Opening My Mission Call

Opening My Mission Call
August 16, 2010

Monday, September 24, 2012

What a Week!

I don't think that I have such a long, yet amazing week. A lot of things have happened over the past seven days and now the mission has completely changed for me. Well, let me explain:

I think every missionary always wonders, well at least I wonder, "Do I really have the Spirit with me? I feel happy and I feel like I sometimes receive revelation and I feel worthy, but just I never know..." Well, I had an amazing experience happen on last Monday night that really boosted my own confidence and confirmed that the Spirit really is with me. We were at a member's house right before going into our piso and just chatting with them and giving them a nice spiritual message. Well, the week prior my companion gave one of the family members a blessing of health since she had just been operated on and she said that very night she felt 100000 times better, and she was thrilled. Now this week their roommate was super worried about her current job situation and just wanted a blessing of comfort so she asked me to give her a blessing. For some reason I was just feeling super weird and so I was like, "Sure we'll give you one at the end of the lesson," but before the end of the lesson I excused myself to the bathroom so I could pray for some inspiration on how to help her. Well I came out and then I gave her a blessing, and I am not even sure what happened. I just looked up and my companion was staring at me like, "wow..." and then I look down and the lady is crying. My comp said that I was giving the blessing I stopped for a quick pause and then continued and then added a few little more things and then ended. The lady told me as we were leaving the piso that she now knew with a surety that God knew who she was and that her prayers are answered. She then told me that I recited to her parts, word for word, of her Patriarchal blessing. Umm.... I was pretty much speechless. I didn't even know what to say. I just sufficed with a, "Well, that's what blessings are for! To comfort you!" and then we left. It was quite the Monday. It only led to an even better Tuesday:

On Tuesday we had the opportunity to go to Murcia and meet with Elder Kent F. Richards of the Second Quorum of the Seventy (see picture). We left at 530am since we got a ride with one of our members who happened to be the cook for the whole event. For the days leading up to Tuesday we were all super nervous because he is not the most punctual guy and we had to make sure that the lunch was served at 2pm exactly. So we were all stressing so we got there as early as possible to prepare the food. Well we did that as well as we could before we had to leave the kitchen because the zone conference was starting. To be honest, I could write thousands of pages I feel like of notes of all the things I learned but I will just highlight one or two things. First we stood up and shook the hands of Elder Richards and Sister Richards. When I said I was from Medford, Oregon Sister Richards told me that she had actually been there before in 2003 when she was on the Young Woman board. Well then we started listening to Elder Richards. He gave us a lot of good advice. I would say that the theme of the whole conference was to allow yourself to be guided by the Spirit. Sister Richards also briefly talked to us. She put up a long acronym on the board and asked us is she knew what it was. HISTHOGROTTUOOCOOFT? Can you guess what this long acronym is? It is a statement by President Henry B. Eyring. Ever since she explained it I have tried to remember this phrase daily. It stands for, "Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children, or our family, today?" There are a lot of tricks people have to try and remember the blessings they have received daily from God and I think this one is a good one for me. I will try to use it daily. 

Elder Richards then came up again and started teaching us more and he would periodically call on a missionary randomly and ask them to do something in front of the rest. Talk about nerve wracking. I nearly passed out when I saw him look in my direction, squint at my name tag and say, "Elder Card!" Oh no... not me please, not me! "Stand up will ya?" I did so. "I want you to invite me to be baptized and when I tell you no, rephrase the question. Handle it well!" Oh my gosh.... I don't think I have ever been so nervous in my life. I almost passed out. Well, I tried my best, and later people said I did a fine job but I didn't really care. I just wanted it to be over haha. I think I make myself more nervous than the situation really calls for but it makes it super funny looking back. We then had a Question and Answer session and some people had some good questions so it made it interesting. 

