Once again SO MUCH happened this week–but I’m only going to have time to write about one particular event. Although this event is a pretty cool one so you should definitely read on. :)
Sunday and Tuesday nights the MTC has devotionals. Tuesday nights are supposedly the best because that’s the day they have general authorities come in to speak to us. We were hoping for an apostle or someone cool like that but some of the missionaries who have been here longer than us said that an apostle hadn’t come since January. They had yet to see one and this week would be their last chance.
Well, we decided to line up for the devotional early so we could get good seats, just in case. We were originally going to go down around 6:30 (it was going to start at 7) when we saw some of the missionaries from our zone heading down there around 5:45. They told us that the line started that early so we decided to go! When we got there, our entire zone was already crowded at the front of the door. Us “Frenchies” waited there at the front. Some of the Mexican missionaries weren’t too happy that we had it barricaded ha ha. But it was all good and we had loads of fun. We sung primary songs as we waited. It sort of reminded me of all those fun times we waited in lines to go see movies.
After a little less than an hour, they finally let us in.
We got seats near the front, a little off to the side. We were maybe five rows back and I had a perfect view of the podium. A couple elders and I started speculating about who might be speaking that night. They said Richard G. Scott but they seemed to be joking about it. We threw out more names like President Monson and Jesus and Me. And Jesus again. We were doing that when one of the presidency of the MTC stood up and told us that when an apostle or the President of the Church enters a room, we’re supposed to stand up.
Well, everyone started talking like crazy after that! Now everyone was speculating who might be coming. We didn’t get much of a chance to talk too much, though, because they started making us sing hymns. We sang a few of them when we got to I Am A Child of God. After finishing a verse, everyone stood up as Elder Richard G. Scott, one of the apostles of the Lord, walked onto the podium. We recognized him immediately because we were in the front, but some of the others missionaries in the back couldn’t see him. When they displayed his picture on some of the screens and projectors they have in the room, there was like this slight collective gasp from behind us.
They sat us back down and we finished singing I Am a Child of God. The choir did an opening song and then Elder Scott stood up to address us.
He told us that he would normally shake all of our hands–however he said he wouldn’t get to do that that night. Instead, he reached his arms out and gave us a “virtual hug.” It was pretty funny and everyone was laughing. Not many people can say they virtually hugged an apostle haha.
He finally started his talk. He began speaking about the Spirit and how it was so necessary to have as a missionary. He told us about his experience as a missionary. He found that the best times he could feel the Spirit was when he could find a quiet place to be alone and pray. He then talked a lot about prayers and weaknesses. He told us that weaknesses allow us to be humble. Being humble allows us to be taught by the Spirit.
And then he did something amazing.
Elder Scott gave us an Apostolic Blessing. He told us that he would bless all of us with the Gift of Tongues. It was simple but powerful. He raised his right hand in the air and said something along the lines of “I confer the Gift of Tongues.” It was amazing. I’m not sure how to describe it. Our Branch President spoke with us after the meeting and told us about the power of an apostolic blessing and how we should truly appreciate and take advantage of what had just happened.
And while that was so cool and amazing, I think the best part came afterwards. When Elder Scott had finished what he prepared–when we stopped talking off of a script–he gave us his testimony.
He said if there was one thing we remembered from that night, it should be his testimony. As he gave it, the Spirit was so strong. There’s no way anyone who was present couldn’t have felt it–known that his words were true. I’ve only felt the Spirit so strongly only a few times before. I don’t know how to describe it–I don’t think words can accurately describe it. I just felt like a warm blanket had been draped over my heart.
I was copying his words down as fast a possible and got most of it down. It was so powerful as he walked off the stage and waved to us one last time before he was out the doors, the entire time his testimony running through the back of my mind.
“Remember that a humble individual, weak and with all kinds of debilitating efforts in his struggle to serve the Lord, but who holds the keys of the apostleship, declared that Jesus Christ is a glorified, resurrected being of perfect love. He loves you and He will strengthen you… I know that he lives. I bear that humble witness with every cell and fiber of my body because it is true. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”