Did you LOVE conference? I think I got more out of this one than ever before! It was also a blast to get to spend it with the new Huntington family. We all brought different treats and snacks and put them on a table and just snacked the whole time. In the first session specifically I felt like the talks were all directed to our favorite agnostic investigator. I also had some questions in mind that I specifically wanted answered. Every. Single. One. was addressed. I honestly feel like I'm on a crazy spiritual high right now! Everything that everyone spoke about was so powerful!
I especially loved the second talk where Lynn G Robbins asked, "Which way do you face?" That question and that talk definitely hit me. In my personal studies I had come across the story of Lot's wife recently. When Elder Robbins was asking which we face, I thought of that story. I see in myself so well the tendency to try to face God, while I also try to save face with the world. Lot's wife was a lot like this, she did indeed begin the journey out of the city with her husband, but she didn't keep her face toward God. She looked back.
Sometimes, like Lot's wife, I fall under the false impression that the world has something to offer me----that the world has some kind of power to make me happy, or beyond that, that the world's opinion of me matters. But, luckily, I have the knowledge that all these ideas are false. That doesn't change the fact that turning from the world and keeping your eye single to God's glory is not easy. Satan is "really really" good at what he does (just like we should become "really really" good at repenting.) I think I'm coming to find though, that the longer you keep your eyes on God, the easier it is to forget the world, and all of a sudden, I'm beginning to understand what "having an eye single to the glory of God" REALLY means. I'm starting to understand a lot of things. It's so wonderful to be out here and to be learning and beginning to understand all these things, and a little bit sad that it's taken me this long. But I know one thing, it's the happiest I've ever been in my life.
So, the "really really" good at repenting talk! Another of my favorites! That dude threw it down!! As I thought of that talk and this whole conference, I decided upon a theme for the conference for myself. Themes are an interesting idea in the first place. There are themes in everything, especially the gospel, and they are so important. As I thought about the theme for conference it got me thinking about themes in my life. In my latest years, "LIVE SIMPLY" has definitely been a theme. (How great is it that I have a talented dad who can engrave me a bracelet so I see those words every day on my wrist.) During my high school running days, one of my themes was "ONE MORE". Every time coach asked if you could do another interval, every time you thought you couldn't make it up the next big hill, I found you can ALWAYS do at least one more. Then I thought back a little further. I thought of my childhood, how I was raised, and what made the most impression on me.
I thought of this conference, the call to do what we know is right even when it's hard, and it WILL be hard. And dad's words came to me loud and clear,
This isn't the first time that those words have come to me, both on my mission and otherwise. I can remember many a race when those words crossed my mind in the final stretch of a 3-mile race, and in those lonely moments on my mission where I needed to do something I didn't want to do, those words came again. My heart and thoughts would go back to warm summer nights spent watching dad team pen, maybe sitting on the bleachers with Kyle Christensen, or playing with the cats in the barn, but mostly the little bit of cowgirl those days planted in my heart. The cowgirl I had to be when I got bucked off and dad put me right back on the horse. I had to "COWGIRL UP", and I still have to cowgirl up. And I will ALWAYS have to cowgirl up. But the thing is, I AM a cowgirl. And cowgirls, well, they "cowgirl up". And I AM a child of God. And children of God. . . they make it back to their father. They do the hard things that their father asks of them because they know that's what they were made to do. They are made to succeed. To lift. To inspire. To change. That little line from my childhood, the little words that my parents said, they're still true. And they still apply. Hard things will still happen and be asked of me, but I'm a cowgirl, I'm a child of God, and I when I get bucked off, I will always get back on. Because that's who I am.
It really was an all around great week this week. We found a new little family of investigators that we are SO excited about. The mom's name is A------ and she has two little girls, one 10 and the other 13. We also had a really awesome lesson with our agnostic investigator. I wish you could be here with me. I wish you could feel what I feel when we teach him, always sitting around his kitchen table. I love him because he asks questions. Not mean, bashing questions, but he asks the hard questions, because he sincerely wants to know. We have really awesome discussions. He is really, really seeking. (And he came to conference!!! AAhhhh!!! I can't tell you how happy I was about that!) He asks questions that take a lot of thought and the spirit to answer, and every time we go in, I come out with an even stronger testimony. I haven't had the chance to teach anyone who REALLY doesn't know/believe if there is a God quite like him, and it's a really awesome experience.
Anyway. It's been an awesome week. I'm so happy here. I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be. I love y'all so much and I want you to know that I pray for you multiple times a day. There was a really special moment in conference, during a closing prayer. The speaker asked for the parents and grandparents of the missionaries to be blessed. Mom, Dad, Grandpa and Grandma Mower, Grandpa and Grandma “Duck”. . . that prayer was for you. And I hope you feel that.
I love you.
"Y'all be blessed"
P.S. Y'all heard of Meet the Mormons? The movie? Well... I TOTALLY ALREADY SAW IT AT A ZONE MEETING THIS WEEK!!!
|Conference with the Huntington, WV family.|
|Our District Leader|
|Shipwreck on the Ohio River|