Sunday, April 17, 2016

Amazing Conference, Draw Near Unto Me Scripture Quoted Over and Over, and Digging Holes Again = A Very Happy Time for Me!

Wow, first I have to say what an amazing conference we just had! I feel like most of the things that were said were directed right at me but that is the cool part about conference is I feel like most everyone feels like that. Elder Eyrings message at the beginning of Saturday morning session was probably one of the most powerful for me in the conference. His testimony of the church and the divine restoration of the priesthood is almost tangible. Just  like they said throughout the entire conference that really comes from a development of faith, and that development of faith comes through obedience and a constant searching on our part. When we do not search ourselves and do not come closer to God ourselves He will not force us anywhere. "Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." -D&C 88:63. It is no mistake that this verse was quoted over and over throughout the conference. We have to search and seek and when we do we have the promise of receiving, blessings, answers, knowledge and testimony as we seek out the Lord and answers to the questions that we have every day. When we involve Him in our every day lives thats when mountains of testimony and knowledge are built. Thats when we see the hand of God in everything that we do and that is how He is able to mold us into the people that we have the potential to be. Every day.

This past week we have had a big part of our focus as missionaries General Conference and having people come and understand the messages that were going to be given. It was fun to see the excitement build for many of them that have been hearing us talk about prophets and apostles in our time and it was a chance for them to come and to listen and to understand and be taught by the spirit. We had 6 people there who are investigating the church and who were really able to take questions with them and try to get answers. I know that each of them had a very spiritual experience while they
were there even if they do not yet quite understand why. We are so blessed to have an understanding of the things that we do and the people that we are and what we can eventually become. Just the seemingly simple knowledge that we are children of a Heavenly Father is absolutely mind boggling to think about and something that almost no one believes or has really thought about and to help people to realize that has also helped me to realize my own divine potential and what/who I have the potential of becoming.

Early on in the week we went to Carolinas house to do some service there in a town outside of Karlskrona. She had us organize her garage and she even needed us to dig a couple of giant holes! That made me super happy because it made me feel like I was back at work again just diggin a hole and enjoying the sun it was a very happy time for me and of course a pleasure to serve. We have put a lot of emphasis on teaching with members and that night we had a very critical lesson with one of our members in with Ahmad and Majed who are both looking to be baptized. They had many questions about prophets and apostles and the thing that really answered their questions the most was when Cyril was able to bear his testimony of the reality of a living prophet and apostles. Never underestimate the power of testimony because for us that day it helped a lot. On Wednesday during the week we had a really busy day set up and whatched as every appointment we had cancelled for one reason or another (thats never happened before) haha elder Benson was shocked but he will come to understand that it is a little more common than not. But that is why backup plans are such a good thing! We were able to talk to a lot of people in the city for a few hours and found a family. A swedish lady and her son that were willing then to listen even though it was cold and want to meet us a little later this week in the church. Why do you ask? because 20 years ago she was alone and needed help and the "mormons" came to help her to move. You never know what small acts of kindness can do. That same day we had a feeling to go and see a less active woman that we knew absolutely nothing about. She ended up living in an assisted living home and we just went in and she let us in and we talked with her for 10-15 minutes and left her with a prayer. She was so happy for a visit and Im not exactly sure why we were there but I knew that we were there for a reason.

Another cool experience like that this week was that next day, on Thursday we went to our district meeting in another city, in växjö. We got there in time but the district leaders train was delayed so we had about 15 minutes. Another elder and I felt prompted to go and talk to someone outside. We walked for not more than 10 meters when we ran into a less active there in Växjö who hadnt been to church in a couple of years becasue of her job. We got to talk to her about conference and invite her to watch it and even read on the street a little from the Book of Mormon. That was cool, and many people would call that a coincidence but its more than that. The Holy Ghost can move us to do things for reasons that we do not and maybe will never know. But when we know that we can be an instrument in the hands of God thats when everything becomes worth it.

Later on in the week we had a lesson with Angelika who is an amazing person that has started investigating because of a friend that had contact with the "mormon missionaries" 3 years ago. Well she texted right before our lesson and wanted to know if she could bring her friend along.... umm yes please do that. So we toured them around the church and talked to them about what happens and they had both been reading in the Book of Mormon. Both of them now want to be baptized on the 7th of May and it was an absolute miracle! They later came to conerence and it was really awesome to see them there. We are seeing a lot of people come out of the woodworks here in Karlskrona and it is just a blessing to see it all happening before our eyes.

That brings us back to conference and I forgot to mention that Kamal, one of the investigators who came brought and made Kebab for everyone that was there and we made some american breakfast as well which was a lot of fun. It was a fantastic oportunity for everyone to mix and talk and have a good time together and it was a great way for people to stay for the next session of conference haha.

I just want you all to know that I know that this gospel is true and that this church is lead by God. But also, that we, ourselves, can be lead by God. As we look to Him in the things that we do and we are willing and worthy to serve He will use us in the ways that He needs us to help others of His children to know who they are and who He is.

Love you all have a great week!!

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