On Thursday the 13th, we had a mission conference for our entire mission. That means we had the Dutch and the French speaking missionaries all together. Our main speaker was Elder Russel M. Nelson, one of the 12 apostles. Elder Nelson has had an amazing career as a cardiac surgeon. He was part of the team which created the 1st heart-lung machine and he performed the 1st successful cardiac surgery in Utah using the heart-lung machine. He later performed the 1st successful cardiac operation in Utah utilizing the cardiopulmonary bypass machine. He also performed the 1st successful pediatric cardiac operation on a 4 year old girl. Dr. Nelson performed successful open heart surgery on President Spencer W. Kimball, prophet of the LDS church. His first wife, the mother of his 10 children died in 2005 . His second wife, Wendy, was a professor at BYU university. She was also one of the speakers. In addition, we heard from Elder Christiaan Kleijweg the area authority, and Elder Erich Kopischke of the Europe Area Presidency, Member of the First Quorum on Seventy. Elder Kopischke is in charge of 37 missions.
Our day was so wonderful and spiritually so uplifting. We arrived in Rotterdam, Netherlands by 2 buses, by train, by bike, and by car. It was amazing to be among so many wonderful, clean, dedicated young men and women and also senior couples. I think there were about 200 missionaries there.
A little summary of the talks:
Sister Kleijweg: Families of missionaries are blessed. The hardest things that we do are the most rewarding things.
Elder Kleijweg: Unity is the most important element in our work.
Elder Kopischke: We have been called of God by revelation. When we read the scriptures, we must apply them to ourselves. Think of the words in the scriptures, wherefore and therefore. Then read the answers to those words. He told us to focus on the questions that the Lord asks in the scriptures and to apply them to ourselves: "Adam, where art thou?" (Where is your heart?) Jesus to John, "What desirest thou?" Delight in the Lord and He will give us the desires of our hearts. We should have divine desires and we should trust those desires. The outcome of our lives will have to do with the desires of our hearts. Our desires will change our hearts. What is it that I should do for you? (3 Nephites) (bring souls unto the Lord). Finally, ask yourself this question. Do I have good, righteous desires or am I content?
SisterWendy Nelson: "..what wattage are you?" How much light do you emit? Get more light and then you will give off more light."
Elder Nelson admonished us to narrow the gap between what we are now and what we need to become. He said that God judges by comparing what you are as opposed to what you have the capacity to become. Demand more of yourself. Teach diligently that you may be more perfectly instructed. He opened up the mtg. to questions and taught us many, many other things. Before he finished he told us to look in the mirror and to marvel at who we are. Finally, he gave us a beautiful apostolic blessing. We were all filled with a wonderful feeling. The spirit in the room was so strong. It was great to be taught at the feet of an apostle of the Lord.
Larson Looney Bin: The Elder on the top left is Elder J. Wells from the Dutch side of our mission.
I spoke with this really nice missionary and took these next pictures for you.