Saturday, December 21, 2013

COME to the Ohio...


I can't remember if I told you about mission conference or not so I'll tell you again just in case because you don't want to miss out!

The Monday before was P-day of course. We went to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch with some of the sites sisters. It was so fun! We had them sing Happy Birthday to Sister Clark. (early) We also went to Charming Charlie's and looked around together. I got Sister Clark a cute little Christmas present. : ) That night we went over to the Salmon's and helped decorate the tree and house for Christmas. You know I love the Salmons! We all read Luke 2 and sang carols around the piano. It was a perfect P-day!
On Thursday history was made! Gathered together in the Kirtland Temple for mission conference were more full-time missionaries than ever before. It really hit me how significant that is. There we were all together, all set apart and wearing the name of Jesus Christ over our heart in the place where Moses restored the keys for the gathering of Israel to the Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.  Missionary work began in Kirtland! Do you understand how significant that is?!
Jesus prophesied that "the Gospel of Jesus Christ will fill North and South America, it will fill the world." That prophecy is being fulfilled today! Sitting as full-time missionaries in hundreds, we were undoubtedly joined by our ancestors; the saints who built that very temple and who launched the missionary effort to all the world. The Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints is growing to fill the world. We are indeed in those latter-days. The Prophet Joseph Smith said that we are all those favorite people that God has chosen for this dispensation. So basically if you live in this dispensation, you are God's favorite. Ha ha-just kidding! But really.
Elder Seldon of the 70 was there and he taught us that our mission began long before this life. He said, so profoundly, that the reason we are so compelled to bear witness of the Savior is because of covenants we made in the preexistence...Wow. Heavenly Father knows us so much better than we know ourselves. They gave me a renewed trust that when we are living righteously and following God's will, we will find happiness.
The Plan of Happiness is real and the Gospel is true.

Come to the Ohio...
I never wanted to serve a mission, but I was prompted by the Spirit because I promised to bear witness of the Savior before I even made it to Earth. That sounds like a heavy load for 18 and 19-year-old kids, but Elder Seldon tenderly reminded us that Jesus Christ was a carpenter for a season, the Savior of the World forever. We may feel like lowly carpenters, sometimes I'm sure we all have, but remember that example we are following...the Savior of the WORLD, even Jesus Christ. Pres. Haymond, the Kirtland stake president, shared verses from the Doctrine and Covenants. Something that really stood out to me was how much he, like all the speakers, talked about the miracle we are all a part of. He said that the meeting was very sacred. He testified that the souls gathered together was not a random event. The meeting of those missionaries, at this time, in the Lord's house-the Kirtland Temple-was foreordained. Kirtland will be built up again! (D&C 124:83)
 Pres. Talley of the Akron State talked about D&C 110:10, and how that prophecy was to be fulfilled! What a great time to be alive! We are all witnesses to miracles and the evidence of the truthfulness of the gospel is undeniable. Karl Anderson, Patriarch of the Kirtland Stake and author of "Joseph Smith in Kirtland" as well as "The Savior in Kirtland," echoed many of the things shared by the other speakers. He highlighted that the Savior appeared there seven times. What a holy, holy place. The spirit in that meeting was unlike any other.
Pres. Vellinga loves music so we sang a lot of hymns. Most of us could hardly sing; there wasn't a dry eye in there. There's something about music that just touches the heart and invites the Spirit. President Vellinga shared a story with us from when Elder M. Russell Ballard was here in October. He said an apostle of the Lord (Elder Ballard) grabbed him by the lapels and pulled him close, looking right in the eyes, and said, "you need to BRING MORE PEOPLE TO KIRTLAND!" It reminded us of when Elder Ballard told us Kirtland was the best missionary. People cannot help but to feel the power of the Holy Ghost of the Kirtland sites.

Pres. Vellinga  urged us to share our testimony every chance we get. I invite all of you to do the same. He said that there are more testimonies found on their feet bearing and then on their knees praying for them. It really is true if you think about it. The Lord helps those who help themselves. If we are struggling with our testimonies we shouldn't just talk about it, but get up and repeat it! I've definitely noticed that with myself on my mission. My testimony is stronger each time I use and share it. There are a lot of converts out here and I've heard them say, I had Mormon friends, but they never told me about the church until the missionaries knocked on my door! I'm thinking about that I was like "Crap! That's me!" Man I was totally that person. I hope when I get home I don't forget to let people know who I am and be a member missionary.

Something that really help me in light of how much I've been sick with different things came from sister Vellinga. She said "our bodies are frail, our minds are reluctant, but our spirits are strong. It was so encouraging to me! If we do what we can to nurture spirits the Lord will help strengthen our bodies and minds. Elder Sorenson gave the closing remarks and shared a motivating quote from Elder Robert D. Hales, "Heavenly visions will dim, but the Spirit will always testify of Jesus Christ." I know that to be true 100%! I didn't see any visions of my own eyes and the Kirtland Temple, but the Spirit proved to me over and over that He lives and that this is His church restored in the latter-days!

After the meeting all 250+ missionaries came to Kirtland and guess who gave the tours? We did of course! It was crazy! Missionaries everywhere! It was really cool because a lot of them traveled hours and hours to get here and many have never been to Kirtland! We shared with them how we teach people about the Gospel at the sites and how much their investigators would benefit from coming. It was a lot of fun, but wow some Elders get distracted so easily! It was like herding cats.
That night Elder Sorenson took those Christmas pictures of us. All I had to do was promise to trim his bushes in Logan ha ha! Last week on Thursday we volunteered at Aberdeen assisted living again and invited the others to come. We had a great time decorating for Christmas. On Saturday the 7th was the ward Christmas party and we watched the first presidency Christmas Devotional at the Visitors Center. That was so good wasn't it? 

 Love you and miss you!

Love always,
Sister Mohler

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