November 18, 2013
Having Elder Holland speak to our mission was soooo sweet!!! As I listened carefully to Elder Vinas (Area President from Uruguay) and Elder Holland, I literally felt like Nephi and Lehi in Helaman 5 when they were surrounded by fire so that those that wanted to kill them weren't able to. Well, there wasn't anyone trying to kill me, but I felt the spirit soooo strong in that meeting. Elder Holland talked to us for a little over an hour. It was one of the coolest experiences I've ever had in my entire life. He talked about various things some of the highlights being how something really bugged him and there's not a lot of things in this life that do that. One thing that bugs Elder Holland is when return missionaries don't stay in the church after they return. He told us that when we get back from our missions and we are giving our Homecoming talk, we need to just blow the back end out of the building and just level the place because we bring so much of the spirit!!!! I loved hearing that. Elder Holland told us that while we are on our missions, we teach the first lesson the most (The Restoration of the Gospel) and that sometimes we just teach the first lesson lazily like its nothing and we fall into that habit. We have many first lessons, but not as many second. He told us that when we are in that first lesson we need to ASTONISH everyone that we are teaching with our words. We need to just be teaching with so much power and authority that their knees (investigators) become weak and they have to sit back down after listening to us and then we leave. We need to teach the first lesson like that is their only chance in their entire life that they have to accept this gospel and we will never see them again. Elder Holland also talked about an 18 yr old boy who had won 4 olympic medals, had 22 world records and 37 US records in swimming. They asked him how he was able to do all of this at such a young age...He said that he could answer that in one sentence..."I kick when I don't want to kick and I stroke when I don't want to stroke." That was it!! That's the big secret!! If I want to be the best missionary I can be, I have to talk with people when I don't want to talk and work harder when my body tells me to stop!! Another quote I liked is when Elder Holland said that "The road to salvation has to pass through Gethsemane." If we really want to be disciples of Jesus Christ on the earth, then why in the world should life be easy?! It shouldn't!! Now we won't bleed from every pore, but there will be a few tearful nights and heartbreaks, but its OK!!
Now those are just a few things that Elder Holland said, but he definitely astonished me!! It really strengthened my testimony of the truthfulness of this gospel and because of those really powerful experiences, I can keep working really diligently to help rescue His lost sheep. It's obvious that Elder Holland was called of God as one of His apostles.
The day after Elder Holland, we had our district class. I was able to teach about how to use the Restoration pamphlet to teach lesson 1. I really focused on how to teach that lesson with power and authority since Elder Holland countlessly said that we need to teach that lesson with so much power that our investigators will need to take a seat again after we leave! I really focused on another phrase Elder Holland told us which was that we have to teach lesson 1 as if that is the ONLY time in our investigators life that they will be able to accept this message and then we will never see them ever again. As I really focused on those two things, teaching with power and authority and that this was their only chance, I started the demonstration (teach lesson 1 in less than 14 minutes) and I couldn't even get through the first point without getting emotional telling the investigator how much God loved him. It was like a train came and knocked us all over. The spirit was so strong. As I kept teaching the lesson, my eyes couldn't stay dry especially when reciting the first vision. I could barely say it! I finished the lesson talking about the Book of Mormon and how he (our investigator) was going to feel the spirit so strongly after he read. When I finished, no one said a word for about 30 seconds probably. I couldn't contain myself and started crying again because the spirit was just soooo strong in the room. Elder Cheshire was the one that I was teaching lesson 1 to. He said that I could've stopped after the first point and he would've listened to me. Elder Breed then spoke up and said that the lesson was taught with so much power and authority that we need to teach every lesson like that. The rest of the missionaries were asking me how I was able to teach that lesson so powerfully and I was like speechless. All I can say is I didn't teach that lesson...The spirit taught everyone there. I don't want to tell you this to sound my trumpet or beat my chest, but to just tell you that since then, I feel like the Lord has changed my heart and has helped me really LOVE the people I teach and remember when teaching a lesson, it is the only time that they have to accept this gospel. It's one of the most incredible experiences ever. That is really the potential that we have as missionaries, to really astonish everyone we meet. We need to do it!! Now it's not just the missionaries job either!...it' the members job to astonish as well. So all of the members that are reading this letter today have some homework!!! "HOW CAN I ASTONISH SOMEBODY TODAY, AND WHO WILL IT BE?"
Thoughts/Highlights of the week:
I'm feeling way better :) Thanks for the prayers!
Empanadas still are one of my favorites. I love the shrimp and cheese, pino and napolitano!! So good :)
Wow, that Indian food looks really good. That's one thing I miss....the food!!!
I really hope Joan will be baptized before I get transferred. Joan still keeps coming to church and is so prepared to be baptized!! Proud of that kid.
No packages got here this week, but I did get letters from you and dad, tar, tal, tay nana and papa. Thanks for all the support! I LOVE hearing from all of you.
Yo se mas nunca que la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias es el reino del Senor que de nuevo se ha establecido para nuestro beneficio en preparacion de la segunda venida del Mesias. Cristo vive. El nos ama y realmente quiere que seamos felices. Siempre esta con nosotros y se siente su presencia muy fuerte en la mision. Yo se con todo mi corazon que Jose Smith fue un profeta de Dios y que no fue mentira lo qu el dijo ni hizo. La evidencia es el Libro de Mormon!! Cualquiera puede tomar el Libro y leerlo. Les prometo que cuando lo hagan, sentiran el espiritu testificandoles que realmente lo que esta leyendo viene de Dios. Es su promesa (1 Nefi 1:11-12)! Lehi fue lleno del Espiritu del Senor. Pregunten a Dios y les hara saber por medio de ese mismo espiritu que el Libro de Mormon es verdadero. Eso significa que esta es la unica iglesia sobre la faz de la tierra que es verdadera y tiene TODA la verdad. Cristo dirige su iglesia, se lo prometo. Esto comparto con mucho amor en el nombre de Jesucristo, mi Salvador, Amen.
English translation of Elder Jenson's testimony:
I know more than ever that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord's church established for our behalf in preparation for the second coming of the Messiah. Christ lives. He loves us and really wants us to be happy. He is always with us and I feel a very strong presence of Him on my mission. I know with all my heart that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that it was not a lie what he said or did. The evidence is the Book of Mormon! Anyone can take the book and read it. I promise that when you do, you will feel the spirit testifying that it is the word of God as promised in (1 Nephi 1:11-12)! Lehi was filled with the Spirit of the Lord. Just ask God and He will let you know by that same spirit that the Book of Mormon is true. This is the only true church on the face of the earth that is true and has ALL the truth. Christ leads His church, I promise. This testimony I share with you with a lot of love in the name of Jesus Christ, my Savior, Amen.
One more thing...Rafaela will be baptized this Saturday after the ward activity that we planned!! Have her in your prayers so everything goes smoothly!! Love you lots!