Monday, January 29, 2018

Elders Uchdorf and Holland in the house...Inspiring messages from Apostles of the Lord!

Howdy y'all!

Well this week had a ton of driving and a ton of time not spent in our area, so there wasn't too much excitement throughout the week other than a couple lessons had with some investigators.  We finally got the OK to go with some 2 single elderly women to do missionary work and so we did that this week and saw some people but nothing too much exciting to go in the weekly cause it was all short visits.  But something I DO wanna talk about if the visit from Elder Holland and Elder Uchtdorf.  Holy cow.  If y'all thought they were awesome on TV at conference, y'all gotta hear them in person.   They lit the place on fire!  Elder Kleibengat came back as well and that guy I hope will be an apostle someday cause I can listen to him speak for forever.

On Saturday, we heard from them just as missionaries and then there was a Saturday evening meeting as well, but that was for the young adults and we couldn't go :/ but that is alright cause they were just as fueled up on Sunday morning.  But on Saturday, Elder Kleibengat spoke on being the best that we could be and leaving it all on the field.  He said he was so impressed with how much we have changed and come closer to Christ since his last visit and he kept on praising us haha.  Elder Uchtdorf then spoke and the Silver Fox hasn't aged a bit.  That man is an apostle of the Lord, y'all know that when y'all hear him speak, but when I shook his hand and heard him give a personal testimony in person, directly to us, I knew in a completely different way.  Ain't no one taking that from me.

While he was doing his beginning introduction he talked about not being in the First Presidency anymore and he said "and now I'm again sitting between Elder Bednar and Elder Holland, WOW!!!"  Haha it was hilarious.  He gave us a sermon on the Holy Ghost and even though we may stumble through our words (which happens quiet often) it doesn't matter, because through the Holy Ghost, our words are perfected in Christ and carried to their hearts.  Now, Elder Holland.  That man is fuego in Conference but the emotion he shows and the hammer he slams down is 100% real and there is no fictitious word that comes out of his mouth.  He is an apostle.  I know this and I will never doubt that.  He gave the most heart felt sermon on staying true to the Gospel.  He let us know his deep love for us and his deep love for Elder Uchtdorf (by the way, my dream is to find a woman who loves me like Elder Holland loves Elder Uchtdorf cause there is a DEEP bond with those two).

He went on to tell us how we may lose sheep, that it's a given that not everyone will return to God, but we CANNOT lose the shepherds.  He warned that we will never go back to who we were before our missions, we can get worse and sink lower, but we will never be the same again.  He said this one simple phrase that hit me harder than any other phrase before, and it knocked me to the ground.  "Heavens investment in YOU is an eternal one."  God didn't invest in me all those years for me to give up and fail a mission or fail in life or anything.  He's invested an eternal investment for me to be great and to bring Him His children back and to feed His sheep.  He told us to be "who those who are rooting for you think you are" and that one stunned me for a second.  He "taught with power and authority of God" (Mosiah 17:3) and left an imprint on my soul.  Just as a side funny note, he threatened to "hurl [himself] into the Arkansas River" if he keeps hearing of returned missionaries going inactive.  So yeah, my favorite apostle threatened suicide if I go inactive, how about that for motivation?

Sunday was no less greater than Saturday's meeting.  We got there early (by the way I woke up at 4 on Saturday and 5 on Sunday to get to these things on time so I'm tired) and sat there for a couple hours and practiced our choir cause we sang in conference.  That place was STACKED full!  Like I felt like I was in Utah for a bit!  We got to sit on the stand behind the Apostles and our ride, the Robbins, asked us to get a lock of hair from each of them haha.  We didn't, just for the record.  Elder Kleibengat spoke again and shared his conversion story (which is a miracle in itself) and then went on about the two biggest pains we feel in life and in the eternities, the pain of discipline and the pain of regret.  Both can be eternal if we let them.  He went on saying how we have repentance and we must grasp the Atonement and be really good at repenting because if god wanted us to be perfect he would have created us that way.  He didn't, there's no growth and we would have no trial or test.  He doesn't want us to be perfect, he just wants us to give all of ourselves to him.

Elder Uchtdorf spoke again and this man compared an Arkansas newspaper to the Gospel!  He talked about lifting where we stand and not waiting for the church to put out an initiative to share the gospel.  Oh and people in Germany call Arkansas "Ark-Kansas" hahaha.  Elder Holland gave a huge throw down on supporting the missionaries and expressed his deep love for us again.  It was AWESOME!  He then talked about how we can never know more than we know, that's just impossible, but we can always gain more reasons to know.  That's pretty deep haha.  He gave an amazing testimony of Christ as well.  Y'all know how whenever Elder Holland gets emotional, he raises his voice a little and it kind of sounds like he's quivering?  Well it's even better in person.  He went on to ask us "do you think you're the only who's had a bad day?"  And then used the John Gospel of Christ in Gethsemane and asked "do you really think that no angel, God or human has ever felt like you have felt?"  Then he let the sad truth sink in to all of us as he explained how Christ cried out for another way but continued on for his love for us.  He said "you know in life, sometimes there isn't another way.  But we had BETTER pass through that trial better than we were before."  Woah, hearing it from just 15 feet away, I was speechless.  He ended with 3 lessons we are to learn in life:

Lesson 1 - We're the ones on trial, not the gospel, Godhead or truth.
How do we hear the truth and how do we respond to it is what's on trial.
Lesson 2 - Do what you can - mark 14:8
We cannot do more, but we shouldn't do less.
Lesson 3 - Love each other
By this, men shall know we are disciples of Christ.

And while on our way to an appointment yesterday, I got pulled over for having a bike rack without a bike on it.  But I didn't get a ticket!

I've never been so spiritually fed and exuberant!  I want to real quick go back to the phrase "Heavens investment in me is an eternal one."  I looked up the definition of "investment" and found a definition that took me for a turn.

"The commitment of something other than money (time, energy or effort) to a project with the expectation of some worthwhile result."

God has invested in us His time, His Spirit, His Son, and all that we have, with the expectation, not a hope, but an expectation, that we will be a worthwhile result.  It's not ours to reason why or to waste this precious time we've been given.  Everything we have, are or whatever it may be, belongs to God in the long run.  We are on loan and we are a Heavenly investment with an eternal turnout if we use it correctly.

I love all of y'all so deeply and can't wait to hear back from y'all.  Just know that I know, there is a prophet on the Earth, who leads and guides not just the church, but all those who seek the honest truth.  He has 12 apostles and together they hold all the keys of the kingdom and are Christ's chosen disciples.  I will not doubt it, I will not question it.  The Book of Mormon is more than a book written to make us feel good and to believe in Christ, but rather, it is the very word of God and the very keystone to the truth within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which is THE church Jesus Christ established 2000 years ago.  Our Savior, Jesus Christ is the head of this church and with Him and through Him, are we to once again return to and love with our Heavenly Father.

Kings Do King Things
Goin' Buck Wild

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