What a way to start our mission!! The first person we met when we got to the campground, was the host. Lonnie was having problems with the water hookup. (Which broke and spewwed everywhere--we had to move to a different site.) The host and his wife came over to help. His wife said she was LDS, but her husband was not. She told us about a stake conference in our mission area where Elder Holland was speaking to call a new stake presidency. Our Mission President gave us permission to go to this both Saturday and Sunday. It was wonderful; to be in the presence of one of the 12 apostles and hear him speak!!! On Saturday he spoke about our "troubled times", He said that we need to remember when tough days come, and they surely will, 1. God loves broken things, there are so many of them and God knows he can fix them. Broken clouds=rain, broken ground=wheat, broken wheat=bread, it is all for our good. His wife says "Faith isn't faith until there isn't anything else to hang onto." The thing God loves most in us is a broken heart and contrite spirit. He said that Christ died of a broken heart. We have to go where Chirst went , which means we will suffer. We signed on for the whole tour of duty. Trust in God and walk with Christ. Then 2. Don't ever say that "God must hate me" when dark nights come. (or that the "church is not true"). When you are struggling, God is closer at those times. In the middle of the storm "stay in the boat". The storm will pass, and we can never make it alone. "I believe in Christ so come what may....." Don't be so fearful, have more faith. Christ is the only answer.
On Sunday, Lonnie talked to Elder Bassett, Elder Holland's companion and told him that one of the reasons we are on our mission now is because of Elder Holland's talk in Oct. 2011 Priesthood. Elder Bassett told us to wait and tell Elder Holland himself. As he was walking into the chapel, he shook our hands and talked breifly to us. He was very tender and you could feel the spirit! It was a very special experience for us. He talked on Sunday about 1.The gospel of Jesus Christ is evidence based,. 2. When you join this church you get alot more than you bargained for. 3. Nothing can stop Christ's work. Then Elder Holland gave everyone present and anyone associated with anyone present an apostlic blessing, "as if his hands were on our heads". So each of you received a blessing by proxy....through us! God Bless Each of you!