"You're sitting in a chair...IN THE SKY."
(Sorry, I couldn't resist. Elder Uchtdorf's Priesthood session talk made me think about it.)
(here danny is referring to a quote from "everything's amazing and nobody's happy" by comedian Louis CK. If you haven't seen it, i highly recommend it (4 minutes) :www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r1CZTLk-Gk . paula)
Well, I've got Conference stuff, Mission stuff, and a spiritual thought this time around, with nice little section headings to help you if you're short on time.
Well, to start off:
18-year old Elders and 19-year old Sisters!?
Elder Molina and I were so excited, you cannot even imagine. It's going to be so cool having all of these voice-cracking young Elders coming and teaching in our mission. This definitely was an inspired decision by the prophet. (And, hey, I guess it means that Steve can go on his mission at the same time as Tyler and Austin now.)
Is it just me, or was this conference particularly amazing? I don't think there was a single uninteresting talk. Maybe it was because I am a missionary now, or because I was taking better notes, or because Elder Scott was in the Sunday Afternoon session. Regardless, both talks of the First Presidency Members, both of the women speakers, Christofferson's, Bednar's,
I would definitely say that the main message of this conference was becoming. Becoming the sort of person who loves God. We're supposed to help others change and become like this, either as missionaries, as ward members, or as parents (there was a ton about parenting this time.) Spencer W. Kimball raised the bar in the church from knowing to doing, and now we must advance to becoming.
I guess the chorus of "I Am a Child of God" needs to get changed again, to "Teach me all that I must be."
To accomplish this goal of becoming, I sat down Saturday afternoon and wrote down a list of resolutions so that I actually will learn and apply stuff I've heard from the prophets. I've even given these resolutions to Elder Molina so he can keep me accountable. I would encourage all of you to do something similar. I'm also going to take both President Monson and President Eyring's advice and keep a "small plates" where I can see how the Lord has answered my prayers throughout the years.
I definitely thought the music this conference was really great. Particularly the arrangement of "Love One Another" in the Priesthood session. It was good to see Boyd in the Mormon Tabernacle choir, especially now that I'm on my mission - makes me think how much it must mean to Zach, huh?
I'm pretty sure that I saw Alex Boye, Ron Paul, Steven Martin, and Conan O'Brien in the Tab Choir this time around, too. Didn't know that the last three were converts, though there have been rumors about Steve Martin before :)
I got to go on two exchanges this week. The first was on Tuesday, with another elder in my district named Elder Snodgrass. He looks like the name sounds. We had a lot of fun. This Thursday Elder Molina had to go to a Leadership Training Meeting, so I went to
the city south of Dobson, and went on exchanges with Elder Gomm.
The observant reader will remember that Elder Gomm was in my MTC district, so essentially it was the two of us, both trainees, that got to go to work together. That's not very common, just so you know. It was great; we learned a lot, and talked to a lot of people. Elder Gomm told me a story about how one of the members in his area was supposed to give an investigator a ride to church, but the member locked the car keys inside of his house. At the urging of his wife, he broke the door down, got the keys, and gave the investigator a ride to church. Is that guy a stud or what?
Another good story from this last week. We had an appointment with a lady named Michelle, but she called us up to say she couldn't make it. So we decided that we would go and see Lina, our baptismal date. We show up at the house and Lina's not home, but her daughter Lou was. We asked her if we could talk to her, and she did.
Man, I have never seen anyone on my mission who was so desperate for the truth as she was. She was really confused about life and what she was supposed to do, and she just drank up our message. Thankfully we were able to teach very clearly, and she understood what we were saying. When we talked about baptism, she asked us, "Is it possible for someone to be baptized twice?" and when we invited her to be baptized, she said, "Could you baptize my 9-year old son, too?"
We asked her to say the prayer, and wow. Just wow.
Moroni says to pray with
real intent. Well, Lou had it. I've never seen anything to match it before. She
was in silent tears for a whole minute before she could get out the question,
"Is this true? I need to know if it is." The Spirit was incredible. I
truly feel that she is prepared; she took her Book of Mormon to work with
her. We're going to go back and visit them tomorrow, so hopefully it goes
well! It would be great to have three generations of the same family get
baptized in November.
Well, I had wanted to talk about the Sword of Laban this time around, but I don't know if I'll get to it. Maybe next week.
Here down in the South we bump into a lot of opinions on how we get saved. Some people say you're saved by faith, and not works; that all you need to do is say "Save me Jesus!" and you're good. Some people say that your works will save you.
It reminds me of what C.S. Lewis said on the matter: (and I paraphrase:) "People say that God is looking for faith or looking for works. I think that what God is really ultimately looking for is not faith or works, but a certain kind of person."
And, during Elder Holland's talk, it hit me what that kind of person is: someone who loves Him.
That's why He made us. That's why we're here, and how we get back, and why He gives us commandments. After all, our love is the only thing that's really ours to give. We're here on Earth to see if we'll love Him more than everything else. We are to become the kind of person who does. It's a long process, but it can be done, and the only way it can start is if people learn the truth.
That is why it is our responsibility to share that love and that truth, wherever we are; me in the mission field and you at home.
I know that this is God's work, and that President Monson is the prophet in our day. I love you all, and I hope Becky enjoyed her birthday card. :)