Tuesday, January 5, 2016

8-27-15
ELDER CHRISTOFFERSON!!!

Hello. This week was, eh, you know,

AMAZING! 

I loved it more than life. It was the bomb. 
Last week, we were playing kickball as a zone, and as I ran onto home plate, I accidentally put all of my weight into my heel and did... something. Something bad. Not entirely sure what, though. I couldn't put weight on it for a couple of days, but I'm walking around normal now and all is well. So... no worries. =) 

I learned how to fold a fitted sheet! Now, I'm pro. 

We got these native Hermanas in our casa and we have family prayer every night and they are just the sweetest. Sure love them. And it's an AWESOME opportunity to practice mi español. 

So, we had the AMAZING opportunity these week to have Elder Christofferson come to the campus and give a devotional. Holy cow, was I excited. I wore my yellow shirt, I was so excited. I still am, and it's already happened! Me and Hermana Mortenson got to sing in the choir for him when he came (we only had 1 musical number at the beginning) so I got an AWESOME seat! Very middle, second row. We thought he had come into the building, so we all stood up in anticipation... and then he wasn't there for another five minutes, but none of us wanted to sit down, just in case. So we all just stood standing... and then he CAME!!! Oh my goodness, I could not help but weep. The spirit is so strong with him, and I could just feel his love for all of us, and God's love for us, and I just love him so much. And the musical number's at the beginning! So I was afraid I wouldn't be able to sing because I would just be up there sobbing because I was so happy to see him! But all was well, I was able to calm down enough to sing although I couldn't look at him or his wife for a bit. I almost tripped on my way up to sing, like, 12 feet away from him. So that was fun. 

Seriously, though. The joy I felt with him there in the room with me, (and not a very big room, mind you. It's the size of a high school auditorium. Like, Lehi's.) is indescribable. I wish all of you could have been there and have experienced that pure, unadulterated joy and peace that I felt. What an amazing man. 

The musical number went well, we had an area 70 whose wife spoke, then he spoke, then Sister Christofferson spoke, (sweet, sweet lady. She wanted to make sure we were taking care of ourselves and that we recognize what a privilege that it is to be serving) then Elder Christofferson spoke. I. Love. Him. He spoke about how Pres. Monson sends his love for us, and that the brethren, every week, pray for us missionaries. He told us how lucky we are to be able to act on our desire to better and help the world. He told us how he thinks it's amazing that God lets us touch anything, and here he gives us the fine China of the Kingdom, giving us the Gospel and the opportunity to share it. 

He turned it into a Q&A after a bit. One of the questions was, one Hermana has friends who are having a hard time and starting to fall away, and she asked what advice he'd give to those people. He told her, lovingly, that he was going to give her advice on what she can do instead, because those friends probably won't be able to hear him. He told us that some of us might have people back home who are struggling or falling away, and that we believe that being with them, even just for a couple of weeks would help them. That our personal presence will help them to come back to the fold. He told us that this is not true. The BEST way you can be helping your friends and your family back home is by being out here on a mission. That there are SO many blessings that head their way when we are serving. I thought that that was a really interesting and bold truth that I hadn't really realized before. 

One person asked him how he can better become humble (something I've never had a problem with) and Elder Christofferson, up there on the stand, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve, one of the most trusted people by God on this earth, and one with so much more wisdom and authority that 99% of the world, turned around, looked at all of the other people on the stand with him, and asked Pres. Tonorio, the CCM President to come up and help him answer that question. Pres. Tonorio is a sweet and humble man, whose wife, a few years ago, after catching an armed burglar trying to break into their house, and were waiting out in the street with him and a bunch of neighbors for the police, shaking because she was still terrified, asked her husband to go inside and grab one of his shirts because this almost-burglar didn't have one and she thought that he might be embarrassed out there in the street without a shirt. These are some sweet people. And so Pres. Tonorio spoke for a minute about how amazing and humble Elder Christofferson is and then Elder Christofferson said a few words on humility. He said for us to be grateful. That sometimes we aren't progressing because we aren't being thankful for what we have. That God loves blessing those who are thankful. 

Towards the end, I raised my hand with a question and was blessed enough to be called on, by this amazing Apostle of the Lord. I had prepared the question and was holding a lot of books with notes and my scriptures, and then, as I stood up, they passed me a microphone. Haha I almost dropped my journals and my sweet companion helped out and held some for me. I told him that I have been studying about perfect faith lately, and that a scripture I had been studying about Christ's example of perfect faith was Matthew 27:46, where Christ is almost done with the Atonement, and He says "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" I told Elder Christofferson that I now that Christ isn't complaining or whining, but that I'm having a hard time telling what He meant in that passage and with that phrase. He paused for a moment and said that he was going to try to get though answering this question because it's such a tender subject. He told us about how when Christ was in Gethsemane, that even He was worried that He couldn't finish this Atonement. That even He, the Son of God, hadn't been able to anticipate the kind of pain and anguish that the Atonement, for us, brought. He asked the Father if He would remove this cup from Him because He was worried that He wouldn't be able to finish this task. Elder Christofferson believes that He wouldn't have been able to if He hadn't devoted every minute of His life to obeying and glorifying the Father. As far as that phrase goes when He was on the cross, during Gethsemane, He had had angels with Him, comforting Him. And all the way till the end, He had at least had the Holy Ghost with Him. But right at the end, He had had to finish this totally and utterly alone. And He felt it when it happened. That phrase wasn't really a question, or complaining at all, but more a sign of the anguish that our Lord was experiencing for all of us, and the fact that He recognized once He was completely alone. 
And because Christ did that for us, we NEVER have to be alone, unless we chose to be. The Atonement is ALWAYS there for us, and Christ perfectly understands the pain we are going through, and is always perfectly sympathetic even though it is NOTHING compared to what He chose to go through for us. I love my Savior. He is real. He lives. I can feel His love for me and I know first-hand the comfort and the peace that the Atonement can bring. 

As Elder Christofferson left, I began to cry again. Me and my companion for a good time after, could not bring ourselves to dry our eyes, because we missed him and the love and the spirit that he brings with him. I'm so grateful for the opportunity. I love this Gospel. God loves you. Infinitely more than we could ever comprehend in this life, and unconditionally. He wants to bless you. Let Him. In the name of Christ, our Savior, Amen. 

I love you all. Have a great week. =) 

Hermana Larsen  

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