Here's the whole mission!
We got to sing for Elder Christofferson!
LoL I found this letter in my "drafts" folder!
So I’m sitting here staring at this screen thinking ‘What in the world happened this week?’ Don’t know why I always get temporary amnesia on Mondays! But then I flipped open my planner to get some ideas and realized I forgot to tell you that for the past month and a bit I have been practicing with 5 other missionaries, 2x a week, to prepare a special musical number for (drum roll please) ... ... ... ... Elder D. Todd Christofferson! An Apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ and a member of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles. It was amazing! The music went off without a hitch and he told us when he gets back to Salt Lake he is going to call Mack Wilberg and tell him he has 6 more people to add to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. He also told our mission President that the music really touched his heart and that he felt the spirit as we sang. I mean, since he is an apostle, he probably feels the spirit all the time, but it was still nice to hear.
I was sitting in the front row almost exactly in front of him. When he got up to talk to us he said a few thank-you’s then immediately turned the time over to us for questions. It was amazing. At one point he got down from behind the pulpit and grabbed a white board and marker to explain someone’s question. As all of my classmates and friends know I have plenty of questions, so about half-way through I stood up and asked mine.
I explained that the biggest reason I came on a mission was 1) I received revelation telling me I should, and 2) Because I wanted to dedicate everything I have to the Lord. In our normal lives there are so many options. We have work, family, school, recreational activities, friends and more. All these things are good things but how can we know we are giving enough to the Lord when we are involved in so much. We can always give more, so how can we know where to strike the balance? I decided to go on a mission because every minute of everyday I can know exactly what I should be doing to give everything to the Lord. I know my missionary purpose and I can evaluate everything I do by whether or not I am inviting others to come unto Christ and receive his restored Gospel through Faith in Jesus Christ, Repentance, Baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the end. Also, we have a lot of rules here in the mission that only apply to mission life. It feels kind of like it is the Law of Moses for this day and age. And with these strict and precise rules exact obedience is easier. I can look at my day and know in a flash if I got up at 6:30, if I started my study at 8, comp study at 9, if we spent more than an hour in a lesson, if we contacted people in the street, and the list goes on and on. I can know that I am being exactly obedient when I follow these rules. And I know that we receive blessings when we are obedien--I have seen the waves of success come and go with my obedience.
But what about after the mission? What about when there are no rules for when to get up or go to bed? WhenI have other things that I really need to do besides look for people to teach 24/7? My question is how can I be exactly obedient when so many of my options are left to my own discretion? After my mission I want to continue to receive the blessings of exact obedience but how can I know when I am being exactly obedient or when I need to give more? I have seen so many people here who are return missionaries who have strong testimonies, who loved their missions! Who tell me about the blessings of obedience and remind me to get home on time or not stay to long--BUT THEY ARE INACTIVE! They are missing out on so many blessings! And they know it! And they know they need to be better and they don't! I don't want to go home and turn out like that.
When I finished my question Elder Christofferson looked me in the eyes and said, "That is a very good question. One my companion Elder Valenzuela (area 70) would like to answer." So he got up and talked a bit about obedience and the blessings thereof but he didn't really answer me. When he sat down Elder Christofferson got up again and answered me for real. He said a lot and I’m out of time but 3 things stuck with me the most.
1. Here in the mission learn how to have the Holy Ghost as a constant companion and how to RECOGNIZE his presence and promptings- If I do this when I get back from mission I can keep this constant companionship, or recognize when it leaves which is a perfect measure of obedience because the Holy Ghost can not dwell in unholy temples
2. have deep fervent prayers often with Heavenly Father. If we can have that deep honest contact we can’t be far from the path
3. Keep a schedule, just like I do here in the mission, and pray as I plan and consecrate that time. I will receive revelation for how to use my time as I plan. Then as I finish planning, pray over my schedule again to have help in meeting my goals but also to have the inspiration to change my plans if I need to just like we do here.
Dad you are going to laugh and say I told you so, but when I get home I will finally make a schedule and agenda my life just like you always wanted me to. That last piece of advice from an apostle gave me the most comfort. I feel like if I can evaluate all my plans in prayer I will know how much I need to be doing and If I am giving enough.
I love you guys, till next week
Hermana Lambert :)