This past week was phenomenal for many reasons. The highlight of the week, above all, was the Mission Conference that we had with the Apostle, Elder Quentin L. Cook. All 270 missionaries from the Paris France Mission gathered at the Versailles chapel to hear from an apostle of the Lord, and it was incredible. I was, evidently, extremely excited leading up to this event, because it is not everyday that you get to meet one of the Lord’s chosen apostles.
The last time I had the opportunity to listen to an apostle speak live was in the Missionary Training Center more than a year ago, and the powerful feeling of peace that is something that I will never forget. But this time was going to be different, instead of speaking to thousands of missionaries in a stadium, Elder Cook would be speaking specifically to the missionaries of the Paris France Mission, and this time, I would have already gone through the grind of being a full-time missionary. I had prayed really hard the week leading up to the conference that the questions of my heart would be answered, and that more importantly, I would find an increased testimony of the reality of the call that I have been given. While I knew that I was called of God, I wanted to fortify that testimony, so that I would be able to grow closer to the Saviour and really make every minute of my time here count.
In the minutes before Elder Cook walked in, I held a little prayer in my heart, asking Heavenly Father to help me find this confirmation. Elder Cook walked into the room, and we all stood up as a sign of our respect. An incredible warmth and peace filled my heart, and magnitude of the spirit that I felt was beyond any other experience I had ever had. I knew, the very moment that I saw Elder Cook, that he was indeed chosen to be an apostle, just as Peter, James or John was at the time when Jesus Christ was on the earth. I received an undeniable confirmation of the reality of the existence of our Heavenly Father and our saviour, and I knew that I worked for the Savior, that He truly did call me to this work. All the missionaries in the room got to shake Elder Cook’s hand as well, and it was such a special experience for me, because it was the first time for me to meet an apostle in person.
Elder Cook shared many special experiences, and one in particular was about how the apostles and the prophet would call us to our missions. He said that there were 3 reasons why they would be inspired to call a missionary to a specific mission
1. The mission president and his wife were perfectly suited to help the this missionary grow;
2. The missionary would be able to bless a certain people
3. The experiences that the missionary would find in a particular mission would prepare him for a calling that he would have later on in his life.
I have seen how these have all applied to me during my mission, perhaps not as much for the 3rd simply because I do not yet know my future, but I have definitely been placed in a mission that has been perfectly what I needed.
And if there is one thing that I really stuck out to me, it was that my purpose as a missionary was not to be here as a salesperson for the church, but to truly make it possible for people to receive all the blessings that God has prepared for us. It is through us that people truly can find greater happiness and peace in this life. I know this to be true.
I truly benefitted from this special experience. I know that every morning, when I wake up at 6:30am to pray, I am reporting for duty to a true and living Heavenly Father. I feel his closeness in my life and I know that He speaks to me and guides me each and everyday. I know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live and that we can return to them one day with our families. I know that while I do not know the answer to all things, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on the earth today with Jesus Christ at its head.
I love you all. Je vous aime tous, et je vous souhaite une tres belle semaine avec pleine de miracles!