Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Conference Was Amazing

This last week was AMAZING and went by in raging fast blur.  I had some awesome spiritual experiences and learned tons.  The highlight of this last week was going to all 5 sessions of conference and going to the Sunday PM session with Mom, Dad, Laura, and Sarah.  Being a missionary in the SLC Mission brings you the amazing opportunity to go to every single session of conference in the Conference Center.  I have never learned so much or taken so many notes in conference in my life.  I'm sure writing more notes had more to do with taking the words of the prophet and other general authorities more seriously than just being in the conference center.  Throughout the 5 sessions many of my questions were answered and I was given more understanding of how to be a better missionary.  Seeing my family at the conference glory made it even that much better.  It was so nice to see your faces, give you huge hugs, and spend some time eating lunch together!    I was so excited when my Zone Leaders gave me the okay to see you and then even to sit with you in the conference center.  I love you tons and will always remember this specific opportunity.  I look to it as a catalyst to work harder and remember that my missionary service blesses my family too.  The harder I work the greater my family is blessed and the more useful I will be in the Lord's work.

Throughout this week I learned a pretty valuable lesson.  We started the week with some really amazing potential investigators and many plans to put people on date for baptism.  However, as the week unfolded, many people didn't keep commitments and a couple told us that they were no longer interested.  With so many hopes for these people in the back of my mind, I found it hard to let them go.  After learning that we could no longer teach a couple because they weren't married and the husband was still waiting on a divorce to finalize from his other marriage, a family we had a lot of hope for called and told us they no longer wanted us coming by.  Despite this sad news, me and my companion kept marching on.  We knew that the Lord would bless us as we kept our faith in Him and didn't let ourselves get too discouraged.  Sure enough, later that night we had a wonderful lesson with another family and put a person on date for baptism.  Neither of those blessings were expected and I know that they are blessings and even miracles given to us by the Lord.  From this experience, I learned in a real life setting that hard things happen but when you stay faithful and obedient the Lord will bless you.  I understand that this will not be the last time I have rough times in the mission, but I can get through them using what I learned in this experience.

I had a really embarrassing moment this last weekend during a baptism for Jesus Hernandez.  I volunteered to give the Holy Ghost talk in Spanish as part of the baptismal service.  Taking a little time during our lunch break, I quickly found a scripture and wrote an outline of what I wanted to say.  When the time came to stand up and give the talk, I silently said a prayer asking for peace and confidence.  I stood up in front, pulled out my scriptures, and started introducing what I was going to talk about.  After telling Jesus how excited I was for him to be baptized, I starting reading out loud the scripture I had planned.  Half-way through the scripture I realized that I had remembered the wrong reference and was reading a scripture nowhere near related to the Holy Ghost.  Realizing my mistake, I quickly decided to apologize for messing up with the scripture and paraphrased the scripture I meant to read.  With my mind amazingly clear, I was then able to give the rest of the talk without using my outline.  I know beyond any doubt that the Lord's hand was there to help me.  I was immensely embarrassed but through the clear mind and confidence from the Lord I was able to finish teaching about the Holy Ghost and bring the Spirit into the room.  It turned out to be a wonderfully spiritual service and am so happy for Jesus Hernandez!

My companion E. Chamberlain had his tonsils removed this last Monday and will be home bound for the next week or so.  In order for there to always be someone home with him during the day, we received another companion named E. Arnell.  E. Arnell was actually a member of my MTC district who is also waiting on a visa to Mexico City.  E. Arnell and I will take turns sitting at home with E. Chamberlain while E. Morris takes the one of us not at home to proselyte.  I am loving having only the two of us out there teaching and have had many more chances to teach this past week.  Also during the time when I am home and E. Morris and E. Arnell are out, I have had some really productive scripture studies and learned tons.

Well I am off to another week full of potential and maybe even a baptism of a family of 3!  Thanks again for your love and prayers!

Elder Janis

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