Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Visit With Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Wow! Lucky us!
Elder Oaks, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, came to shake hands and speak with our mission on October 28. This was a great experience for the missionaries because they were able to watch him speak by the Spirit, feel his love for them, and witness his testimony of obedience as he pounded his fist on the pulpit and told them to always act as messengers of the Lord! His decision to have everyone sing "Happy Birthday" to Sister Ardern (the Area President's wife who also spoke at the meeting) was a fun and spontaneous glimpse into his cute personality.
Here are some of the things Elder Oaks said - as written on my Ipad:
* The foundation to a happy life is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the power of the Priesthood. Trials will come to all of us, but we will be able to find peace and our foundation will be solid. 
* Time. Use time wisely and use it to be FULL TIME missionaries. Cease to sleep longer than is necessary.
* When you are away from your apartment, you are a missionary all the time. "Keep your line in the water." You are fishers of men. Always stay with your companion. Every time there is a broken rule of a mission, or a missionary gets into trouble, it is because he was not with his companion. 
* Teach the fundamentals. Don't assume that the investigator understands what you are talking about. One day Elder Oaks was visiting a meeting and the speaker was talking about priesthood blessings. Elder Oaks could see in the eyes of those present that they did not understand what was being said. He stood up and asked, "By the raise of hands, who knows what a priesthood blessing is?" Upon seeing that most of the people did not know and were confused, he showed them by demonstration.
Make sure you are teaching step 1 before step 2. Go slowly with the people you teach. You are building a foundation first.
* Be patient. God will answer prayers in His due time. You can't tell the Lord how and when and where to answer you.
* Listen. The Lord never shouts, He whispers. Be an active listener.
* No inspiration comes when you are physically tired. Elder Oaks said that he gets his best ideas and inspiration in the early morning after a good night sleep. He said a good example of this is a dog - when the dog has been actively playing outside or has eaten a big dinner, he lays down and goes to sleep. It is hard to get his attention. He is not alert. (This part was for me! I was so exhausted last night that I couldn't get my thoughts together. I never realized that I could even wear out the Spirit!)
When President Tye spoke, he talked about the word "HARD!" Many of the missionaries will use the word quite often in their P-day letters. Like, "missionary work is hard," "the language is hard," and "working with the ward mission leader is hard." President made the point that it is only hard if you allow it to be hard. It's all about attitude. When Elder Oaks got up to speak he also commented on the word "hard." He said that in the days of Noah, there were many people who were HARD-hearted and would not listen to the Lord. The Lord cleansed the earth at that time with water. Today, the people of the world are once again hard-hearted, but this time the Earth will be cleansed with fire. The Lord will save you if you do not let yourself become weak. "Do not become like the world (hard) or you will start thinking, "Why am I here?" (on a mission or a member of the church.)

It was a wonderful experience! Elder and Sister Oaks and the Ardern's (Area President) left immediately after the meeting. We kept the missionaries for another hour and talked about the impressions and personal revelation they received while Elder Oaks spoke. A Great Day!
The Sister Training Leaders are practicing for the song they sang for the Mission Conference with Elder Oaks. Sister Arnson is the pianist - she is so talented. She rewrote part of the music so that the sisters could shift to another key during the song. She was nervous and yet it turned out so beautifully. Their voices and the piano filled the chapel with the sweetness of the hymn, "We Thank Thee Oh God For A Prophet." I sat behind them as they sang and I kept saying to myself, "Those are OUR sister angels! Those are OUR sister angels!" I love our missionaries.
Sister and President Tye, Sister and Elder Oaks, Sister and Elder Ardern

 The Davis', President, and I made 240 lunches for the missionaries. They were all packed and hanging out in every available space in the mission home refrigerators and freezer. I see so many miracles happen in the mission home kitchen! I am amazed that I can cook like I do, get pre-prepared food into our two refrigerators, and always find another place in the pantry to store more! Sometimes before a big event I will talk with Heavenly Father and say, "O.K., I need your help today!" And - it always works out.
 This is inside the house, and below is the freezer outside.


  1. Just so you know, our missionary child said the favorite part of this day was actually listening to you and President Tye, adding "It is so obvious that they love us as their own children." Thank you so much for being such a wonderful example of Christ-like discipleship!

  2. Woah! Thats was awesome! You are so lucky! How I wish I could shake with him too! Haha I am so excited to meet all of you I will report in MTC on Dec 19, and it should be next month! Yeah!