I gained a testimony of rest this week as my companion and I stayed in and rested for 4 days of the week from Tuesday through Friday. Being sick as a missionary is miserable as I’m sure all return missionaries are aware of. We can’t really do anything except read approved materials, write our thoughts down, talk, take care of other basic needs, and rest. It can all become very boring, especially as we can develop false feelings of guilt from not going out and working instead of staying in. Elder Grasinger and I were told by our Mission Nurse to stay in though advised by the Hermanas to stay in, and commanded by our District Leader to stay in. Had we not stayed in, we would have just been disrespectfully disregarding our leaders and friends around us. On all 4 days, we stayed in from Noon until our dinner appointments each night and went out to work from after dinner to our curfew of turning in at 9:00-9:30. Each evening at dinner as we would walk up to the member’s home of whom would be feeding us that evening, we would look like Death’s Emissaries in white shirts and ties because of how sick and miserable we looked, and also because each evening at dinner would be our first times leaving the apartment that day. What was interesting to Elder Grasinger and I was how productive our evenings were this week. Although we lost around 24 total hours of work throughout the week from staying in and having to stop working to rest, we were able to make up for it with how much work we would get done in the evenings. We both took note of how the Lord was blessing us in the evenings with good and productive work along with some very spiritual lessons with the people that we were able to to teach. It was fulfilling to both of us since we honestly felt as though we were just making up for all of the resting time with how much we would get done in the evenings. 5 days in a row this week we taught the same investigator named Helson and 4 of those lessons had members from the Spanish Ward in attendance. It was amazing. Neither of us have ever gotten to teach an investigator this much in 1 week and this was what Helson wanted. He kept telling us to come back everyday and to bring a member from our ward with us so that he could get to know everyone that he was going to be attending church with. He even came to 2 of the sessions of General Conference at our Stake Center with one of them being the Priesthood Session. After the Priesthood session he came out with us and the Spanish Priesthood holders to a buffet basically just became friends with all of them. Elder Grasinger and I are extremely excited for this man. He has only been in the USA for about 2 months and almost immediately he is going to have become a member of the church and he is fully committed to embracing the church in every aspect.
Conference was great as well. Elder Grasinger and I were all over our area for General Conference. For the Saturday Morning Session, we watched it with Brian Hernandez at his home, the person that I helped get baptized 6 months ago. We watched the Saturday Afternoon session at our Stake Center with many of the other Missionaries from our Zone. We watched the Priesthood session at a members home and halfway through left to go to the Stake Center and finish watching it with Helson and the rest of the Spanish Members in attendance. We watched the Sunday Morning Session at a members home in Spanish who also made us a really nice breakfast and for the Sunday Afternoon Session, we watched it with our Bishop, his family, and the Hermanas at his home. Conference weekend is a lot of fun for missionaries. I have really enjoyed both General Conferences that I have watched on my mission so far. I was able to take some very good notes this General Conference.
Here are some of the notes that I took during a few select talks:
Vern P. Stanfill
– Darkness brings confusion and sucks away confidence.
– We need a source of Light in order to make it to the end where the greatest source of light is, being our Heavenly Father. Our source of light that we use to make it to him is our Savior Jesus Christ who’s light does help give us the confidence that we need to keep pushing forward and eventually make it to the end back to our Heavenly Father.
– Sometimes we ourselves act as temporary lesser sources of light for our friends and peers around us, or we look to others around ourselves for a source of light as we travel through the darkness that constantly surrounds us through this perilous mortal life.
– The adversary uses the fearful atmosphere of the darkness to make us want to give up and lose confidence and all hope and causes us to feel that there is no true source of the light that we will be able to utilize to make it back to our Heavenly Father and eventually to true joy and eternal happiness.
– The more we persist towards the light at the end, the more light that we will be able to comprehend and even emulate from ourselves for others to benefit from around us.
– As we follow sources of light in our life, especially the Light of Jesus Christ, our own light that we let shine forth will grow as well.
James B. Martino
– God only answers our prayers when there is sincere and real intent and faith. Not just when we simply have a curiosity of the things which we pray about.
– Do not give up on trying to receive an answer to a prayer. Never give up. Keep pursuing a real answer even until you develop the sincerity and real intent and faith to obtain it.
– Questions can lead to increased faith
– Though there are still many things that we may not comprehend, we must hold tight onto our Testimonies for we know already that it is real and that it is of the spirit, therefore making our current knowledge and understand true and unable to be damaged by are primitive understanding of the possibly few things that we do know so far.
Dallin H. Oaks
– Since the Savior has experienced and suffered every single thing that any of us will ever suffer or experience, he can thereby give us succor and guide us and comfort us through all of the trials that we will ever go through in this life.
