The library is packed today and so I'm not sure if I'll get my whole hour on the computer or not... But things have been going well! Today is our zone P-day down in Warrensburg. We're going to meet all of the Elders there and sneakily call them to come outside when we arrive... I'm so excited to finally use these silly water guns! Pictures to come, I'm sure.
This ward is a lot of fun. I was thinking about it... because this area is so wide we rely on the members for help in a lot of areas. Back in Independence that didn't always happen. We have a sister driving us down to Warrensburg today and then a different sister coming to pick us up... and she even offered to feed us as our regular dinner appointment fell through. They are just so awesome! Transfers are on Thursday... we get transfer calls tomorrow night.... President Keyes had told us that they wouldn't have us in a trio. I guess that's not exactly "for sure" but I'm secretly kind of hoping. I LOVE my companions, but being in a trio as a missionary is very difficult. However, just like Nephi said, "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded me".
Sister Larson, our RS president, and I sang "The Olive Tree" in Sacrament yesterday. It was a missionary themed day. Our Ward Mission Leader spoke and it was AWESOME, and then our Bishop spoke and it was AWESOME. Bishop's talk was so riveting that I couldn't even take notes! I couldn't keep my eyes off of what he was saying! I told that to one of my Zone Leaders and he replied, "Oh no! I spoke in church today and everyone was taking notes!" ;)
in Bishop's talk he relived his mission days over in The Netherlands. He talked about this little women coming out of the doors of the Catholic church all frustrated and angry. The Elders approved her and found out that she had a lot of questions that this church couldn't answer. The Bishop goes on to say "I've never been more excited to see someone angry!" Seriously... as missionaries we want people to ask us questions. It's the best thing ever. After meeting with this women, she was baptized and the Elders started teaching her daughter. After a while, the daughter still wore a Catholic cross around her neck that had been a family heirloom for generations and was confused about what church is the true church of Christ. The Elder asks, "Did Jesus Christ set up apostles when he was on the earth?" ..."Yes" .... "Did he give them authority?" ... "Yes" ... The Elder then asked this inspired question: "Where are the apostles today? Where is the authority?"
Bishop then testified of how at that moment she hung her head, took a deep breath, and was silent for a few minutes. Then, she took off her beloved family heirloom and then said "I know this is Christ's true church today". At that moment, it wasn't anything the Elders had said or did. The only thing that testified to this women was the spirit working in her. The only way one can know of the truthfulness of the gospel is through the Holy Ghost. I thought that was so powerful. The entire Sacrament meeting was very, very strong.
I also read a talk that Brad Wilcox just gave at BYU on July 12, 2011 (KYLE!! Did you hear this talk in person?!). It's titled "His Grace is Sufficient". It explains grace. There are a lot of people nowadays that believe that as logn as they have accepted Jesus as their Savior they are saved. I know I get asked that question a lot... "Have you been saved?" The way Brother Wilcox describes grace is incredible. The Atonement wasn't performed to fill the gap to where we don't measure up, but rather it is to help us change and to learn heaven. This gospel of repentance is not to save us. We will all be resurrected, but the question is what glory of body will you receive and where will you be? It's an incredible talk that I would invite any and all to go read or listen to. It's powerful and perfectly defines grace. There is a difference between grace and mercy. It only took me this long to find it.
Things are good. Still hot. And I'm out of time. But I know this church is true. Christ stands at the head of this church and he's always here for us. We are to use his atonement to change, to become better, to inherit the Celestial Kingdom. We aren't earning our way to heaven, we are learning heaven.