Hey everyone! This last week has been pretty crazy for us. We were running around yesterday doing a bunch of things we had to get done as assistants in preparation for our MLC today. And so we didn't get to time to email. So our mission president gave us this little bit of time to write home. So I am grateful for the chance to write home because this last week has been so great! It has been filled with great things as well as its challenges. This last week we had transfers. And it was my first week with my new companion Elder Halterman! He is doing really well, but I was showing him some of the ropes in regard to transfers.
Tuesday we had the chance to spend sometime with the departing missionaries. And we were able to go through the temple with them which was great. The temple has been closed down for the last month or so, so it was nice to be able to go there again! I felt so blessed to be able to go there with some questions that were weighing down on my mind and come out feeling peace in the answer that I received. We had a great departing testimony meeting with them also.
So overall things went over smoothly with transfers, but unfortunately I got pretty sick this last week as well. This was probably the sickest I have been on my whole mission, and probably the sickest I have been since I was young. I woke up one of the mornings and just felt as if all the energy I had was completely gone. We still went over to get the incoming missionaries where they were staying to take them over to the mission home on Thursday morning. So I got there and I new that in order for me to make it through the meetings that day I would need a priesthood blessing.
So I asked my companion to anoint, and my mission president to seal the anointing. And in the blessing he blessed me that I would have relief from the pain and discomfort and that I would have the strength to do the training that I needed to be a part of. And I guess a bit of a back story 2 weeks ago our bishop called us and asked us to give talks for this last Sunday. So they gave us the topic 2 weeks ago so we could prepare. And my topic was hope.
And so during the week previous I had the chance to really study about hope and gain a strong understanding of what hope is. And it is the trust that God will bless you with what he has promised you. And so during the blessing I had this on my mind as I pondered. And I said I have a hope that God will give me the strength to preform the labors that he needs me to preform. And after the blessing I felt so much better. I still didn't feel 100 % But I knew God was going to give me that time to feel better to have an effective training for these missionaries. And he definitely blessed me!
It was kinda funny though because as we were getting ready to close the meeting, we were singing the last verse of the hymn we were singing. And I looked up the clock and thought well here we go again. And sure enough once we closed the meeting and got the missionaries on the way it hit me again! It was just a really really bad cold. But it was great because it gave me the opportunity to really rely on the atonement that much more fully! And I know it was Heavenly Father that blessed me and helped me that morning! And he let me feel sick again so I could really more fully rely on him, so I am so grateful for that.
Other than that the big highlight was being able to speak in church. Elder Hillebrant was able to come back down and speak with me. And it was such a great experience. I felt that we had a very strong sacrament meeting! They had the sisters speak first, and then Elder Hillebrant, and then they asked me to close off the meeting. And I was just so grateful to speak with him! We spent alot of time together and we became close friends. I loved the chance I had to speak because again I talked on having a hope in Christ.
And in today's world the word hope sometimes has a different meaning. It tends it have a hint of uncertainty. For example, " I hope the weather changes, I hope I passed my test, I hope that I can get this job or project done." Now the Lord intended hope to be unwavering. Now because we do live in a fallen world we are subject to death, sin, pain, sickness, and all manner of affliction. This includes stress, or others things that may cause us worry also. But they are needed because that is what helps us Grow. In 2nd nephi 2 we learn that there needs to be an opposition in all things.
I love what Mormon councils us to have a hope in though. In Moroni 7:41 We learn what we need to have a hope in.
And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.
So if we have a hope in the atonement and resurrection then we have no need to fear anything. For Jesus Christ truly suffered for everything. Look at Alma 7: 11-13. He has suffered for all of our pains our afflictions and even temptations. The words of modern day prophets and taught us more about the atonement. We know Christ has suffered for everything thing you are feeling, have felt and will ever feel! That is such a wonderful thought. He knows how to help you because he has felt everything. And just think. He did it just because he loves you. He did it so he could know you.
So when you call upon him for strength he is there with his hand out stretched ready to help you and lift you up. The answers may not always come right away, but know that the Lord is holding on to you. He will not let you fall. And when you come to feel that you are at the deepest moment of despair and you can't hold on any longer, he will uplift and support you. He will raise you and you will have a stronger relationship with the savior. You will have the hope that he is there for you. And that hope will eventually lead to a knowledge that he will support you in your trials or challenges.
I know this last week as I felt like I was at the bottom, I showed my faith( for faith is absolutely necessary to be able to obtain this hope.) by doing everything that I needed to. Even asking for a blessing and petitioning for the Lords help. And thats when I found strength. And I was able to be healed for that short amount of time. And I continued to have a hope that the Lord would help me to recover quickly and I did.
I know as we have a hope in the Lord Jesus Christ, we will find support in anything that we do. We will know that we can live with our Father in Heaven again because Christ overcame the bands of death and he suffered for our sins. He is the ultimate source of peace in this life. So if you are feeling like you are having struggles in your life. Pray for the hope of Christ in your life. Know that the Lord will come through and answer your prayers. It may not be in the way that you expect, but I promise the Lord will answer. And you will be able to have the calm assurance that he will bless you with the promised blessing! I know that to be true!
If you feel you need more hope in your life I would invite you to ponder over the following scriptures and see what things you can do to increase this hope in your life.
Bible dictionary: Hope.
Well I hope y'all have a wonderful week!
Elder Joshua V. Christensen
(ps. Next week we are having a general authority come to the mission so if I don't email on Monday it may be Tuesday depending on how the schedule works. Just so y'all know.)