Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Matt #41 Elder Bednar

Well everyone once again thank you for the amazing letters... I honestly feel terrible because sometimes I dont have the time to write back individual letters but please recongnize and know that I love you all individually and I treasure each letter individually... I honestly have the most incredible friends, Family, and second Families/Parents in the world. Each week I recieve E-mails of encouragement and of Faith. I dont know if you all realize or ever will realize how much your testimonys and words of encouragment help each week. It's interesting because Ben and I recieve so much new strength and energy from your e-mails that we become prepared to handle the following week. I know that everything happens for a purpose in our lifes and that includes one small E-mail... I hope and pray that the e-mail I sent today will also be a blessing for all you back home as the E-mails I recieve this day from you blessed and countinue to bless me. 
 Everyone I had one of the rarest and most Spiritual experinces of my life that changed me this past week... It was an oppurtunity that not very many people have had or will every have in their lifes. I had the chance to speak with Elder Bednar and ask him any question that I desperetly needed an answer to. Last week I wrote something very interesting because I said that this week would be special because I would have the chance to talk with Elder Bednar but the chances were slim because out of 200 sum odd Missionarys its almost impossible to be picked on to ask a question but it happened and I had the chance to stand and look an Apostle of the Lord in the eyes and ask any question. I should start from the begging though. We woke up around 4 in the morning to be the first Missionarys at the São Judas capela para falar com o Elder Bednar. We showed up around 7 and there were already a lot of Missionarys there but we still got front row seats... Imagine sitting in a little chapel full of only 200 people and sitting on the front row right next to a member of the 12 Apostle and thats how it was for us! It was incredible, as he walked into the room it literally changed. The room became quiet almost like a still quiet and the room became brighter. It was so quiet but calm peacefull quiet as we began our time with Elder Bednar. We started at 8 in the morning and didnt finish until 12:30. It was so incredible because he does things a little diffrently. He didnt have material or a lesson plan. He only started with a question and then asked for our responses. He told us so many things that I cant write it all down but he said so much about doctrine and things that my brain almost exploded, but in the short time we had to learn one on one with an Apostle of the Lord was incredible. I guess the best way to describe it was that we didnt sit there and listen to a talk like we do during Sacrement meeting but we were in Sunday School putting in our own questions and answers while Elder Bednar directed the class.... pretty awesome huh? :) Towards the end of the lesson he said "Alright, so we dont have much time left together but I would like to pick on several Missionarys who would like an answer to anything... as long as your question isnt where is the sword of Laban or where in kolab, ok? Well lets begin." It was pretty intense. Out of 200 Missionarys only 6 got to ask a question. I was one of the luckt 6. I'm not sure what happened but these past 9 almost 10 months on the Mission I have always been thinking about of Spiritual Gifts and Talents... When we read our Blessings it always mentions Gifts and Talents but I never understood how to reconginize those Gifts and to apply them. So I was sitting there pondering this and I just raised my hand... I will never be able to describe this experince to everyone but It was unreal. He slowly turned towards me and we made eye contact and then he said "Elder do you have a question?" I sat there with my hand in the air for a few seconds until I realized that the Apostle was talking to me... I slowly stood up and my brain shut off... I just stood there for a moment shaking and then I looked at Elder Bednar and I will never forget what I saw... I saw a servent of the Lord looking down at me with so much love and a big smile. The Spirit was so overwhelming and I realized that Elder Bednar is a servent of our Heavenly Father and he was only there at that moment to help us as Missionarys grow stronger in our faith and testimoneys. I knew that he was willing to answer anything I needed an answer and because of this my fear went away and my mind became clear. I asked Elder Bednar. "Elder Bednar these past few months of my Mission I've really been thinking about our Gifts and Talents... How can we as Missionarys and as worthy Members of the church recongnize and magnify our Gifts and talents?" We just sat there in silence for a little while and then he said "Elder Doggett come with me your my new ASSISTANT!" haha no I'm kidding he didnt say that but he did look at me for a little while and I will tell you that its one crazy experince to be standing there and have an Apostle of the Lord just stare at you... but he then called on a member of the seventy who was with him to answer the question. He then sat down for several minutes while the member of the seventy answered. After his remarks Elder Bednar stood back up and asked the wife of the member of the seventy to respond as well. He sat back down for several minutes... After her remarks on the subject of gifts and talents Elder Bednar stood back up. He came to the pulpit and said "Elder great question... I have found the answer to your question but I know that many people here will not like what I have to say... They may even be offended... please dont be offended and remember that what I have to say comes from our Heavenly Father." I just stood there and nodded my head up and down... I couldnt really speak haha. :) but he said "Elder the answer to your question about our Gifts and Talents is that none of us have Gifts or Talents... Everything we have in our lifes is on loan from our Heavenly Father to allow us the chance to bless the lifes of others. We dont have Gifts or Talents. Only when we recieve the trust of the Lord by doing his will and following his commandments will he bless us in return with his Gifts. Gifts are only given to those who earn the trust of the Lord. They are the Lords Gifts not ours." It was so incredible and he said much more about this subject. When he finished he smiled at me and he said "Does that answer you question?" He did more then for me in the small moment I had with him then answer a question... he changed my life. :) 

  There where many things we learned that speciel day as Missionarys and I wasnt the only lucky Missionary to have the chance to ask a question that would change our lifes... There was one Missionary who stood and ask a question if he would have the chance to live in the Celestial Kingdom with his Mother if she was Baptised and received her endowments but fell away... Elder Bednar answered and it was something I will never forget and I know that the Misionary who had this question will never forget. Also If I remember right my great friend Elder Buck also had a similar experince with Elder Bednar, but I think the most important lesson I learned from this little experince was that I know without a doubt in my heart that Elder David A. Bednar of the quorom of the twelve Apostles is a representative of our Lord and Savior. I wish you could have felt the Spirit we felt and learned the things we learned. Everything he said just made sense and it was so incredible. I hope to be able to describe this experince better once I return home but I want everyone to know that I know this Gospel is true. The Spirit was something I will never forget that we all felt in that room. Going to General Confrence is something special, but sitting in a small chapel with only 200 people and having a Sunday School lesson from and Apostle is something I will never forget. :) Family and Friends I love you guys... I hope you know I'm really trying my best. I doing everything I can to earn the trust of the Lord by being Obedient so that I can be trusted with his gifts and help those here in Brasil. I hope you all know that I know these this are true. Everyday here on the Mission my testimoney is growing and its just incredible. Ben I hope you know that I love you with all my heart and that your a Speciel Missionary and servent of the Lord... I hope you realize that the Lord alreay has so much trust in you because of the Gifts and Talents you shared with me before the Mission and while we were at the CTM. You've blessed my life in more ways then you know and I hope you will always remember that. The same goes to my family and Friends as well... I'm still trying to figure out why I was so blessed because to be honest I dont deserve you all... but I know that the Lord will give me a chance to pay you all back. I love you all and I hope you all never forget that. This church is true it really is! 

P.S. Dad are you serious there going to make a Star Wars 7???? What is this!!! Wow things are changing fast... do you think they'll bring harison ford into it again? Haha well at least I'll be home for it, for now I just need to focus on the Mission and not on light saber battles! (Which will be awesome!!!) Love you all so much! Until next week God be with you. Love Elder Matthew Ryan Doggett.    

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