November 18, 2013
Devotional with Elder Holland
We woke up at 5am in the morning and put on Sundays best and headed over to the church so we could hear Elder Holland speak and we got there at 6am and there were over 200 missionaries already there! Let's just keep in minds that the reunion didn’t start till 10am! It was crazy. There were 4 missions there and so many missionaries. It took me back to the MTC - which feels like another life right now. It was neat to see some friends that were in the other missions. As 9am was approaching we all were seated in silence and then walked in Elder Holland. We were sitting in the second row and it was neat to be so close. Elder Holland is a jolly man but knows who he represents and is unmovable from his faith. We started off the meeting with a special musical number and the spirit was so strong. I love moments like these because I tuck them away and then pull them out when times are tough. We had some other speakers before Elder Holland and his wife and I learned so much from what the spirit was teaching me, and it had nothing to do with what they were talking about.
I want to share my notes here:
"I think to have the enabling power of the atonement is pushing forward with faith and obedience. When you made it through you look back and realize you didn't do that yourself and you realize that Jesus Christ had carried you the whole way. I believe the key to receive this power is to 1st pray and ask for it and then start moving. Start working by faith and have it guide your every action and when we are all in heaven or when the trial here on this earth is over and we look back we realize that Christ carried us the whole way. Because we relied on him we could do things we weren’t capable of other ways"
More quotes from my notes
"My trials are tailored for me to help me grow and to become the person God has planned for me to become. We need to submit and be humble and walk by faith. I don't get to pick the blessings I want, but I get to receive the blessings the Lord knows I stand in need of"
Elder Holland’s Talk
Then it was time to hear Elder Holland speak. I could feel the excitement of every missionary in the room with pens ready to write. Elder Holland could feel it too as he started his talk off with, "I'm so pumped I'm ready to roll" and so were we. He told us how this influx of missionaries ranks with the 1st vision, Book of Mormon and the restoration of the priesthood. He said because of this we must be better, we must do more than the missionaries before us. We will have more demands than the missionaries of the past. Things cannot be as they were before and we will not and cannot waste this opportunity the Lord has given us. "We have to do it better, know it better, and work harder" We have to do this forever. You have to be committed to this work forever" he was pleading with us to just realize that the work of salvation is not just for 18 months or 2 years. We are signed up forever, we must actively be involved in this for the rest of our lives and yes I’m talking to you. We must share this happiness with all that will listen.
He then said something that was real hard. He said, "This is real life"..."nobody goes back" It’s true this is real life. My mission and sharing the gospel is real life and it will be a huge part of my life forever. He then compared us to our investigators. He said, “We are God’s investigators and everything we want for our investigators God wants for us, so if we want our investigators to pray harder then we must pray harder ... "Repent, study a little harder, pray with more power" the challenges of my investigators are my challenges now. He talked about his love for Chile and how when he was called to go live in Chile years ago he said to President Hinckley, “You’re kidding ? Chile? We don’t even speak Spanish and President Hinckley said, "We don’t kid a lot in here", so funny. He also spoke about how his mission changed his life and how dear to him it is and that he has thought of it every day since and how we should always cherish our mission and keep doing the work of salvation.
He told us the secret to success. He told a story of an Olympic swimmer that was very successful and he was asked what his secret was and he said "Stroke when you don’t want to stroke and kick when you don’t want to kick". I loved this and we can apply it in our lives when we don’t want to do something we should, just do it and that my friend is the secret of success. He then shared 1 Nephi 1:12 with us "and it came to pass that as he read he was filled with the spirit of the Lord" and how if we read the Book of Mormon with real intent we will be filled with the Spirit of the Lord. We should cherish this book and how it was not easy for them to write this book because they wrote "on plates with an ice pick" (yep never heard it described that way but he has got a point hahah) he read Mosiah 27:18 but in Spanish the word astonished is asombro or amazed and then he told us to "go asombro somebody anyone you see, this only really works when you asombro" so challenge from an apostle - go asombro someone go amaze someone with your testimony and help them come to know the truth that has changed your life. He then told us how "it will actually be ok if the only convert is you" on your mission he then talked about the question why is it so hard or why is life so hard - he then said because salvation is not a cheap experience and it never has been easy to save a soul and that the "road to salvation always goes through gethsemane". He said how could it be easy for us when it was never easy for him. He told us how the scriptures say "take up your cross not your feather bed" how it will be hard but it will be worth it and in his closing testimony he said on his deathbed his last words will be 1) his love for Sister Holland and 2) that this is Christ Church and that He lives. It was an amazing experience and it only helped me have a stronger testimony and a stronger desire to change. I know Elder Holland is an apostle and he was called of God and that this work that I do every day is God’s work.
Thanksgiving Feast in Chile
We had our Thanksgiving feast today and it was so fun to bake all the stuff and set the table all pretty. haha It was so funny cause we literally just went outside and cut a bunch of branches and leaves off of the stuff around our apartment building but it made a pretty mean center piece! Haha We even did the tradition of saying what we are thankful for youngest to oldest it was lots of fun and then we made a giant bed and took a nap best thanksgiving ever! Hope ya’lls is great and love ya’ll