|Yummy Chinese Food|
|Conference morning pancakes made by Sister Curneal|
|With awesome ward members|
This week started out really rough. Every single one of our investigators in both wards dropped us and we hit rock bottom with absolutely nothing. For the past three weeks we've been struggling a lot and have been faced numerous obstacles and have been passing through an extremely long test of our faith. I was thinking a lot about this and wondering why this trial has lasted for so long and what God is wanting us to take from it. I remembered that God will always give us the opportunity to prepare for the blessings He has for us and to earn them based on our actions. So we figured that if God has been testing us for so long there must be something absolutely wonderful in the end so we made the goal to keep going forward in faith and follow the Spirit so that we would be where we needed to be when the Lord needed us to be there. And that's exactly what happened at the end of the week!
A week or two ago we had met a man named A. We had contacted his dad in his house and as we were talking and introducing our message A. came out and invited us in. He told us that he never invites people in but he was impressed by the respect that we showed to his father and by the love he could hear in our voices. We had talked a bit with him that day, but then had never been able to see him again after that. This week, we felt prompted to recontact him again. So Saturday night we had a lesson with him and after we had taught and testified he told us, "I know that this message must be true because of the conviction with which you bear your testimonies." It was such a sweet and powerful moment. Then even better, he came to both sessions of general conference on Sunday! The power went out in the middle of the second session so we decided to make the most of that and have a lesson with him right there in the chapel. So we asked the bishop to join us and then had an extremely Spirit-filled lesson. I felt prompted to invite him to be baptized and I asked him if he would prepare to be baptized on the 16th. He just stared at me for a few seconds and then with tears in his eyes said "yes! yes, I will be baptized. Thank you for giving me this opportunity." He was shocked by the trust and confidence that we had in him that he could take this step and be part of the true church. He's faced a lot of rejection and denial in the past but he told us that here he feels included and loved and feels like this is where God's true gospel and path to salvation lies. It was incredible. "We do justly ascribe it to the miraculous power of God." God is truly a God of miracles. He is the Master of Miracles, the all-knowing, all-powerful, Omnipotent One. He was right next to us every step of the way in these last couple weeks and was pushing us along so that we would be ready and prepared to witness this divine miracle. I'm so humbled to have been a witness of this moment and to see the Lord's power work in this man. This is why being a missionary is the sweetest of all experiences. It's the opportunity to see others experience the joys of the gospel and the love of God for the first time in their lives and to see them change and draw closer to Christ. I love it and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I'm so grateful for every heartbreak, blessing, sorrow, joy, and miracle that I've experienced on my mission and for the person the Lord is shaping me to be.
And wasn't conference just the most wonderful thing ever?! There were too many wonderful things to just pick one, so I'm going to share of few of the things I loved! :)
- Elder M. Russell Ballard, his talk on family councils was awesome! It actually made me miss Daddy's corner... :) I never thought that would be something I would miss but I do! Mom and Dad, thanks for setting a great example for our family!
- Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, We know it, but do we believe it? We must never become complacent to the greatest gift we can receive with the fulness of the gospel. The gospel must move from our head to our heart.
- Elder W. Christopher Waddell, the pattern for peace. "learn of him, listen to him, walk with him."
-Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, no matter how broken or shattered we are, God can and will pick us up and rebuild us if we let Him. Obedience is the lifeblood of faith and the process in which we discover what we are made of. It brings out our "radiance of goodness."
And I'm sure there were more good ones in the Sunday afternoon session but we haven't been able to see that one yet.... I'm dying for Elder Holland's talk... :) I'm so grateful for conference and for the inspired words of God's chosen prophets and apostles. I testify that they have the true authority of God and that they lead and guide this church under His direction. I'm so grateful for their inspired guidance and for the opportunity we have to learn from them. Review the talks often and make a goal to apply them in your lives. They will truly help you draw closer to God and become who He needs you to be.
I love you all so so very much and hope you enjoy your vacation!!! Send me pictures! :)
Love you all so so very much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!