Our board we made to advertise conference on campus
What a great weekend we have had, right? General Conference makes me so so happy and I am always so sad when it ends. Especially this one. It hit me that it will be the last time I watch it while I am on my mission. :( But it was wonderful, so I was definitely not disappointed! I loved how there was so much emphasis on seeking and finding truth for ourselves. It has become pretty evident to me that we need to have a firm foundation, a strong testimony while we are in these times! I think that so often we assume that "praying to know the truth for ourselves" is referring to the Book of Mormon being true, or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints being true--which it can be. But I think we fail to realize that praying to know the truth for ourselves can be applied in any situation to any question that we have! That is something that really hit me this week as I am searching for added truth and insight for how to gain more faith. It is such a basic thing, but something that I have found myself working on over and over and over and over again throughout my mission. I always get to a point where I think my faith is doing pretty well, and then all of a sudden I realize that I need to increase my faith a whole lot more than I thought. Sometimes it is because of a different set of circumstances that I am put in, trials that I am facing, or sometimes the Lord is trying to humble me a little bit and help me recognize that I need His help! I like to think that I can be pretty independent and that I can do things on my own without anyone else's help. That is some pretty awful pride, huh? haha I am learning that I can't!! What I can do on my own is NEVER what I can do when I ask the Lord for help. He reminds me of that every so often...and thank goodness He does! Because I truly cannot do anything without Him! So that is my goal for the next little while, to have more faith and to trust more in the Lord. If any of you have any insight or things that have worked for you to help you gain more faith, I would love to hear it!
This has truly been another great week though. We had MLC (which is always sooo inspiring!), we went with Matt to the temple for his first time (and we all found family names to take with us! He started his family history and already found a line that goes all the way back to Adam and Eve! haha he was so excited!), we had Zone Meeting, we volunteered at a 5K race, had General Conference, taught people, saw the biggest goat and pig I have ever seen, and had lots of miracles! A few YSA were able to come to Conference, as well as Matt's mom. It was a successful week!
One of my favorite miracles from this week is when we taught a YSA girl named Xi. She is from China so she does not have any religious background. She believes that there is something watching over us, but she doesn't know if it is a someone or if God exists. It was such an interesting lesson for me, because I have never taught anyone with that perspective--it kind of threw me at first. I've been so used to teaching people that already have a lot of faith in God, and then all of a sudden we were explaining the concept of God--what and who He is. I know that the lesson was led by the Spirit, because I was learning right along side her as we taught. She was very confused as to how you could know that God really exists. We explained how in order to get to know someone you have to talk to them and ask them questions. It is the same thing with God! As we talk to Him through prayer, we are able to create a relationship with Him and then we can come to know that He is really there. We asked her to pray at the end of the lesson and it was one of the sweetest, most simple and sincere prayers I have ever heard. She said "Dear God, this is Xi. Please let me know if you really exist, I want to know. I want to find an answer. Amen." These are some of the best moments for me on my mission--being able to hear someone pray for the first time. The Spirit is always so strong and you feel of their desire and sincerity. There just aren't words to explain it the way I want to! Throughout my mission I find that I am constantly learning about prayer, and as I strive to understand how I can better know God, I realize that my prayers are where it all begins. I have to talk to Him and ask Him questions. I need to be sincere and share with Him my feelings. This experience that we had with Xi was such a miracle--for her as well as for me. I needed that reminder! I am so grateful to be a missionary, and I am so grateful that I am able to have these experiences with others. There is no where else that I could find these experiences except on my mission. What a blessing it is to be a missionary for the Lord. It is the greatest and most humbling privilege! That's all I've got for this week, I love you all and wish you the best with all that is going on in your lives! You are wonderful!!