Saturday, December 31, 2011

So long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen!

My farewell speach. Minus a few very important stories... Sorry! Edited a tad.

Hello everyone, for those of that don’t know my name is Aubrey Poulson and I have been called to serve a mission in Portland Oregon. Most missionaries come up here and tell a little History about their mission, but considering that you all will probably forget everything about the history of Oregon 5 seconds after I share it I will just skip over that part. For the most part I have been told to expect lots of rain, bible bashing, and a very beautiful state. So basically I am super excited about it.
To start out I would like to share an experience with you that I had a year or so ago. At the time I was a councilor at Brighton LDS girl’s camp. Each week I would go up and have a group of girls ages 12-13 and we would have spiritual activities and experiences. One week however, my family was having a family reunion. And family from all over was going to on a little trip to Colorado. I didn’t want to miss out on this so I asked the directors over the camp if it would be alright to leave camp on a Thursday and come back Sunday night for our weekly meeting. They said it was alright as long as I made it back for the meeting on Sunday. So I went on this vacation with my family for the weekend and then before I knew it it was Sunday and time to fly back. My dad drove me to the airport about 3 hours before my flight was scheduled to leave. On our way there we hit heavy traffic and didn’t seem to be moving very far. After a long drive I got to the airport just in time to watch my flight take off without me. This was my first flying experience by myself and I didn’t know what to do. My first reaction was panic, I was scared and felt alone, I knew I was going to miss the Sunday meeting that I said I would be back for and I didn’t know what to do. I called my dad and he told me first to stop crying because that wouldn’t get me anywhere, then he told me to talk to someone and see if there were any more flights going out that night that I could try to get on. After talking to a lady that worked there she told me there was only one more flight to Utah that night and that it was a full flight, she said she would put me on standby but most likely I wouldn’t be able to get a flight back till the next day. I knew that if I were to get on a flight the following day I would not be able to be the councilor over my girls the following week. As I sat there waiting for the next flight I said a prayer. Normally I would have just asked the Lord to get me on that flight that night. But for the first time ever I prayed and said to the Lord that I knew that whatever happened would be his will, I knew that if I didn’t get on that flight that there would be another counselor that would be able to reach out to those girls better than I would have been able to, and I knew that if I was to get on the flight that there was a reason that the Lord got me home in time to be the councilor for those girls that week. After a few hours of waiting the last flight to Utah was boarding, I waited as they called everyone onto the plane not knowing whether I would get a seat or not. Finally she called my name and I burst into tears because I knew that it was because of the Lord that I was getting home and being able to council those girls that week. That whole week I was a councilor was the best week for me because I knew I had a purpose there and that those girls really needed me. I know that the Lord answered my prayers and this was my first real experience with personal revelation.
A few months ago when I started thinking about a mission I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I was struggling with where I was at feeling like I didn’t belong where I was. A mission entered my mind and I started praying about it. After a while I had a feeling that I needed to stay home and that there were things here that I needed to do. I thought this was my answer but for some reason kept a mission in my prayers. A little while later I went to a mission homecoming. I am not sure exactly what was said at that meeting but I had the strongest feeling that I needed to go on a mission. As we sang the closing hymn “how great thou art” I was overcome with the spirit. I felt so strongly of the greatness of the Lord and this gospel. And as I sat there crying trying to sing the hymn while everyone around me was probably thinking “what is her problem” I got my answer that I had many more reasons to go on a mission than I had to stay. For some reason I was stubborn probably because I was scared about this decision, and decided that I was just going to go talk to the bishop about maybe possibly going on a mission. Before my meeting I said a prayer that I would be able to say what I needed to say. When I went in I was surprised because I planned on telling him I was thinking about a mission and giving reasons to stay and reasons to go, however, I ended up telling him that I wanted to go on a mission and asked him how to get started on my papers. I knew that again the Lord was telling me that this was what was right and that a mission was what I needed to do.
After this decision I had about 5 church lesions talking about the importance of the Book of Mormon. I have read the Book of Mormon a few times but I will be honest I never had the strongest testimony of it. I knew that if I was to go on a mission that I would need to know of the truth of this book. In my meeting with the bishop he challenged me to do what was called BOM 100 which meant to read the Book of Mormon in 100 days, and he told me to read every day but before reading to say a prayer that I will be able to understand the words of this book and know of its truthfulness. I do not know exactly what happened but ever since I decided to go on a mission the Book of Mormon has truly been unfolded to me. I read the book and I know it is true and I can’t believe that for so many years I have taken for granted the great blessings that come from this book. I am sad that I didn’t take the time to know of its truthfulness earlier, because it truly is an amazing book.
For those of you that have gone on a mission or are planning on going a mission you probably know that the devil will try to bring you down. I have had times where I felt that I wasn’t good enough for a mission. That I didn’t know the scriptures well enough, that I didn’t know enough doctrine, that I wasn’t friendly enough, and that I just wasn’t going to be good at it. However then I was told to read 2nd Kings Chapter 4. It tells of a wife of a prophet whose husband had passed away while in debt, and because of this creditors were coming to take away her two sons to be held as a hostage. This woman goes unto Elisha and asks for his help, he asks her what she has and she replies that she only has a pot of oil. Elisha tells her to borrow the vessels from all her neighbors even if they are empty and then take what she has borrowed and pour in them oil and set aside the ones which are full. She did as she was told and found that all the vessels were full. This lady was a wife of a prophet and a woman of the Lord. I too only have a small vessel of oil which is my testimony, but I know that if I bring all that I have that the Lord will provide the rest. Alma 26:12 states “Yea, I know that I am nothing, as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God for in his strength I can do all things.” I know with the Lord my oil is enough. The Lord will provide a way for me wherever he desires me to go.
I know that the Lord has called me to serve in the Portland Oregon mission for a reason. I am so grateful for this honor and for the experience that I have had preparing for a mission. I cannot tell you all how much I have grown or how truly excited I am to go serve the Lord. I know that the Lord has a purpose for me and I am going to try with all my heart to be the best missionary I can be.
I know that this is the true church; I know that the book of Mormon is true; I know that the atonement is real and I am so grateful for it in my life. I know the Lord loves me and answers my prayers. I know that I am going to Oregon for a reason. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.