Sorry I didn't email on Monday, another transfer has already come and gone so this week p-day is today and transfers are tomorrow.
I really don't even know where to start with this week! I have never had a week like this on my mission! I had some experiences this week that I will never forget and that have strengthened my testimony and made me remember why I'm a missionary!
Friday was new missionary training at OSU (Ohio state university) that was a blast! It lasted all day long and was fun to just be around other missionary the whole day! There were 44 of us there and a lot of them are my friends and people I used to serve around so it was fun to get to talk with them again! We started off the day contacting people on campus. The new missionary's stayed out there awhile longer while the "trainers" went in and talked with President and together we all counseled about problems that we have had while training and gave advice to others on how we can become better! I love training and love my companion!! After OSU we all headed to the temple and got to do a session there!! I love the temple and am so grateful for the peace it brings me. I love going and feeling the spirit and learning new things! After the temple we headed to the church and did a ton of role plays and worked on teaching by the spirit! All in all it was a really fun day filled with laughter and the spirit!
So in my last email I talked about how Elder Cook would be coming this week! Well my mission president wanted this to be a very special meeting for all of us so he asked us to prepare not just spiritual but physically as well! He asked us to look better than we ever have and be ready to meet an apostle! He told us that if we wanted it to be that this meeting could be a highlight of our mission and something that we will never forget! He wasn't kidding! Saturday morning we woke up early and headed back up to Columbus to meet with Elder Cook, Elder Hallstrom, and Elder Titera. Our whole mission was there by 830 in a silent and spirit filled chapel. The meeting started at about 845. He came in and asked if they could shake all of our hands so to start off we all got to go and shake their hands! That was so special!! The spirit they carry with them is incredible! The meeting started and my mission president and his wife spoke for a total of about 10 mins and then he said the rest of the meeting will be spirit led and conducted by Elder Cook! He told us that they didn't prepare anything to teach us but that they wanted the spirit to lead the meeting. He spoke to us for alittle bit and while he was speaking we got to ask questions and he asked us questions. He said that this would help them know what they should talk about. He had us write down 4 things in our journals! 1. We are ward/branch builders. 2. We succeed when we invite regardless of the outcome. 3. We are the message 4. Focus my spiritual power on my teaching, planning and purpose. He talked about those 4 things for alittle while Then he turned to Elder Titera and said you have 15 mins speak on whatever the spirit tells you that they need! He talked about 3 nephi 7:17 and teaching with power. Then Elder Hallstrom spoke. He talked about agency! I love what he said! He said that agency was so important that Heavenly Father was willing to lose 1/3 of his spirit children because of it! Many of the question we asked them were about how we can help people realize our message and the importance of it. He said if you really think about it that it's a miracle that anyone joins our church! Ha he said that most people go to church like twice a year and we ask them to come every week for 3 hours, most people are self centered and we ask them to always be thinking of others, most of them struggle with the word of wisdom and we ask them to quit it and never do it again, most people we teach struggle financially and we ask them to give 10% to the lord. He gave us several other examples but he said that the people are joining at a rapid rate and said it is because of what they feel! They do all of this because of a feeling! Then Elder Cook spoke again. I am out of time but will tell you my favorite part of his last talk. He was telling us that as members of the quorum of the 12 they have spiritual experiences everyday. He said they are told not to brag about them or boast in anyway but said that he wants us to know that he knows the lords voice and knows the saviors face! At this moment I have never felt the spirit so strong in my entire life!! He left us with an apostolic blessing and then ended. (My mission president wrote us later that day and said) "We were overwhelmed at the conclusion of the meeting Saturday, like many of you we found it difficult to sing the closing song because of the effect of the Spirit. The power of the Apostolic witness and blessing from Elder Cook was real and palpable. When we stood as Elder Cook departed, it seemed that no one wanted to move or speak, holding on to the powerful witness of the Spirit. This past weekend will go down as one of the highlights of our mission." I am so grateful for living day Prophets and Apostles! I know that this is Christ church here on earth lead by Prophets of God and that it is true and I am so grateful to be apart of it! Sorry if I rambled in this letter! I am just happy to be alive!:)
Kate, Ben and D good luck with school this year!!
I love you all!
Love Elder Roper