Sometimes I feel I am living a parable.
This weekend we had the privilege of being with Elder Dale G. Renlund and Elder Richard L. Maynes and Elder Michael L. Southward. Friday night there was a meeting with the youth in Springfield and the surrounding stakes. Saturday morning young adults from the same area gathered, and then Saturday afternoon Priesthood leaders came.
A couple of observations. First they meet with those who are being ministered to – youth and young adults, and then they met with those who are to do the ministering. The youth and young adults had been asked to read a couple of talks before attending. One talk that they both read was Elder Anderson’s conference talk, “Faith is Not by Chance, but by Choice.” At the meeting, those attending were asked to comment on what they learned and then Elder Renlund either commented on or asked one of the other authorities to comment. It was a very engaging way to be edified. It wasn’t until today that I realized it was also a way to see what was important to the saints in the area before meeting with those who have the responsibility to shepherd those saints.
During both meetings, surprisingly, Elder Renlund asked me to comment. This is not something that I expected, but apparently the Lord knew because before the meeting I had a couple of experiences from my past flash into my mind. I had not thought of those experiences for a long time. When I was asked to comment, I realized that what I’d learned from those experiences were the answers to the questions. Since serving our mission I have come to realize, it is so very, much about paying attention to the thoughts the Lord places in your mind and the people he places in your path.
At one point I looked at Elder Renlund and thought, so this is what it is like to be in the presence of an apostle. (I have been in the presence of other apostles, but this was the thought I had.) Surprisingly, what I felt was very familiar. I have felt those same feeling as I’ve read about Alma, Paul, and Nephi. They are the feelings of the Holy Ghost. One of the jobs of the Holy Ghost is to testify of God the Father and Jesus Christ, which is the same job of an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.
During my brief opportunity as a missionary to bear witness of Jesus Christ, I too hope others feel what I felt - the the truthfulness that the Savior did indeed, die so that we can have all the tools necessary to return to a loving Heavenly Father
More than my own. There are times in my life when quite frankly I can't do things on my own. As we approached the missionary training from the Missionary Department, I felt deeply the desire to be able to take in as much of the material that was going to be taught as possible. The experience with the Nephites and the Savior came to mind when He told them to prepare their minds for the morrow. I decided that was what I needed to do. Then at stake conference I had the thought that we would benefit by asking the missionaries to fast and pray for us that our minds and hearts would be open to the instruction that was coming. (It worked out perfectly because it was fast Sunday, anyway.) Sunday night I had the most incredible thought that seemed to take on a life of its own. "I don't care if he comes and everything we are doing is wrong, as long as when he leaves I know exactly how to do it right."
President and I spent two days at our kitchen table with Brother Hemmingway and Brother Augustin being taught. There were some significant paradigm changes, but I understand a lot more about faith to do the Lord's work, how to teach short powerful lessons, and that I should focus on those who are ready to receive the message letting those who aren't to go into the Lord's hands for the time when they are ready. As well as a hundred other lessons I learned.
We then had MLC in which Brother Hemmingway taught continuously for hours. We brought in District Leaders as well as our Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders. It was a great time for our mission and seems to be the next step in the process of being the Lord's representatives.
Randomness after a great meeting
I never could understand how someone could function without an arm or hand. I guess we are going to find out. Sister Joan Betts and Elder Weldon Betts drove away on Wednesday day. Of course not after having stayed an extra three weeks to help us get some things set up before they left. Sister Betts always made sure each missionary had a birthday song sung to them and Elder Betts would catch us off guard with his unexpected humor. He was in charge of letting missionaries know if they could or couldn't drive and any infractions against TIWI. Sometimes he'd see a missionary had a speeding infraction on a downtown city stretch of road and then with his straight face say, "I bet they were passing a semi." They did much more than their jobs. President could always ask Sister Betts to do something with food, and she would just do it. Their motto was, "We are here to serve so we are going to do whatever needs to be done." We will miss them.
Tribute to the Betts from the missionaries.
President shared many thoughts in his Iron Rod article from the conference with Elder Christofferson. Elder Christofferson asked that we did not put those notes on the internet so we are not including that part of the Iron Rod. This picture is of Danny Telljio who served a 3 week mission with the missionaries in the Tulsa YSA ward as at the conference on his last day of service. We are glad he served in our mission!