Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Another Great Trip to Charleston!‏

Again I'm a day late, I know. There is a legitimate reason however. Due to the American Thanksgiving this week out P-Day was split up for Monday Morning, And Thanksgiving Evening. Yesterday we needed to get Laundry done and I didn't get around to an email so we've made a quick trip to the Library today. Thursday We'll be enjoying a feast with the Rainville Family and I'm pretty stoked for that.

So Last week was a great one! We went up to to stay with the Bedford Elders Friday night so we could catch a ride with them to Charleston early the next morning. Its always fun to stay with other missionaries. We got up around 4:40am and stopped in Roanoke at a McD's for Breakfast where I was able to fill my Timmys mug with hot Chocolate and give out a pass along card. Great Start already! The Drive up was fairly uneventful, aside from Elder Wilder and I singing in the back seat, and we arrived in Charleston about an hour before the meeting. The WHOLE mission was there! It was Crazy! No missionary currently serving has ever had it happen in the mission so that in itself was a special event. I got to see Elders that I haven't seen since the MTC days. It was wonderful. We filled every seat in the chapel and were crammed in on the pews. I got the end seat by the aisle I knew Elder Andersen would be walking down. I thought about how cool it would be if I could shake his hand as he walked by... We studied quietly in our seats and tried to invite the spirit as we waited for him to arrive.

When he entered the room we all sood as he walked in with a warm and friendly smile. As he passed he did not shake my hand, But before even getting up to the stand it was announced that he desired to shake everyone's hand in attendance! The coolest thing is how normal and relaxed he was. He'd say a few words as you'd pass by and look at you with a beaming smile. Once the meeting was officially started he stated that he hadn't prepared any specific message for us, but that we'd be able to ask questions and the meeting would be led by the spirit. Elder Andersen was in town for the Charleston Stake Conference the following day but made a specific point to ask and see us missionaries. Also accompanying him was Elder Seldon of the 2nd Quorum of the 70 I believe. He ask if Elder Seldon would Share his conversion story and a bit of his Bio.

I can't share even a portion of the things he said, even thought I tried my best to take as many notes as I could (probably more during that time than any high school class), but I will share some of the things I feel are relevant and that stood out the most to me.

He told us to pay close attention to Pres. Pitt, and always look to his example throughout our lives. He cautioned us not to compare ourselves to others but to "compare yourself with your best self." He talked about some of the experiences with the other Apostles and Prophets. In a meeting with Pres. Monson just last week he said that it came up that he was ordained an Apostle 48 years ago, and that within a month of that occasion, Elder Andersen was ordained a Deacon at 12 years old. We all feel inadequate at times, but its important to Remember how much Christ loves us and will help us through our challenges. He went into how the Priesthood has a part in all aspects of everyone's lives. He broadened our perspective on the "Paradox of Man," in that In view of all Gods great creations we are nothing, yet we are also his Children and his most prized with the potential to become his greatest. Every Soul is of Great worth.

He encouraged us that in order to help others we must "do our best, and Keep doing it. No goodness that we do will never do anything but help. There is power in being True and Faithful. He said many more things to us that I've been pondering lately and have grown in both knowledge and spirit from. But perhaps one of the greatest things he shared with us was his Testimony of Christ, Boldy proclaiming that he was his Witness, and that He Loves each of us. The Merits of our Redeemer mean we will live again with him in Judgment and Mercy. There was no doubt in my mind that this Man was an Apostle of the Lord, who had been commissioned for the work in which he was engaged. Hearing him speak of Christ increased my testimony as well.

His Final Challenge to us was this. The question that Jesus himself posed Rhetorically to the Pharisees in Matt. 22. "What think ye of Christ?" If we truly ponder that question in our minds and hearts we will grow closer to him that brings us peace and happiness throughout the eternities. Truly it was a day to be remembered in the Mission. I hope I was able to convey at least a small part of the spirit of that meeting. I don't know the next time I'll be under the direct sound of the voice of a servant of the Lord, but I know that I'll always strive for every opportunity that presents itself to do so.

Elder Sunada

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