Friday, January 8, 2016

Week 17: The Special Email!‏

This week we had Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge from the 1st quorum of the Seventy. He came and toured our mission for three days. On Tuesday half of our mission got together to hear from Elder Corbridge. Tuesday was a very spiritual day for me. We were at the mission tour from about 8:30 to 4 that day and every single minute was overflowing with the spirit. We started off the meeting by hearing from two missionaries give talks about what they expected for their missions. They were both really good. Elder Johnson spoke about how our missions are supposed to be hard so that we can feel joy and work hard. He also spoke to each of us about expecting miracles. I loved his mini talk because you could see the love he has for his mission even though it is hard for all of us. Also I have learned to expect miracles. When we expect miracles; miracles actually happen! Hermana McAffee talked about how true happiness doesn't come from the world and how we need to never complain about our situations because Heavenly Father knows best! I loved everything about her talked because it really helped me to realize that I need to wholeheartedly put aside the world and dedicate myself to Heavenly Father and what he wants for me. I also committed to never complain about the work of the Lord because as long as I give it my all then I am doing Heavenly Fathers will. After the missionary talks Sister Ahlander spoke to us. For those that may not know Sister Ahlander is the daughter of Neal A. Maxwell. Neal A. Maxwell was one of the 12 apostles before he died. He has given some of the greatest and deep talks that I have ever heard or read. Hearing from Sister Ahlander is very much like hearing from him. She speaks with the power and authority of God without even really trying. It was the best thing ever. Sister Ahlander spoke about having unity in our companion ships. She gave a very motivating talk. She spoke a lot about how our relationships last beyond the grave. I love how she spoke about this because it reminded me that everyone we come in contact with, everyone that we love; we will see one day again after this life. We need to treating those that we love with love because we must not have any regrets. She also spoke about how Satans greatest tool is contention. It was so good. Satan uses our weaknesses to greater weaken ourselves and those around us but Heavenly Father has given us our weaknesses so that we can become humble and so that we can learn and grow. We can't let Satan get in the way of our growth. She also mentioned about how if we are not unified with each other then we cannot be unified with Heavenly Father. Although she was talking about missionaries I know this can apply to every relationship that we have especially our spouses. We have to be unified with each other in order to involve God in our relationship. We must have God in our relationship in order for it to be strong. There is nothing better than a spiritual connection. After we heard Sister Ahlander speak we then heard from President Ahlander speak. First off President Ahlander is an amazing mission president. He is so in tune with the spirit that it is amazing and he lives such a godly life. I love him so much. President Ahlander spoke to us about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The Atonement is one of my favorite things to study and listen to talks about because there is so many things I don't understand about the atonement and it is the most important thing about this gospel. There are so many things that I learned from his talk. The two most important things that I learned were that the atonement cleanses people and that through the atonement we have the opportunity to emulate Jesus Christ. The atonement cleansing people has always been something that I knew the atonement did but I never realized the full importance of the cleansing power. As president Ahlander spoke I just felt so much gratitude to our savior because of the atonement. Without the atonement I would be nothing. Without the atonement I would be consistently suffering. The thing that amazes me the most about the Atonement is the proof of the love that Jesus Christ has for us. Jesus Christ atoned for all of our pains, sicknesses, iniquities, sins and heartaches. He didn't just atone for me or for members of the church but he atoned for everyone. He atoned even for those that he knew would never accept him and his atonement. He atoned knowing that people would still turn away. He atoned for all of us despite this knowledge because he loved every singles one of his brothers and sisters. Even if they don't want to accept his gift he loved them so greatly that he bled from every pore for them, for us. It blows my mind when I really think about it. The atonement has changed my life and it can change yours. As a missionary I have learned that I am giving each person I come into contact with the opportunity to accept and use the atonement in their lives. Their is no way to access the atonement without the gospel of Jesus Christ. The work we do as missionaries is huge just for that one factor. We must accept the gospel in order to use his atonement in order for us to gain salvation and exaltation. President Ahlander also spoke about how with the atonement we move from a mere acknowledgement of Jesus Christ to a admiration of Jesus Christ to a adoration of Jesus Christ to a emulation of Jesus Christ. With the atonement we can be like Jesus Christ! There is no greater person that I would want to become like than Jesus Christ. The atonement is their for us when we are weak but it is equally as their for us when we are strong. We must use the atonement in our lives in order for us to gain access to the exaltation that Heavenly Father has planned for us. Self pity is not using the atonement. Jesus Christ has given us everything; are you willingly to give Him everything? After we heard from President Ahlander we heard from the 2nd counselor in the mission presidency said wife. Sister Hyer spoke about the valiant example of her father who served a mission in Sweden. She spoke about how we must never become discouraged because we have no idea the seeds that we are planted for the future. She also told us that if we work hard and prayerfully that blessing always come. After Sister Hyer we heard from her Husband President Hyer. He spoke about the atonement as well and how we must never turn back and always move forward. The atonement covers all sins. Mine yours and the homeless man on the corner by Wendy's. It is literally for everyone! The last person that we heard from at zone conference was Elder Corbridge. His talk was just all sorts of amazingness. He focused on many things however what stood out to me was when he was talking about the atonement as well. He began by talking about the "most important thing" that we share that will be able to bless each and every persons life. The most important thing about the gospel that I willingly teach to all those that are willing to listen is the atonement. Without the greatest sacrifice that is made known to man today we would be left to a life full of sin and despair. That would be an extremely awful life. The essence of the message that I share with others is Jesus Christ and because of his love for each and every single one of his children and his willingness to sacrifice his life for ours we have the opportunity to be strengthened by him. The atonement of Jesus Christ can fill any hole that we may have, any weakness can be made stronger, and sorrow can be made strong. He can do anything and he will do everything for us. It gives me chills. One things that Elder Corbridge said was that we must remember that it isn't the atonement that redeems us, it is Jesus Christ who redeems us. Without him we are nothing. I challenge each of you to find him. It doesn't matter where you are at in your life. What you may or may not think about Jesus Christ or the work of his only true and everlasting truth. If you try to find Jesus Christ and let him in just a little bit into your life; your life will be changed for the better. I promise it and I have seen it. Even in this past week. His work is truly being accomplished here on Earth. It is amazing and brings me so much happiness that I am helping others all around for the better. It is a miraculous and everlasting gospel. Jesus Christ is becoming my best friend and I could not be happier. Sister Lauren Camilleri

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