April 7, 2014
Wasn’t General Conference the BEST! I think one of the huge wins of the mission is how much you gain an appreciation for General Conference. It is like a mix of a huge movie coming out, or Duke in the finals of March Madness (a dream that will be completed next year, right?). So awesome. We were able to watch it in English as well, so that was great. We were able to really learn a lot of great things to apply in the whole zone, but I think personally I learned a lot of good stuff as well. We all have perfecting to do but, as we were reminded in the conference, it’s all about love and being, not just talking it up and being hollow.
Something I was thinking about was the difference between the Spirit I have felt during General Conference while on my mission as opposed to before my mission. And I think it comes down to two basic reasons that are super important.
1. In the mission, we are more spiritually prepared to receive revelation. We give more importance to the talks, we honestly treasure them, we seek to apply them, and, because the Lord sees all that, he blesses us with more of his Spirit and a higher capability to apply. We also are studying daily, deeply, have lots of prayer during the day, and see tiny miracles in all we do. And, after more than a year and a half of being a missionary, I feel like my spiritual appreciation, power, potential, and capacity have grown a ton. After a weekend like that, ya just gotta feel like you need to share it with all the world, and now I feel like I have at least a part of the know how to start!
2. In the mission, we have our priorities straight. There aren’t other activities, practices, games, shows, etc, that call for our attention and make watching conference a ´sacrifice` and pull our attention away from the talks, make us only listen with half our hearts, or not even listen at all. It’s nice reading the talks after, but the Spirit is special seeing the conference given tal cual. It’s easy in the mission--in fact, the conference is almost like a little break where we are protected by all the hard things of our sectors and just spiritually fed. But how much harder is it to really appreciate conference when we have fifty other responsibilities calling for our attention?
I was thinking about these two things a lot, and thinking about how I am going to keep applying them after my mission. Now is the time to obey with exactness and build my testimony of these things, because after there are new temptations, distractions, and it’s so easy to lose the clear perspective we are blessed with as set apart servants of the Lord. So I am going to apply these things now, and after, and may we all do the same!
I also liked something that Brother Dallstrom said, that even though we may think we are ´just this way` we should never think that we cannot change. We can’t give up on ourselves, we need to improve. We need to leave our pride, our lack of love, kindness, patience, and forgiveness, and each day BE better, because in the end, it’s our character that will be measured. "The soul that rises with us, our life´s star," as Wordsworth says.
Just some thoughts. We had a fun zone activity today, ate empanadas and hiked a hill. We are working to find some great investigators, and feeling frustrated for the lack of progression in others! Pray for us!
I love you all! Thanks for all your examples and prayers!
|Eating empanadas at a zone activity, then playing pelotes|
|After hiking the Chiguayante hill--holding the national flower of Chile, which he did NOT pick, because that would be illegal. It happened to have fallen off its plant, so he brought it home.|