|Hermanas Lewis, Christensen & Mendoza|
I feel so so so grateful this morning, I don't know what it is, I just feel so full and so happy and so grateful. I don't know how to put these feelings into words!
Yesterday we had zone conference. holy.cow. blew. my. MIND!!!! like always. president donaldson... what a mastermind. A few quotations (keep in mind that out of context it might not blow your mind like it did MINE.)
"member missionary work works EVERYTIME we try it."
"we can accelerate what WOULD happen in the next life with our FAITH. We can affect timing by our faith!!"
"keys are the key!"
"obedience is the first law of everything!" -e holland
We watched an mtc address from Elder Holland from january. sister mendoza told me about how amazing it was (she was in the mtc at this time) but we got to watch the full deal and WOW. honestly, i really believe him when he says that NO ONE has learned as much as he did from his mission, nor that NOTHING influenced his life more than his mission. he practically yells as he bears such strong testimony that EVERY GOOD THING--"the mission shaped every significant thing--EVERY GOOD THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO ME IN 50 YEARS--came through the small portal of my mission." you know how he rolls, he just throws down left and right, which made it SO incredible to watch this as a missionary TO a missionary. The entiiiiiiiiire purpose of his talk was to help us understand the purpose of preach my gospel... not necessarily what we can do with it, but why we have it. He threw down testimony like he did because he was converted throughly THROUGH AND THROUGH because of his mission. He said that, years ago, the general authorites were evaluating these rms who come home and go inactive and they know something was "manifestly wrong." How could they go through two years of their lives teaching and preaching and helping others, telling them how they can be happy and what they need to do to gain access to the atonement of Jesus Christ, but then come home and leave that yourself?" So the bretheren decided that the memorized discussions, although they had been effective, were not what they needed to be doing anymore... but that they were in the dawn of a new era--the era of preach my gospel. the ENTIRE POINT that we have preach my gospel is to be converted--"the message of pmg is that missionary was now made to CONVERTY YOU and then YOU CONVERT OTHERS. this is about you. This is about you and your conversion." he said, "don't you EVER fail to measure up to what you've said for 18/24 months. How can you be called to serve...we have to get this right before we have any hope in the WORLD that the investigators will get it. This is real missionary work-=doing it how the ancients did it: with power and authority." pmg is a tool for US to strenthen our testimonies (or find them!), to treasure up in our minds the doctrine of the gospel of jesus christ, and then TEACH OTHERS just like they do in the scriptures--according to their NEEDS, not just a rote presentation. This is a new era. What a sacred privilege it is! It was such a humbling meeting and I mosdef received revelash for what i need to do better, what I need to change and how I can be a better, more converted preach my gospel missionary, not just for this small "portal" of my life as a missionary, but FOREVER.
I wanted to share an experience from the battalion this past week... okay so one of my HUUUGEST pet peeves is members. hhahah. no but seriously, they come into the tour and when we present the referral card they say, "oh, i'm from utah. EVERYone there is a member." and then they hand us the card. ummm are you serious? wow. horrible. so (i'm trying to have more charity towards them :)) sis lewis and i took a tour and the people were from slc. oh boy, here we go again. but even waaaay before the tour, they were amazing and so different, and i think it was one of the funnest tours i've ever taken. it was just FUN and rejoicing and celebrating that we share the faith as the men of the battalion and their amazing examples and AH! but then--at the end of the tour--they filled up cards. WITH REFERRAL INFO. ha, i was surprised to see it, and I congratulated them for fulfilling their COVENANTS to share the gospel. I said, "so many people tell us they can't share the gospel in utah because there are so many members.. that is soo awesome that you guys filled it out! thank you so much!" and the dad was WAY surprised. he said, "you tell them that there are more non members than members in utah at this point." hardcore rebuke. we proceded to have a conversation with them at gold panning, and she told us her conversion story, how she ASKED her member friend in paris and ASKED for the missoinaries (DUMB MEMBER NOT INVITING!!!!!) and got baptized..served a mission...met her husband... bam. here they were. doing missoinary work like CRAZY. they told us about tons of people they were working with and seriously, it definitely showed me that there are STILL members in the world who actually are looiking for those opportunites and taking them. then they freaking bought us lunch. EVERYONE at the battalion. no big deal. we were so stunned by the whole thing; it was our miracle for the day. The aubrey family is an example to us ALL about always being a missionary. thedidn't just buy us lunch to ease their conscience about not doing the most important work in the planet. no. they fed us spiritually and physically and we rejoiced together. don't worry. i will be friends with them forever. totally got their address and i'll be babysitting a whole lot for them for sure.
so the message, the whole point to this very long email is that when we are converted OURSELVES, we simply cannot nor WILL not fall away because the gospel of jesus christ is our very ESSENCE--who we are, what we think, what we do. and once we're truuuuuuly converted--we won't be able to NOT share it with everyone!!!!!!!!
the final moments of e hollands talk was recounting what happened with peter. christ asked him, "do you love me?" and he answered yes. "more than the boat and the oars or the nets or these fish? YES lord, more than anything!" then he said,
"IF YE LOVE ME, FEED MY SHEEP."
when He said that to peter he meant leave your nets, be an apostle, be a missionary and be it and do it FOREVER. WE ARE IN THIS TILL THE END.
"that's the day peter strode into eternity. the question for time and all eternity is DO YOU LOVE HIM? you cannot get there, do what you have to do, say what you have to say or be what you have to be unless you love Him."
I know this sacred work is gods. i know christ lives, loves, and is directing us to those we need. not just me, not just us full time, set apart missionaries, but YOU. you, too, there in utah. I love Him. I love this gospel. and I am so grateful to be a part of this obra maravillosa.
If we love Him, let us feed His sheep, and let's do it forever.
(sister livingston says hi)