Monday, September 30, 2013

September 23rd 2013

Howz it going everybody!!! our week has been awesome!!! A lot has happened, zone conference, setting a baptism date with one of our awesome investigators, and best of all............. a fireside with an Apostle!!! Elder Jeffrey R. Holland!!! 
    First I'll talk about the zone conference. It was President Warner's first time officially doing zone conference, and I think that he did a good job, you can tell that he was called by the Lord to be a mission president in Hawaii for a reason. He talked mostly about obedience, which is what they talk about most of the time in all the zone conferences I've been to. Sister Warner is funny she made us sing a song for the people that provided lunch, and taught us proper table manners! lol! They also had our stake president come and speak about his thoughts on the missionary work in the Waipahu stake and how to help us, he wants the stake to provide 1000 referrals for the missionaries by the end of the year.
    Right after zone conference, we talked to our investigator, Joel he really wants to get baptized, but he was hesitant on taking the lessons even though he goes to class at church, but he accepted to an appointment at the church on Thursday. So on Thursday all 4 of us plus our ward mission leader Bro. Moors taught him the Restoration. It was a great lesson, Elder Rokete and Elder White, who are now almost finished with their missions knew exactly what to say, I've learned a lot from them already. His baptismal date is Oct 12, but the challenge is that him and his girlfriend need to get married first. But I think that everything will work out and that we can move his baptismal date closer, so that he will get baptized right before Elder Rokete and Elder White go home. Super exciting!
       Now, onto Elder Holland's talk, President Warner actually recorded the audio so he can give us all a copy of it, I'll send a copy to you guys to. Elder Holland's talk was awesome!!! He was pounding the pulpit and everything!!! It was like he was praising us and chastising us at the same time, one of the points I got from him is that "we shouldn't have to babysit you!!!!" and to "teach with power and authority", I'll send you the notes that President Warner took to hold you over till the recording, After the fireside was over Elder Holland had to catch a flight to Big island so I wasn't able to take a picture of him. I was tempted to take a picture of him giving his talk, but I felt that if I did that he would call me out or something lol! but it was great and I was super glad I was able to go, to shake an Apostle's hand, a servant of the Lord! Everything he said was true. And he said that us missionaries, do the same thing he does, that is, to preach His Gospel!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Randall

Below is Elder Hollands remarks...

