Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day!

Dearest family & friends,

I can´t believe that the next time I send an email it will already be JUNE! Where has this year gone? We are almost halfway done. So this past weekend we had a mission conference with Neil L. Andersen. I am so blessed to be here in the mission so that I could hear his words. I was super nervous when the meeting started because I had to say the opening prayer. Saying a prayer in front of an apostle is already a pretty good reason to be nervous…having to say it in Portuguese was even more reason! Haha. But I am glad to say I managed to say it without my voice shaking too much.

In attendance at the conference were President & Sister Gaertner, Elder & Sister Mazzagard of the Seventy, Elder Cappelleti of the Seventy and Elder & Sister Andersen. (Definitely might have spelled some of those names wrong haha) All of the remarks were really great, but I am going to talk more about what Elder Andersen said. He spent a good amount of time talking about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how we should know where the Book of Mormon specifically refers to the Atonement. We should be able to visualize the situation in that part of the Book of Mormon and be able to give background information without reading the heading of the chapter.

The parts of his talk that really stood out to me relate to the life after the mission. Obviously I am in the final weeks of the mission so the Spirit made it relevant to my situation, but even without the influence of the Spirit, the words Elder Andersen spoke were about what comes next. He said that main priority of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve is our progress. He said it is a blessing to serve a mission, but it is an even greater blessing to be able to continue progressing after the mission. Elder Andersen said, “The result of life isn´t the result of the mission.” He wasn´t an assistant to the President or any great leader in the mission, but it wasn´t his time in the mission that was the only factor in his spirituality today. He continued progressing afterwards.

He also said, “Silence is a very important part of life. It is often in silence that the Lord speaks to us.” I rarely let myself have moments of downtime without worrying about what still needs to be done that day, that week, that month, that year, etc. I liked his counsel because it is something I came across a few weeks ago in another talk I read in the Liahona from a Seventy. I guess the Lord is trying to tell me to calm down from time to time :)

The thing that Elder Andersen said that has been running through my mind since the meeting was a simple phrase that doesn´t translate quite the same to English – Sua missão vale a pena. It means “the mission is worth it” but it has a different meaning to me in Portuguese. I can´t explain what I felt when he said that. He continued by saying that the mission is a time of preparation for the next chapter of our life. I know Heavenly Father sent me to the mission on December 19th so that I would be here for the conference we had this past Saturday in my last transfer. Had I entered the MTC 6 weeks earlier I would have missed it, if I had entered later I might not have been in my last transfer only 3 weeks away from returning home. 

The conference with Elder Andersen was way more powerful than I will ever be able to convey. I could probably write a whole book on everything he said, what the other speakers said, and what I felt and thought about during the two short hours we had with him. But I am so grateful I was able to be in attendance.
Picture from Elder Andersen´s visit!

Hope you are all happy & healthy! Have a great Memorial Day & a great week :) 

Sister Kerr

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