My Dearest Loved Ones,
I hope you're comfortable and sitting down, because this is going to be a long email. :) Conference was amazing!!!!
I should probably start by mentioning the non-conference things first so I don't run out of time. First off, Happy Birthday Julie!!! I hope you have a wonderful day!
Sister White and I were finally able to meet with a referral, Dennis. We met with him inbetween sessions on Sunday. He is really great. He is a family guy, has 3 daughters and goes to a community church here in town. Turns out he is on the board of his church. (No pressure hey?) We had a really good visit. During the opening prayer (I offered it) he would say out loud things like, "Yes Lord" or "Thank you Jesus" At first it caught me off guard. I've never had anyone do that before. In talking with him he mentioned, "The Bible talks a lot about those in the East. I've always wondered where in the Bible it mentions those in the West." That was our in.:) We explained how the Book of Mormon is another Testament of Jesus Christ and takes place in the West. He thought was prettty cool, but said he belives the Bible to be the only word of God. We testified and talked about the Restoration. When we recited the First Vision he said that he believes that. It was really nice to talk with him. We testified that he can know for himself that what we taught is true through the Holy Ghost. He seemed a little concerned by that idea and said, "I don't know if I want the Holy Ghost to come to me. I've seen the power the Holy Ghost has. He makes you forget and lose all strength and drop as if you are dead. We had a coupld people in our church have the Holy Ghost strike them in front of everyone and they hit the ground and forgot all their worries." Well, I've never had someone say that to me before. We talked about who the Holy Ghost was and referred him to Galations 5:22-23. Hopefully that can set him straight a little. We told him to pay attention to how he feels as he reads the Book of Mormon. We asked him to give the closing prayer and he said he would and then he extended his hands to us. So, we all held hands as he prayed. It was good. By the time we finished teaching him it was 10 minutes after 2pm. We hurried to the church and got there just in time for the first talk, Elder Perry. It was amazing. I guess now I'll go into conference insights. (I don't have time to share everything I learned so I'll just pick out some).
President Thomas S. Monson: I loved that he recited "The Standard of Truth." I also loved the fact that I had it memorized and could recite it with him.
Elder Donald L. Hallstrom: It's so true that we can be active in the church and less active in the gospel. 'Are you sufficiently converted to the Gospel?' What a wonderful question each of us should ask ourselves. I have decided to study Diety this week.
Elder Paul E. Koelliker: He answered the question I had of what should I do after my mission, 'Your missionary experience can be a template to continue to do through out your life.' I'm excited to implement those things I've learned as a missionary into my daily life.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks: Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven. How true that statement is. I loved that he talked about how once we know what the Savior has done for us we are more willing to sacrifice for him. This is so true in my case. I didn't always think going to go on a mission. In fact for a while I was just hoping to get married. However, after my mother passed away I had a desire to share the knowledge I have with others so that they can be comforted. I loved the story he shared about the convert that was asked how he was going to get through the trials that were to come from joining the church, 'It's true isn't it?... Then what else matters.' That is true consecration. I hope to become more like him.
President Henry B. Eyring: This talk was all too familiar to me. My immediate family can attest to what happens when you pray for a trial. In the Fall of 2010 I felt like my life was on a plateau. I was progressing a lot spiritually, but I didn't have really any trials I was facing at the time either. I too did as President Eyring did and I prayed for an experience that would make me grow. At the end of December 2010 my mother passed away suddenly. Like President Eyring, that was the hardest trial I have ever had. It still is. There was a lot of comfort that came when he said, 'Great blessing come from our adversity.' Because of the loss of my mother I was given the desire to share my testimony with anyone that would listen. It was that experience that made me decide to serve a mission and I have had more spiritual growth in the past 6 months than in the past 21 years. I am so grateful that my Heavenly Father allows me to be polished. What strength it brings to know that through the heat and fire I will come forth as gold. (Job 23:10 )
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: Others blessings don't diminish what we get. We should compare. (Sometimes this is hard to remember when you don't have progressing investigators or 10 baptisms.)
Elder Richard G. Scott: Those beyond the veil are closer than we think. To recieve revelation we can't yield to our emotions. Record your impressions. Continually live righteously and you will always be prompted to know what to do.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: Stop it!!! Stop judging others. Stop ignoring, comparing, getting irritated etc. Stop it! (Loved!!!! So true!!!) I loved the bumper sticker he mentioned, "Don't judge me because I sin differently than you." Forgive others. I think we forget this often.
President Thomas S. Monson: 'The race isn't to the swift or the strong, but to those who endure to the end.' Sister White and I have taught a lot about Enduring to the End recently. Ultimately enduring is to 'remain true to the commandments despite trials, temptation and adversity.' Preach My Gospel
Elder L. Tom Perry: 'The need for both the Bible and the Book of Mormon does not diminish the value of either of them.' I loved the connection he made with King Benjamin commanding the people to face their doors to the temple and Abraham who did and Lot who didn't
Elder David F. Evans: 'Missionaries need TANGIBLE letters.' I Loved that comment. So true!!! We need tangible letters. To my immediate family that emails me each week thank you! To dad, who does both each week, you are awesome!!!!! Thank you! (It's been about a month since I've gotten mail so I won't rebuke anyone -since you could have sent something, but I just might not have recieved it yet. To those who haven't written yet, or in a long time... you know who you are. :) I also loved that he talked about how missionary work can be natural and normal. To those within the sight of this email- please take the opportunity to share the gospel. It can be normal, but you have to look for the opportunity and don't let it pass by. SHARE THE GOSPEL!!!
Elder Neil L. Andersen: 'What thinks Christ of me?' This is such a great question that we should always ask ourselves. Am I being the disciple of Christ that I have the potential to be? Am I representing him well? What have I done with His name?
Overall, this conference was so fulfilling. I got so much out of each talk. I wish I had more time to write what I learned, but I can say this. I know that we have a Prophet on the earth. I know that as we apply what we learned from conference we can be blessed. I love you all!
"Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of Him to declare His word among His people, that they might have everlasting life." 3 Nephi 5:13