Saturday, October 20, 2012
Monday, October 8, 2012
Wasn't conference the absolute best?!!?! Oh man! I loved it! It was really cool watching it because certain things came up and I couldn't help thinking of you all. For instance, when they made the lower age for missionary service announcement, I could practically hear mom from here saying "what!!" and Britt being super super excited (it was cool to be around the missionaries during that announcement. We were all like "woah, No WAY!" Not going to lie, I wish I would have been able to go on my mission when I was 19. But clearly I am meant to be right here right now.) And when the one sister (Ann M. Dibb) talked about the t-shirt slogan "I'm a Mormon. I know it. I live it. I love it" I could just see the gears in mom's head already working to design a t-shirt with that slogan. If you do end up making some you should so send one my way haha! When President Monson was talking about how he wished he had stuck with the piano I was thinking about Brittany and how she won't ever have to live with that regret. Oh man! It totally was the best. I'd love to hear what all of your favorite talks were and why!
As a missionary, it was so great listening to them all. While last week I did watch the Relief Society Broadcast in Spanish I realized that I wouldn't get much out of it between the very sophisticated vocabulary I don't have yet and the speed of talking of the translators. Plus it is weird listening to it in Spanish because like you will sometimes hear the speaker start phrases then the interpreter will take over. So yeah, I watched in English and I learned so much. I can't wait for the November issues of the Ensign and Liahona to come out so I can study them again! I came into the conference with an attitude of prayer for specific things that I wanted to learn and they were definitely answered. Oh I also loved hearing the talk where he kept on saying "Ask the missionaries. They can help you!" After that talk the elders in front of us turned around and were like, "I think I just received 6 referrals." Haha! But it is so true. We have the answers to the big questions of life and we can help with practically any problem in life!
I think my favorite talk of them all was that of Jeffrey R. Holland. I love the way he says things boldly but with love. When he speaks you know it is absolute truth because he is so logical (so it makes sense in your heart) but he also says it with the spirit and with love (so you can feel it is true in your heart as well). I actually cried a little while listening to that one because I realized that when I come face to face with Christ, I don't want him to have to ask me over and over again "do you love me?" I want him to absolutely know that I love Him with all my heart. I want that probably more than anything else. That is the desire of me heart. And I can become that person who loves him with all my heart by becoming a person whose actions show it. I want to become a person who loves those around me and shows it by always serving them. I want to be that person that people know they can come to when life gets hard. I want to be that person who always listens to the spirit and literally can become the answer to other's prayers every day. I'm not quite there yet. Not really by a long shot. But I want it so bad, so I will work on making the changes in my life to develop the attributes of Christ more fully in my life so I can become like that.
Anyway, needless to say, I loved conference and can't wait to read these talks and study them more!
Now for the big things of this week. The best part is that Stephany is going to be getting baptized next Sunday!!! I love her so much and can literally see how for her coming to know the gospel has been changing her desires and her levels of faith, peace, and happiness in life. We promise that more happiness is possible through the gospel than you've ever before experienced and with her that absolutely is true. She had to hit rock bottom of getting a DUI after crashing into a wall and then having to go to prison over the 4th of July. But she really has been repenting of her past and I really feel she's ready to take this huge step of getting baptized and becoming completely clean from it. She understands it so well too. Like last night we were reviewing the Plan of Salvation and we asked her what this plan means to her and she said "well, it's God's plan, so that means we'd better follow it!" I am seriously so excited for her!!
It's also interesting how we found her. She was the daughter of the person a friend in our ward referred us to. That absolutely shows me the importance of member referrals! The cool thing is I have so much hope for Stephany's sister, Priscilla. We haven't really been able to meet with Priscilla because she's always been studying for these nursing school tests which have been every Monday. But now that is pretty much over and she said she'll be better about coming to church and meeting with us now. Yay! I'm so excited!
We also got to get rid of our most difficult investigators this week. They asked so many questions and we always felt mentally drained after speaking with them. They basically loved having us come over because they liked to talk to us about what we believe in, but they didn't have any intention of acting on it. They just liked to learn. So we had really been focusing on teaching as clearly as we could why this church is the only true church on the earth and what makes us different. But they haven't been doing anything on their own like reading or going to church and I think they finally got tired of us over and over and over again inviting them to take the steps and be baptized and attend church and read the Book of Mormon etc. So they kind of dropped us over text. I love them and am sad to see that decision because I know what they really are turning down. But I'm happy because they finally made a decision. They got off the fence and made a decision. We don't have to keep on doing metaphorical pushups over them and we can spend our time on people who will progress. It's always a big question. When do you drop someone? In this case, they made it themselves.
I guess those were the two extremes of this week and the two main things that happened. On Thursday Hna Hansen went to a training in Santa Clarita so it ended up working out that I was companions for most of the day with an English speaking sister named Sister Filimoehala from New Zealand who is Tongan. I loved her accent! But she speaks zero Spanish, so we were in her area for the day and this is her first transfer. So it was a nice role reversal because I was in a way a senior comp and I helped her understand what she can do in certain situations. I also helped her learn to read a map. It got interesting at one point because she hadn't written down the address for an investigator. She only knew the street name but the streets in California are confusing because any street that runs along a certain line on the map has the same street name. But the thing is that inside the blocks the streets curve and so it ends up that the streets on the different blocks have the same name but they're not actually connected at all. So I was able to help teach her that. I really had fun getting to help her out and to hear her story and the culture she came from etc. She is really great!
So we're at the family history center (I guess it's a holiday? I'm not sure which one it is) and so I don't have too much more time right now so I'll wrap up. We got electricity in our house finally by like 2 or 3 in the afternoon on Tuesday. Oh yeah, Thursday was like the best day of my life!! When letters are sent to the mission office we get them the next time we go up to Santa Clarita or whenever we see the zone leaders, usually on Fridays at district meeting. But it ended up that on Thursday I got a stack of letters from Hna Hansen going up to Santa Clarita. So between that and mail at the apartment, I ended up with 6 letters and a paper saying I got a package waiting for me at the post office! It was the best day of my life pretty much!! Letters are pretty much one of the best things in the entire world when you're on a mission! But thanks so much for the package, mom!!! You are seriously the best! The snacks are great (I was especially excited that there were more fruit leather rolls! They are so good!) The DVD and Spanish book and Plan of Salvation papers are exactly what I wanted! You're the best! Thanks so much!
Well that's all that comes to my mind right now so I'll sign off. I love receiving your letters and hearing how everyone is doing. I hope this is the best week ever for everyone!!
May the Spirit be with you!