Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Week 91 Elder Bednar

Well this week was definitely highlighted by the visit of Elder Bednar and the two days basically completely focused on him.  Both meetings that I was at were basically question and answer format in a really interesting way.  It was a wonderful experience and it felt just amazingly personal for talking with an apostle.  He of course taught us a lot of wonderful things, but the things that stood out the most to me was that he taught us how to learn from the spirit.  It was really amazing to watch him teach and see such a masterful teacher that has had so much orientation and mentoring with Apostles and prophets on top of his years of teaching as a profession.  It is amazing because I almost felt like it was really simple things that were being discussed all of the time, but afterwards looking back I see that that is not exactly the case it is just that he does such a wonderful job of elevating those in the congregation to be able to be there and understand what he has to teach us.  Giving us a little peek into his vast reserves of knowledge.  It was a really fun experience.  It was also interesting to see the members that are newer or less active there in his presence when he was talking to the stake in a special devotional.  I had to explain to Amelia that lady that we baptized a couple weeks ago the rarity of this and how special it really is to get to see an apostle.  A lot of the members really just did not quite comprehend exactly what was happening, but I am sure that it seems like the same thing for the authorities that travel the world when they come to our parts and they see how we often lackadaisically frequent the temple or pass by as if it is nothing in comparison to these members that cannot stop talking about the temple even thought they most often only get to go once or twice a year.   It is interesting how the church and the doctrine are the same no matter where you are in the world, but the culture of the church really is a different thing in all places.  

On the way back from the Bednar visit in the Bus I was sitting next to Amelia talking a bit getting to know her a little better and having some good laughs when we got talking a bit about some of the things that Elder Bednar and Elder Johnson of the Seventy and their wives had said in response to the questions that were made.  (Very cool how the wives have a major responsibility in teaching as well as he gives a very large amount of time to the women to answer the questions that the people ask him)One of which talked about how the parents can help wayward children and how leaders can encourage youth that are struggling to come back to the straight and narrow. They explained that we cannot take away their moral agency (not free agency because that is a false doctrine) in anyway clearly, but that the righteousness and obedience of the parents to their covenants can have a spiritually enticing, motivating, and pulling effect on the children encouraging the Holy Ghost to continue working on the child to try to get them to choose the right.  It is amazing to me the power that ordinances and covenants have in our lives, especially the sealing powers that make eternal families possible.  Anyways I was telling Amelia that I was seeing this affect take place with her two daughters being that one had finally accepted baptism during this week and the other is starting to soften up a little. We then were making a bit of plans as to how we were going to strengthen her daughters even more when the younger one who is really tall, but only has 12 years sat up from being basically asleep during the entire bus ride and says out of nowhere that she has decided she would like to get baptized with Yara.  It was really cool and crazy that she, being a really shy girl said something like that so suddenly and so boldly out of nowhere.  Amelia and I had a fun little celebration.  This family was really difficult in the beginning but it has been so amazing to get to see them making these changes lately. Both of them are scheduled to be baptized next Saturday which is super exciting. 

Ihita and Evan will be moving to France this week in search of work. Sad to see them go but I will be able to keep in touch with them and keep talking with them.  I got to see the Brodericks (the senior couple that I have served so much with) at the conference with Elder Bednar.  It was a really wonderful surprise.  They are still calling me their trainer which still makes me laugh really sad to basically say goodbye to them now that there is basically no chance that I will see them again before the end of the mission being that they are heading back out to the acores.  We tried to help one of our really awesome investigators quit smoking and we wanted to fast with him but he could not resist taking a coffee which was really sad and it all went down hill.  so sad to see how people let their freedoms get taken away because of their decisions.  Another man that we are trying to help him save his family relationship as he is having rough patches with the mother of his daughter.  (that is why you get married first)  That is basically how I have really learned the blessings of the commandments is getting to see so many people suffer from disobeying these laws.  I really know that it is all a blessing now. 

WE got to have our meeting with Presidente Tavares and Presidente Gustavo this week. (I sent a message to president Tavares after church to make sure that he did not forget this time.. he got a good laugh out of that one)  It was a good meeting where Presidente Gustavo was basically prepared to tell us how he wants us to do things and what information that he wants us to get so that we can work well and have effective meetings.  So he gave us a really specific assignment as to what to bring next time.  But since I actually had gone to one of these meetings with him on a weird division situation with the zone leaders about a year and a half ago I had remembered basically what it was that he had asked for and how this meeting usually went so we had already prepared a couple reports (which was exactly what he had finished asking for all typed up and organized with several copies).  He was really shocked and gave us a weird look as to how we had gotten this revelation out of nowhere or how we had known what he was going to ask for.  It was a really cool thing and we really gained a ton of his support and  confidence because of that simple move. It is amazing how little things to get prepared like that can make all of the difference.  The mission really does get you prepared for all sorts of situations in life and I am so grateful for all that I have been learning every single day.  It sure is a pleasure to get to work with such wonderful leaders and I have learned one thing is that when you get chances to make a good first impression and set the tone of meetings you better not show up without having prepared something.  I think that is a good way to look at using this life as a time to prepare to meet God once again.  It would be rather unfortunate to make a poor returning impression with the supreme all powerful creator of all things.  Best we prepare well, I know it will pay off in the end and we will be blessed for every little effort that we give.  Gotta always be doing our best.

Love Elder Hobson

PS congrats to Christina and Kyle for graduating! (and anyone else that I have not heard about)

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