This past week was tough because I was really sick from Monday until like Thursday!! All I wanted to do was cry and sleep. Poor Sister Keavali had to sit at home and be bored. Having a sick companion is kind of the worst thing because there is nothing you can do except sit at home twiddling your thumbs and reading the Book of Mormon. She's so patient though. I love that woman.
General Conference was fabulous. I LOVED EVERY SESSION SO MUCH!!!!!! Oh my goodness I took so many notes and I just absolutely loved everything that was said. It was pretty much perfect. I don't know if it's because I'm a missionary or what, but I think that conference was especially good. I can't wait for the November Ensign to come out so I can study the talks more in depth!!! If anyone is interested, you can watch all of the sessions online already! The written articles will be online soon too!
At Conference: Sisters Seru, Rodriguez, Keavali, Koenig, Lara, and Turner
Richard G. Scott said that our purpose on this earth is to be tried and tested and STRETCHED. How are we meant to be stretched if we don't have any challenges? How are we meant to grow if we don't have any weaknesses to overcome? I kind of think of it like a weightlifter. If they lifted 5 pound weights every day, it wouldn't do much. But as they lift heavier and heavier weights, their muscles have tiny microscopic tears that eventually heal, and that is what makes the muscles bigger and stronger. We have to have those "tears" in our lives sometimes so that we can heal and be stronger! And those tears come from having weaknesses, and having challenges, and then overcoming them and never letting them stop us. Yes, those tears might make us sore, just like they do for a weightlifter, but the results are so worth it in the end. I hope this makes sense.
I'm trying to finish the Book of Mormon in a transfer (which is 6 weeks). The transfer ends tomorrow, and I'm on page 435 out of 531....awkward. I can do it! I've read SO MUCH in the last week haha. This morning I was reading probably one of the best parts of the Book of Mormon - 3 Nephi, when Christ comes to the Americas after His resurrection. I underlined each time it said baptism or any variation of the word, and it's kind of insane. Baptism and repentance - and you can't have one without the other. The Savior's atonement is just waiting for us to use it. He took upon Himself all of our sins and everything, so that if we have faith in Him and repent and are baptized, we can be clean. But the atonement doesn't work for us if we sit on our butts and do nothing! Like I said, we have to WORK and stretch and grow. We can't lift 5 pound weights every day, or less, we have to do more! The gospel of Jesus Christ is about action. He wants us to be baptized because it is an action of showing that we want to follow Him. And then after we are baptized, we have to keep acting. Repentance is a continual process - that is why we partake of the sacrament each week. And growing and learning and becoming are all necessary in this life! This life is the time to prepare to meet God. Like Elder Klebingat said on Saturday, "How would you feel if you were told you would see God in one minute?" AHHHH!!! Scary, right?? There is an 84 year old woman in the 9th Ward who was baptized on Saturday. She has known the church is true for quite some time, but fear and other things have kept her from being baptized. However, she finally chose to act on her faith and show her willingness to follow the Savior's perfect example. After she got out of the font, someone said "Well, she's ready to go Home now!" Think how proud Heavenly Father will be of her when He sees her again. Ah I just love it.
This gospel is true, and baptism by the proper Priesthood authority of God is the only way that we can access the Savior's atonement. Which, by the way, we all totally need because we are so full of weaknesses that it is ridiculous. But I love that about us. Satan, however, also loves our weaknesses because he likes to pick at them and make us very self-conscious about them. Don't let satan win. He will lie to you to stop you from reaching your potential, but the beauty of it is, you have agency and you don't have to listen. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will never lie to you, and they will never lead you astray. And they have commanded us to do certain things, like being baptized, because they know the full picture and they understand everything so much more fully than we ever could. And they love us, so they want us to be safe and happy.
I testify to all of you that this gospel is a gospel of safety and happiness and peace. And it is a gospel of truth. I know it is true, and I know it will fill you with joy that you have never before experienced, if you will let it. When the Savior came to the Americas, God announced Him saying "Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." I want God to say that about me!!! And I want Him to say it about all of you. You are all His sons and daughters and HE LOVES YOU SO MUCH. I can not express that enough. But it is true. The Savior said "Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are all those who come unto me." (3 Nephi 9:14) He is always reaching out for you, and will forever reach out for you. All that He asks from you is that you will come unto Him and take His hand and walk with Him.
I love you all so much and I know sometimes I just go off on rants but that's because THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. You are all spirit sons and daughters of God, which makes you all my brothers and sisters. Heaven is not heaven without those you love, and I want to see all of you there.