Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Weekend With An Apostle 3-21-16

So this week wasn't the greatest but certain things made it one of the best weeks.  First the weather started out good, but on Sunday we were walking through snow/freezing rain.  So that sucked.  I also got to meet an Apostle which I will share more about later.  We had a miracle and an awesome lesson.  Also I shook David Archuleta's hand as we passed each other.  At Stake Conference I was going into the bathroom and he was walking out and I didn't realize who it was until I was letting go of the hand shake.  I just saw the missionary ahead of me do it.  He is really short.  So that was pretty cool though.  My ponderize scripture this week is Alma 48: 17, "Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men."  This is my mom's favorite guy in the Book of Mormon.  Captain Moroni was a man of faith and strength in the Lord.  This scripture explains him very well.  The words, “If all men had been” are very interesting.  I think the scripture would be so much more powerful if it said that all men were like him.  Imagine if we had his faith, hope, charity, love, boldness, courageousness, then the adversary would have no victory whatsoever.  Even all the evil powers in this world, whether they be small things or big, shall fall and not hurt any of us.  As I read this scripture I think to myself, what do I need to do to become like Moroni?  What do I need to change, act upon, or strengthen to be a man such as Captain Moroni?  I know the answers as well as you do, but the choice is if we want to and make that effort to change.

Monday for P-day we didn't do much.  I got 333 juggles with a soccer ball with no practice so that was nice.

Tuesday nothing happened, unfortunately.

Wednesday - it is definitely one of those weeks that are really a struggle.  In total we had 3 lessons.  Not sure what is going on right now, but we will come out on top when the Lord wants us to.

Thursday we did lots of service.  We worked on the farm and then helped a recent convert.  Since we aren't getting lessons, we are looking for more service opportunities.  In the Book of Mormon, the best missionary was Ammon and he didn't go in teaching, but he went in to serve.  He did service until the time was right for him to share the gospel with the Lamanites.

Friday we did more service after weekly planning.  The service was for a former investigator and he bought us dinner afterwards.  After that, our night and week was made.  We went to go see a former investigator.  When we knocked on the door a woman named Lauren opened it and let us in.  Her step father just so happened to be in the home, so that was just one of the ways the Lord helped out.  The people we were going to see were her mom and brothers, but they were all out of town.  She had talked occasionally with the Sister Missionaries when they would come over.  She said that she had read a little of the Book of Mormon, but not enough to remember.   So we talked for a little bit and then I asked her if she had any questions for us.  This question broke out into an amazing conversation. She started to say no, but then the tides turned and she started to cry.  She recently has been going through a really tough time with her fiancé.  She has also been feeling like she is lost and doesn't know how to get her faith back.  She asked us about God's plan for us and if He really has one.  We answered her questions as best we could and there were many times where we sat there in silence while she cried and just got things out.  The spirit was definitely there and helping us to comfort her.  She told us that she had been going to counseling with her fiancé and she had gone that day and it was really rough.  Afterwards she was just hoping that there would be someone she could talk to.  Low and behold, God heard her prayer as well as knew she would say that prayer.  So He caused us, His servants, to put into our plans the night before to go see them, had another male in the house so we could go in, and guided us through the Spirit.  The Lord works in marvelous and mysterious ways.  We are planning on going back to meet with her and it just works out because right now she is living there so we can go see her fairly often.  That whole experience made the whole dreadful week of no lessons worth it.

Saturday started out amazing. We got to go and hear from Elder David A. Bednar and two other people from the Seventy.  The Spirit was very strong in this meeting and we learned so much.  Bednar didn't give a long talk that we could take notes on, but instead we had more of a conversation back and forth with him asking us questions and teaching, and us asking him questions and teaching ourselves based on his questions back to us. So he started out by telling us 3 things of what we were not going to do. Number one, don't take notes. How many of us take a ton of notes and then never use them again or they get lost?  All of us.  Now in addition to no notes he told us for number two, write on small plates, not large plates.  Just like Nephi wrote on small and large plates.  Writing on small plates means to write down impressions, feelings, things you hear that may not have been spoken.  Those were the things he wanted us to write down.  And number three was that we were not going to play “guess what's in my head.”  So my notes are small from the things that we talked about, but the feeling of that Spirit which I felt in that meeting was amazing.  A lot of the things that were talked about were things that I have been trying to improve or learn.  Some of the things I learned though were that I need to go and do instead of just asking God to bless me with this and expecting it to be given to me.  For example, I can't say give me the words to speak, then I'll open my mouth.  I also learned that I can't be so demanding.  When I pray I can't ask for it to be given to me right then.  I can ask, but it is His choice on when I will receive my answer.  Along with that, he talked about getting answers to prayers.  I think a lot of us, me included, want the answers to our prayers to be something huge.  Well they don't have to be huge for us to get the answer we need.  At the conclusion he gave us a blessing that can be for everyone.  He blessed us that if we feast upon the words of Christ and the scriptures, our faith will increase and we shall never fall away.  I definitely am going to make a better push for my studies to be better and more of a feast than just nibbling.  It will be Thanksgiving dinner with the scriptures every day.

Sunday we again got to hear Elder Bednar speak to us in our Stake Conference.  He mainly talked about the basics and fundamentals that we all need to keep improving.  He also talked to the people that weren't members.  He shared the restoration and even gave proof and facts of how there is still continual revelation.  The Bible is not it.  God continues to speak to us through his prophets.  I wish and hope that someday I will be able to teach the restoration as simply and powerfully as he did.  He gave us a blessing there as well that said if we seek, ask, and knock then our eyes will be opened through the Holy Ghost to see things that we have never seen before and our ears will be open as well.  And with General Conference coming up, he told us how we should go into it.  He said that our notes should be on the main idea of the message.  Then we should read the talks over and over again each time looking for the invitation within the message.  Then after we get the invitation, look for the blessings that come from acting upon that invitation.  So there is a little hint to all of us from an Apostle of how he would go into General Conference.

So even though our week sucked lesson-wise it was one of my favorite weeks.  I really enjoyed listening to an Apostle of the Lord and his counsel to each of us.  I know that we are guided by modern prophets and apostles in these days, and that revelation continues to this day.  We can constantly be shown what to do as the world changes around us.  In two weeks we get to hear from the General Authorities and I invite all of you to go and watch it and listen to them. I love each of you and I know that the blessings we received this weekend can help each of you as well.  Always look for God's hand in your life and you will see those little miracles and blessings you didn't know were there right in front of you.  Have a great week y'all.

Elder Ellison

Half price shakes on St. Patty's

Snow in Spring

Had to get some pictures of the new Spring blossoms

These things are delicious!

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