Seems like you and dad have had a crazy week with everyones health problems. I did recieve the package. Thank You so much!!! You guys are awesome.
So I will be staying in the Westbank for another transfer. It is really rare to be in an area for 5 transfers. Missionaries who have been in the area less transfers than I have are leaving. I really thought I was going to leave this transfer. Oh well. The lord has something important for me to do here. I am so happy I will be here in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Hearing from the stories it sounds really fun. I have already had King Cake and that is really good.
Last week we were able to see Sister Morino and walk her talks. After we were talking to her about Gods love and how he loves us so much he gave us his son to die for us. We told her that through the Saviors atoning grace we can be redeemed from Sin and death. We talked about how it is important we make the effort to do better, and to repent of our sins. She told us she made the desiscion to come back and get interviewed by the branch president to get re baptized!!! We are so excited! We are hoping and praying that she will come back. She said she wanted to get baptized the end of February when her daughter will be in town.
Yesterday we were able to finally have another lesson with Victor and Leslie. We kept trying to get another lesson with them but they have been so busy. It was wonderful because Sister Ortega was there to answer questions. It was more of a question and answer lesson that covered the Restoration, Plan of Salvation, and Baptism. He had really good questions. Even Leslie was answering questions.
Some fun things we were able to do this past week was we got to go to Cabelas after our meeting in Baton Rouge. it was so awesome. I will admit the meeting was so spiritual than I went to Cabelas and I thought I was going to die. I was so trunky and was wanting to go hunting. It was awesome to be able to see the many animals and taxidermy. I may have bought a calender that had the theme of Labradors hunting. We also had a dinner sunday and the family had the superbowl on and refused to turn it off HAHA. so we saw the patriots win the super bowl. HAHA
We also visited other same old people and Less Actives but the Highlight of this week was the entire mission met in Baton Rouge for a special instruction by Elder Quenton L Cook of the Quorum of the twelve Apostles! When he walked in the chapel we all stood up. He was flattered but told us to sit down. He was so humble. He had us all get to shake his hand. IT WAS SO AWESOME Also with him was Elder Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy and Elder Booth an Area Seventy. He gave a talk on # things for us to know. 1. You are Ward and Branch builders. You are to assess what the branch needs. If there is a lot of less actives than you work on that. If the ward has many active members then use the members to find teach and baptize people, but we are not marketing Salesmen or Jehovah's Witnesses and do not appear that you are those. 2. You are the message. How you appear and and deliver the gospel shows their is something different about you. 3. Do not compare your success with others. Just because you have less baptisms or activation means you have not failed. You have succeeded when you have invited!
After he opened it to question and answer. It was really good. Someone asked how we address the Priesthood policy before 1979. He talked about how we have very good records of what happened and why. He talked about the church never segregated wards. Some were allowed by permission. Black aborigines were not under that restriction. The main reason the extermination order on the Mormons in Missouri happened was because we were opposed to salvary and it was during a time when Missouri wanted to be a slave state. He gave two reason why that restriction could have been in place. 1. Around that time was when blacks were given equal rights in South Africa and that it is hard for a man who is not free to hold the priesthood. 2. It may be a faith tester for us and them. During biblical times there were restrictions on those of certain descents who could not hold the priesthood. The main thing he talked about was that it was received by revelation to change that. he talked about how much President Monson, Boyd K Packer, and L Tom Perry talk about that event when they gathered in Prayer of the most holy manner and recieved revelation that the time had come for them for men of African descent to recieve the priesthood. He finished that question by sharing a scripture from the book of mormon that the gospel is for everyone, male or female, black or white, and bond or free!
Another question was on feeling satisfied with your efforts. He talked about how it is the adversary that makes us feel we are not doing our best and that our efforts are insignificant. He said that the mission is a progression. We cannot expect to be the perfect missionary in one day but that the entire mission is a learning process. He also said but that does not give us the excuse to not work hard. He talked about an experience when he was in a meeting with the other 12 and the first presidency and they were having a testimony meeting. Just that weekend Gordon B Hinckley dedicated a temple in Japan flew to address leaders in China. Flew to dedicated a temple in Australia, and dedicate another temple in the US. An apostle during his testimony talked about how President Hinckley needed to rest and that he was overwhelming himself. When it was Gordon B Hinckley turn to bare his testimony he said you can never work to hard in this work and if it makes me dies quicker than so be it. HAHA
One question was asked about how missionaries are assigned to their missions. He talked about how a member of the twelve assigns missionaries and that they don't receive feelings that someone in that area needs them or that a missionary can only convert certain people in that area but that it is two things. 1. The missionary will benefit spiritaully from the president of the mission president there. And 2. That the culture, ethics, and people will help the missionary grow, learn and become converted. He said a successful mission is if the only person that has become converted is you. No one else.
One of the last questions was asked how his view of the gospel have changed since he was called to an Apostle and he said he would answer that with his testimony. At the end he shared his experience of being called to the quorum of the 12 apostles. He was called into President Hinckley's office the thursday before general conference. he went staight to the point and extended the call to him to serve as a member of the 12 apostles. He talked about how much weight he felt on his shoulders after that meeting but the great peace he has felt that he recieved being in that quorum that for a surety he knows that the church is true. He talked about how as an apostle you are definitely a special witness of Jesus Christ. He talked about how he knows the voice and will of the Savior Jesus Christ, the great Jehovah. He said the foundation of our belief is the knowledge that we are children of a loving Heavenly Father, the great and mighty Elohim, and that he sent his son, even Jesus Christ the great Jehovah, to suffer and die for us. The spirit was so strong when he said that. It was a very describable feeling that came into the room.
I am so grateful we had the opportunity to listen to some of the leaders of the church. On sunday Elder Hallstrom spoke to the New Orleans Stake and talked about the importance of the gospel. I am so grateful that we have prophets seers and revelators as there were in Ancient Israel, and that the windows of heaven are not closed. That God through his son speaks to his servants on the earth. I know this gospel is true. I know that Thomas S Monson is a prophet of the living God.
I love you so much mom!!! I miss you!!! Have an amazing week!!!
love Elder Richardson