Week 81 – Three Cheers for Prophets and Apostles!

Birthday dinner with our good friend, Verduzco
April 4, 2016
Well Howdy!!

What a great week it has been here in Nevada, and across the whole world! After the random snow fall last Monday, the snow melted and now we are blessed with beautiful weather! The past few days have been perfect and the forecast is calling for more perfect weather this week. So we can't complain!

Thank you to all who sent birthday wishes my way this past week, it really means a lot!

Giving our training at MLC with Elder Han.
(Notice the matching ties - haha!)
This past Friday Elder Han and I attended the monthly MLC (Mission Leadership Conference) meeting, and it was a great experience! Elder Han and I were asked to give a training on building unity within our zone, because we pridefully consider ourselves and our zone the most unified in the mission – haha!  We also got to hear from the other leaders from across the mission, from President and Sister Chesnut, and from President Perry, who is a counselor in the mission presidency.  He taught us about virtue. I've talked about him before in past emails, but I love hearing from him because he is so wise!! He knows the scriptures really well and always gives great insights and trainings. He taught us about virtue and really the whole training was geared for life after our missions, because so many missionaries develop great habits on their missions, but then they return home and fall right back into old habits that aren't good. So he invited us all to write ourselves a letter to read when we return home and tell ourselves what we expect when we get home. I know that I have personally developed some great habits in regards to reading and studying the scriptures, fervent personal prayers, and building clean and healthy relationships, and I want to continue my progress in all of the categories when I return home – and not digress. It can be very easy to slip back into old habits, but I won't let that happen!

This weekend was exactly what I needed on my mission. After the MLC meeting and the Saturday conference sessions, I was on a spiritual high. We were also invited to go out for pizza with some brothers in the branch after the Priesthood session, and we sat with a brother who is American, but served his mission in Mexico. He recounted mission experiences to us and I could tell by the way he talked about his mission that he loved every minute of it. Just hearing stories from his mission and feeling the passion he had got me super pumped to go out and work hard. Elder Han and I were both on a spiritual high and we recommitted our selves to the mission as we come down the home stretch. We are so pumped to go to work and see tons more miracles!!!!

Exchanges with Elder Jensen (one of the pigeon Elders!)
This week some Elders in our zone got together for lunch, and while they were eating at their apartment, they thought it would be funny to lure some pigeons inside the apartment and then  shut the door. They managed to do so, thus trapping a handful of pigeons inside their apartment. Of course, the pigeons didn't know what to do, so as you can imagine they flew all over their apartment making a mess of everything. They caught the whole thing on video and showed it to us. We thought it was hilarious!!! Sometimes all you can do is shake you head and say "Daggum Elders!" Like I mentioned before, we take pride in having the best zone in the mission.

But wow – what a great conference weekend it was the past few days…to listen and learn from the Lord's prophet and apostles!! I personally thought it was a great conference and I know that I learned a ton from each session. A few personal highlights:
  • The talk given by Elder Snow Saturday morning (partially because I got to meet the man and eat dinner with him, but it was also a great talk on humility and the hymns!)
  • The talk given by Elder Renlund about how the closer we get to God, the more we realize we have to do for him, and the farther we get from God, the more we expect in return. I found this principle to ring true immediately! So often, I have met people who tell us, "I would believe in God, but if God was real then he would give me a better job and a better place to live." So then they quit going to church and don't want to learn more, yet they expect so much from him. On the contrary, those who understand their relationship with Heavenly Father are grateful for him and do everything they can to grow, even if they don't have as much money as they would like or if something goes wrong, they don't lose hope. A great talk!!
  • The talk by Elder Owen in Priesthood session about how a leader is a follower and a follower is a leader. I loved this talk so much, and he used great principles from Christ's life. I know personally I get prideful at times and I think to myself that everyone should follow me because I always know what is right, and therefore I am too good to consider myself a follower. So it was a great reminder that I needed to hear…that I can also be a powerful follower, and be exactly obedient to whatever is asked of me.
  • The talk by Elder Oaks on opposition. Really made great sense of why we must have opposition, a question that we often get, "Why do things have to be so hard? If God really wants me to join this church, why does he make it so hard?" Good doctrinal talk.

I could say highlights from every single talk, but those are just a few. We had lined up with some families in the branch and some investigators to watch conference with them in their home, but they almost all fell through! On Sunday morning we watched the session with a family in the branch in Spanish, and honestly it was quite hard for me to get as much out of it! I could understand the gist of what they were saying, but the details were hard to catch. It was cool though, for Elder Christofferson's talk about “Fatherhood,” he translated and recorded his own talk! We could tell by his voice, and I knew beforehand that he was fluent in Spanish. But watching conference for a session in Spanish really strengthened my testimony of how important it is to learn and hear the gospel in our own native languages, because it is just so much harder to grasp as much when it is in a foreign language, even if I am half decent at speaking the other language. It motivated me to learn more Spanish so that I can more clearly teach to our Spanish investigators.

Chillin' with Han
Although both of the prophet’s talks were quite short, I really like what he said in the Priesthood session, "Remember wherever you go, your priesthood goes with you." This is a powerful concept that reminds me to stand in holy places. As bearers of the Priesthood of God, we can't afford to mess around and go into unholy places. It was a great reminder that I need to always live and act worthy of the power of God, as it is a privilege and honor to hold it. It was honestly sad to see him speak for such a short period of time in both the Priesthood and Sunday morning sessions – because it shows that he is not physically very strong anymore, but I know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. I know that the things he taught were very important. The Holy Ghost told me as I listened to him that what he was saying was true, and that he really is a Prophet called of God. What a great blessing it is to be able to hear from someone who receives direct revelation from God! It is something unique to our church, and I am very grateful for that.

Me and Verduzco
In the Book of Mormon we read of the purpose of prophets:

"And the Lord God hath sent his holy prophets among all the children of men, to declare these things to every kindred, nation, and tongue, that thereby whosoever should believe that Christ should come, the same might receive remission of their sins, and rejoice with exceedingly great joy, even as though he had already come among them." (Mosiah 3:13)

Truly, a prophet's job is to teach and testify of Jesus Christ and his divinity, and to invite all to come unto him and "receive a remission of their sins." I know that is exactly what President Monson does, along with the other apostles. The cool part about the purpose of a prophet is that it is very similar to my purpose as a full-time missionary. My purpose is "to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." So in other words, my job is to teach and testify of Jesus Christ, and invite everyone to come unto him!

It really is a complete and total joy to teach about Christ, and wear his name on my chest for two years. I wouldn't want to be doing anything else in the whole world that this work right now. This is the Church of Christ. Thomas S. Monson is a prophet, and the Book of Mormon is true!

Have a stupendous week everyone!


Elder Todd
This is the workout that some Elders do every morning.
(Notice line 6 - haha!)

No comments:

Post a Comment