So basically, Sisar Woods and I have been so ridiculously excited for General Conference, we could hardly stand it. For those of you who don't know, we believe in the same organization that existed in Christ's original church. He had prophets and 12 apostles and we have a living modern day prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and 12 apostles today just like in times of old. Twice a year they speak to the whole world and it's called General Conference. It's always way interesting, inspiring, and down right AAAHHHHMMMMAAAZZZING. We only got to watch the Saturday sessions and then the Sunday morning session because of the time difference, but I will be sure to watch the Sunday afternoon session later. It was so cool because we got to watch the Sunday morning session live! Of course it was late in the evening here but it was still so amazing to know that it was happening RIGHT THEN. As I huddled around a laptop with the 7 missionaries from my district in our little primary room to watch it, I couldn't help but just feel the power this gospel brings. I am a member of a world wide church! I never stand alone. As Sisar Rosemary M. Wixom said in the General Women's Meeting (which btw was literally like one of the greatest thing of my life), "as individuals, we are strong. together with God, we are unstoppable." That is exactly how I feel as a member of this church.
The sun is here! It's crazy how after such a DARK winter, it's so BRIGHT here now. During the middle of the summer, it won't even get dark at all! Craziness! The sky feels so much closer here than it did back home. It's pretty exciting stuff. And way weird that I must drive with sunglasses on now. Ya know, I'm just a hip sister missionary rockin' some shades. No big deal.
E is doing so great! We had 2 lessons with her this past week. She told us that she just becomes so happy every time we come over! She has been keeping her commitments and is progressing to get baptized on the 19th! Pray for her! She's seriously so hilarious and so adorable. When we were teaching about prophets we asked her why she thinks having a prophet is important. She said because it gives us a leader that helps us follow Jesus Christ. uhh perfect answer! We were like "exactly" and then went to continue and she was like "whoooaaa hold up. If i'm wrong, you need to tell me. Don't just nod and agree!" and we were just like "uh here's the thing, you're not wrong!" She told us she can feel her faith growing. That it truly is like a seed that is growing inside of her. She said it's kinda weird because even though all of these things are so new, they don't feel weird or strange to her. They feel good. They feel right. Ahhhh she is such a blessing! Every time she prays, I can't help just smiling through the whole thing! I leave on cloud nine after every lesson! She thanks Heavenly Father for sending us "angels" to her. It just warms my heart. Nothing quite compares to the joy of sharing the gospel. It is so special. It is so amazing. You feel so high you could fly! and guess what... IT'S NOT A FEELING JUST RESERVED FOR THE FULL TIME MISSIONARIES. Every member a missionary. That is the call! So do it! I promise you, you won't regret it. In my life, I have NEVER regretted sharing the gospel, sharing the most important thing to me. But I have definitely regretted the times that I didn't share it. It doesn't matter if we're 9, 19, or 99, as disciples of Jesus Christ this is what is expected of us by the Master. He gave us His all, the least we can do is open our mouths and bring others to Him. What are you willing to do for your Savior?
One of the themes of General Conference was defending our faith. We live in crazy, wicked, dangerous times. The world is moving farther and farther away from God than ever before. Our world is heading towards moral self destruction! A destruction of its own making. God sent us here for such a time as this because He knew that we could handle it. He knew that we would fight for Him. And we must be true to Him, at all times, and in all things, and in all places. Jeffrey R. Holland's talk in Conference was, as usual, way powerful and way amazing. He called us all out and said that we must defend Jesus Christ and defend our faith. So many of the other speakers said that we must take our STAND. We must stand up for what is right, regardless of the circumstances. It reminded me of this really good mormon message: http://www.
mormonchannel.org/youth- videos?v=2886657808001 so watch it!
We are worth sooo much more than what the world tries to make us think we are. Only through the gospel of Jesus Christ can we reach our true potential. This week I saw these 3 kids on the street smoking. All three were about 13. It literally made me so upset because they reminded me so much of my brother Josh. It broke my heart. They still had those young, innocent, boy faces. It was obvious that they were pretty new to the whole smoking thing. And I was so ready to just march over to them and whip those cigarettes outta their hands, sit them down, and give them a good talking to. Unfortunately, we had to run somewhere and when we got back they were gone. Later on the same street, we saw two guys my age. One was wearing a Chicago Bulls hat (my team!) so I turned to Sisar Woods and was like "we're gonna go talk to them!" She was like uhh.... ok. So I march right up to them and tell him that I like his hat. He was like "uh my hat?" and I was like "yeah! I'm from Chicago and that's my basketball team." So we started chatting. One of them was holding a beer can and drinking while we were talking. I asked them about school and they were just like "ha! we're not in school" I asked if they worked and they were like "uh no! we already did that whole high school thing. now we just hang out, party, and drink beeeeeer!" It was obvious that they were trying to act all cool. Honestly, it just made me sad! I told them "really? well I'm here as a church representative..." Unfortunately, a little after I brought that up all of a sudden they had "this stuff that they had to go do......". As we walked away, I could not get the image of those young boys out of my mind. Or the faces of those two guys my age who were securing themselves pretty bleak futures. People, we are children of God! Do we understand what this means?! We are children of the Supreme Being, the Master Creator, the All Powerful, All Knowing, All Loving Father. We are worth so much more than we understand! We are created for greater things than we realize! If you are letting yourself be tied down by sins, mistakes, or transgressions, turn them over to the Lord and become free. Become who you are destined to be! We existed before we came to this earth and we will live after we die. What we do her determines our destinies. This is our time to shine! As Gary E. Stevenson said in Conference, this is our time to perform! This is our chance. So RISE UP. YOU ARE WORTH IT. TAKE YOUR STAND NEXT TO THE SAVIOR. Become who you are destined to be!
I love you!