Monday, January 26, 2015

A Visit from Elder M. Russell Ballard

From Ethan: Mon, Jan 26, 2015 12:05 pm

Surprise! Our mission was visited by a living day Apostle! We took a trip to Twin Falls for a mission conference on Saturday to hear from Elder M Russell Ballard. Boy, he was a lot shorter than I thought, but spiritually powerful none the less! Accompanying Elder Ballard were Elder Nash and Elder Allen of the Seventy.
      To start off the conference Elder Nash asked us two questions, "Why do we wear the missionary name tag?" and "If Christ were hear in Twin Falls, what would he be doing right now?" He then turned to 3 Nephi chapter 11 and gave a short training. From what the scriptures tell us, Christ would be doing the same thing we are just way more effectively. Inviting people to come unto Him, believe in Him, and be baptized in His name. That was a great boost in faith for us knowing that we as missionaries of the Lord Jesus Christ are doing the very same thing He would do if He were here.
      Elder Ballard then gave us a discourse on how our power in teaching comes from faith and an underlying knowledge of the gospel. He gave us counsel to "Everyday wake up on time and enthused about the work you are going to do today, bring that enthusiasm into your studies." This strengthens my testimony that knowledge of the scriptures will help us effectively share the gospel with others. If we take the example of Apollos in the Acts, if we learn from the Holy Ghost in our studies "the way of God more perfectly", then we will be able to "mightily convince [people]...shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ." (see Acts 18:24-28). Elder Ballard gave us oodles of great council in which I'll sum up with these statements. 
  • In order to put off the natural man, we must lose ourselves in the service of others.
  • Christ is as close as we'll allow Him to be.
  • We are representatives of Jesus Christ. We do what He would do and say what He would say. This includes what and how we teach as well as our attitude and appearance.
    It was a great Mission conference and fun of seeing all the elders and sisters in the mission.  We are still seeing success here in Burley. Slowly but surely people are making their hearts open to believing in Christ fully and being baptized in His name. Ron Heisinger told us this week that he has been able to see how Heavenly Father has put certain people in his path and in his life to bring he and Shirley to the point that they are at right now. They simply love church and all the activities that are going on, they love reading the Book of Mormon and are in Alma chapter 18, and they are preparing to be baptized here in February. I could not find such great people anywhere else in the world!
    We are just about done getting all the plans for our Musical fireside ready and are super excited about it! For all those who see this in Southern Idaho YOU are invited! Feb. 8th at 7:00 pm here in Burley at the Unity church building. 275 S. 250 E Burley, ID 83318. It'll be a blast with cookies and lemonade. :)

Well that's it from here! I am hoping to record the musical numbers at the fireside to share on YouTube but we'll see what happens. TAKE LUCK!

-Elder Howard 

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