|When you complete 6 months, it's a tradition to burn a tie.|
So, two weeks ago we got to listen to Elder Bednar as he spoke to all the missionaries in the South America South area (all missions in Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina). There were over 8,000 missionaries watching over broadcast, about 8% of all the missionaries in the world. Because Elder Bednar was speaking from a church building in Buenos Aires, our mission was lucky enough to be there in person. It was awesome. Elder Bednar did not really give a talk. He led a discussion with the missionaries. Through the help of a translator (because he does not speak Spanish) he answered questions from the missionaries.
One important lesson I learned was about the difference between testimony and conversion. A testimony is something we receive from the Holy Ghost as a confirmation of truth. Conversion is what we give to God because we have gained a testimony. Conversion is not something we can receive. Elder Bednar spoke a lot about faith and action. He said if you kneel and pray all night with all the faith in the world, you might die there! Because nothing is going to happen until you get up and act. An example he gave of praying with faith was the story of Joseph Smith. He did not go into the grove of trees to pray to know which church was true. He prayed to know which church he should join. He intended to act on the answer he received.
|Locust in his apartment :/|
He told another funny example of praying with faith. He said, "How many times have we heard a prayer in sacrament meeting like this: 'Heavenly Father, please bless the people who are not here, that they can come next week. Now that's a nice prayer but without action. How stupid is that?! I wish someone would pray like this: 'Heavenly Father, there are people who are not here today, and we need to bring them back. So I'm going to say amen and everyone in this congregation is going to find someone who didn't come today and bring them next week.' He then said 'I have no authority to say this, so if the bishop does not agree with my prayer he can ask me to sit down, but he has not said that, so I'm going to keep praying, amen. All right everyone lets go!'" All the missionaries were laughing so much. It was funny to hear an apostle say "stupid" from the pulpit. But it is a very true principle. Pray with faith and then act!!
I hope someone learned something from this letter!