Drew Nordfelt Mile Square Park Ward 2/13/2022
Thank you for that brother Nauman. I know that the Spirit is directing this meeting today. That is my favorite song of all time, right there, and who better to sing it but Kyle Nauman himself. The speakers before him, I'm so grateful I needed that. Charity and the Christ like attribute of charity, that is something that I've spent a lot of time studying and praying for.
I'm so grateful that we are able to be tutored today by the spirit, by our speakers, about the most important Christ like attribute of charity. I'm thankful to be here today, to speak with all of you in this beautiful place of California. Where it's so warm and bright, and sunny and warm and beautiful. I'm just so grateful to be here. I do miss Alaska And the Yukon, I miss missionary work already, and being able to do it every day. I'm glad to be here this morning, as I share my experiences and my testimony with you all about my mission. My hope and prayer would be that the Spirit will enter into your heart. To teach you things that I cannot.
I want to echo the words of Ammon as he was permitted to speak before the king of his captures. He says," I am very thankful before God this day, that I am yet alive and I'm permitted to speak. I will endeavor to speak with boldness." Near the beginning of my mission I was serving in Fairbanks, Alaska. Fairbanks is about a six-hour drive, north of Anchorage, a couple hours south of the Arctic Circle.
It's super hot in the winter or in the summer and super, super cold in the winter and dark in the winter. In Fairbanks, I learned a lot and we taught a lot of people there. We met with a young lady named Joyce. Joyce was a widow and she was so faithful in her testimony of Jesus Christ. She was the perfect example of what it means to be converted to Jesus Christ. Not just to have a testimony, because to have a testimony is to say, and believe. To be converted is to do and become. Joyce, she was a spiritual giant and she was always striving to continue her conversion to Jesus Christ. Always striving to further understand the gospel and how she can live it more fully. To fulfill her callings. She was excited to participate in church, to participate in sacred ordinances and consistently become closer to the Savior. Joyce was converted to the gospel and she did and she became. What I've learned about this concept about the difference between conversion and testimony, is that it is simply impossible to become converted without the enabling power of Jesus Christ.
Brad Wilcox, in the October General Conference talked about what the enabling power means. This is something that I've had a really hard time understanding. What that word or what that phrase means. He said, "his grace is not just the prize for the worthy, It is the divine assistance he gives that helps us become worthy. It is not just a reward for the righteous. It is the endowment of strength he gives, that helps us become righteous. We are not just walking toward God and Christ. We are walking with them. To try and become converted on our own again, would be impossible. It would be in vain. We are talking to Book of Mormon that we are saved by grace, after all we can do. I so testify, that we are not doing all that we can do If we are not relying on the atonement of Jesus Christ. We're not doing all that we can do to be saved by grace, unless we are applying the atonement blood of the Savior. Our Savior's atonement reclaims us from death and sin, subject to our repentance, saves us from sin. For without the shedding of blood there is no remission.
We are baptized to receive a remission of sin. Without the act of the Savior offering his perfect and sinless body as a sacrifice, we would not be able to receive that remission of sin. That we all so long for. We would not be able to come and participate in this sacrament each Sunday, to renew our covenants, if it was not for the atonement of Jesus Christ. The Atonement of Jesus Christ and the healing It offers do much more than provide the opportunity for repentance from sins. The Atonement also gives us the strength to endure pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind. Our Savior also took upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
This last summer, I was serving in the Matsu Valley, in Alaska. One of the most beautiful places on the earth. I was serving in a super awesome YSA ward so we covered three stakes. My companion and I, we got along great. We could pretty much go anywhere we wanted to find YSA people and it was just an amazing time. We began to teach this young lady named Shelby. Shelby had no family in Alaska, No friends. She just graduated college and felt like she wanted to go on an adventure. Alaska, sounded cool so, she just went for it. As we began to teach Shelby about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and about the book of Mormon and the prophet Joseph Smith and the restoration of the priesthood, she allowed the Spirit to enter into her heart and tell her that the things that we were teaching her were true. So shortly, she accepted the invitation and chose to be baptized by someone with proper priesthood Authority. To follow the example of the Savior. After her baptism we continued to meet with her and continued to teach her the gospel. Then, one of the lessons that we hade with her, we sat down and she looked at us and she said, elders, the atonement of Jesus Christ can cleanse us from everything. She sat there and we looked at her and I was kind of like that's what we've been trying to say to you. But she looked at us and she said, "I get it now". She said," it is so much more than I have ever imagined." She had a powerful testimony of just how far reaching the Atonement is and has been in her life. Without a ton of religious background, Shelby built her testimony on the Savior and his atonement. She diligently studied the book of Mormon, prayed, renewed her covenants each Sunday, accepted a calling, she became more and more converted. So, not only did she say and believe, but she did and she became. She continues to