Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Invest Yourself in This

Me, Elder Hamilton, Elder Williams, Elder West

OH MY GOSH I GOT TO TALK TO MY FAMILY CHRISTMAS DAY! So Great. On Christmas day we had four devotionals.

Christmas Day Devotionals
1.  Live Q&A with Elder Bednar (Personally, I couldn't think of any questions to ask).
2.  Mormon Tabernacle Choir 1.5 hour music devotional (music was so soothing, 1/4 of the missionaries fell asleep).
3.  Member of the Seventy with his family bearing testimonies. Oldest son served a mission in San Jose, California (man, these chairs are uncomfortable).
4.  Hispanic/Native American/Islander Heritage fireside and how their mythology matches with the Book of Mormon. Jesus definitely visited the islands.

It was all very good. But in the case of a Devotional binge-fest, it's nice to have friends around. One of my buddies here is Elder Plourde (Interstellar was filmed in his home town in Alberta). At dinner I got some Martinelli's from Elder West because his family smuggled him two bottles.

Happy Birthday to Me
Sunday was my birthday and I discovered that I am the youngest in my District. There was cake at breakfast (how thoughtful of them).  Then at church, I gave my first talk in Spanish for Sacrament meeting. I talked on agency/prophecy/Apostasy/Restoration. Basically, many are called but few are chosen kind of thing.
My new scripture cover

That night, we watched a devotional from Jeffrey Holland from January 2013. Really inspiring. The first 5-10 minutes of his talk was exactly what I spoke on in church! Cool. Let me share some highlights.

The Generation that Will Not Fail 
He said that there has never been a more exciting time to be a missionary in the Church, and read a quote from the Prophet Joseph Smith.
"The building up of Zion is a cause
that has interested the people of God in every age;
it is a theme upon which prophets, priests, and kings
have dwelt with peculiar delight.
They have looked forward with joyful anticipations,
they have sung and written and prophesied
of this, our day."
Prophet Joseph Smith
Elder Holland said of those early prophets and priests "that although they knew they would not succeed in their day, they were able to continue to labor because they knew we would succeed."  He said that this dispensation was different because, "This is the generation when the work will not fail. This is the dispensation that will receive the Son of God as the Lamb of God."

Invest Yourself in This
Angel Moroni on Mexico Temple
The whole tone of his message to us missionaries was to Invest Yourself in This. "Because of the significance of the last days, you have to be the best missionaries we've ever had, because no task has ever been put before a missionary like the ones we're putting before you."  He said, "We expect you to be mature, powerful, bold, spiritual missionaries. And you have to have an abiding conviction of this work in your heart."

He also said that the word "astonish" comes from a root that means "thunder." And how we too can astonish people and cause them to feel personal earthquakes (so to speak) like the angel in Mosiah 27, not necessarily by speaking loud, but through the power of the Spirit.  His formula:
Seek personal conversion
Obey rules of the mission
Strive to have the Spirit
Work hard
"Missionaries are under obligation to come home having had at least one convert - YOU!"

This was probably one of my favorite talks.

It Was a Good Day, Then Night Came
By nightfall, my great day took a turn for the worst. I got food poisoning. When I saw the doctor in the morning, he said my weight was down and my heart rate was high, gave me some meds and Gatorade, and told me to sleep. Which I did (missed gym and some morning class). I prayed I would have enough strength to last the day. Frankly, there were times when I was surprised I could still walk and talk and focus. As the day went on, though, I slowly felt better.

The Lord really does answer prayers.

I'm invested!
Elder Connor Nef

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