Just imagine Elder Holland yelling that at you while staring you dead in the eyes.
Elder Stucki summed it all up best when he said, "We all went thinking that he was going to prepare us for the rest of our missions, but he prepared us for the rest of our lives." So. True. That mission conference was seriously life changing. I am kicking myself because I forgot my notebook at home and so I don't have all of my notes with me, but I promise to send them all next week!! Elder Hallstrom talked a lot about remembering who we are. Oh and we also had Elder Seldon there [an area seventy] that spoke which was a surprise to everyone. But Elder Holland's of course was the main event. He is even more of a power house in person than he is at that pulpit. Of course the whole mission was ecstatic for him to come. And of course the whole mission was kind of scared for him to come as well. Thankfully though he said that he was very impressed with our mission, with the spirit that we have, and all of our preparation for their meeting. Phew! Actually, what he said was, "If you weren't great missionaries than I would be swinging from the lights and kneeing you in your adam's apple! The fact that my knee is not in your adam's apple right now should be a vote of confidence!" He is hilarious!! He cracked so many jokes! So he wore a microphone so that he could come and walk around while he was talking to us and he puts it on and then walks down right in front and goes, "Now I'm real close where I can just reach out and GETCHYA!!" and he pounced on little tiny Sister Urso in the front row! It was too funny!! And then he goes, "And none of you are safe, no matter where you are sitting. I can be across the room in one bound." Oh how did I forget! When they first walked in they shook every one of our hands. [Haven't washed this hand since.] Amazing. Absolutely amazing.
He talked a lot about how our mission is the foundation for the rest of our lives. We are given these building blocks up til this point in our lives and then our mission and the experiences we have and all that we learn gives us the things necessary to take those building blocks and turn them into a sure and strong foundation. He also spoke a lot about after our missions and how we "have no right to violate the image people have of returned missionaries". We need to continually be progressing and doing this work. We don't come home from our missions and say, "Welp! Done with that! Back to my real life." To that he said, "HEY! THIS IS REAL LIFE! THIS IS THE CLOSEST TO REAL LIFE THAT YOU'LL EVER GET!!!" Yeah he is definitely a yeller. Not in a demeaning or scolding way by any means. But rather in a hey I mean business kind of way. One thing I really loved that he talked about was how we need to constantly be doing this work and helping other throughout our lives. "Sheep wander every now and then. But we can't loose the shepherds!" We are the shepherds. We are the Lord's shepherds. He needs to be able to rely on us to help his lost sheep return home. Also he told us that we are the Lord's investigators. If we want our investigators to pray like they have never prayed before, then we must pray like we have never prayed before. If we want them to allow God into their lives, then we must allow God into our lives. Lastly he taught us how we need to teach with more power and authority. We need to be more astonishing. [a.k.a. we need to be him in lessons pretty much!] I honestly wish that I could of somehow videotaped the whole thing so I could watch it every morning to get PUMPED!! There really has been a noticeable lift to our entire mission since Mission Conference.
Of course that was the highlight of this week. As for other things of this week:
-I woke up Tuesday morning with a sore throat and by the end of Zone Conference that day felt horrible. I got a terrible cold out of nowhere! It was ridiculous. Sister Taylor and Sister Vellinga both sent me home to get lost of rest because there was no way that I was missing Mission Conference the next day!
-After mission Conference I treated Sister Ebersole, Sister Perrenoud and Sister DeWilde to dinner at Applebee's [We had gotten a giftcard from a member in the ward]. It was really weird. I felt all nostalgic for home again. I miss going out to eat with you guys all the time. So somehow SpongeBob got brought up during dinner and Sister DeWilde told me that they have SpongeBob in the Netherlands and they even translated the FUN song into Dutch. WHAT!? Of course I made her sing it for me. It was so awesome. She says it doesn't translate into English too well though. [F is for party, which you do with friends. haha yeah no....]
-Okay, I can handle rejection just fine. I understand that not everyone I meet will accept the gospel. But I am sick of people being rude. Who taught these people that it is okay to talk to humans like this?! People in my area are usually so nice, even if they don't want to hear our message. It's okay. I'm sure the Lamanites weren't always the nicest of people to Alma either.
I know that this work is true. I know that this gospel brings more happiness to our lives than anything else ever could. I know that God loves us and that He is in even the smallest details of our lives. His plan will always be the best thing for us, whether we realize it or not at the time. I am so grateful for this time that I have to share this happiness with others and bless their lives.
More treasures from tracting. Thankfully he didn't throw any apples at us though.
This was from a couple weeks ago when we got that crazy storm. This was after playing soccer and wiffleball with the district and it started pouring. Good times.
The adorable mothers day gifts we gave out to all the wonderful women in our area that we are so lucky to serve.