Thursday, May 15, 2008

An Opportunity of a Lifetime!-Elder Dallin H. Oaks, April 29, 2008

Dear Elder Morain's Fan Club,
I am about to describe an experience that I can never express through words what it means to me, but I will try. I will start with Saturday april 25th. Saturday at 5pm we had the adult session of stake conference. Elder Gary E. Stevenson of the 1st quorumn of the Seventy spoke to us, the last speaker of the night was Elder Dallin H. Oaks! His talk was absolutley amazing, and inspired me to be the best missionary I can be. I got to shake his hand after and that was the end of saturday. But it only gets better. Sunday morning we have the general session of conference. I got to sing in the choir, Elder Oaks spent about 45 minutes before the meeting shaking everyone in the building's hand. Elder Stevenson spoke again and then Elder Oaks gave another inspiring talk that motivated me like no other. Well after the meeting we had a LUNCH. So my zone of about 28 missionaries had a lunch with the special guests! Elder Stevenson and Elder Oaks were there. So i get my food and take a seat with my friends in my zone. Then from out of no where, ELDER OAKS SITS DOWN DIRECTLY ACROSS FROM ME! I am in awe, I try to contain myself as I look across the table and see an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. As I sat there, It hit me so hard, I felt closer to my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ because I realized how closely Elder Oaks works with them. I kept this thought in my head the whole weekend as I saw and listened to him and it made the experience so much more valuable to me. Well, we had a good solid 45 minute lunch with Elder Oaks just talking to me and the few elders around me at the table. One of the questions we asked him was what was your favorite thing about being an apostle. He said his favorite thing was when he gets a chance to get to know the people in settings just like the one we were in. I thought that was really interesting. He told us how he and other members of the 12 decide where missionaries go on there missions with great detail. He shared an experience of how he was being trained by Bruce R. McConkie and Elder Oaks asked how he chooses where they go. He responded "85 % of the time it doesn't matter where they go, or mayber 90% I don't know it doesnt matter" and Elder Oaks just laughed because he wasnt expecting that from Elder McConkie of all people. He then said the other % really mattered where they go, and Elder Oaks described how the spirit directs him in choosing. We also asked him what his favorite scripture was and he responded 2 nephi 2:2 and how that helped him deal with loosing his wife. We asked do the general authorities still get nervous speaking at general conference and he said yes he still does after 47 times of speaking at one haha. He told us The quourumn of the 12 meets every tuesday and thursday morning and one of those is in the slc temple with the 1st presidency. We asked how much time the 12 spend away from home and he said they have a church assignment every week and mostly gone for weekends. Now as I am telling you this info keep in mind that this is a group of missionaries asking the questions, and we spend all day every day telling people how there are living prophets and apostle today on the earth, and this was our once in a lifetime opportunity to have lunch and ask questions of a living apostle of Jesus Christ. Well at the end of the lunch I said "This has been the best lunch I have ever had in my entire life."(And I really meant it this time, for those of you who know me well haha) And to my suprise, Elder Oaks said to me, "This has been one of the best lunches I have ever had too." Some people may not think its a big deal, but I felt honored to be a part of a 75 and half year old Apostle Best lunches ever. Haha, well when the lunch was over we had a meeting as our zone with Elder Stevenson and Elder Oaks. I was asked by my mission president to give the opening prayer and I was pretty nervous haha. Then I sat in the front row in the very center and literally sat at the feet of an Apostle. Elder Stevenson gave a great talk, and even used my White Handbook as an example during his talk haha. After he spoke Elder Oaks spoke, directly to my zone! It was truly amazing, he spoke of an example of how revelation is recieved. He told us the story of President Hinckely recieving revelation about Smaller temples. He told us how sacred these experiences are. I felt that the experience of being with Elder Oaks was very personal, and stregthened my testimony of how the Leaders of our church really do love us, as Elder Oaks made my experience with him special. I will never forget the teachings he taught and the feelings I had during the experience. It really motivated me to make the best of these 2 years on a mission. Even though it was impossible to top stake conference, yesterday was my first zone conference! I loved it! I really got to bond with my zone, and it was really fun. i will try and send pictures from zone conference later today. I have to drive over to another library to use a comp that I can send pics. So please if you can email me back and let me know how you are doing so I can read it before I get off the comp for the day. Thank you to Elder Phillips, Steve Jensen, Kris McConkie and Jacob Haws for emailing me, and thanks to Jen Graves and Elder Aquino for writing me a letter! Its good to hear how your doing! Oh and if you email/ write me a letter I'll give ya a shout out on the general email to everyone!( There is your little incentive haha) Oh by the way if you write directly to my apartment (not the mission office) I can get it in 4 days!