Monday, August 22, 2011

32: Refugio 11

Woow.  So this week was so awesome!

Let’s start out...well…with Friday.

Friday we had a meeting with all the missionaries in El Salvador, President Eyring, Elder Christofferson, and various Elders of the Seventy.  And wow, was that amazing.  First of all, I got to see all my friends from my mission, as well as Elder Mendenhall, Gealta, and Parry from the MTC.  They are all doing awesome.  It’s so great so see that.  Then we had a couple talks from the Area Seventy there that were pretty sweet.  They did the questions and answers thing, which was cool.  There was a really cool spirit there, and I learned and realized a lot of things that I can do, change, and improve as a missionary.

Then we waited for President Eyring and Elder Christofferson, but they didn’t show up until about 7:00.  Apparently they came straight to us from the airport, and they didn’t realize how crazy the drivers were in El Salvador.  Elder Eyring cracked a few jokes about that.  That man is so funny.  I feel kind of sorry for the Latins because they needed a translator, and I’m pretty sure it was not the same.  Then another of the Seventy talked, then Elder Christofferson.  He talked about being grateful, then how we as missionaries are really like their companions.  Jesus said in the Bible that The Twelve are supposed to preach the gospel to all the world, and we are helping them fulfill this purpose.  Wow, it was good.  Elder Christofferson is so powerful, and his Spanish is amazing.  All of the Latins were talking about how his vocabulary was better than theirs.

Then President Eyring spoke again, and it was probably one of the most powerful talks I’ve ever heard.  They really are special witnesses of Christ.  They brought a spirit so powerful into that meeting that I have never really felt before.  It was unreal.  He taught us that we have to come to know Christ.  His personal testimony of Christ was so...personal, it was amazing.  He knows Christ so well.  He didn’t talk for a long time, and just gave us a little bit of counsel...but it was so powerful.  It’s changed my perspective on things a lot.  He is so happy, humble, and awesome.  Love that guy.

One bit of counsel that he told us really stuck out to me.  He talked about how he was with President Monson about 3 hours ago, and that Monson sent us his love.  Then he talked about that morning, when Monson walked in with a smile.  "He always walks in with a smile.  President Hinckley was the same.  Even when they had very hard things to do, they still had a smile.  A lot of times people would come in bringing a lot of difficult impress him with how hard things were, but he always keeps his smile and says, ‘things will work out.’”  Then he continued to speak about that.  Really, each of us are going to have difficulties in this life, and a lot of times, it’s going to be very hard.  But we need to remember to be happy, the gospel is a gospel of joy, and that things will work out.

Sunday we had the dedication (Saturday we just worked, actually).  It was so cool.  I was in our stake center and saw it from there.  It was a pretty awesome dedication.  I learned so much.  President Eyring ended up giving a prophecy about this nation; part of it was that El Salvador and the Americas would send missionaries to all parts of the world.  It was so sweet.  They taught us about temples, and the dedicatory prayer was awesome.  Eyring said that he’d given many of these, and every one was different, meant for a certain people, at a certain time.  There were some pretty sweet words spoken in that prayer.  It really was an amazing experience.

The work is going to progress so much more rapidly now that we have a temple.  I’m so excited and just want to get to work.  I really have received a strong testimony of the temple and of our church leaders.  The temple really is the house of the Lord, a place where we can go to get answers, understand, and express gratitude, a place separated from the rest of the world, the closest place to heaven on earth.  Our prophets and apostles really are called of God.  They have the same power as those of olden times.  You can feel that power when they’re around.

Well, that’s all for this week.  I’m so grateful to be here in El Salvador at this time.  There could not be a better time to be here.  That’s for sure.

Love yáll,
Elder Bailey

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