To start off, I would like to thank the Relief Society in the ward that sent me some valentine's cards! They were awesome! I really appreciated them! Also to all the other cards that I got this week. I always read them! And they are always appreciated! So thank you! :)
You are going to have to forgive me.... It's been a week and a half, and lots of stuff has happened.... I don't know if I will be able to remember every little detail, but I will go over the big stuff!
To start, Elder Millward and I have set up two more baptismal dates! One with a young man we are teaching, named Bryli, and the other one is Francisco!! That is right, Francisco told us he feels like he is ready and he will try everything he can to be baptized! They are both set up for the 11th of April! The work is still pushing forward here! We also found a golden investigator, named Flora, this last week. She has read all about the restoration and already has a book of mormon and she really likes our message! She lives alone with her kids, and she really has interest in knowing if the church is true!
On Saturday there was a baptism for the other two Elders in our house, of a young girl called Genesis. It's nice to see that the whole District is having success!!! :)
Now, onto the part that I know lots want to hear.... On Thursday, bright and early, we left to San Geronimo to listen to Jeffrey R. Holland! I had to go early because I was part of the missionary choir. We did a quick practice before he showed up. I got to sit in the front row ( a little perk of being in the choir ). I liked to call it the spitzone, it's like the splash zone in SeaWorld, just better. haha Anyways, it was amazing. As he walked in we all stood up and it was silent. I was thinking "Is this real? Could this be happening?" So crazy! Remember, everyone in our entire mission was there. Thats 236 or so missionaries! It's the first time in our mission's history that all missionaries have been in the same spot! It was amazing!!! As Elder Holland sat down, the meeting began. We sang a hymn and then prayed, and after the prayer, President Nuckols announced that after the missionary choir sings, Jeffrey R. Holland would take over. So we all got up, and we got to sing in front of Jeffrey R. Holland. Wow. Just wow. I have sent a video of what we sang, but we did it a million times better in front of Elder Holland. When we finished, our President turned around in his seat and mouthed "wow." and gave us a big thumbs up. Jeffrey R. Holland also turned around with tears in his eyes and smiled at us. What a feeling. We all sat down in the spitzone to listen to Elder Holland. He got up and the first thing he said in the pulpit was, "That was the best missionary choir I have ever heard in my entire life.... and I've been doing this a long time." Those words will forever remain in my memory. What an honor and a statement. I kinda melted at that point. Then he personally asked to shake every missionaries hand, so one by one we all got up to shake his hand. He looked me in the eye when I got to him and said, "Hi Elder, what is your name?" I stated my name and told him I was from Riverton Utah and he smiled and said "It's a great honor to meet you. Welcome." Something so short, yet so sincere.... Wow... after we all shook his hand he began his talk, but he walked through us as he spoke, he wasn't at the pulpit, he was in the aisles and right in our faces. Many times he literally was at my side. He hit some amazing points. I'll write down some of the things he said but his main topics was the mission and the Book of Mormon.
