I have been soo spiritually fed this past weekend. General Conference was seriously like Christmas morning! I LOVED it!!! was my fourth month mark of being out on the mission as well as the one year mark since the missionary age announcement! It's crazy to think that my life changed in a matter of seconds a year ago.... who would have thought that I would be 4 months out on a mission on the East Coast of Florida?? So. Crazy. I am learning to love the mission more and more everyday that I am out here. Sadly, I forgot to grab my General Conference notes so that I could refer to them in the email!! Sorry :( I received so many answers to my prayers and so much guidance from this General Conference... just like the prophet said, I don't think that there has been a more revelatory conference than this one. There were several times throughout the sessions that I felt like God was speaking directly to me. I hope that everyone was able to feel the strong spirit that comes from hearing truth and the word of God. I will have to go more in to detail on the talks I liked when I have my notes with me.. sorry :( but I loved Elder Uchtdorf's, Scotts (yes I didn't fall asleep!! His gentle voice didn't get to me this time... haha I was actually wide awake!), Oaks, Nelson, President Monson's (made me cry) and of course Elder Hollands. There were so many others and I have been talking none stop about each of the talks with Sister Pitts all weekend. We are so blessed to have prophets and apostles of God that can help us stand firm and resist against the storms of the adversary.
Throughout all of Elder Ballard's talk I was thinking about you guys. I hope that you will reread it again and truly take his talk to heart. You guys are looked up to by so many people and reach out in love to so many already so naturally... Will you sincerely pray individually and collectively to know who to reach out to? I know that it is scary to share the gospel with others because you don't want to be rejected or offend them... but if they know you are doing it out of love, they will not be offended! By praying for guidance, reaching out to them, inviting them to different activities (in the church or out) and sharing the gospel with them whenever you can, I can PROMISE that the Lord is going to be there to help you. Dad, I'm sure you remember the Spirit working through you and helping you say the right thing or directing you to do the right thing to help others accept the gospel when you were on your mission.... There are so many promises throughout the scriptures that promise that the Lord will be there to help you... you just need to act in faith that He will!!! The amazing thing, is that all you have to do is get it started... be a friend, be an example... and by inviting them to learn a little about the gospel, you can then turn the teaching over the missionaries. If they ask hard questions... don't be afraid to tell them that the missionaries would be better people to talk to! The Lord really is hastening His work, and the longer I'm out here the more I truly see that us missionaries... we really can't do this work without the help of members. There have been tons of "new investigators" that I have taught... but out of all of those investigators, the one baptism that I have on the mission so far is Michelle-who was referred to us by a member. Plus, because this member was a good friend, shared little things about the gospel with her and invited her to meet with missionaries, we will most likely be baptizing her AND her husband!!! This work is truly inspired. It's the Lord's work! If you have any questions or want some guidance to know how to reach out to someone... ask the Lord. I would love to hear about it myself and I'll give my two sense... but the Lord will not leave you abandoned in His work. He wants His children to receive the gospel more than we could ever comprehend.
Wow... sorry that was a crazy rant... but I can promise that you will see more happiness and blessings in your life and the spirit more fully in the home as you do so. Elder Ballard said something along the lines of, "The Lord has commanded us... now is your decision to follow."
After General Conference yesterday, Ed got really excited talking about getting white shirts. haha He told a member that he knows that the gospel is true in his heart, he just needs his mind to make up its mind now...! AND he came up to Sister Pitts and I and said that he might as well join in on these last lessons that lead up to Michelle's baptism this weekend so that we don't have to reteach them to him when it's his turn..!!! hahaha I love Ed!!! We haven't been able to get a baptismal date with him but we felt that if we were patient with him that he would come around. Michelle's baptism is this week and I'm so excited to see that blessings that are going to come to her and to Ed as they continue to exercise their faith. They are so awesome and so prepared!!!
We took Ed and Michelle on a temple tour this week. They have been going through a really bad rough patch in their marriage before we started teaching them... but you can see them growing in love again. As they were talking about the blessings of the temple and eternal families, you could see how much it meant to them and how much they meant to each other. There is a huge difference in the home and in relationships when the Spirit is there and when the couple are working together to come closer to Christ. I know that it's probably been weird/sad to be empty nesters now, Dad and Mom.... and I know that the spirit is in the home and in your relationship... but I know that if you continue to exercise your faith together that your love for each other will grow even deeper. Doing family history, going to the temple, reading, praying, singing hymns, reading gospel literature, taking the Lord's commitment to find someone to reach out to for missionaries before Christmas... all these things will make what may seem the hardest year as parents, your happiest year.
I love you guys so much and am eternally grateful for your example and love for the Lord. You both are so in tune with the Spirit to know how to help me as your daughter and to help those around you. Stay strong through the tough times and keep your "spiritual self in shape".
Please keep Michelle and Ed in your prayers, especially this next week as we get ready for Michelle's baptism. Thanks for the idea of writing down their daily impressions in a journal as the baptismal date gets closer. I will tell them about it tonight when I see them :)
I LOVE YOU GUYS SO SO SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!