Monday, November 10, 2014

An Apostolic Visit

Greetings to all who read my weekly emails.

This week has been a "long" one for me- lots of things have happened. But what outshines them all, by far, was the visit of a special witness of Jesus Christ to our mission. This week, there was a unique conference for the entire mission in the Mendoza stake center, with Elder D. Todd Christofferson presiding. It was an inspiring, uplifting, absolutely amazing experience. The highlight of the morning conference for me was when we were all given the opportunity to greet the Apostle with a handshake. Now, I've felt what could be called a penetrating glance before; but nothing compares to the sort of hammer-to-the-stomach feeling of having someone look right into you that I got as I looked into that man's eyes. What a powerful witness of the sacred nature of his calling I received. At the end of the conference, he also left a blessing on all of the missionaries of the mission. It was, without a shadow of a doubt, an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

This week I was also transferred out to San Luis. It's very different form Mendoza- the land is hilly, and there is frequently strong wind. it's a good few degrees more reasonable right now in the summer, too.

I forgot my camera, so hopefully I will be able to send pictures next week.

For now, no one has put the picture that they took of the whole mission with Elder Christofferson on the blog yet, so I'll send one they took at the last zone conference we had:

Can you find me?
Using my amazing skills with paint, I obtained a photo of my companion from his last zone picture.

Elder Inca: It is of the highest quality; sadly, his eyes appear to be closed.
This week I read the whole book of Moroni as one of my scripture study projects. A number of things impacted me, and I payed attention to a few verses that I hadn't noticed before; however, I was inclined to ponder the general themes of Moroni chapters 7 and 10 -- that is, faith, hope and charity -- seeing as they where something specifically mentioned by Elder Christofferson as really applicable to all of the people we come in contact with. Moroni explains that anyone who cultivates these three most important Christlike attributes will not only have no problem cultivating others, but that such a person will be on the path to salvation. Elder Christofferson made mention of these attributes especially in relation to less active members who no longer feel the effects of the atonement in their lives- that these essential attributes are the fruits of true repentance, which true repentance can only make us more like our greatest example, which is Jesus Christ.

Let us all try, then, to develop our faith, hope and charity a little more fully this week as we strive to do the things that are always pleasing to our Heavenly Father, even as Christ did, (See John 8:29) that he may never leave us to face the challenges of life alone.

Elder Backstrom

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