This was a really good week but also unusual and crazy.
On Tuesday, I went on an exchange and I went to North Hollywood for a day. It was really good and fun and I learned a lot through talking to the exchange sisters about what I can do in my area to better use the members... be it by making our dinner lessons more focused on inspiring them in how they can be missionaries too or by working with the ward council to call more ward missionaries so they can help take care of some of the recent converts etc.
On Thursday, we had a zone conference and the spirit was strong and we learned a lot. One big thing about the conference was that they talked to us about rules that are there but we don't all know about because they are in things that we don't read through all the time or necessarily have access to (so we would only know about them by word of mouth) like in e-mails the mission president has received. So he compiled a packet of all these and we have them now. It is good because with a higher level of obedience brings more blessings. Obedience to the mission rules is one of the 5 things we can do to strengthen our faith. The others are improving our prayers, better obedience to the spirit, better studies, and diligently working hard always. Through increasing our faith we can increase our connection with God and can thus be better guided by him so we can be led to those people seeking the truth and also can better teach the people. I've been working on making sure that from the exchange and the conference I'm actually making changes to some things. Maybe they're not huge changes, but the small changes can, over time, bring huge results like the airplane making a 1 degree change in its course.
That's one thing the spirit has taught me this week... that if you don't get anything out of it, there is almost no point in going to a conference, or spending an hour studying, or going to a district meeting, or going to church, or even saying a prayer. If you just learn one thing from doing one of these and then you apply it to your life to really help you become better, then it was worthwhile to go. It is interesting that change is so hard. But change is what is required of us to return back to Heavenly Father.
Some other things I've learned this week...
I'm reading through the Libro de Mormon again and yesterday I was reading in 2 Nefi 5:12 and something huge stuck out to me. That verse was written about 30 years after the family first left from Jerusalem. The journey itself lasted about 11 years, so this verse was writted about 19 years after the journey was done. But in that verse, it talks about how they were still using the compass to lead and guide them in their decisions and to receive revelation about what they should do! I had never noticed that before!! It talks about how it was prepared by the hand of the Lord and it was, thus, precious to them. And they were still using it!! I decided that is how I want to be. I think for me, my mission is my compass or Liahona. Sure, the things I learn can absolutely be applied while I am actually on my journey through the wilderness, or on my mission. But I still want to be using these things even after the journey or mission is over. I want to be using these things like 19 years later to still lead and guide me. Once the journey was over, their life wasn't done. They still needed the Lord so they didn't get rid of his compass but they kept on using it for years and years. In that way, I think the mission really can become the North Star for the rest of my life.
I also have been thinking about how while I really have the spirit with me in my life so strongly while on my mission, I need to take the time to really apply things that I want to learn. Because if I really learn it here, I believe I can keep on living it more easily later. One such thing is keeping a little Book of Revelations with me. The idea is simple-- you just record every revelation you receive. It might be things you need to do, things that really stick out to you from a talk or scripture, things you dream maybe, things that you need to jot down while you're praying, et cetera. What I've been finding out is that as I write them down and especially as I talk about them with my companion, the Lord is blessing me with so much more than the initial thought that I sarted with. My Book of Revelations is one of those little tiny notebooks. But it is so good! I recommend it!
Also, I love exercise so much! And the other day we were talking about how Satan must be so jealous of us being able to sweat and exercise and feel pain. That is why he makes people feel like they like being lazy and laying around rather than exercising. But when I exercise, I feel so alive. I love sweating it all out. I love having a body!! And I think there is more to it too. Like the connection our spirit has with the body is so sacred. And I think that that connection is unique to everyone. Literally everyone is different. We are all different on the outside and definitely on the inside. I believe we all see differently, and feel differently, and that is why we hope and think differently. But that is why there is something beautiful about why we all feel like we need to create and show things differently! It is so great!
That's about all the time I have right now, but hopefully as I continue to receive revelations, I can continue to share cool thoughts!!