My farewell was on the 20 of this month, and it went really well :) We had a Chilli cook off for the dinner, and Kirsty Sims won first place for best Chilli. She received a red fuzzy blanket for "chilly" nights. It was a yummy afternoon!
I'm really going to miss everyone, but I believe that's a good thing. It would be so sad to leave/return and not have anybody at home you love.
My Mom called the MTC today to get my flight plans and it looks like I will be leaving at 6am. yikes! That's an early morning! (Since I have to be there a few hours ahead and all)
PS: Here is my farewell talk for anyone who missed it :)
Why we follow the living prophet and apostles today
As I was considering what angle to go off of for my talk, one of the first things I thought of was, jokingly, following the prophets and apostles on social media.
The more I thought about this the more sense it started to make so I went on twitter and followed all of the living apostles and the prophet, as well as Mormon times, the lds church, family search.org and ancestory.com, lds media talk and lds messages. And you know what? I actually found some really cool stuff!
For example, when I followed Elder hales on twitter, I learned that he has never tweeted a single thing, but he miraculously has 6,011 followers.
Following the prophet and apostles on social media websites is definitely a good thing to do, we can find cool quotes such as:
Our task is to become our best selves. One of Gods greatest gifts to us is in the joy of trying again, for no failure need ever be final.—Thomas s monson on facebook
Whatever our faults are, they can be repaired, and whatever our strengths are, they can be maintained—tweeted by Jeffrey r Holland. As a point of interest Patricia Holland happens to have some fantastic pinterest boards.
We can also find church news updates, and more insight into the amazing lives our general authorities lead. However I believe we can also do more than just have some fun following them from a safe distance.
why DO we need living prophets?
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf answered, Because Heavenly Father loves His children, he has not left them to walk through this mortal life without direction and guidance, and that is why He pleads so earnestly with us through His prophets. Just as we want what is best for our loved ones, Heavenly Father wants what is best for us.”
Prophets and apostles who speak today represent and carry out the Lord’s will as they lead His children in this dispensation. President Uchtdorf has also stated, “Our fate and the fate of our world hinge on our hearing and heeding the revealed word of God to His children.”
My grandma Nelson’s Mom joined church when my gma was 12. After my grandma’s dad died my grandma’s bishop called her mom to go on a mission. Great grandma hated public speaking, but she thought to herself, “How can I tell my bishop I can’t go on a mission when I want to get my grandkids on a mission.” She was a great example of service and completed an 18 month family history mission. Both of her grandson’s completed full time missions, and now I’m on my way to Chile Concepcion South Mission. Great Grandma started a great tradition of missionary service for her family.
In the, "why is it important to listen to and follow the living prophets?" young woman's lessons tell us that [the living prophets] give us instruction, warnings, and counsel from the Lord for our day. We are blessed with safety, peace, and spiritual strength when we listen to and obey their counsel.
During one general conference, President Ezra Taft Benson urged members to get out of debt—specifically mortgage debt.
President Eyring heard this counsel and has since said: “I turned to my wife after the meeting and asked, ‘Do you think there is any way we could do that?’ At first we couldn’t.” But by that evening he thought of a property they had unsuccessfully tried to sell for years. “We trusted God and … His servant’s message, [so] we placed a phone call. … I heard an answer that to this day strengthens my trust in God and His servants.” That same day a man had placed an offer on the Eyrings’ property for an amount just greater than their mortgage. The Eyrings soon became debt free.
In his testimony written to his posterity my great grandpa Devere Gibb wrote:
Joseph Smith was a prophet of God who restored the Church of Jesus Christ under the direction of Jesus Christ and every prophet since him has been directed by Jesus Christ. The closer we follow the direction of our prophet the happier our lives will be and the more prosperous we will be.
President Monson shared this story in the January 2015 Liahona:
I served in the United States Navy toward the end of World War II. I was a seaman, the lowest possible rank in the navy. Then I qualified to be Seaman First Class, after which I qualified to be Yeoman Third Class.
World War II ended, and I was later discharged. But I made a decision that if ever I went back into the military, I wanted to serve as a commissioned officer. I thought, “No more mess kitchens for me, no more scrubbing the decks, if I can avoid it.”
After I was discharged, I joined the United States Naval Reserve. I went to drill every Monday night. I studied hard that I might qualify academically. I took every kind of examination imaginable: mental, physical, and emotional. Finally, there came the beautiful news: “You have been accepted to receive the commission of an ensign in the United States Naval Reserve.”
I gleefully showed it to my wife, Frances, and said, “I made it! I made it!” She hugged me and said, “You’ve worked hard enough to achieve it.”
