Mission Office 29 Wiryeseong-daero 22-gil (Ogeum-dong) Songpa-gu Seoul-teukbyeolsi 05655 South Korea
This week Elder Jeffery R. Holland came to Korea with his wife. He had 3 addresses and we as missionaries were able to go to 2. The other one was exclusively for members in Korea. He said some pretty profound things that not only is a great lesson for missionaries but everyone in their life. At first I was sitting in the back and was pretty far from Elder Holland but one of the office elders told me, my companion, and my zone leaders that there were 4 seats available in the front row. We quickly grabbed our things and headed up to the front. Our seats were actually right next to the door. As Elder Holland walked in we all stood up. I was right next to the door as he walked in with his wife and body guard. He touched the arm of the elder sitting next to me then shook my hand quickly and in passing said “Hey Elder”. He then took his place on the stand. Needless to say I was star struck. He then said that he wanted to shake the hands of each one of us in the room. It was the Seoul and Seoul South missions, so close to 230 people, but he did it. As he went around we each said our names and where we were from, it was a cool experience.
There were also two members of the 70 that spoke to us. They had great talks, though as they were talking I was watching Elder Holland closely – an apostle of our Savior Jesus Christ. He looked so in tune with the spirit, very reverent, and looked as though he was constantly searching for revelation. It was interesting to me. After Sister Holland finished speaking, Elder Holland stood up got to the pulpit and expressed his love for Sister Holland. Wow, I have never heard someone speak of their wife like that. He told a story that he says he rarely has shared, when he nearly lost his wife about 4 years ago. She was literally on her death bed but he said God spared her life. Then he said, “with all things you don’t realize what you have until you almost lose it”. That was a great source of personal revelation to me. He then told us to be happy, that in our darkest moments we can choose to be happy. He said “We need to live after the manner of happiness”, even if your life tells you otherwise. He then said he interviewed every one of us. I was confused for a moment and then he explained that when we shook his hand he didn’t care what our name was or where we were from, he wanted to search deep into our souls. He expressed that he was pleased with how our two missions are doing. He congratulated the two mission presidents saying that we had 2 fine missions with no big problems, but he saw some that were struggling. He then said “If you are struggling, welcome to the Church.” He explained that he has had his fair share of struggles in his life and that all will be well.
That is a message to all of you. If you are struggling do not worry, Jesus is there to lift you up – He loves you. I saw that love of Christ in Elder Holland. He said sooooo many things that touched me and so many funny things saying that the stupidest recorded question in all of scripture is John 3:4 and that all of us Elders are just escapees from the Aaronic Priesthood. There were 2 things that spoke louder to me than all the rest. I have pondered these things since he has said them. First he said as missionaries we don’t understand what we are really doing. When he was a young missionary he understood he was bringing the gospel to others, but he didn’t really understand the impact of what he was doing. He said we don’t understand what we are truly doing on our missions, the work of God is too great for us to imagine. The other thing was when he shouted “IT REALLY DOES MATTER THAT HE LIVES”. It was profound. He said it so loud, and with so much power, that I can’t help but constantly think of it. People are searching for happiness. People are searching for joy, peace and comfort in this life. That is why it matters. There is so much more to this life. I want you to all find out why it matters that He lives. Our Savior Jesus Christ. As I search for this question myself, I really want you all to do the same. It really does matter, and it matters to all of us; every single person that walks the earth, some just need to realize that He lives.
Many other things were said. Elder Holland said the decisions that you make from the ages of 12-22 effect the rest of your eternity. Unfortunately, just like everyone, I made bad decisions in those years that have had a negative impact on me, but how grateful I am for the loving correction of our Savior Jesus Christ. Through Him, and Because of Him, I have made decisions that have changed my life currently – and will for the rest of eternity. My thoughts and my decisions now and in the future will be focused on Christ. I want each and every one of you to be careful in your decision making. The friends you have, the things you do, the things you focus on. Satan is working harder and harder every day, acknowledge that and continue to fight the battle of righteousness. You will not be disappointed if you constantly seek the Lord in all things. I promise you that with all of my heart. As Elder Holland left, he grabbed my arm on the way out. I then said, “Thank You, Elder Holland.” The other Elders thought that was a big thing because he only grabbed my arm, and I felt the love and comfort of our Savior so strongly. After He left a hush fell over the chapel for a while, the spirit was present. I am grateful for God, Christ and the Holy Ghost.