Elder Colton West

Elder Colton West


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Week 5: Dia de Pavo

That's Turkey Day in Spanish.  By far the most asked question in this week's emails was what Thanksgiving in the CCM was like.  So I'll answer that first.  Dia de Gracias was like any other day in the CCM.  Lots of class, hours upon hours of studying the gospel and the Spanish language, good food (including an American-style Thanksgiving dinner).  Oh, and we also had a live-broadcast devotional where Elder David Bednar spoke to us!  Which was a wonderful surprise.

Those of you who aren't church members probably are scratching your heads wondering what's so special about another Elder speaking to a bunch of missionaries.  Elder isn't just a title for missionaries, it's also the title used by the General Authorities of the church.  Elder Bednar is a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.  We believe that these men hold the same office as the original twelve Disciples of Christ did in ancient times, and that they have the same responsibility to be special witnesses of the Savior.  So when one of them takes time away from his family on a holiday to speak to the missionaries, we get pretty excited about it.

Elder David A. Bednar spoke to all the missionaries on Thanksgiving!

This devotional was also unique in that Elder Bednar made it a question and answer session where missionaries from all of the Missionary Training Centers could email in questions that they wanted to ask him, and he would answer a few of them.  You're probably wondering what was asked, and the answer is that I don't remember.  I didn't write any questions or answers down, because we were given some very wise counsel at the start of this devotional.  Elder Bednar advised us to not write down the words spoken in the devotional, but to write down the things that the Spirit whispered in our minds and hearts.

The one thing I want to share from the devotional is about the Atonement.  Elder Bednar shared his belief that during the Atonement, the Savior atoned for each one of us individually.  That he saw one by one each and every one of us, and paid the price required to satisfy divine justice so that mercy could be extended to each of us as individuals, and because He loves us all perfectly and personally.  It resonates in my very soul that Jesus Christ knows us all, loves us all, and redeemed us all.  If any of you are struggling with anything in your life, I invite you to reach out to Him.  He is waiting with his hand reaching out to help us through our lives.  We just have to let Him help.

I loved reading all of your emails this week!  One week from today I will be leaving for El Salvador, so I probably won't get to read your emails at the same time as I usually do.  I'll be able to send a message out letting everyone know that I have arrived at the mission home safely, but I may not be able to respond to you all individually.  Two weeks from now I should have time for some individual responses though.

Adios until then!

Elder Colton West
El Salvador San Salvador East Mission

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