Thursday, August 15, 2013

August 15th 2013

Hola Familia!
This is the last time I will be sending email from the crazy is that! I'm not sure where my next email will be coming from because I did not receive my visa. I will most likely be reassigned to a state-side mission for 6 weeks, but who knows. I will find out either later today or tomorrow. Either way, I know I will be exactly where the Lord needs me and I guess he just needed me to take a pit-stop somewhere for him.
Because Elder VonStrahl went home I am now companions with Elder Sawyer. He's super funny and a total stud to work with. His Spanish needs work but I have been able to help him a lot with that and I know he's improved so much. We have taught a couple of lessons together and they have all gone really well. We just naturally are able to work together. One thing I learned about missionary work this week is the power of testimony. Our teacher said that is one thing that we lack as a distrci in our lessons, is bearing personal testimony. I tried to focus on that in our lesson yesterday and it was so powerful and awesome! On Sunday the CCM Exec Director spoke to us. I just want to share one quick quote from it. "If we labor with remission of sins as or goal, we are promised the blessing of missionary work. The blessing of missionary wok is JOY." I just thought that was so cool that it is not our job to get baptisms, but to bing people unto Christ through a remission of sins.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I'm not even living on the main CCM campus anymore! We are over on west campus so we live in the Wyview apartments! It's so much nicer than the dorms. I'm pretty sure it's actually where Tom naylor lived last year, or at least it has the same layout. We have a fridge, couches, 2 seperate bedrooms (1 for each companionship, so 4 in an aprtment.) and it's just a lot nicer and more open. It's been fun to move over here and we are outside walking a lot more because everything is more spread out.
THE coolest part of the week though was foreshadowed in the Subject of this email. For our Tuesday night devotional we had a special visitor. Richard G Scott came and spoke to us! AND it was broadcast to all the MTCs worldwide :) I sat next to Elder Purcell in the choir for the devotional and that was also really cool. Elder Scott's talk was all about prayer and it was seriously so cool! Prayer is such a sacred opportunity we have to speak to our Father, so we need to take time and not rush it. Spend time thanking Him and just speaking with Him about how you're doing and what you think you need. One of my favorite things he hit on was 3 ways to receive answers. 1) We receive peace and a confirmation that our choice is correct. 2) We get a stupor of thought and obviously we need to rethink our plan. 3) We don't receive a definite answer. This is not him ignoring us. This is him either testing our faith, or He just trusts us. He trusts us to use our agency and do what we already know to be right, He's taking our spiritual training wheels off in order to help us grow. We have to act in faith if we act before receiving an answer. He sees the end from the begininng and He knows what our potential is. We can increase in happiness when we realize that everything is for our ETERNAL good.  "pray even when you have no desire to pray. That is probably the time you are in the greatest need of prayer". I know there are some nights where I just want to crawl in bed and sleep, but I have learned the importance of just offering a simple prayer every night and every morning and really dedicating my life to the Lord. He also gave all of us a blessing with his authority that we will receive the gift of tongues with faith and the language will not be a barrier. He repeated the blessing 2 times in his talk, so I know it was important to him. It was really cool because he made sure to emphasize that every time the 12 and first presidency meet, they pray for US! How cool is that. The 15 people on the top of God's good list pray for us as missionaries. That's so humbling. One of the most powerful parts came near the end of his talk. He said that this talk was difficult because he was emotionally weak and sensitive during it. he gave us an explanation why. His wife died in the 1990's but he said that he could feel so strongly her presence there and he was so grateful that she was allowed to be here. Once he said that I felt the Spirit testify so strongly that she was there and I could just imagine her sitting in his chair as he spoke. As he was leaving the gym, he turned and shouted, "Be good!" then he turned again and said "much love coming your way" It was just so spiritually powerful and I could tell that he is definitely an apostle of Jesus Christ.
I've learned so much here in the CCM and I'm soexcited to get out into the field, no matter where it is for a while. I love you all so much and hope all is well. I will keep you updated on where I'm headed and all that good stuff. Hasta Luego,
Con amor,
Elder Connell
Elder Blume, Me, Elder Purcell

Well hello Elder Scott.....sitting next to MTC President Nally

Ya Boy

Elder Childs before he heads off to Kobe Japan!

Our District with one of our teachers, Hermano McPherson, on one of our last days at the CCM. Taken at West Campus

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