Good Afternoon on this beautiful Wednesday. It has thrown me off having p-day on a different day this week but....it has been a GREAT week. That also doesn't mean that I didn't have trials or that there was rough spots.
We were able to meet Elder Brent H. Nielson, a member of the quorum of the seventy, this past . What a great experience! He asked us all, "how many of you didn't know how hard a mission was going to be until you came out on your mission and found out.... That It's not as "perfect" as those returned missionaries make
it sound in their homecoming talks?" Everyone of us raised our hands. I just want to tell you all right now...A MISSION IS NOT EASY! If you are thinking about going on a mission...I'm not going to trick you....It's hard. As Elder Nielson said it, "Welcome to the work, it's going to be difficult." We are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and "In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we do hard things"(Elder Nielson) BUT....a mission will change you for the better, will teach you things that no one or anything could teach you, and WILL BE THE TRAINING CENTER FOR LIFE. Every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears(and of course the mental strain) will be WORTH IT! I am SO thankful for the opportunity to be on a mission.
we had our Zone Conference, which was when Elder Brent H. Nielson and his wife, Sister Nielson, toured the Mission. If I had time to type all day long I would tell you everything that I learned but due to time...and being obedient I'll share a couple and save the others for another day. Before the conference started the sister missionaries had a special meeting with Sister Nielson. All the sisters were expecting....modesty....
jobs. What if we looked at that art project as: I am so grateful God has given me a talent I enjoy so much! What if we looked at the Holiness in everyday life! Parents, husband and wife, are the "creator of a home". So how does this relate to a mission? Well you cannot understand "holiness" without opposition! "If a mission isn't anything
else....it's practice" said Sister Nielson. It's practice for marriage, it's practice for raising a family, it's practice for life!
It is such an amazing time to be a Sister Missionary. She talked about the age change of sisters and some reasons why they did it. As we all know, we are in the last day, and times are going to get worse. We will be raising kids in this world and we need strong women that know the gospel to raise strong young men into worthy Priesthood holders. She also gave us some advice she said "don't marry a project! Marry someone as equally yoked." As I thought of that, the kind of guy I want to marry: someone strong in the gospel, a worthy Priesthood
holder" I have to be equally as yoked! A mission does that. She ended with a quote " you are on a mission and He(Our Heavenly Father) will help you change into something worthy of His divine Sons."
The theme of the Zone Conference was "The Enabling and Redeeming Power of the Atonement". Before my mission I thought of the Atonement as "what Jesus Christ preformed for us so we can be forgiven of our sins,
that we can repent and be forgiven." But that's only part of it...the Redeeming power. " I am not suggesting that the redeeming and enabling powers of the Atonement are separate and discrete. Rather, these two dimensions of the Atonement are connected and complementary; they both need to be operational during all phases of the journey of life. And it is eternally important for all of us to recognize that both of these essential elements of the journey of mortality--both putting off the natural man and becoming a saint, both overcoming bad and becoming
good--are accomplished through the power of the Atonement. Individual willpower, personal determination and motivation, effective planning and goal setting are necessary but ultimately insufficient for us to
triumphantly complete this mortal journey. Truly, we must come to rely upon “the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah”" (2 Nephi 2:8). "Nephi is an example of one who knew, understood, and relied upon the enabling power of the Savior. Recall that the sons of Lehi had returned to Jerusalem to enlist Ishmael and his household in their cause. Laman and others in the party traveling with Nephi from Jerusalem back to the wilderness rebelled, and Nephi exhorted his brethren to have faith in the Lord. It was at this point in their
journey that Nephi’s brothers bound him with cords and planned his destruction. Please note Nephi’s prayer: “O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound” (1 Nephi ; emphasis added). Do you know what I likely would have prayed for if I had been tied up by my brothers? “Please get me out of this mess NOW!” It is especially interesting to me that Nephi did not pray to have his circumstances changed. Rather, he prayed for the strength to change his circumstances. And I believe he prayed in this manner precisely because he knew, understood, and had experienced the enabling power of the Atonement. As you and I come to understand and employ the enabling power of the Atonement in our personal lives, we will pray and seek for strength to change our circumstances rather than praying for our circumstances to be changed. We will become agents who
act rather than objects that are acted upon (see 2 Nephi ). The enabling power of the Atonement of Christ strengthens us to do things we could never do on our own. Sometimes I wonder if in our latter-day world of ease--in our world of microwave ovens and cell phones and air-conditioned cars and comfortable homes--we ever learn to acknowledge our daily dependence upon the enabling power of the Atonement.
There is no physical pain, no anguish of soul, no suffering of spirit, no infirmity or weakness that you or I ever experience during our mortal journey that the Savior did not experience first. You and I in a moment of weakness may cry out, “No one understands. No one knows.” No human being, perhaps, knows. But the Son of God perfectly knows and understands, for He felt and bore our burdens before we ever did. And because He paid the ultimate price and bore that burden, He has perfect empathy and can extend to us His arm of mercy in so many
phases of our life. He can reach out, touch, succor--literally run to us--and strengthen us to be more than we could ever be and help us to do that which we could never do through relying upon only our own power."
The Atonement and the Journey of Mortality
(If you have never read this talk.....PLEASE read it! Amazing!)
The last week and a half has been good. J is doing great. C well, she has a lot to think about. J is doing great, still wants to be baptized and be a member even if no one in her family wants to. We were teaching her and we have hit her with the Word of Wisdom. Chastity, and tithing pretty quickly, and she had a lot of concerns. But talking to her, she was feeling the Spirit and she said, "why would I let something like that get in the way of me getting baptized? I know I want to be baptized and all the little things will make sense eventually. I just know this church is awesome." She still is trying to quit coffee and smoking, but only smoked one time this whole week! She has a testimony and she will be fine! She is such an amazing example!
Family and friends I am so thankful for this gospel in my life, for the miracles I see everyday, for you my family and friends, for this amazing opportunity to be on a mission, for Our Savior Jesus Christ, and Our Loving Heavenly Father! I am so thankful for trials! "If you don't have trials, God's plan isn't working for you."(Elder Nielson) I am so thankful for the changes in my life, through Jesus Christ, and the enabling power of the atonement, that makes me a better person. The most important thing you can do on a mission is change....and
that's the hardest thing to do.
You Heavenly Father loves you!
Modeling with "T"