Conference WAS joyous. I expected to be so depressed because whenever I watch Conference away, I miss home, but I left feeling so renewed. THERE IS POWER IN GATHERING! And there was such comfort in knowing that however far away you are, the whole family was watching at the same time! I kept thinking of you, Mom, and the parts you were loving most. I could almost hear the tapping of your keyboard! And when they announced that the opening hymn was "Let Nauvoo In Her Beauty Rise" I just heard you say, "Oh!! Nauvoo!" ... That hymn is where the tender mercies started for me. The second tender mercy (Nanny nailed it!) was when President Monson thanked the Sister Missionaries. The very first message he gave, and it was on missionary work! That just set the stage for the rest of the revelations and support I received throughout conference.
Wasn't Elder Holland's talk so tender? And Elder McConkie's was AMAZING! I kept switching between, "This talk is for Mom! She is loving this!" and "This is perfect for missionary work!" Because missionary work is all about teaching. I loved the phrase, "We could have warmed our hands by the fire of his faith." I wish I had time to go through all of my insights, but suffice it to say, all of my prepared questions were answered. I felt that there was a general emphasis on agency and the power to choose for ourselves. I have the opportunity to choose how this mission will be, and the Lord expects me to act, not be acted upon. Also, every person we speak to has their own power to choose and we mustn't be discouraged by their choices when we are doing the best we can. I've needed guidance on how I can find the strength to keep pressing forward and serve the Lord "with unwearyingness" and the answer to that came in President Monson's talk: GRATITUDE. He quoted Joseph F. Smith saying something like, "For the grateful man the good outweighs the evil." I must become a grateful missionary. I LOVED "To live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven." YES!
This week has been full of hilarious moments, but I haven't the time to write them! I promise I'll dedicate a paragraph next week to funny missionary moments...
We are still teaching Andrew, Liam and Kyle. They all have their own struggles and we have been praying very earnestly to know how we can help them. I've learned a lot this week about our role. As missionaries we do not force others to Christ; we do not profess to be their Savior; but rather we gently and insistently invite them to the Savior. His power to heal is infinite if we desire to be perfected. It's that desire part that you can't force on anyone. Which, I will admit, is frustrating. I pray every day that our words will be inspiring and empowering and that others might find that desire within themselves on account of the light we bring.
I pray that I have a testimony burning so strongly the people of Lancaster will be able to warm their hands by it! With the turn in the weather, they will need warm hands soon ;)