But then something happened. I was called to be a counselor in my ward bishopric. The bishop’s council meeting was on the same evening as my navy drill meeting. I knew there was a terrible conflict. I knew that I didn’t have the time to pursue the Naval Reserve and my bishopric duties. What was I to do? A decision had to be made.
I prayed about it. Then I went to see the man who was my stake president when I was a boy, Elder Harold B. Lee (1899–1973), then of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. I sat down across the table from him. I told him how much I valued that commission. In fact, I showed him the copy of the letter of appointment I had received.
After pondering the matter for a moment, he said to me, “Here’s what you should do, Brother Monson. You write a letter to the Bureau of Naval Affairs and tell them that because of your call as a member of the bishopric, you can’t accept that commission in the United States Naval Reserve.”
My heart sank. He added, “Then write to the commandant of the Twelfth Naval District in San Francisco indicating that you would like to be discharged from the reserve.”
I said, “Elder Lee, you don’t understand the military. Of course they will decline to give me that commission if I refuse to accept it, but the Twelfth Naval District isn’t going to let me off. With a war brewing in Korea, a noncommissioned officer will surely be called up. If called back, I would rather go back as a commissioned officer, but I won’t if I don’t accept this commission. Are you sure this is the counsel you want me to receive?”
Elder Lee put his hand on my shoulder and in a fatherly way said, “Brother Monson, have more faith. The military is not for you.”
I went home. I placed a tear-stained commission back in its envelope with its accompanying letter and declined to accept it. Then I wrote a letter to the Twelfth Naval District and requested a discharge from the Naval Reserve.
My discharge from the Naval Reserve was in the last group processed before the outbreak of the Korean War. My headquarters outfit was activated. Six weeks after I was called to be a counselor in the bishopric, I was called to be the bishop of my ward.
I would not hold the position in the Church I hold today had I not followed the counsel of a prophet, had I not prayed about that decision, had I not come to an appreciation of an important truth: the wisdom of God oft times appears as foolishness to men. But the greatest single lesson we can learn in mortality is that when God speaks and His children obey, they will always be right.
It has been said that history turns on small hinges, and so do our lives. Decisions determine destiny. But we are not left unaided in our decisions.
If you want to see the light of heaven, if you want to feel the inspiration of Almighty God, if you want to have that feeling within your bosom that your Heavenly Father is guiding you, then follow the prophets of God. When you follow the prophets, you will be in safe territory.
When I called Grandma Nelson for some info I could use in my talk, she told me, “It’s kind of a lifestyle, you just know that no matter what, you are going to follow the prophet, and you consistently do that. You can’t go wrong when you follow the prophet.”
The prophets have often counseled us to listen to the spirit. My granny Monica is a great example of someone who has heeded this inspired counsel and has been blessed because of it.
One story she shared with me began with her driving down the road with a friend when my granny received a prompting. She told her friend,” I just feel like I should say a special prayer for Mark”, and so they pulled off of the road and prayed for my uncle. They then continued on their way. Back home Uncle Mark had gotten his hand caught in a silage trailer. Grandpa was afraid to take Uncle Mark’s gloves off in case his fingers were all cut off inside it, he just took him straight to the hospital. the Drs were afraid to take the glove off too, but when they did, they found all of Uncle Marks fingers still attached, although they were badly cut. Drs first comment was, you must have had family prayer this morning.
When I received my mission call I was ecstatic. And then I read my call from the Lord through his living apostles to a mission that I had never heard of. I was pretty panicked. I love the Spanish language and was excited to learn more, but I kept going, CHILE?!? Really? In fact I even scanned through my mission call immediately after reading it looking for an, just kidding sister nelson, you are going to Winnipeg mission! Just in case, but It wasn’t there. It took me three days to open my laptop and click the accept mission call button displayed on my screen. Also the 8.3 earthquake in chile that I read about on Wednesday while gathering material for this talk—didn’t help much. But in my acceptance letter I wrote
Thank you so much for issuing this call to me!
I am excited for the opportunity to serve the Chilean people as an official representative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and I wholeheartedly believe that this particular mission will stretch me and test me in sooo many ways! I'm always up for a challenge, and this is definitely a great one! One that with the Lord's help, I will do the best I can.
1 Nephi 3:7
Sister Shaylee Nelson
1 nephi 3:7 reads, And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.
For I know like amos says in 3:7, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.”
I know that the lord has called me to the Chile concepcion south mission for a reason, and I am excited to see exactly how much I can do for him in 18 short months. J
In the name of Jesus Christ amen.