Elder Holland

The Church trusts you great missionaries. I get so excited about being with missionaries I sometimes go ballistic! I've been known to bounce off of the pulpit, off the lights, and off the watch out! The Church trusts you missionaries. The Church prepares you with everything you need to be adults, including the temple. We treat you like grownups and we expect a lot of you. This work is very demanding. We know how much the Lord depends on you. If you can't do it for this cause, you can't do it in life. We need you at your best. The work is growing so fast, we have to count on you.Elder Holland has thought about his mission every day for the last 50 years. He went into the mission field naive, unprepared. In 24 months, everything changed that shaped his life. His mission president, his companions, mission leaders, and General Authorities all shaped his life during those two years. Honor and revere your mission.Don't ask us to hold your hands - be completely obedient. We shouldn't have to babysit you. You are apostolic with a lower case "a" for 18 months or two years. You do the same things we do as Apostles--witness of Jesus Christ every day of our lives. Never again will you do anything more important.We don't apologize for your youth. It takes grown up people to do this work. When you go home you will represent the great Hawaii Honolulu Mission. You don't have the right to tarnish its image by going back to the way you were before your mission. You can never be the same. If you do, you will ruin a small child's image of what a missionary should have become. You have no right to ruin my grandchild's or any other person's image of a missionary. You are to be changed forever. You are participating in one of the grandest traditions in the church--that of serving a mission. Elder Holland said he would do anything--wash your clothes, make your bed, shine your shoes, anything--to have a mission mean as much to you as his does to him.Just be fellow servants of The Lord with the Apostles. Carry the message with dignity unabashedly--how to save the human soul.Moses 1:39 states, "This is my work and my glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." The key words are Immortality, Eternal Life, Work, Glory. However, there is another very important personal pronoun--"My." This is My work and My glory.... This is not our work and our glory. This is God's work and glory. Never forget it. He is at the helm.Promise yourself that you will get at least one convert on your mission--you. Become your own best convert. Learn the gospel and become converted through study, pondering and prayer.Do the best you can and work as hard as you can. Come to know that this is God's work and glory. When you signed the contract you agreed to do His work--not your work, not your glory, not your way. It is God's work and glory.If it is God's work and glory it must be done His way. We signed our missionary letters we agreed that we would do it His way.D&C 50:13, 14 states, "Wherefore, I The Lord ask you this question--unto what were ye ordained? To preach my gospel by the Spirit, even the Comforter which was sent forth to teach the truth." This is where the title of Preach My Gospel came from. Elder Holland worked on PMG for six years. They debated whether to include "By His Spirit" in the title. They felt it was too long and opted for "Preach My Gospel." If you don't obey, you won't have the Spirit with you. You will not teach with power and authority. Be obedient and preach with power and authority. He asked Sister Moyes to read Helaman 5:17, "And it came to pass that they did preach with great power, insomuch that they did confound many of those dissenters (less active returned missionaries--the toughest of the tough to teach) who had gone over from the Nephites, insomuch that they came forth and did confess their sins and were baptized unto repentance, and immediately returned to the Nephites to endeavor to repair unto them the wrongs which they had done." The teaching was so powerful that it convinced the dissenting returned missionaries to confess their sins and apologize to the people. Then Sister Moyes read verse 18: "And it came to pass that Nephi and Lehi did preach unto the Lamanites with such great power and authority, for they had power and authority given unto them that they might speak, as they also had what they should speak given unto them--" Elder Holland emphasized the Helaman wrote the words "power and authority" twice in close proximity in this verse for emphasis. It is important in our teaching that we preach with power and authority.He then had Sister Moyes read Mosiah 17:11- 1811 And as I said unto you, as they were going about rebelling against God, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto them; and he descended as it were in a cloud; and he spake as it were with a voice of thunder, which caused the earth to shake upon which they stood;12 And so great was their astonishment, that they fell to the earth, and understood not the words which he spake unto them.13 Nevertheless he cried again, saying: Alma, arise and stand forth, for why persecutest thou the church of God? For the Lord hath said: This is my church, and I will establish it; and nothing shall overthrow it, save it is the transgression of my people.14 And again, the angel said: Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the acknowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith.15 And now behold, can ye dispute the power of God? For behold, doth not my voice shake the earth? And can ye not also behold me before you? And I am sent from God.16 Now I say unto thee: Go, and remember the captivity of thy fathers in the land of Helam, and in the land of Nephi; and remember how great things he has done for them; for they were in bondage, and he has delivered them. And now I say unto thee, Alma, go thy way, and seek to destroy the church no more, that their prayers may be answered, and this even if thou wilt of thyself be cast off.17 And now it came to pass that these were the last words which the angel spake unto Alma, and he departed.18 And now Alma and those that were with him fell again to the earth, for great was their astonishment; for with their own eyes they had beheld an angel of the Lord; and his voice was as thunder, which shook the earth; and they knew that there was nothing save the power of God that could shake the earth and cause it to tremble as though it would part asunder.Note in verse 11 that the angel spoke with a voice of thunder which caused the earth to shake. Elder Holland asked if this was an earthquake that was felt by everyone on the continent or was it a personal earthquake. He explained that a person can have a personal earthquake and a person standing next to her or him would not know it had happened. In verse 12 it states that Alma and the sons of Mosiah were astonished greatly. The root of the word astonish in Greek is "tondra." It means "thunder." Elder Holland challenged us to go astonish someone. Go cause someone's earth to shake. Alma heard thunder, felt his earth quake and experienced spiritual astonishment. The Spirit speaks with a still small voice--not a pounding drum--and yet it is thunder to the soul.The power of the Spirit will melt the investigators just as it did for Alma the Younger. If we are to teach with thunder that leads to astonishment we must prepare ourselves and pay the price to teach that way. We must prepare well, pray and obey to speak this way. If we do, people will let us into their lives. Toe the line, be obedient, don't ask the mission president to be a nursemaid.We need true conversion and heartfelt ministering. It would be easier if The Lord came down and did it himself. However, it is not the way Heavenly Father wants it done. We need divine companionship in order to preach with power and authority. Every twosome is a threesome when we preach with power and authority. The Holy Ghost becomes the third member of our companionship. Every lesson should have the Holy Ghost with us. Unleash the power of the Spirit through preparation. You need to be totally obedient.Why is salvation so hard? Why aren't people lining up at our doors to be taught and to receive our message? You will never work so hard as you do on a mission. It is not easy because salvation isn't cheap. God never intended salvation to be easy. When was life easy for the Savior? Never! He was rejected, just as you are. He was scorned, despised and spat upon. We should be honored to take a few stripes for him and to suffer a bit of what he suffered.Whatever He said, I'll say. Wherever He walked, I'll walk. The road to salvation for all of us goes through Gethsemane and Calvary. We all have to spend a little time in both to be sanctified. We are His disciples. We need to feel what he felt. Think how disappointing for Peter, James and John when they spoke at the Church's conference following the Savior's departure. They had taught thousands but at the conference only 120 were left from the original Church. How discouraging. This work is real hard. You will experience genuine fatigue.One of Sister Holland's favorite poems is the following. It was originally written in French:"Come to the edge.No, we will fall.Come to the edge.No, we will fall.Come to the edge.He pushed me and I flew.Live by faith. This big people's work. Love with all your heart because people like you saved people like me.

I (President Warner) will explain here something Elder Holland shared in the priesthood leadership session that preceded the missionary meeting. He said he grew up in a home where his father was less active. He smoked, he drank beer, and he drank coffee. One day, when he was ten years old, the bishop, the Elders Quorum President and the Sunday School President came to the Holland home. His father met them at the door with a cigarette in his hand. They came into the house and asked Brother Holland to be the Sunday School teacher for Elder Holland's class. If it was any other position, his father would have said no immediately. But he loved his son and would do anything for him. He asked if they knew he smoked. (He had a cigarette in his hand.) They said yes but they said that was his business. The Lord wanted him to teach. He said he would. Elder Holland said there was a loud bang in the kitchen. His mother dropped a pan, she was so flabbergasted. She had been trying to get Brother Holland to church for years with no success and now he had just accepted a calling to teach Sunday School. Brother Holland quit smoking that night. He threw his cigarettes into the fireplace. He cleaned up his life and became active in the Church. He needed to be invited in the right way at the right time and he responded. That day, the Bishop got more than a less active Elder. He got a future member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Never underestimate the power of the Spirit when we act and open our mouths.Elder Holland's conclusion:

50 years from now we will reunite and it will be glorious mission reunion. Let's all be there!  I hope you, like me, will develop a love for defending the truth.

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