Hey folks! It's been a great week out here. Many, MANY lessons learned. It's incredible how the Lord keeps them coming. All we have to do is be humble enough to receive them and to submit ourselves to His timetable.
This week I feel impressed to share more about my thoughts from District Conference and the lessons that have followed since.
Like I said, many of the messages from District Conference were focused on blessings of the family and temple. Like I said again, I have really felt the Lord preparing me to return home and receive these blessings for myself. There are a couple of instances that really testify of this to me.
First, I had a bit of extra time one day this week, so I decided to listen to the April 2015 General Conference. Again, I felt that every single message was directed towards me. One that I loved was by Elder Andersen of the 70 talking about dancing without music versus dancing with music and how that applies in our daily lives. Many times, missionaries get so focused on the steps of the dance that they forget to listen to the music. I've been really focusing on hearing the music (the Spirit) before even listening to this talk, but this was a great reinforcement.
Ok, back on subject. There were many talks given on the family. One that particularly struck me was Sister Burton's. Yes, I'm not currently married, but I consider the mission a perfect time to prepare to work with someone in that setting. During her talk, I reflected back on the lessons that the Lord has taught me over the past 23 months and how these lessons are preparing me for the future. I still have much learning and much preparation before I get married, but the essential lessons I'm learning now will be priceless when the time comes. Isn't it wonderful how Heavenly Father looks after us? He's willing to do everything for us that we need and then some, and all we have to do is be patient and diligent and studious.
The second experience happened at Church on Sunday. I taught the Gospel Principles class during the 2nd hour on the purpose of our life here on Earth. Two weeks ago, we talked about the Fall of Adam and Eve and its necessity and its effects on us. This week, coupled a bit with explaining the Atonement of Jesus Christ as an anitdote of the Fall, we talked a lot about why we're here and what we need to do. Many answers were shared, including, to gain experience, to prepare for Eternal Life, to follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ and His Gospel, to gain knowledge, and finally, (shared by Bruno who is scheduled to be baptised on the 16th of May) to be married. A few months ago I taught a class on marriage because we have several couples that need to be married before they can be baptised.
We spent several minutes talking about this (I bore my testimony on how the Lord has been preparing me to be married because I'm going home soon, which brought a few giggles) and testifying of its truthfulness. Then, one of our investigators rases her hand. She doesn't talk much at Church as it was her third week, including District Conference. We have been teaching her for quite some time now, and were almost close to dropping her before she came to Church the first time. We haven't seen her for almost a month because of some changes that she's had, but she stills comes to Church. She has three kids (two in her native country with her parents) all with different men. We've been hitting hard on the family from the beginning, but she seemed almost indifferent about it. But I haven't given up hope on it, knowing the power of the family.
Finally, Sunday. She raised her hand asking if she could testify. A bit curious, I obliged. She started by explaining that this was her third week at church. She has noticed how much we talk about family and its eternal potential, especially at conference. She said based on that and the Book of Mormon, she has really FELT that this is the truth. She's visited many other churches, but she said that she's never felt about one like she has here. She then asked how she could be baptized, and my jaw almost dropped from its hinges. I explained that we have dates for the 16th and 23rd May, but that we'd talk with her during the week.
Oh how great is the Lord! It is truly through that Holy Spirit that people are converted. All reason and doubt fall in the face of faith and the power of the Holy Ghost. I am confident that the Lord is preparing a way for this sister to stabilize her family life and prepare for eternity.
I add my own testimony of the family. I know that the family is ordained of God. Marriage is not merely a tradition of men but an ordinance sent from God, an eternal pact and blessing. I know that the Lord has also restored the sealing keys to the Prophet Joseph Smith in order to bless His children from all eras. I know that each one of us, if we are to receive a fulness of joy, must enter into this eternal covenant of marriage.
Just how important is the family to God? So important that it is the central focus of His work and glory, and thus the focal point of all of Satan's vicious attacks. I testify that as we seek to better understand and respect (or prepare to respect) our marital vows, we will be endowed with protection from on high.
I love you all, and I hope you all have an outstanding week.