Elder Keato's Address

Igreja de Jesus Cristo dos S.U.D.
Caixa Postal 18404
Luanda, Angola

Friday, June 29, 2012


So pretty much the most spiritually amazing week of my life. This week was full of some pretty awesome things. To start it all off, on Saturday night all of the missionaries who are getting new mission presidents got to get together with all the missionaries going to their mission and hang out with their new mission president! There are 7 of us going to Angola (2 of them leave this week if their visas come) and 2 going to Mozambique. We all met up in one of our classrooms and got to chill and talk with President and Sister Kretly! They are waaaaaay cool people! Even though I'll have a counselor in my mission acting as the mission president, it was still way cool to meet President Kretly. From what he said, it sounds like he is going to be a lot more involved in Angola than the current mission president. He told us that he will be there in the middle of August for a mission tour so we will all get to see him then. They both sound so incredibly excited to get there, they are going to be awesome! Just from the hour or so that we spent with them, we all think that they are the coolest people ever. We met with them again on Tuesday night because they forgot to get a picture with us and they suprised us with some candy and then gave us these little foot brushes. He really doesn't want any of us to have to deal with ingrown toenails (connor) or bad feet so he made us promise him we would wash our feet everyday. Again, they're awesome! I have a picture on my camera of all of us, but they have blog that they said they were going to post it on: presidentandsisterkretly.blogspot.com.br  Check it out!
 As I said in my last email I was asked to participate in the Mission President's Seminar Sacrament Metting. Wow. I don't even know where to start. It was most definitely one of the coolest experiences of my life. We knew it was a big deal when we had to practice passing the sacrament 3 times before the actual sacrament meeting. haha. I guess in the past one of the bretheren was bugged that they took too long so they wanted to make sure we did it reverently but quickly. On Sunday morning we had to be there at 7:30 to practice one more time and prepare the sacrament. Then  we just sat there from 9:00 to 10:00 waiting for the meeting to start. The meeting was full of all of the new mission presidents and their wives and then all of the local GA's. I saw and gave President Mckonkey a hug. He said he was going to call and tell you hi for me. So, once everyone in the congregation had filed in the big guns started to walk in. Elder Bednar, Cook, Christopherson, Anderson, Holland, Ballard, Perry, Oaks, Scott, and Nelson. All of the Apostles were there except Packer and Hales. Wow. Wait it gets better. So then after they all sat down, they all jumped right back up, along with the whole congregation. Our hearts all started racing. In came Prophet! Along, with Eyring and Uchtdorf. Holy cow!!!! It was a packed house! Along with me and my companion, the two Elders from New Zealand were asked to help as well. They were going crazy! They had never really even seen an apostle before and now they were in the presence of practically all of them and the prophet! It was awesome, they both started crying when they saw the prophet. We are so blessed to be able to live here in Utah and see them as often as we do. Elder Nelson conducted the meeting, I had no idea who was going to be speaking or what was going on. He then announced that President Monson would be the only speaker!!!!!!!! WHAT??? Yeah I was going crazy. Elder Nelson bore a strong testimony of the Prophet and then let him speak. The spirit was already so strong, but once he stood up there it was incredible how strong the spirit was. It was the Mission President Seminar sacrament meeting so most of his talk he just counselled the mission presidents on how to motivate missionaries and how to be the best they could be. I still got a ton out of the meeting though. He said one thing that really hit me. He said "Who the lord calls, the lord qualifies." That was really reasurring to hear, cause this is going to be hard! It's nice to hear that the Lord will be on my side, from his chosen Prophet! It was incredible how funny he was, it seemed like the congregation was always laughing because President Monson was constantly telling hilarious yet uplifting  stories. He spoke for a little over an hour straight! The most spiritual hour probably of my whole life. He is such an inspired man. I was so blessed to be one of the few (36) Elders that got to be in that room and witness the Prophet of God bear his testimony of missionary work. I wish I could send my notes home from the meeting... I got some good ones.
Tuesday night was awesome aswell! For the Tuesday night devotional Elder Perry spoke to us. He was on the stand with all of the apostles except Packer and Hales again. It was kind of a different talk, he spoke to us about all of the physical blessing of the church. He had a way cool powerpoint that gave some statistics on LDS people. One that was way cool was that male members of the church live an average of 10 years longer than non members and member females live an average of 5 years longer. The word of wisdom is an awesome thing! He also said that members who fast once a month are 40% less likely to get diagnosed with clogged arteries. I guess all of the research was done by some research agency out of CA. Pretty cool stuff! It was cool to see actual statistics about the blessings. Another thing that he said that I liked was that the more educated members of our church are the more active they are. Where in other faith's it is usually the opposite. Way cool devotional! I invited these two Elders from Africa to come and sit by Elder Brown and I during the devotional, they have way cool stories. One of them is 24 from Kenya. And the other is 21 from Zimbabwe. He has a way cool/sad story. I was talking to him about his family and he said that his parents passed away about 10 years ago... He was converted about 3 years ago because he knew that he was going to be with his parents again. Big testimony builder. I'm so excited to go to Africa! It was cool we saw them at the temple last week, going through for the first time.
My testimony grew a ton this week! I am so glad that I am where I am right now. I can already see all of the amazing experiences I would have missed out on. The church is true! I know it more and more every day!

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