At about two o´clock we were wrapping up so Elder Jordan and I sneak into the kitchen to see how our member is doing with the food. We asked him how it was going and he said, "Wow. You guys are done early!"
We looked at our watch again, "No.... it is 2:00...." 
With a super confused look he looks up at the clock in the kitchen and we all look at it together. You've got to be kidding me...... Someone had set the clock back for some reason so it was 40 minutes slow. He thought it was barely 1:30. Well, emergency time!!!! Throw together a salad!! STALL STALL!!! We literally threw a salad and tried to get the missionaries and President Deere and Elder and Sister Richards to sit down. I sat down and whispered to President Deere our "issue." He said he hoped it wouldn't be too big of a deal and so I sat down next to him and talked to him a bit more. Elder Jordan was in the kitchen helping out the member so I was sitting with some other missionaries when Elder Richards sits down right next to me to eat lunch. I wasn't as nervous this time and I just talked to him and got to know him a lot better. He is a surgeon, well was, and has a lot of cool stories. Told his how he got called by Elder Uchtdorf and how he was interviewed by Elder Nelson and Elder Cook. It was way cool to hear all about the "behind the scenes." He saod that Elder Nelson asked him, "If we were to start missionary work on the moon, would you be willing and ready to go and live there the rest of your life to start missionary work." He told me that he obviously said he was, because if he said no he wouldn't be in front of me haha. 

Eventually people stomach's were starting to churn but the food did come out and it was worth the wait. It was absolutely amazing and delicious. I was lucky (or unlucky depending how you look at it) to be sitting in front of Elder Richards when the food was being served. The AP was delivering the food to Elder Richards when..... he tripped! Yep. White sauce all over Elder Richards' suit. He took it really well though, and he made it a funny situation instead of a completely awkward one. 

After the lunch we were all cleaning up when President Deere came up to me and said, "Hey, Elder Card, could you stay for a few minutes to talk with Elder Richards? He wants to have an interview with you." Oh great... what did I do wrong? Was I not bold enough in the baptism invite? Was I laughing too much when the sauce got on his suit? As you know me I was just freaking out. But no, there was no need to fear. Apparently, he just wanted to get to know the mission so he picked two or three elders to interview and talk. Still, I was nervous going into it. Elder Jordan waited at the door, and what felt to me to be a 5 minute interview was actually a lot longer. I came out and Elder Jordan said, "Man, you were in there forever. What happened?"
"What are you talking about? I was in there for only like 5 minutes."
"No! Look at the time. You've been in there for like 35 minutes!"

Wow. He was right. I was just having the time of my life in there so it really just flew. He asked me about myself, and so when I told him I was a convert he asked me about that story. Well, I told him all of that stuff and he asked about my parents and how are they doing and then after a lot of chit chat he asked me if I had any questions for him. Well I then asked him a bunch of stuff. Just as an example of some of the things I asked, I asked him the process he used to receive personal revelation and any advice he had on how to be a good father, husband, etc. The interview was just a great experience. I told him that I am sure we will be in touch haha. 

That very night with all of the new things we learned and the Spiritual high that we were on we were able to set a baptismal date with our most hard-headed investigator. Talk about a miracle. I don't think I had ever come back to the piso more exhausted yet more happy. It was a great day. And that was just one day last week! 

To make this really short... what else happened? Well, we just had a blast. But, oh yeah. Of course one of the best week always has to throw you a curve ball. You want to get super "trunky" aka homesick? How about travel plans?!? Yeah buddy. Got those I have my official flight plans for going home. It is the following:

On December 6th, 2012:

Málaga to Paris, France
630am  ---> 925am (2:55 hours)

Paris to Seattle, Washington
1030am ----> 1240pm (11:10 hours)

Seattle, WA to Portland, OR
200pm -----> 250pm (50 minutes)

Portland, OR ----> Medford, Oregon!!!
525pm ----> 623pm (58 minutes)

Yeah, that made me really excited for December, I won't lie. Due to the time difference I leave on December 6th but also arrive in Medford on December 6th haha. Cool, eh? Anyways, you can pretty much count me on being exhausted for writing that email. I hope you all enjoyed it! Until next week!!!

Elder Card, out.

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