increase and to build on her testimony. On her foundation of the Savior. Something that's kind of unique about the Alaska. Anchorage mission, is that it is the whole state of Alaska and then it also covers the Yukon territory in Canada, which is directly east of Alaska. Being born in Canada I have dual citizenship and so my mission president found out about this about this time of last year, So we started working together and trying to figure out how we can get missionaries back into the Yukon. There's a city there in the Yukon called the white horse and it's a city of about 35,000 people and they're hadn't been missing missionaries there because of COVID-19. And so as the summer continued and the borders to Canada were still closed and I was the only Canadian in the mission. So we couldn't just walk across the border, the borders finally opened at the end of the summer and I had the opportunity to go out there with with three other elders, go into this into this town where they haven't seen missionaries for 19 months. I was able to finish my mission out there and it was one of the best experiences. We saw very cold weather. One morning we woke up and we looked at the weather app and it said, it was minus 45 and it felt like minus 57. We looked really like a quick Google search and the top 13 place, the coldest places in the world that morning, eight of them were in the Yukon. I think it was like the six or seventh coldest place in the world was white horse. I was in a trio during that time and we were training a brand new missionary from Riverside. He had never seen the cold before . No, never shoveled snow in his life before so he was going through the ringer. There was one night it was minus 35 degrees It was very cold and everything fell through. We had a big fun night planned and if you've ever served in mission, you know how that is? You get excited and everything falls through. So it's like six o'clock and we have, we have nothing planned, everything that went wrong, could have, and it did. And our new missionary was, was feeling very discouraged. It was cold, it was dark and everything had fallen through. I looked at him and I said, "elder Moa, the Lord is in charge of this work right now, we need to say a prayer and get to work because this is happening for a reason." So we prayed and as we prayed, I felt directed by the Spirit to go to this trailer park and go walk around. So, we did. We went and we had a route that we normally took around this trailer park but for whatever reason we took a different route. We're walking around and at minus 35, you can really only walk around for like 20 minutes before you want to die.
And so for walking around and a couple dogs, come running around the corner and that their owner come shortly after them, behind them. And so we start talking to this lady, it was seven o'clock at night and there was nobody out. Wait, this was the first lady that we had seen that night and she's kind of looking at us.
We're all bundled up. Everybody's bundled up and nobody really wants to talk to you when it's negative 35. Its just kind of like keep walking. but she stopped and we were talking to her and we told her that we were missionaries for Jesus Christ and she looked at us and started crying and said, "I just walked out of those woods, two minutes ago praying for a sign from God that he is there." And she says, this afternoon, I was downtown looking at all of the bookstores for a Bible, but just couldn't connect with one. And so we told her a little bit about what we do as missionaries, that we can teach her based off of what she needs and what she desires.
And she accepted the Bible that we gave her and she was so grateful for it. And as we talk to her and that night, it was so powerful to see the light, the light of Christ in her ignite, as she had a prayer answered so quickly. So not only was that an amazing experience for our friend that we had just met, but it was also an amazing experience for us three elders. Especially that new missionary. He walked around and he was on top of the world that night, The cold didn't bother him anymore. It was so cool to see him. And I just want to finish here with a quote from James E Tallmadge, from his book Jesus The Christ. And speaking of the Savior the character of Christ. He says, "gentle he was and patient under affliction. Merciful and long suffering and dealing with contrite sinners. Yet, stern and flexible, in the presence of hypocrisy and unsparing, in his denunciation of persistent evildoers, his mood was adapted to the conditions to which he addressed himself.
Tender words of encouragement or burning expletives of righteous indignation issued with an equal fluency from his lips. And brothers and sisters at the final judgment day, we will stand to be judged by the one who knows All. According to the works that we perform here on this earth and the desires of our hearts.
And I testify that are ability to perform good works stems from the change In our heart that the grace of Jesus Christ makes possible. Our ability to perform good works and the works necessary to our exaltation would not be possible, If it were not for the atonement of Jesus Christ. I testify that I know that that is true because I have experienced it in my own life. As I strive each and every day to become more converted to Jesus Christ and to build my foundation on the Savior. My missionary experience was amazing. I loved it. There were hard days, of course. Um, but everything that I have learned from my missionary experience I'm so grateful for and I testify that the book of Mormon is true, that the prophet Joseph Smith is the prophet of the restoration. I testify that President Russell M Nelson is the prophet right now, that he lives and speaks for God. We will not be led astray If we follow His counsel and his guidance. I know that this is true and I testify, that Jesus Christ lives that he is the creator of all things. As we are His workmanship made unto good works that he does make all things possible. I testify of that in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.