Tuesday, August 31, 2010

20 feet from Elder Holland

Well this past week has been one of my favorites thus far into my mission.  The biggest reason for that would be that on Tuesday last week we got the amazing opportunity to hear a devotional from Elder Jeffery R. Holland!!!  We had been hearing rumors all day that a General Authority was coming to the devotional but rumors like that seem to happen every Tuesday.  Luckily however, my companion forgot his card that lets us in for dinner in the cafeteria and so we skipped dinner and went straight to the gym where the devotional was going to be held.  Since we got there early, we were able to get seats within 20 feet from Elder Holland!  I kept thinking to myself as he walked in and sat waiting for the devotional to start how he really is a normal man with a calling from the Lord.  Sometimes because we only really see them on a TV screen during General Conference, the General Authorities look and seem like super heroes because of just how powerful their faith and testimonies can be. The Spirit was so strong right from the moment Elder Holland walked in the door and kept growing more and more as his talk went on.  One thing that he said in the introduction of his talk was that he loved us so much for doing all that we needed to do in order to be on a mission right now.  He then said that if he could possibly figure out some way to do it, he would have interviewed each of us missionaries one-on-one.  WOW, that would have been awesome!  Anyways, he said that he hoped the Spirit would touch us each individually by something he said that would make his devotional seem as if it were a one-on-one interview.  As he stood up there with out any preparation, paper, and only scriptures, Elder Holland gave us a talk and example of the Spirit putting words in the mouth of a faithful servant.  One thing that he said in particular that really hit me was when he was listing off some of the problems missionaries are having and that they need to be fixed.  He said that we need to teach with power at every lesson and this means we need to be spiritually tuning ourselves at every moment of the day.  Pondering on what it means exactly to preach with power I prayfully came across a scripture during my personal study.  It is 1 Nephi 15:25.  Nephi has has always been a great example of power and authority when teaching and he answered my question.  I wish that I had time to really relate more of the talk and my experiences after but I guess I will have to show my journal some day!
So I thought I would quickly fill everyone in on my RC investigator Sean.  He actually finally did meet with the missionaries in Maryland.  We called to ask him how it went and he told us that because of it that he was no longer interested in the church.  Sean was baptized into a church down his street and was found got really offended with the missionaries in Maryland ask him to be baptized with the priesthood.  He told us that he yelled at them and told them to never come back...my companion and I are extremely sad for Sean and this situation.  However, Sean is still ok with Elder Zylstra and I calling back to checkup on him.  We have plans to continue to teach him so that he doesn't become to detached from the church.  He has such a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon.
I have such a strong testimony of God not only hearing prayers but answering my prayers.  I have been praying has the scriptures and Preach My Gospel teach and that is with all my heart in fervert, sincere communication with our Father in Heaven.  Then I would focus on that fact that the answer would come in the Lord's timing and not always immediately.  This last week I have gotten some immediate answers to prayer and sometimes I find the answer in a couple of days.  The scripture in 1 Nephi in the first paragraph is an immediate answer to prayer when I asked the Lord how can I learn what it takes to teach with power.  I have even come across even more scriptures that further enlighten my understanding of teaching with power.  Other answer to pray came as sudden inspiration to me as I was in the temple today.  I know that the Lord hears and answers our prayers and that we really can receive so many blessings if we just kneel down and ask for them.  I see the Lord's hand everyday in the work that we are going about here at the MTC and I know that I will see it everyday in the mission field as long as I ask in faith.
Elder Janis

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