Saturday (today) is p-day, because Elder Holland came!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So awesome!!!!
We took a very long, (but also fun) 9 hour bus ride from Mahasarakham to see him. Let's just say it was only suppposed to be 7 hours....but there is sooo much traffic in Bangkok.
Anyways, I only have very limited time to email, so I promise I will write a ton more about this experience next P-day. Suffice it to say...he came, and it was inspiring.
The whole entire mission came together to watch (from Laos and Myanmar too) and it was AMAZING. We all got to go shake his hand and took a big group picture. Then we proceeded into the chapel where he addressed us all. He first started by saying how he had interviewed us all through our handshake, and how he knew how we were doing. It was cool.
Elder Holland said so many things that were meaningful to me, especially when he talked about his mission. He said his mission means everything to him, and he wants it to mean everything to us. He said every choice he's made and every good thing in his life has occurred because of his mission. One thing that really touched me was when he said, "I have thought of my mission every day since." Elder Holland said he has thought of some lesson or scripture EACH DAY SINCE HIS MISSION, and he then said something that made me realize (even more so), just how important this work is. He said that even when we are parents, "We will be engaged in the salvation of a Human Soul." This is the most important thing there is.
Then I felt the spirit so strongly when he said this intensely from the pulpit, "This is your chance....Don't you miss it. Don't look back with regret. I don't care if you are happy or sad. If things are going well or not. I don't care. This is your apostalic moment. Don't miss it."
When he said that I realized I will never get this chance again...I need to make sure I am letting this mission change me, as well as others around me. Elder Holland said, "You can plead with people to change their life, but you won't change yours?" I want to make sure when I go home my life is changed. A lot of his talk made me realize that when I go home, I don't want to be that same person, I want to make sure my mission changed me. Elder Holland just put it so well when he said, "This mission is real life...you can't ever go back...you can't go back to what you were. What you were wasn't good enough...strong enough...spiritual enough."
Suffice it to say, I am recommitting now. I want to make sure I let my mission change me by embracing this amazing opportunity, for all that it is, and not letting myself hang motionless in those moments of trial, boredom, or discouragement. This gospel is real, it is true...and EVERYONE needs to hear it.
At the end of his talk Elder Holland left us with his blessing saying to stay on this trajectory and never look back, and to give this mission all we've got. Life goes really fast (an obvious statement), but I feel like I have realized that so much more on my mission. Each day is only a finite amount of time, and we need to give it our all. Whether you are on a mission, at home, or at school, I encourage you all to give it your all. Be the person you know you should be...the person you truly want to be.
I know that God lives and knows us all. He knows every little struggle we face, and each moment of happiness as well. This gospel is true. Lives are changed by it, but also importantly our OWN individual lives are made happy and are changed by this knowledge.