The first thing he said is that "you don't have that right to defile the name missionary!" he also later said "if you plan on going home, being the same person as when you were when you left, you can't. When you signed the paper and sent it back to President Monson, that was you signing to the fact that you won't be the same. You can't be the same. The mission is real life, don't say you want to go back to real life. THIS IS REAL LIFE." He spoke with great power and told us he wants us to realize how important the Book of Mormon is. He asked if we realized that the Book of Mormon is a sign, and that like it says in Revelations 14:6-7 is talking about Moroni coming to Joseph Smith and giving him the restored gospel in a book. That was a sign! Then he asked why we thought we put Moroni on the temples and not Jesus? It's because Moroni was the sign of the restoration of the church! He put so much emphasis on stuff I had never even thought about before, it was amazing. Then he explained how Jesus Christ is the cornerstone, but the Book of Mormon is the keystone. We need both. They work hand in hand. Jesus works, and the Book of Mormon secures. It was beautiful how he worded it. He brought up that he has read the Book of Mormon more than 100 times, and every time he does, he starts with a new clean book, marks it up with a certain principle, for example repentance, and when he finishes he gives it away to someone. That struck my President so much that as a mission we have a goal of reading the Book of Mormon in 100 days, marking a certain principle and then after finishing, giving it away to someone. It was a really neat idea, and I have already started! :) Also, he told us we are all apostles, with a lower case a. That is what we are called to be, because an apostle testifies of Christ. Then he said a joke that he was a capital a Apostle because he has keys that we don't have and he told us not to write our families saying "Mom, Dad, Jeffrey R. Holland called me as an Apostle!" because that would be bad. hahahaha! :) He is actually a really funny guy. He made lots of jokes. Maybe that is why he is one of my favorite apostles? Makes jokes, but he is still very serious. Anyways, Jeffrey R. Holland kept explaining many things, but he always tied it to his testimony, that he knew the church has to be true. It also gave me a reassurance.... I know this church is true. I can't deny it. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church on the earth. That I know. I can't and I won't deny that. Ever. As Elder Holland finished his talk and we ended in prayer, he walked away, but he blew a big kiss to us and said in a loud firm voice, "Work hard." I have never felt a real love quitel like he gave us in that moment. It was a love that was directly from God that was coming through him. It's like the love I feel when I am with my family, so sincere and perfect. I will never forget it.
The last big thing was going to the temple today. Wow, it is amazing to me to see how many new things I learn every time I go. And what a big blessing to be in the House of the Lord. I wish I could go more. I'm going to spend a lot of time in the temple when I go home. I love it so much! :)
This week has been amazing. As you can tell, my faith is full, and I love the work! Man is the mission amazing. I bear testimony that this Church is true. That God loves all of us and is guiding us down the path to eternal life. I also testify without a doubt that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and the most correct book on the earth. It is a sign of God's true church on earth, and it is the way that we can have the fulness of the gospel. Of this I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. :)
I love you all and I miss you all. I am praying for you! :)
Elder Weiss :)
From my (Heather) personal email from Parker:
I will write a lot about Jeffrey R Holland in the big email. I took great notes, but let me just say, that man has such a testimony. WOW. I swear, after I heard him, I lost all my faith... because faith is something that you believe on... I don't believe anymore about the mission or anything like that... I KNOW. My faith left and it was replaced with the solid fact that I know these things are true. I've known it my whole life. I mean wow, the church is true and the mission is perfect and WOW. I am so glad he came. I already knew all of this before, but his little talk he did with us just pulled out that little chance of "maybe..." and replaced it with "It is true." Wow... I will explain more in the big email!
Mother's Note: This email chat was on Jonah's (Parker's lil' bro's) birthday and he wrote to Jonah personally and talked to him about getting the Priesthood and how special that is and wished him a Happy Birthday.
I shared with Parker about the comment he made that Elder Holland said that was the best men's choir he's heard, and that I know he heard David Archuleta in the MTC choir before David's mission, so that means Parker sings better than David Archuleta by default. hahaha Parker said David is a better singer though. :)
|I took these pictures just for Jonah,|
its my "tight white pants song" pictures. (From Jimmy Fallon) Also, the jacket I am wearing was a built from
scratch Jacket I made. What can I say... I love jackets... haha
|I forgot to mention, Elder Millward and I got a text|
from our President this week. It definitely made me feel good!
|Some friends from our Jeffrey R. Holland conference! Including Elder Haag, and old comp, and Elder Schoenfeld from my group! As well as some other awesome Elders!|
Sorry, they wouldn't let us take pictures of Jeffrey R. Holland! haha
|Funny Story about my phone...|
|These are pictures of the night where I accidentally dropped my phone in a small alleyway between our house and the neighbor's house. The alleyway is no bigger than my fingers in width........ Took us two hours to fish it out....|
|including a makeshift pole and all sorts of wacky stuff. But we did get it, and although it was nasty, it is clean and still functioning! haha|
|Here are some pictures of streets we walk down all the time.|
|Elder Hope and I at the Temple once again!|