Well it's good to hear from everyone and I hope things are still going great. Although I did cringe a bit at the thought of Holly having a toothpick that deep in her foot, I bet that felt great.... (Ouch!) Well I hope things get better for her and it doesn't get infected. It sounds like Uncle Mark's new job will be pretty great and even though they are moving a little farther away, at least they are not on the other side of the continent again, and as much as I'd like to see Brother Burtenshaw here, I certainly hope it's not for problems with my teeth.
Just an update about my decision to extend I've been praying about it for a while now and discussed options with President Bertin and the answer I finally came to was just to come home on time and start my next journey.
So I was talking with Elder Foster who was my batch mate from the MTC after our Mission conference with President Russel M. Nelson. We came to realize that in terms of sports, we are coming into the 4th quarter of our mission. So I have to say our mission conference on Friday was probably one of the best 4th quarter pep talks ever! It was awesome to be able to shake hands with and hear President Nelson and his wife, Elder Haynie of the Seventy and Area Presidency and his wife, as well as President Bertin and His wife, and be able to answer questions and explain doctrine and to simply be in the presence of chosen servants of the Lord and to be empowered by The Spirit that was there. It was incredible to hear insights from Sister Nelson about our pre-mortal covenants, and our duty to gather scattered Israel. Then to Have President Nelson be able to take words such as Faith and Repentance and bring them back to their original Greek Translation and be able to explain it piece by piece so that it became simple and clear. I can't find words to describe how powerful that meeting was and the feelings felt there.
Our little mission choir did pretty great, and I hope I didn't make the rest of the choir sound too bad. I couldn't help but break up into a big smile as we were standing right behind the first row of bench seat on the stand where President Nelson was sitting, and I was right there in the middle about an arm lengths away from him. While we were singing he literally turned all the way around and watched each of us as we sang. Just made myself a little more conscious not to screw up. Luckily they all said they enjoyed the music.
One of the highlights I wanted to share from the meeting was a portion of President Nelsons talk. Near the end he was talking about facing the odds and doing the impossible. He pointed out that God is a God of miracles and he tends to favor the unlikely. For example Abraham's Wife Sarah gave birth at 90 years old. Christ was born of the virgin Mary. I thought he was then going to go onto the strippling warriors, but instead he went to the book of Judges chapter 7. At this point Gideon is getting ready to battle the Midionites to free the Israelites. In the beginning there were around 30,000. The Lord tells Gideon, that that is too many, the people will think they did it by their own strength. So Gideon tells everyone that is afraid to leave and there remains 10,000 soldiers. The Lord says that is is still too many, so they go to the river side to drink and whoever kneels and puts their mouth in the stream gets to leave, and anyone that cups the water in their hands stays. After this there is 300. Then the Lord says Perfect, 300 is all I need to free Israel! President Nelson then pointed out that later in the book of Judges we learn that the army of the Midionites is about 150,000. So we have 150,000:300 or simplified 500:1. Seems impossible but they won! So 500:1 is just right! He then pointed out that in 1830 when the church was restored, there were 3-4 billion people on the earth and just the handful of members. Now there are 7 billion and 15 million members although not all are active so let's say 14 million, so 7Billion:14Million, what are the odds? 500:1 Just right, it's a fair fight! Then President Nelson said something that I think I'm going to keep as a theme for the rest of my life "If you are doing impossible things, That's Just Right! The Lord wants to stretch you and help you grow!"
I wish I could write even more but I'm running a bit low on time as the internet connection has been a little slow in this computer shop so it has taken a while to load and send in numbers and write letters and what not, so hopefully I can make it up next week as I really want to write a general letter to the ward. So as for this week things have been awesome. This has definitely been one of the highlights of my mission and I'll treasure it for years to come. I love you all and hope everyone has a good week this week, and I'll look forward to writing next week.
Love you lots,
Elder Chayce Campbell