Hope Jeffrey R. Holland doesn't find my subject line offensive, but
I've never seen him in person... But I now have sat and listened to
Elder Bednar for three hours in person now! More on that later.
Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes! It was an awesome birthday
and both Santa Rosa zones even surprised me when we got to the church
last p day. We walked in the gym and they sprayed me with silly string
and got me lots of sour patch haha. I was actually surprised. Then
later on my actual birthday I went on exchanges with Elder Jones in
Peterson Lane (my Greenie area) and it was the best birthday exchange!
My only birthday exchange... Anyways, we saw lots of people I knew and
it was awesome. Inspired by my mothers package which was full of 20
puns, me and Elder jones were desperately trying to make every
sentence we said contain a pun. If you want to know how to annoy
people and make them laugh simultaneously, ask me. Something else
funny I noticed in my email last week was I typoed and said "we"
cracked open a beer. I promise I meant "he." Haha but either way no
one should be right? In response to my family sending me songs of my
name repeated over and over again, all I can say is... Only my family
would sing my name over and over to different tunes from musicals. It
is wonderful to be part of such a unique group :).
We did more taming goats and holding them, this time Bro Hawkins told
us to literally sing hymns loudly to them, so they get used to human
voices. So we sang and sang and sang, it was super fun. Especially
when you try to sing over screaming baby goats. We took out some
stumps too and did a bunch of service as always.
But back to the headline. Yes, Elder Bednar came and visited the
entire mission at our church building. We are special. He was coming
to the stake for a bishop training, so before that, we, all 180 of us,
we're in the chapel and he asked questions, we asked, and the spirit
was incredible. Let me tell you, Elder Bednar is hilarious in person.
He imitated Cookie Monster just like he does in a hard-to-get talk of
his, "Character of Christ." I was cracking up. But all I can say is as
he was there more, I felt the spirit so strongly I was crying
randomly, and I knew this man was called to be a representative of
Christ. No doubt about it. He was so down to earth, so loving, and
told us not even to write what he said, but what the spirit said to
us. A lesson for all of us in spiritual meetings. At the end we all
got to shake his hand and look in his eye. Wow. Crazy experience. So
sorry Holland, but Elder Bednar is the bomb.
What was weird after this was after everyone left and me and my
companion were planning for the week, I was overcome with depression,
the worst I've felt on my mission. I didn't want to do anything, talk
to Elder pike, think about investigators, nothing. I was so confused
why I was feeling this. I had cried for joy of the spirit earlier that
morning with Bednar there, felt an overwhelming witness of the truth
of the gospel and the reason i am here, and now I was crying for
sadness, with overwhelming discouragement. Clearly Satan doesn't give
up. Elder Jones gave me a blessing, and I feel a bit better now, but
it is still concerning to me. I am working now to realize opposition
doesn't mean the good isn't there for us, but rather, the opposite.
Because we know bad, the good is so much sweeter. Alma explained this
to his son, "Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing
so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto
you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite
and sweet as was my joy." I love this chapter, and I felt at least a
portion of it. I hope I can remember the witness I got from the spirit
as Bednar spoke, and the love I felt for everyone around me. I know I
felt opposition, that seems to only be getting worse as I'm out
longer. You'd think I'd be a pro now, but I'm just realizing how it is
getting harder, not easier. But I know God calls apostles, I've shaken
ones hand, seen the spirit in him, felt love emanate from him, and
take that as a tiny portion of Christ's love for each of us. God is
real and loves you. Christ is literally our savior, and the head of
this church. I love him, and want to increase that. When you feel the
spirit, don't forget it, it is a member of the godhead speaking to
you. I know these things are true. I love you all!
Zone surprised me for birthday! Day before that is
Zone light saber battles
Elder Reeder in front is my mom (follow up trainer) he is a parent
of everyone is this picture! He trained or is grandparent to all of
them, AND I AM THE OLDEST IN THE MISSION in this picture besides him.