(Note from Dad: this post from last week. I was on a cattle drive and didn't get it posted HAHA!)
How are you all? Thank you all for your wonderful emails and support, it sure does mean the world to me!
|Elder Craig C Christensen|
This weekend (Saturday) we had the opportunity to be taught by Elder Craig C. Christensen of the Presidency of the Seventy and President De Hoyos (Area Seventy President) in a Spiritually edifying Mission Conference. Elder Christensen was Mission President in this very mission 20 years ago and speaks VERY good Spanish, so that was so interesting to get to hear him talk about his experiences here and in his life in Spanish! He is a very tall guy. Spiritually and physically.
Elder Christensen taught us about how his dad was Stake President and how before he left on his mission, his dad took him to see the missionaries coming home from the stake. His dad very lovingly said the first 2 visits "That is a missionary that dedicated his mission to the Lord!" but, unfortunately, for another Elder that come home said in very carefully to his son "He didn't quite make it. He didn't strive to do what the Lord expected of him." He said throughout his mission he had that fear as a motivation because he knew when he got back his dad would be able to see immediately what kind of experience he had as a missionary.
He went on to explain how every time we feel the Spirit, it cleans and sanctifies us, changing who we are. He said how this was the way his father was able to see how the missionaries were, based on how changed they were by their missions and the influence the Spirit had had on them as they strived to keep the mission rules and be successful. He told us that he was able to do a similar thing with all of us as we shook his hand (We all got to greet him after taking a picture with him as a mission), immediately recognizing which were the missionaries that were dedicated to this work. That made a lot of people feel uncomfortable...hahaha!
This type of experience made me think what it might be like to return to our Heavenly Home with our Heavenly Father and present ourselves before him. Surely more than any other man, servant of God or not, He would know perfectly and completely how we lived our lives. How would we feel to enter His presence now, He knowing everything we ever did, thought or desired in this life? Would we shrink with shame, or with joy draw ever closer to Him? I have made that a goal now to always strive to be ready for the day when the judge of all men will see me and there will be no excuses or ways to hide the life we lived. I want to be ready for that day and be able to enter his presence with a confidence knowing that I was NOT perfect, but I did TRY perfectly to be the best that I could be.
He taught us so many things about how we can work to be more effective and spiritual missionaries and the importance of our obedience. We did a reverse Questions and Answers where President Anaya, Presidente De Hoyos, and Elder Christensen asked US questions, and one of them was by Elder Christensen in which he asked us why it was so hard for us to be obedient. That was pretty strong, but it helped us all to think about that and the real importance it is in this, the Lord's work.
Well this week we found a few really cool people! One of them is Leticia, her brother is a member who has serious epilepsy and can't really function any more, but we went to visit him and his mom who had a heart attack a few years ago and has since remained in bed and we found the sister. Leticia wasn't really interested in listening to us, but wanted us to come and visit her mom and brother because she has a lot of responsibility and they get really depressed being all alone so we just taught them all the Restoration in 2 different visits. After the second visit I asked Leticia how she could know what church was true and she said, "I was fine before but know I am doubting that my church is true! I don't know how to know...please tell me!" So we told her she needs to pray! And then she asked if her baptism as a baby was valid and we told her. "That depends on which church truly has the authority of God, doesn't it?" And she was like "oh no I wanna make sure I get baptized the right way so I can live with God!" So we invited her to be baptized and she said yes! The hardest thing with her is going to be helping her get to church because she really can't leave her mom and brother alone, and her mom can't leave her bed. We will get it worked out, if she has a desire there is always a way. That was a fun little experience!
Well things are great here, I'm just loving life and learning lots! I hope you are all well and happy and I can't wait to hear from you all soon!