Sunday, April 26, 2015

25 years!

25 years ago yesterday Elder Nelson dedicated Estonia for the preaching of the gospel and for the beginning of missionary work.  This was the official beginning of the LDS church in Estonia, even though missionary work had been going on for over a year before.  To celebrate we had a special district conference.  We held it at the lauluväljak (song festival grounds) which is where Elder Nelson dedicated Estonia.  There were many visitors from Finland who helped out in the early days to establish the church here.  Elder Jörg Klebingat was presiding from the area presidency.  Many good messages were shared, many seemed as if they were just for me.  I thought I would share a few of them here.

The president of the Baltic mission, President Harding spoke about doing things the Lord's way.  He read Proverbs 3:7 "Do not be wise in thy own eyes".  Elder Klebingat spoke about the Sabbath day being a delight and that making long specific do and do not lists to do will not turn the Sabbath day into a delight.  My immediate thought was "Super bowl 50 here I come!"  What would be more delightful than going to the Super Bowl at Levi's stadium?  If Elder Klebingat is reading this he doesn't have to worry, a Super Bowl 50 trip is not in our family budget.  The Estonian district president Tarmo Lepp talked about what it means to be free.  He had good words of advice.  It means that we have nothing to fear, nothing to lose, and nothing to hide.  President Lepp is one of my all time favorite people.

They also read the dedicatory prayer that Elder Nelson gave 25 years ago.  One phrase that really touched me was the following: "Wilt though bless they servants who come here, the missionaries, the mission president, and the general authorities, that they may be preserved in their ministry".  When that part was read I was touched because I knew that I was the recipient of that apostolic blessing.

 It's been a great 25 years for the church here in Estonia, hopefully the next 25 years will be even better! It has been a privilege for me to have had the opportunity to serve a mission in Estonia and to be a member here. When I left Estonia in 2004 I felt an emptiness that never went away until I came back in 2008.  It was just for a two year master's program but here it is in 2015 and I am still here.  Everything good in my life has come from my decision to serve a mission. 

 This is me as a missionary in Pärnu summer of 2004

 This is where we had the district conference today.

President Lepp opening the first meeting which was held at the place where Elder Nelson dedicated Estonia. 

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