Dear Elder Slavens

Dear Elder Slavens

Elder Dallin J Slavens Cambodia Phnom Penh

Elder Chancellor J Slavens Idaho Twin Falls

Monday, January 26, 2015

My Week Was Better Than Yours

It's true. Unless of course you yourself were visited by an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. 'Cause I totally was.

I KNOW, RIGHT??? This week, we had a mission conference in Twin Falls in which Elder M. Russel Ballard of the Quorum of the 12 visited us and taught us some things that I'll not soon forget. He was joined by Elder Nash of the 70 and together they straight up knocked all of our socks off. This is probably going to cover the vast majority of what I will talk about today, so if you don't want to hear about Apostles you can leave.

WOAH I found these cool emojis why the heck have I not been using them? <1C4.gif> <1B6.gif> <B5E.gif>

Anyway. I'mma try to summarize this, 'cause they talked about so much cool stuff I thought I might die, and I don't want to hurt you guys. Elder Nash was the first to speak, and I'll be 100% honest, I was kinda thinking "C'mon man, I wanna hear Elder Ballard talk, get down!" But boy was I wrong. He started by asking us three questions: 

1. "Why do missionaries wear nametags, and why are the nametags so important?" There was some really great discussion about how our nametags separate us from the world, and they show to everyone that we truly do represent Christ. I mean, how can we not? His name itself is on our badge! Hopefully that shows the world something! I'm not a cashier, or a waiter. I'm a representative of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ and there is definitely a difference. I need to act accordingly!

2. "What does it mean to be a representative of Christ?" Elder Nash taught us that our job is not just to knock on doors and baptize people, but it is todo and say everything that Christ would if He were here. This led perfectly into his final question.

3. "What would Christ be doing if He were here in the Idaho Twin Falls Mission?" Holy dang that makes you think, doesn't it? Definitely made me think. Elder Nash shared some verses from 3rd Nephi chapter 11, about the coming of Christ to the American continent, and he asked us to consider what He did there, and how that might translate to Twin Falls if He were to take a trip to the potato state. We concluded that if Christ were here, He would testify of Himself and His father, and would invite the people to make covenants and choices that would lead them back to Him. So naturally, that's what WE should be doing! I thought that was way cool.

AND THEN Elder Ballard stood up and proceeded to spout pure gold for and hour and a half. For real. I'll try and make this quick. No promises. <35D.gif>

He started by telling us that enthusiasm and excitement make for infectious and contagious desires to work. If we can wake up, on time, with a big smile on our face and high hopes in our heart, our day will play out accordingly. But if we let ourselves be angry and grumpy, we can be sure that's how our day will stay. He then moved on to the relationship that faith, knowledge, boldness, and fun all have with one another. Here's the recipe: Faith is what drives this work. As we increase our faith and receive revelation, we gain a sound knowledge of gospel concepts. Knowledge leads to confidence in ourselves and in the restored gospel, which in turn helps us to be bold. If you're confident in what you're saying, you're comfortable with being bold in saying it. When we're bold enough, we can't pass peeps on the street without sharing the gospel with them. And as we follow that pattern, soon enough we'll just be having a blast day to day sharing what we believe with others. Pretty cool. According to Elder Ballard his grandkids get all embarrassed of him all the time 'cause he's always trying to talk to people in restaurants and whatnot about church. That's pretty chill.

Okay, here's his final point I'll share 'cause I'm getting carpal tunnel. But he gave us a solid amount of time to ask questions, and I took advantage of that like HECKA quick. I asked Elder Ballard how I might more fully put off the natural man, because that's something all of us struggle with. He looked right into my soul and I felt one of the craziest feelings ever. My hear was going THIS fast, and yet I felt so calm and at peace. He talked right at me for like 10 minutes and it was just a really cool moment for me. He explained that as we lose ourselves in the service of others we forget the natural man and are just more happy in general. We're spiritual entities learning to live in physical bodies, not the other way around. I thought that was so cool.

Anyway, I'll wrap up my thoughts there. But probably my favorite part of the whole deal was the very end. He got up to leave and turned to President Curtis. He said, "Well, now you need to deal with them. I get to go home," then he turned back to us and said, "Adios, amigos! Hasta luego!" And then he was gone. I almost died I was laughing so hard. Respect.

So yup, that's what happened to me this week! And I'm dead so I'll cover other stuff next week. Have a wonderful week and don't forget who you are! Baiiiiiiii.

Elder Slavens <1E3.gif>

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