Sunday, November 27, 2016

October 17, 2016 Elder Holland visits

Too blessed to be stressed

From photo of journal pages

October 17
God never ceases to amaze me by what he does.  Yesterday was the highly anticipated visit from Elder Holland.  No words can describe what an experience that was.  We worked hard to prepare the mission spiritually for it, and it certainly payed off.

As Elder Holland and his security pulled up, President, Elder Ko, and Elder Parrish and myself stood outside to welcome him and his wife.  They greeted us and he conversed briefly.  The most remarkable thing about Elder Holland was his eyes.  As he shook my hand asked me where I was from, I understood the meaning of the Apostles “handshake interview”.  His eyes, ringed with blue-green, fire, were truly piercing.  Never have I seen before any gaze that so embodies that word.  There was a certain feeling that his discerning gaze had access to your soul; not an uncomfortable feeling, because for every bit that it was fiery and piercing, it was also loving and possessed more kindness than I’ve ever known.  It was truly impressive.  It struck me so profoundly that as I was being interviewed and stared into the eyes of a special witness of Jesus Christ, he has truly taken on the countenance of someone greater.

Elder Holland mentioned later, as he taught us, that this was a special day even for him.  Due to circumstances, it was not just him that came, but his wife, son, daughter in law, and grandson.  They all radiated the warmth and light of consecrated disciples.

They all spoke briefly and wonderfully to us.  Sister Tarnasky, Nash, and myself performed “I Know That My Redeemer Lives”, and it was powerful.  Then Elder Holland addressed us.
He started at the podium, and soon worked his way down to the gymnasium floor with all of us.  He didn’t actually have anything planned to teach us, so I was very curious to see what would end up coming out, what would be done with two hours with a mission.  It turned out to be the Book of Mormon.

There’s no way I could record what was taught.  I suppose all I could say is that it was incredible.  I  had a couple take-aways.
1) The Book of Mormon is powerful.  Despite how much I already knew that and have taught that, there was no room for doubt left that the Book of Mormon is the most powerful conversion tool on the planet.
2) The gospel is simple.  What Elder Holland taught to us yesterday was very basic.  There was no deep doctrine or anything we couldn’t gain simply by reading Preach My Gospel and the Book of Mormon.  I think that was very purposeful.  I think that he wanted to show us that the power of his teaching came not from intricate knowledge, but simply through priesthood keys and pure testimony and conversion.  It doesn’t take a lot of knowledge to teach what he taught.  It takes an undeniable witness and passion that what you teach is true, something that only comes through time-tested obedience.
3) Spiritual preparedness is real.  I can’t help but wonder if I might have a more revelatory experience at church each week if I prepared myself by persistent prayer and fasting and having faith that it would be a spiritually significant event.  Hmm.

Elder Wu on left and Elder Jheng on right. Flushing fire
Elder Sundet on he left and Elder Moe on the right! I was in the MTC with Elder Moe.


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