Friday, July 12, 2013

The Greatest Generation of Missionaries

Parts of letter home written on P-day July 9, 2013

Dear Family,

Wow do I have a lot to write about today. First of all, I apologize for my handwriting. I hope that you can decipher these hieroglyphs. Second, Mom, feel free to include any of my letters in the blog update. I have all day to write but only one short hour to email.

I will start with last Tuesday night's devotional. We heard from Brother Richardson. He is serving in the General Sunday School Presidency. His talk was fantastic.

He started of by  talking about how we have been told that we (missionaries) are Isaiah's "Swift Messengers". He then shared a quote from Elder Ballard's October 2002 conference address. Elder Ballard called for the Greatest Generation of Missionaries!

I remember and love that talk by Elder Ballard. The video and text of that talk can be found Here. The specific quote from Elder Ballard that Elder Kanaga is referring to is:

"What we need now is the greatest generation of missionaries in the history of the Church. We need worthy, qualified, spiritually energized missionaries who, like Helaman’s 2,000 stripling warriors, are “exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity” and who are “true at all times in whatsoever thing they [are] entrusted” (Alma 53:20)."

He continues:
Do you know what hit sitting rather uncomfortably in the Marriott Center? That call was made only a couple of weeks after I had been baptized. Wow! I was being prepared to be part of that "Greatest Generation"! I was being prepared then for this mission now.

Brother Richardson shared a story of a young girl asking her grandmother if that (pointing at a picture of him, at age 19 in the MTC lobby) was a "Real Missionary". She said it in such awe as if she were meeting a celebrity. He said it made him want to be a "Real Missionary".

I love this next quote from him, he said, "I cannot say that my mission was the best two years of my life, because I have had so many great experiences since. However, I can and do say it was the best two years for my life." He said the very best mission in the world is "Your Mission".

He showed and explained a stone from the MTC that David O. McKay found on his mission.
I will draw and explain it the best I can (see if Grandpa Young can get this).

It is a magic number square. No matter which line you choose the sum is eighteen. Brother Richardson talked about how sometimes when we are a 5 but want to be an 8, it can be hard. However, the Lord has called us as a 5 so we must be the best 5 there ever was!

If we do not do all of "our part" the "whole" won't work. Brother Richardson when to Denmark,  he got there fairly confident out of the MTC. He read from his Journal "The dogs speak better Danish than I do." We all got a good laugh. 

A scan of Elder Kanaga's drawing from the letter.
Something else cool about this, I thought of the magic number square adding up to eighteen, eighteen is the magic mission number!

On the left is  a picture of the original stone David O. McKay saw. On the right is a
replica stone at the MTC. (A picture a different missionary took that I found on the web.

Although the temple is closed, every Sunday we get "temple walks". Last Sunday was hot but this Sunday was cool and breezy.

Church is cool but it is weird with all the missionaries. Definitely the quietest Sacrament Meeting ever. Plus sacrament meeting is all in Portuguese.

So on Monday or Wednesday I met someone cool! You'll never guess who! I met the Osborns niece! Their niece, Sister Berkdull is going to Brazil.

On the 4th of July, we got so spoiled! We watched 17 Miracles and then watched the Stadium of Fire fireworks from the MTC. Plus the next day I found the world's coolest 4th of July Scripture. Look it up:  1 Nephi 13:15-19.

Thank you so much for the care package. I love the snacks and my district loved the 100% intact cookies. (I was worried the cookies would be crumbs before he received them).

We had a really cool opportunity to meet some people who have had to learn English. They spoke near flawlessly. It gives me hope for Portuguese.

One more quick thing I thought of from Tuesday nights devotional. We were all walking back to the MTC campus from the Marriot Center and I looked back and then forward. There was an endless mess of 1,000's of 18-20 year old young people who are devoting 1.5-2 years to this gospel. Now tell me how can it not be true when you have 1,000's of  young people giving their time and money to be here?

Remember, "There is NO minor thing in this gospel".

Yesterday Irmão Workman came in to talk to us. He is nine months back from his mission in Mozambique. He gave me such hope for the language and for my mission in the choice land of Mozambique! Moçambique which is now pronounced Mos-am-bee-key. He told us they same awesome and very nice and cool with one Phrase. Miningi Naisse, Miningi is from the African dialect for very. Nasisse is literally taken from  the English word nice).

So that was most of his letter home to Mom and Dad. We loved hearing from him and reading about how he is doing and what he is learning.

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