Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Sam sent the following email & photos on Sunday, August 23, 2015:

From: Samuel Christensen <samuel.christensen@myldsmail.net>
Subject: The Quote Machine
Date: August 24, 2015 9:57:41 PM MDT

Hey guys,

Yeah, we're having our P-day on Tuesday because yesterday was the mini-transfer for the guys going home. So Elder Myers officially died and is on his way home now and we're back to being in a normal companionship. It's more effective that way. We had fun in the threesome, but it's hard to work efficiently.

We spent most of the week visiting people trying to get them pumped for Holland and to understand the significance of him coming. I was thinking, because we try to get people excited for all the activities that the church does telling them how they'll be so good (Pioneer day, Ward and stake conferences, etc. etc.) and sometimes when we're telling them these things, I'm like you know what, I think we're hyping this up a little too much. Like they'll come and then something goes wrong or it's just lame and it's embarrassing. But this last week I realized that Elder Holland CAN NOT BE OVERHYPED! That guy always delivers. And deliver he did. I guess there's not much else to do than hit you with some of the notes of quotes I took from the Machine in his general session:

-He loves Cambodia. Wants to run away and stay here and then they'd all be looking for the lost apostle in cambodia. Classic, he's playing the crowd. Also, all of this was translated by the North Stake President Eng, who went beastmode and translated really well
4 of many reasons why people should join the church
1. God the Eternal Father appeared to man on earth. Because of that we have prophets and God's Priesthood that we have commissioned authority to use.
2. When they found the Dead Sea Scrolls, they built a museum to show off extra writings about Jesus Christ. There's about 10-12 pages of them. The Book of Mormon talks all about Christ and is 532 pages. Five hundred and thirty-two pages.
3. You can have your family forever.
4. Look what the church does for us, for youth. It's making us into good people. How can you argue with that?

"There are endless reasons why, if you knew what I know, you would join this church. 
"Accept the gift. God is giving us a gift. The gift of a lifetime."
He left a blessing on everyone there "because you're faithful, because you came to church today, because you're trying, because you're raising kids. I bless you with every righteous desire of you hearts....This is that blessing as though my hands were laid upon your head."

I got to see a ton of people from Teuk Thla who I hadn't gotten to see at all since I left, so that was a great reunion. No one came down from Battambang. There was just shy of 2,000 saints strong in the special building they rented out for it.

Then we had the special missionary meeting after and got to shake his hand. He commented on my red hair. Everyone keeps saying my hair is a totally different shade, like not really red anymore. How old does hair change usually occur at? Here's quotes from his missionary devotional, and I don't have pictures of it yet but hopefully next week.

"love and loyalty shared is never love and loyalty divided. Love shared is multiplied."
"We don't just send everybody to Cambodia."
"This [your mission] is as close to real life as you're ever going to come."
You can't go back to what you were before.
"If you did this right, you're changed forever."
What we want from our investigators, God wants from us.
"You can promise God at least one convert: that is your soul."
"It's one thing to lose sheep, it's another to lose shepherds."
"Apathy is a lot more dangerous than apostasy."
"Why is it so hard? Because salvation is not a cheap experience." --we knew that one was coming.
"The road to salvation always goes through the Garden of Gethsemane."

Then at the end of the meeting as he was stood up and was leaving he stopped. We were all standing there, the postlude stopped and he said, as close as I can get it, "I blink twice, turn around and I see myself. Someday some of you will be doing this. I didn't see myself doing it, but you don't think about it at that time. Good luck, work hard." Then he peaced out to the airport. A prophecy!

It was great, classic Holland. He's a great speaker and we got him pounding the pulpit a bit too, so we got our money's worth.  

I got the piano book and found out it's actually 22 bucks here, so that's good. I still don't do a very good job of wearing sunscreen. Mostly like never. ahhhh, darn it!

I love and miss you guys!
Elder Holland, i.e., "The Machine"!

Sam & Elder Myers who is just completing his mission

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