions). There isn’t an “old life.” We are new people, born again, filled with the Spirit.
– “I can’t think about losing any of the sheep (investigators, others); but I can’t conceive of losing the shepherds.” (He was crying at this point. So powerful.)
– “This has to mean everything to you…. It is the best thing you’ve ever done with your life. You’ve never done anything so right. In your whole life, you’ve never done anything so right.”
– “Don’t ever, ever walk away from this…. I can promise you one convert, and I think I can ask it… The convert I ask is yourself…. YOU can endure to the end.”
– “You are going to know what it feels like to walk with a member of the Godhead. You will know what it means and feels like to be divine.”
– “I believe that missionary work is not easy, because it was never ever easy for the Living Son of God.”
– “We have a lot of scriptures describing His tears. And that He was a man of sorrows. You have to be prepared to feel those feelings.”
– “What is a disciple of Christ? It is someone who walks where He walked. Says what He said. Feels what He felt. And sheds tears like He shed tears.”
– “The road to salvation goes through the Garden of Gethsemane. And it always goes through Calvary.”
– “It is never too much to offer, never too much to declare your discipleship.”
– “You may take a step or two towards Calvary, but you’re never going to have to carry any crosses….. Salvation was never a cheap experience. It always cost everything. And it always cost Him everything.
– “You are saviors on Mount Zion. You are angels of the everlasting truth.”
Then he bore sweet and powerful testimony that He lives, and that he (Elder Holland) will testify of that until his last breath. That the last words to leave his mouth will be “This is the truth. Jesus is the Christ…” He was crying. We were crying. The Spirit was filling the entire room and every heart that was seeking it. It was amazing. I came away changed and had a sweet experience in my prayers that night with my Heavenly Father. 🙂 I feel so blessed to be here and to be and do whatever the Lord wants me to be and to do. I am His. I will do what He wants in whatever way He asks. I don’t ever want to be anything but His servant for the rest of my life. I owe my Heavenly Father and my Savior, my Redeemer Jesus Christ, SO much. I have been studying the Atonement of Christ, and the grace of Christ and trying to comprehend it all. I am so grateful for Jesus—for His love, for His patience, for His willingness to suffer and die for me. I love Him with all my heart and I will never be the same because He has done so much for me. I want to do everything I can for the rest of my life to show Him my gratitude and my love. After the devotional I felt like we needed to have a zone testimony meeting instead of just talking as districts. We met all together and just bore testimony of what we knew, and shared things we liked from the devotional. I have been so grateful for all the people in my zone. They have changed me in so many ways and I love them all.
Ok. Spiritual gush aside. 🙂 Here are some other things about this week that were amazing.
On Thursday we got to do TRC (where we teach members/less active members) with people in ROMANIA. We skyped with a sweet lady named Lydia who was the CUTEST. If all the old ladies are like that I’m going to have tons of grandmas which will be awesome. I am SO excited to be there, especially after TRC and then Elder Holland’s address to us. I just want to teach everyone and love everyone.
We had our last lesson with one of our investigators, Emil. I was so sad I may have cried. Hahaha, lame I know but I just love him tons, and he’s not even a real investigator! I can’t even imagine what it’ll be like when I’m teaching people in Romania.
Utah weather has been at its prime: rain and wind last Wednesday, a few days of warmth and sunshine, and it’s back to rain. Gotta love it.
Sister Timmins tied my shoe this week. It was exciting, hahahaha. 🙂
All our German zone friends left for Germany on Tuesday morning so we had a little goodbye thing Monday night and got to say goodbye to them. It was super quiet in our halls the next day and it made the fact that we leave in a week, even more real.
Stephen, did you get your journal and things I sent you!? I have one exactly like it, but one of my friends here carved drawings into the front and back. I’ll send you a picture of it soon. I was hoping you would use it to write down spiritual impressions, promptings, etc. as you read and study the scriptures, go to church and the temple, etc. I love having a journal for those things and I know it will bless your life, bud. 🙂
I wish I could think of more to write but I can’t!! Love you all!!!! Next time you hear from me I’ll be in Romania!!