rom: Nathan DeBeikes <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, Jun 15, 2015 at 2:16 AM
Subject: Elder Holland-The Rasmussen’s-Kevin Sets Baptism!
Dear family and friends,
This was one of the most memorable weeks of my whole mission, probably
even my life. We had the immense privilege of being able to meet Elder
Jeffrey R. Holland! Before I get to that, I will go through some of
the other highlight of the week.
So Monday was Elder Jones birthday, so we went up and saw the
cathedral and the castle, and went to this really cool old restaurant
on top of the main bridge in city centre, which apparently is the only
building in Europe that is built on top of a medieval bridge. Just a
little fun fact for you. It was very cool though. We also had dinner
and family home evening at the Finches’ home, who are some members of
the Lincoln ward. They invited about 10 YSA aged members, and we
brought Kevin along with us. It was so much fun to be able to hang out
with them, play some games, and feel the spirit together. Kevin really
enjoyed it as well, it’s so awesome how natural he is at meeting
people and getting to know them. He is honestly one of the funniest
people I have ever met. They also made a Star Wars themed birthday
cake for Elder Jones, because he is the biggest Star Wars fan I know.
So Monday was indeed a great day.
On Wednesday we had to spend the night in Nottingham at Elder Tupou
and Elder Palu’s flat again, who are the two elders from Tonga. That
was fun, but we had to get up at 3:15 to be able to get ready, walk to
the other elders’ flat, take a taxi to the train station, and board
the coach at 6:15 which would drive through Leicester and Coventry
picking up missionaries along the way, and drop us off in Birmingham,
where we had the mission conference.
President Teixeira, who is the current Europe area president, and
President Kearon, who is the soon to be Europe area president, also
came with their wives, and they spoke to us before Elder Holland.
Before any of them spoke though, we were all able to go up and shake
Elder Holland’s hand, and tell him our name and where we are from. It
was a pretty cool experience being able to shake an apostle’s hand and
look him in the eye. You could just tell how close to God he is.
The talks were really great. Elder Holland spoke to us for almost two
hours. He talked a lot about his mission and how much it means to him,
and how much it has affected every part of his life. He also talked a
lot about the atonement. It was so cool to be able to be so close to
him and listen to him speak personally to us, rather than 15 million
members like in General Conference. He is actually really funny as
well. He was talking about how great life must have been in the garden
of Eden for Adam and Eve, and he was pretending to be them when he
said “oh what should we do today, hop and the back of a zebra and go
pick some raspberries?” He just made a lot of funny comments like
that. But he also got pretty fired up, like he usually does. Gosh, it
was just so amazing, and the spirit was so strong. I am so grateful I
got to see him in my last transfer.
After they had to leave, we had lunch together as a mission, which was
fun to be able to hang out with all of my mission friends. I was just
looking around and I was so grateful for all of the relationships I
have made in the past two years. Then we came back in to the chapel,
and it was time for my mtc group to give our departing testimonies.
There were 25 of us sitting together on the stand, and as I looked
around, it was a very surreal moment realizing that these guys that I
met two years ago, who I was JUST in the mtc with (or at least it
feels like it), are about to go home. It was a pretty cool experience
being able to stand in front of the whole mission and bear my
testimony. Usually it’s only done in a zone conference where there are
two or three zones together, but we got to do it in front of the whole
mission. I was just sitting up there thinking about how I go home
soon, how President and Sister Rasmussen go home soon, and about Elder
Holland speaking about his mission and how much it means to him, and I
was just overwhelmed with gratitude for my mission. I am so glad I
came out. I am forever grateful for the experiences I have had, for
the people I have met, the relationships I will hold onto forever, and
the growth that I have had that I would not be able to experience
doing anything else. It has been so amazing.
After that, President and Sister Rasmussen gave their departing
testimonies, since it would be the last time most of the missionaries
would see them. Fortunately, I will have a departing interview with
President Rasmussen in the next week or so, so I will have a chance to
properly say goodbye. After them though, we took the coach back to
Notts then the train back to Lincoln, getting home around 10pm. It was
a long long day, but one of the best.
Besides all that, we have just been meeting new people and preparing
Kevin for his baptism, which will happen on the 28th. He is really
excited. Well, this has been a long email. I love you all so much,
thank you for your love and support, have a fantastic week!
Love, Elder DeBeikes
Some pics from the mision conference