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
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.