So, in case you couldn't tell by the subject line, I am incredibly excited to tell you all about our wonderful meeting with Elder David A. Bednar.
It was incredible.
This Wednesday, Our mission (Lima Central), Lima East, Lima South, and the Peru MTC all got together in the La Molina Stake center. In total probably about 650-700 missionaries. We arrived about 2 hours early and then waited......When he finally got there. Then when he stood up and told us.
"Now I bet you've all come here thinking that I've prepared a talk, that I'm going to talk to you, to teach you, and that you'll listen carefully, write down what I say, and go home"....
"That's not going to happen"
He then proceeded to say:
"Think about all the notes you've written down over your entire life.....how often have you looked back on them? If you manage to not lose them, would you even read them"?
Now I quote this verbatim:
"I don't get it, it's stupid"!
He told us that whatever we learned that day, it wouldn't be from what he said, rather from what we felt. Everything we learned that day we would have to learn, through the spirit, in our own words.
In all I can summarize all that I learned (which is a lot) into 3 simple truths:
1. In order to learn effectively, we must exercise our agency, learning is an active thing, and not something passive.
2. After we were baptized (and every week thereafter in which we participate in the sacrament) we were promised by God "That they may always have his spirit to be with them". Meaning that unless we do something to drive it away, we will always have the spirit to be with us.
3. That the Apostles are servants, and moreover Representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ. They represent him and speak with power and authority.
It was truly an amazing experience.
He did not teach us for 2 hours. Collectively, he helped us help ourselves learn for 2 hours.
And as a side note, my absolute favorite part of all of this was when one of the missionaries asked:
"Why is it that we don't see angels"?
"What does someone need to do to be visited by angels"?
Elder Bednar thought for a moment and replied:
"You mean in a miraculous life changing experience akin to those of Paul and Alma"?
"Yes" replied the missionary.
"Because Paul was messed up" responded Elder Bednar.
"An angel visited Paul because he was a messed up dude! The Lord sent angels to Alma to say "Look, you need to change who you are right now, or you're going to die"!........You should be glad that the Lord hasn't had to send you and angel to tell you you're messed up!"
"If you haven't seen an angel, that's probably a good thing"!
This experience, really highlighted his sense of humor, and at the same time it made me realize,
He's right; we shouldn't be downtrodden or sad because we haven't seen some miraculous manifestation. On the contrary, we should be glad, knowing that God trusts us enough to just talk through the spirit.....
It was amazing.
Anyways.....in work related news.
Yesterday we knocked a door we REALLY didn't want to knock (they had given us a luke-warm greeting the first time, and looked a lot like they wanted to hurt us) but we felt we should knock anyway.
An old man answered, accepted us into his home, informed us the man we had talked to before did not in fact live there, and that he and his family of 9 would like to hear about the restored gospel......
So yesterday was a pretty good day!.......however.....other than that it's been pretty uneventful......
So that's all for this week folks!!!!
First three pictures are the area he lives and a service project that they worked on. You'll notice he left a large "W" on top of the brick wall made out of roofing material in the second picture.
Last three are of his entire mission with the new President and his wife. I played "Where's Waldo" until I found him. It didn't take long, I'd know that face anywhere, even if it's only his eyes and forehead.