Before I get into the serious stuff, I'll share a funny experience. We were visiting an investigator and her family, she has 4 kids - one of the boys is 4 and a handful. As we were leaving and walking down the driveway, we hear him yell out, "Where ya goin, POO HEADS!?" Excuse me, little one.....I am a disciple of Christ... hahaha. Little stink.
I also would like to announce I tried baby duck egg last night. Our Cambodian investigators cooked for us and that was on the menu. I took one bite and that was enough. Coughing up feathers and wing bones.........gag. NOPE! Can't do it. Sister Thaon was in her element though, loving every bite. haha. Gross.
It's been a blissful week. We were lucky enough to have some General Authorities visit us on Friday for a mission conference. Elder Rasband from the Presidency of the Seventy, Elder Watson from the Area Presidency, a member from the Presiding Bishopric, and Elder Vincent from the Seventy. Elder Rasband is amazing, as soon as he walked into the room, you could just feel the Spirit come with him. So intimidating...I'll share some of the insights I took from him and the other speakers:
This is such a great and exciting time to be a missionary in the Church right now, all those considering serving should GO! There couldn't be a better time than right now. President Monson's announcement is preparing our generation in ways we can't even imagine, starting with missionary work.
Persecution comes in many ways, the Adversary is clever and he knows the natural man PERFECTLY. As missionaries, as members of the Church, we stand out. There's no doubt about that, we are different and it can be hard work. Seek encouragement from the scriptures and from our Saviour Jesus Christ. View every good deed you do as furthering the Lord's work.
Elder Rasbad shared 2 experiences he had while he was on assignment in Europe. He visited Croatia and while he was there, he was informed that the President of the country wanted to meet with him. Elder Rasband thought, "great....why?" haha... They thought, "Well, let's go find out!" He said he was taken to the palace where the President of Croatia lives and they had a nice chat. Finally, Elder Rasband said, "President, why am I here?" The President responded and told him they used to have a famous basketball player, and the whole country idolized him, and he was a Mormon. He went on and said, "But you know what? I don't even know what he believes. I understand you represent the Church. Could you tell me what he believes?" So Elder Rasband shared with him our core believes, about eternal families and our Savior Jesus Christ. He gave him the information to contact the missionaries to learn more. (Can you imagine getting that referral as a missionary!?) A few days later, they made their way down to Bosnia, same thing - "Elder Rasband, we've been informed the President of Bosnia would like to meet with you." So they went. Again, Elder Rasband asked, "Why am I here?" The President of Bosnia said, "Well, we used to have a famous basketball player and he was a member of your church. Could you tell me what he believes?" So again Elder Rasband shared with him about Jesus Christ and eternal families. The President of Bosnia began to cry and he said, "Did you notice the bullet holes as you drove through the city? My country has seen so much devastation and families have been taken. This is the first time I have ever felt a sense of hope." Elder Rasband again gave him the information to contact the missionaries to learn more. FYI - the basketball player was Krešimir Ćosić.
Like I said, this is an incredible time to be a missionary! Not just people but countries recognize who we are and what we stand for. However, WE must be our greatest convert. Elder Rasband gave the advice that to become truly converted, know and love your Saviour better and deeper than you ever have before. Open up the bible dictionary and read every reference to Jesus Christ and get to know who he is.
I was truly moved by the conference, I know this church is true and I've seen miracles this week. Just the other day, the Elders were visiting our area and we had a 30 minute gap until lunch. We decided to split up and just talk to whoever we could on the street. Sister Thaong and I met two different men, they were open and accepting however, they were just visiting for the day and don't actually live here. But we still had a nice talk. The Elders however, met a young man and shared their experience. They said they made eye contact with him and said hello and he stopped to shake their hand. They asked what his name was, he said "John". They noticed a tattoo on his arm of a different name so they asked about his tattoo. John told the Elders it was for his friend who was killed last year. The Elders didn't hesitate to bear testimony that he will see his friend again and the plan that God has for each of us. They continued to have a brief discussion. John thanked them for stopping him and that he now had hope. He asked if he could learn more. The Elders pointed to us and said, "See those girls over there? They can teach you more." John gave the Elders his number and we're meeting with him this week. :) Amazing, the Lord is in control.
I love you all, have a wonderful week. Be strong, know the Saviour better and deeper than ever before and you're life will never be the same.
BOM Reading...Hel 5- Hel 13
Mom sent me "Minion" and he has been an active missionary, too!