Wednesday, September 2, 2015
So this week was really amazing!! So much happened!!
This week we got a visit from an apostle. President Nelson came and visited Nicaragua. We have been planning this for some time now and we have been doing so many preparations for his coming. I honestly thought that I would never be doing this kind of work on my mission. I am pretty sure we planned every possible situation; every chair was in the exact place it needed to be. We even got down to the point where every bench was exactly 3 feet apart. It was a very involved process. While President Nelson was here he participated in several meetings throughout Nicaragua. The meeting that we did the preparations for was the first meeting for the missionaries from both the North and South missions.
From the moment he walked in the door you could feel his warmth and love. Every missionary got the chance to shake hands and greet him. It was such a special moment. He said something as simple as, “Elder Wagstaff, it’s so nice to see you this morning.” But it felt so good when he said it. It felt as if he knew me personally. After that, the meeting started and there were several other people that spoke and shared testimonies, including mission presidents and their wives and area authorities. After that was finished, it was time for President Nelson.
He started off his talk by greeting everyone and first started to talk about the importance of missionary work and a little bit about the history of missionary work here in Nicaragua. It was so amazing to hear all of his experiences and stories that he shared with us. After that he paused for a second and said, “Now it’s time to hear from some of the missionaries. Elder Wagstaff where are you at?”
“What!? Did he really say my name? Is there another Elder Wagstaff in the room?” It was crazy, I had no idea. President Russell sent us a vague text about 20 minutes before that said something along the lines of “be ready to serve,” but I had no idea that I was going to get called out by President Nelson. I honestly thought that I was going to have to run to a store to buy something that someone needed or something like that. So I stood up. He then told me that I needed to come to the stand. As I started to walk forward, he then said, “But, you also need a companion. Elder C, where are you at?” It was so insane.
As we got to the stand he called us over to stand by him. He put his arm around me and started to ask us questions, like, “What is a question that your fellow missionaries have right now?” We were on the stand for probably 5 to 10 minutes, but it felt like forever. Usually, I get scared to talk in front of a large group, but at that moment I was not scared of the large group. It was the pressure of the man standing next to me. It was such an amazing, once in a lifetime experience. Elder C and I were the only missionaries that were called to the stand out of the 350 plus missionaries that were there. It is something that I will never forget, being called to participate in the talk of an apostle.
I learned so many great things from President Nelson and it was such a great experience.
Hope you all have a great week!
- Did you get to spend other time with President Nelson? Were you relieved when it was over? No, that was the only time we spent with him. I was pretty nervous. When I was standing up there about half way through I got a little more comfortable and thought to myself that this will never happen again so I should just enjoy the moment.
- Was Elder C from your mission or the North mission? No, he is one of the other office secretaries in the south.
- What questions did President Nelson ask? He asked me a lot of questions about our ward.
- What will you always remember about President Nelson’s personality? I felt very warm when I was around him. I felt like he was like a relative, like he knew who I was.
- Why do you think you were called out? Who knows?? Good question.
- Did you answer your questions in English or Spanish? In English
- What do you have ahead this week? A lot of end of the month reports.
- Did President Nelson seem like he is 91 years old? He does not seem like he is 91 at all. He still has so much energy.
- Were you able to get some rest today? We were able to relax today, so that was nice.