It feels like a lot has happened this past week! Tuesday we had a conference with Elder Cardon of the Seventy, so that was really neat!! He talked quite a bit about the Spirit. The things he taught were very simple, but very much accompanied by the Spirit. He had several missionaries get up and talk about what they had learned about the Spirit, and it was interesting to see the differences between the older missionaries and the newer ones. Everyone did really well, but it was interesting to see how the longer a missionary had been out, the more simplistic and clear and basic their testimony and teaching style seemed to be. One thing that my testimony has really grown of this past year, is the importance of Gospel Principles. They seem so basic, but they really are all we need. We don't need to fluff up our lessons and talks, we just need to (as President B said) "prepare ourselves for a talk, instead of preparing a talk". The spirit is what teaches and we need to trust it. Elder Cardon talked about how the Holy Ghost isn't something that we can choose to turn on or off like a faucet, but that it truly is a gift from God, and it's our job to live worthy of it and follow it's promptings whenever Heavenly Father is willing to give them to us because they are precious. Sister Cardon also spoke, and talked about unity, and how we should develop Christlike attributes in our relationships with others and especially in the companionship. At the end of her talk, Elder Cardon remarked that she had "perfect moral authority" on the subject. There was so much I learned and I wish I could write it all!
|At the conference with Elder Cardon. I'm in orange--can you find me??!!|
It was really neat, though, because Tuesday when we heard Elder Cardon speak, half the mission was there. I got to see Sister B and Sister S!! And others I knew. It was such a sweet, sweet thing. Especially seeing Sister S, who I haven't seen in 6 months!!! Many times on my mission I've asked "why" I had to sacrifice so much, and so many good things, like family and friends. At times, I've felt sad and that I was missing out on happiness and in different things. It's strange to try and reconcile and really, truly understand WHY Heavenly Father asks missionaries to sacrifice things that are good. But, seeing Sister S and others Tuesday gave me a deeper spiritual understanding of sacrifice. I was filled with SO much joy and happiness that I could never have felt without sacrifice, without hard times together, and without saying "see you later" to family and others. Heavenly Father's PURPOSE is our JOY! And sometimes he wants us to wait, like a mom wants her child to wait for dessert, but it's all for us to have the fullest measure of joy. And sacrifice is a part of reaching that. It was just such a happy day, and I can honestly say that I've met some of my best friends on my mission. And only looking at this one aspect of a mission, it really does make it worth it. Let alone all the other blessings I've already felt.
(One of those being gospel knowledge. WHAT. THE. HECK?? I don't think I understood the Gospel at ALL before my mission!!! What were they teaching me in Primary/Sunday School/YW's?! OR was I just NOT paying attention?! Because I have learned soooo much about the principles of the Gospel. I'd read the Book Of Mormon before, but I swear it's a whole new book now!! I didn't even know what the doctrine of Christ was!!! And what the Gospel is! And Prophets are SO important and I didn't even realize that. And, I STILL don't fully grasp the Plan of Salvation! So that's my next task. GAH. SO MUCH TO LEARN. WHAT DID I WASTE MY LIFE DOING BEFORE MY MISSION!?!?) OKay, rant over!! :)
This week we also had a Zone Conference which was also very uplifting!! I don't care how many trainings I have on the Atonement, I learn something new every time and the Spirit is always present. The Atonement really is what missionary work is all about. It's why it's even possible!!
This week we also taught C. He is super great!!! I don't know if I mentioned him last week, but his friend sent him a Book of Mormon a year and a half ago. We had a really neat lesson with him this week! We were trying to teach the doctrine of Christ, but he ended up basically teaching himself the Word of Wisdom. He had looked it up on Mormon.org. He said it was basically everything that his doctor told him to do anyway. Truth. Gotta love it :) He came to church Sunday, too.
However, some Investigators are crazy. Having them at church is much like having kids, I think.
"No, sit here"
"Put your phone away, be reverent!"
"Wow, I wish someone would come help me"
"Yes, I know it's long but you can do it"
"Don't put that in your mouth! Go spit it out"
(Yes, last Sunday one of our 'gators came with chew in his mouth!)
***At least, that's how it feels sometimes! hahaha.***
I had an epiphany on gratitude. After reading Elder Uchtdorf's talk from last Conference, I realized that gratitude is vital to having faith. How can we have faith/hope in the future if we don't recognize God's hand in our lives TODAY? Having faith just isn't going out on a limb. It's being grateful that you have a limb to go out on and realizing that since you have a limb, you probably are in a forest and there will probably be another limb to grasp as well.
|Lunch with the Hermanas.|
I love the gospel so much and I know that this is Christ's restored church. There is a peace and a happiness that I get from it, that comes to me from no other source. I know that studying and applying the basic principles of the Gospel is so vital. There is so much to them, but these things can only be "learned and not taught" like Elder Packer mentioned last conference. Heavenly Father loves us, and speaks to us through the Spirit. I know he teaches us as individuals and wants us to have joy.
Quote of the week:
"I'm going to go to the bathroom now, but I might cry when I get back"
-30 year old drunk man we taught this week