– Sometimes the Saviors heals us from our trials and sometimes he give us the strength and comfort that we need to overcome our own trials ourselves instead.
– Through the Savior’s Atonement, he has offered us the opportunity to be comforted by his grace and to be able to bare our burdens with hope through taking up ourselves his yoke, being his name of Jesus Christ through baptism and becoming a member of His church as one of his disciples.
– Good tidings of great joy were announced by the Angels at the birth of the Savior Jesus Christ. The meaning of the word Gospel is “The Good News” and the Atonement is one of the central pieces of the Gospel and of the Plan of Salvation. All things testify of Christ and point towards him and his purpose which is one and the same with the purpose of our Heavenly Father and the entirety of the Godhead.
– Jesus Christ is the savior of all man, especially of those who believe on his name.
– His Atonement also gives us the ability to call upon him, especially through prayer.
– The essence of the healing and strengthening power of the Savior Jesus Christ is in and through his Infinite Atonement.
– Through his Atonement, we are insured of immortality and given the opportunity at Eternal Life and Eternal Happiness and Exaltation.
D. Todd Christofferson
– Jesus Christ is the author and the finisher of our Faith in him and of all things.
– We strive to understand and even achieve the measure of the the full stature of Jesus the Christ.
– We are prone to excuse and to rationalize our faults, especially even more so when we do not know how to fix or improve our faults and weaknesses.
– We do not strive for conversion to the church but instead to Jesus Christ and his Gospel. The church is simply what fosters this conversion as it takes time to come to pass.
– A purpose of the church is that it assists in accomplishing things that small groups of people would never be able to accomplish on their own such as assisting in poverty throughout the entire world, or strengthening the understanding of all members through the different sects of knowledge and understanding that all the many diverse members throughout the world do have.
– Without an understanding that there is only 1 road or Pathway to Heaven and Eternal Life, it will make it very difficult to understand the purpose of there being 1 single true Church of God and of Christ on the Earth
– The church is the Kingdom of God on the Earth.
– With and through the Priesthood keys of the Kingdom, members and authorities of the church can justifiably discern truth from falsehoods and vice versa.
– The church is the prophesied Latter day kingdom that has been brought up and built to never be torn down nor destroyed and to stand for ever and ever even past the ends of time.
– One of the fundamental aspects of the Plan Of Salvation is how we must experience trials in our life and during this probationary state on the Earth.
– Often time we will not immediately know how to cope with our new trials that we are faced with. In times like these, we must prayerfully and reverently look at our situation(s) and put sincere trust in the purposes of our Heavenly Father’s Plan of Salvation.
– All trials we are faced with are for our good and for our progression in our Life and for our existence. They give us experience to better understand why things are the way they are.
– The tests we are given are not to see if we can or will endure what we are faced with, but how we will endure them and if we will endure them well.
– Here trials also help us become more temperate and help refine our patience and how much stress from our trials we can bare at a time.
David A. Bednar
– When you cannot do what you have always done, then you do what you must do.
– Inability to do some things can lead to intensified focus towards specific other things and to an opportunity to put more focus towards those specific other things.
– Age brings physical limitations and sometimes mental limitations but it also brings greater and deeper understanding to things pondered about because of lack of the ability to do many other activities as individuals continue to increase in age. Age leads to deeper understanding of many things, especially that of the Spirit. Age can be seen as another form of a trial from our Heavenly Father that is given to us as another means whereby we may become refined on more mental and spiritual levels than physical and temporal levels as we approach our time to pass away from this life and have our spirits separated from our bodies.
– Imperfections can be strengtheners to our Faith as we take note of how those with imperfections do not give up and simply continue pushing forward with a steadfast faith in Christ and with the desire to overcome their weaknesses and turn them into strengths.
– If Joseph Smith did see the Father and his Son Jesus Christ, and I can testify that he did, then every other thing in this Church is True, and Is of God and Is what we need to be involved in at all times of our life whether that be through attending our a church meetings every week, keeping up with our callings, or just personifying the attributes of Christ in our every day life actions as we strive to live as his Disciples.
– It mattereth not who the message comes from. He or She who testifies of Christ, His ministry, and His Atonement testifies of Truth.
These are a portion of the better notes that I took throughout the session and they have done me a lot of good already. Each time I watch General Conference I become more thankful that we have a Prophet and Apostles of the Lord to guide the church on the Earth. They really are an immense blessing to all of us during our lives here on the Earth, especially as we harken to their council which they are also so anxiously desiring to give to us.
I hope everyone enjoyed Conference, and I suggest watching it if you were unable to this past weekend.
Have a great week everyone.
Elder Adam R. F. Scoville