I have this itching feeling that I'm missing some important event this week to shout out, but I can't remember, so, if so ... my apologies!
My brain is completely blanking on this week. Transfers'll do that to you. Haha ... so can I take an entire email to just GUSH about how Elder Stevenson was so incredible and one hundred percent a prophet of the Lord?
Ok, so for anyone who wasn't aware, Elder Gary E. Stevenson came and spoke to our mission on Saturday merely six months after Elder Holland came. Who came merely a year or so after Elder Bednar came. Seriously. Things are happening in Kansas.
So anyway, I said the opening prayer at the meeting, so when he did the meet and greet with the rest of the missionaries, I was still sitting in the stands. We (the chorister and I) finally, at the very end, got up the guts to go around and shake his hand. Well he thought he was finished and then we appeared and he jumped and was like, "Oh! Where did you come from? No wonder we were waiting here! We were waiting for you!" and everyone laughed and we should his hand and it was awesome.
Anyway, he changed everything as he spoke. He talked about visions and controlling thoughts and distractions and extending Christ centered invitations. But the best thing was his whole presentation. he got up to the pulpit and said,
"How many of you were here when Elder Holland came?"
A bunch of us raised our hands, and he said, "Oh dear!" and we all laughed, and he continued, "You'll never again hear an apostle say to lower your expectations, but for now, LOWER YOUR EXPECTATIONS! Please!" we all died laughing. Then he said, "Can you imagine being called to the quorum of the twelve apostles? Think of Elder Holland! Think of Elder Bedar! President Uchtdorf!" and then he had all the new missionaries raise their hand and he said, "I literally know exactly how you feel. No, never mind, I can't even give you empathy, because I guarantee you'll get over your anxiety about your new calling much sooner than I get over mine."
Anyway, it was the perfect way to begin, and then he went on to testify of how it felt to truly be qualified by the Lord and how it is so important for us to focus more on what we CAN do than what we CAN'T. And he told us how it felt to have the prophet look you in the eye and say, "The Lord qualifies those whom He calls!" and then asked us to try to feel that same way.
What a wonderful reminder :)
The most lovely thing, though, was that I had prayed about a question to bring to the meeting and it was controlling my thoughts to make sure they're always filled with the BEST things I can be thinking about, instead of just good and better. So anyway, he was talking about speaking a foreign language, and then he randomly said, "I feel inspired to go back and talk about obedience. Part of obedience is controlling our thoughts. It can be really hard to understand how...." and then proceeded to perfectly answer my question. I'm sure many other missionaries needed to hear it, but it was a perfect testimony builder that Heavenly Father knows ME and sent an apostle of the Lord to answer my question ... and I know that the 200 other questions in that room were answered as well.
Anyway, there truly have been so many other miracles that I'll try to catch you up on next week, but that was certainly the highlight.
I love you all! Life is so good here in Kansas! Fall is here which has been magical, and Sister Houston and Sister Mertens have been fabulous companions!
Hope you have a love/happiness/joy filled week!