Monday, April 10, 2017

So, So, So, cold - from 3/20/17

So this week was super long! It was a great week though.
We had a snow storm blow through so we hung out all day on Tuesday I believe.
So the people we have been teaching are progressing.
One girl who doesn't have a bunch of knowledge about religion at all totally opened up and she said she totally felt the spirit when she read the Book of Mormon. It was awesome.
You know I just really love the Book of Mormon so much.
Another investigator is so awesome. During gospel principles we got into some insanely deep doctrine about Adam and Eve and he was totally into it. And we taught the plan of salvation to him and he said it makes sense and he believes it! He is so awesome!
I love elder Ramos. He is so fun.
We have some conference tomorrow so I'm excited about it.
You know Satan is pretty annoying.
Mom sent me money this week so I got new service pants! Thanks mom!!!
Seriously. I don't know what else to say other than I love this area so much and I love my companion and I love the investigators and members and... it's just kind of perfect right now... I know this is only going to last for not long but I'm enjoying it while it lasts.
I love this mission. I'm so grateful to be on a mission. I seriously am in such debt to my family for helping pay for me out here. So so grateful.
Oh on Friday I received a text from bishop asking if I could give a 15-20 minute talk on Sunday. So I said ya. And it was game time baby. I whipped up a talk about gratitude on the sabbath day in a day and I gave it. The members were very nice and told me I did a good job.
Seriously... I just kind of wish things could stay like is forever. I seriously love it right now.
I love my family and all my friends and miss you all!! ❤❤❤❤❤❤

This is my talk.

Good morning. I'm Elder Segon.

Recieved a text from bishop on Friday afternoon asking if I could give a talk and here I am. So forgive me if I stutter or get lost I am not a good speaker.

I may not mention in every story gratitude but my talk will share things that I am grateful for and I pray that you might receive the message you need to hear or feel today.

My talk is about gratitude on the Sabbath themed after the talk from president eyring from this last general conference.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about gratitude on the Sabbath is the sacrament meeting.

We are truly so blessed to be able to be assembled together to bless each other with testimonies, love, and friendship. The testimonies I hear, whether young or old, are so special to me. I love to hear the children share their simple yet striking, thought provoking, honest testimonies. They are powerful. In Erie there was a young boy at the age of around 10 that shared his testimony on a fast Sunday. I don't remember what he said but I do remember that I was filled with wonder and amazement at this testimony. His testimony was true and pure. I felt the spirit in that moment just as strongly as I would in a session of general conference. I love to hear the testimonies of the wise and learned. They are powerful. Also in Erie there was a Sunday that all the elderly that hadn't been able to attend for varying reasons where able to attend. In that sacrament meeting each one of them passed around a microphone in the very back and bore powerful testimonies that where very simple and foundational. I remember that I didn't even turn around because I was in such awe at the power of their testimonies. I began to cry a little. I felt weird so I looked around to see if I was the only one crying and boy I wasn't. Those testimonies filled the room with the spirit of god and everyone knew it. I am grateful for all the testimonies I get to hear each Sunday. They fill me with joy. They help me grow stronger in mine own testimony. They edify my soul.

We can also show our gratitude by sharing our testimonies. D&C 62:3 Nevertheless, ye are blessed, for the testimony which ye have borne is recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon; and they rejoice over you, and your sins are forgiven you. God hears the testimonies we bear and they are recorded for your good. As you share your testimonies angels rejoice and Heavenly Father is overcome with tears of joy.

Another thing that comes to mind is the ordinance of sacrament itself. I am grateful to the Lord for laying down His life for me.

