On Friday, I had the opportunity to go to a performance by the sister missionaries serving on Temple Square. The Spirit filling the Assembly Hall was immense. My best friend, Sydney Brown, has a very close friend who is serving on Temple Square. As I looked into the faces of the missionaries, I recognized Sister Hailey Nelson from pictures I had seen. After the performance, I looked for her and was able to have a brief conversation with her. This experience alone was enough to let me know the Lord loves me, but apparently he really wanted it sink in.
|Sister Nelson and Sorella Ervin at Temple Square|
We were planning to leave Temple Square immediately; however, I decided I wanted to take a walk around. My mother decided we should walk towards the South Visitors center. On the way, Sister Nelson caught my attention, and we had another opportunity to talk. For forty-five minutes, she and her companion, Sister Romney, gave me advice. It is very obvious to me that Sister Nelson is an inspired missionary. Her words were so filled with the spirit, and everything she said was something I needed to hear. After only two conversations with this incredible sister, I have grown to admire and love her.
Because we had chosen to attend Music and the Spoken Word, we weren't able to attend Sacrament Meeting with our friends so we decided to attend in the ward sharing a building with them. Because we had spent so much time talking to Sister Nelson, we barely made it in time for the Sacrament. My mother took my hand and asked me to look on the stand. Sitting at the end of the row was Elder Russell M. Nelson. As I looked at the other faces of those seated around him, I realized Kim Nelson, a sister entering the MTC with me on Wednesday was seated on the other end. What are the chances I would find myself at the farewell of a sister serving with me in the Italy Milan Mission? I don't know the answer to that question, but I do know the Lord was behind it all. Kim gave a fantastic talk and repeatedly I found myself looking forward to getting to know her.
|Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles|
The last speaker was Elder Nelson and it's important to know he is not related to either Sister Nelson. His talk focused on the mighty change that is coming in regards to the missionaries. We have 10,000 more missionaries serving now, then we did at the same time last year. 10,000! Elder Nelson spoke of his love for missionaries and the spirit which accompanies them. He then gave advice for serving in Italy and mentioned the members love for the Lord. How blessed I am to serve in such an incredible place. After the end of the meeting, I talked briefly with Kim. Again I feel lucky that I will be serving with this young woman who answered the call to serve immediately after hearing of the age change. Although I am twenty-one and my papers were already started when the announcement was made, it has affected me greatly. I now am able to serve with many more sisters whose testimonies touch my heart. I was then able to speak to Elder Nelson. Let me tell you, there is so much love surrounding the apostles of the Lord. The Spirit is so strong with him that you can feel not only his love for you, but the Lord's love for you.
Many people would call the experiences I had today mere coincidences Let me testify to you this is not the case. The Lord knows us and he knows what we need. Today I have seen the Lord's hand in my life, and I know I will continue to see it throughout my mission.