In a talk by Elder Renlund he speaks about an experience a friend of his had involving the sacrament. "When Diane was a new convert, she attended a branch outside of Johannesburg. One Sunday, as she sat in the congregation, the layout of the chapel made it so that the deacon did not see her as the sacrament was passed. Diane was disappointed but said nothing. Another member noted the omission and mentioned it to the branch president after the meeting. As Sunday School began, Diane was invited to an empty classroom.
A priesthood holder came in. He knelt down, blessed some bread, and handed her a piece. She ate it. He knelt down again and blessed some water and handed her a small cup. She drank it. Thereafter, Diane had two thoughts in rapid succession: First, 'Oh, he [the priesthood holder] did this just for me.' And then, 'Oh, He [the Savior] did this just for me.' Diane felt Heavenly Father’s love.
Her realization that the Savior’s sacrifice was just for her helped her feel close to Him and fueled an overwhelming desire to keep that feeling in her heart, not just on Sunday but every day. She realized that although she sat in a congregation to partake of the sacrament, the covenants she made anew each Sunday were individually hers. The sacrament helped--and continues to help--Diane feel the power of godly love, recognize the Lord’s hand in her life, and draw closer to the Savior."

Diane felt gratitude for the saviors personal sacrifice for her as she took and pondered the sacrament.

The sacrament is personal. It's a time of meditation and covenant making and reflecting. Last Sunday during the sacrament I closed my eyes. I imagined the chapel empty save a couple people. I imagined me sitting where I was in the back, the priesthood holders who blessed and the one priesthood holder who came to me. I also imagined the savior sitting in the front where the bishop is. I imagined that as the sacrament was being passed to me the savior and I having a conversation about what occurred the past week and what I was going to do this week. I imagined me asking forgiveness of my shortcomings. I imagined his graceful responses. That sacrament was most sweet as I made it personal. I am grateful for the opportunity to partake of the sacrament each week and the knowledge that it is personal.

I am grateful for the restoration of the gospel and the priesthood keys that enable these meetings to be directed by the Lord. For hundreds and hundreds of years the world was not able to partake the sacrament ordinance for the keys were nowhere to be found. In the 1800 after years of being lost the priesthood was restored! We have the opportunity to partake weekly of this sacred ordinance when others before never had. It is a sweet feeling to know that this meeting is ordained by God and he is in control of it.

I am grateful to be able to spend time with family each Sunday. Although I am over 2000 miles away from my brothers and sister and mom and dad, this Ward is my family even though I have only been here about a week. Back home during the sacrament meeting my mom would always hold my hands and rub them, or rub my back or something. She always teasingly asked "you're going to miss this on your mission huh?" My dad would always use his smart phone to pull up a hymn while I was trying to beat him to the correct hymn in the hymn book. He would pull it up before me and tease me that he was quicker. He cheated just so you know. He always had it pulled up before hand so all he had to do was turn on his phone. Being able to meet and get to know this lewisberg family is a blessing. There is such love here. I am grateful for the sabbath that we may gather as families- blood or Ward families- and love one another.

I am grateful as I reflect that our Heavenly Father has given this day of rest to us because he loves us. He knows what's best for us. And because he wants us to be happy he has given us this gospel and church. I am grateful for this organization. I am grateful for the chance I have to come this Sunday and worship and learn and grow and help others do the same.

I am grateful for all that the father has blessed me with and all that the son has sacrificed.

We come to church to learn about the savior. We come to church to show our love and gratitude fore the savior.
He suffered drops of blood in the garden of Gethsemane while he suffered all your pains, a kiss of betrayal, a crown of thorns, spit of humility, nails in hands and feet to be lifted on the cross, and loneliness for his last moments on the cross, "father why hast thou forsaken me?" then his last breath. He broke the bands of death so that you and I could live forever. He did everything, he laid down his life for you and me. Is your Sunday worship correctly reflecting your gratitude towards that gift, the eternal and infinite sacrifice that he suffered for you?

I challenge you to study the atonement and ask yourself if the worship and service you are rendering on the sabbath day shows the correct reflection of your gratitude for all that the father has given and all that the son has sacrificed. If you do this you're going to want to make the Sabbath more meaningful, a day of thanksgiving, and a day of worship. Sunday will become a delight full of gratitude.

I'd like to leave my testimony that there is reason to be grateful on the Sabbath. We truly do receive so much. Heavenly Father loves us. Jesus Christ suffered so that we can be free from sin, and trials. The ordinance of the sacrament is sacred. The Book of Mormon is indeed the word of God. I'm so grateful for my family and this gospel. It has changed my life. So many leaders in this church back home and out here have helped me in my life. I know that the Sabbath is a day of gratitude. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love Elder Segon
So fresh and so clean.

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