Monday, October 6, 2014

Week 13 "Conference Week"

Man.  I'm sitting here at the computer thinking of what to write, and I just have a lot of thankfulness in my heart, that God is giving me this experience.  I really loved conference this week, it was amazing to feel like I was receiving so much guidance and direction on the things that I needed help with, because the Lord knows I need a lot of help out here. 

     The highlight of the week was definitely General Conference.  Here in France, we are eight hours ahead of Utah, so the 10am session plays at 4pm, we watch priesthood session in the morning, and the saturday afternoon and sundaymorning sessions on sunday night.  I still need to read the sunday afternoon one sometime soon.  However, I gained some awesome revelation and motivation from conference that I love.  Some of my favorite talks included Uchtdorf's about, "Lord, is it I?" or the talk with Eduardo Gavarett, or Jorg Kleginbat, or well, man, there were so many good talks that I benefitted from.  I think that the message that I really took from conference was that, 
     Hey, it's not a bad thing if you have trials in life, sometimes you will think that but life is a time to test you, and it's okay if you're having struggles, it means you're trying!, You wouldn't have opposition if you weren't being pushed.

From Holland and Uchtdorf combined.  In one way or another, we are all beggars, we all need the Savior in our lives.  We should never criticize other people for their mistakes or flaws when we have so many of our own.  In my opinion, the best way to help other people do better is not by immediately correcting their mistakes, but complimenting them on what they're doing well, that way, they feel good about themselves and capable of improving.

     I enjoyed conference so much, and I realize more now that it's okay that my mission is hard, and it's okay to not even know why it is hard but it is! If I say, okay, I'm out here for a good reason,  and although It's hard for me there's people who need this gospel, and they are more important than my personal concerns.  Even though it is hard to stretch and grow every day, we get such blessings from the Lord when we do!  One of my goals right now is to start talking to people in the metro, and when I find something cool, or interesting that they're doing I summon the courage to tell them.  It's not much, but it's better than sitting and doing nothing.

     My trainer Elder Johnson is teaching me great lessons out here about the purpose of missionary work.  He loves the people, and knows his purpose with a rock-solid foundation.  I know if I put my trust in the Lord, he will give me the love for the people, and help me to focus on the work, because you have to out here!  Last night I had a good conversation with elder Johnson on the importance of setting goals.  They are the way in which we're going to measure progress in our lives, and although my goals are small, I know that they'll help me to improve.  Some of my goals for today are to be positive in my email, contact two people, and thank Elder Johnson for his hard work in training me.  The mission is so hard! But what else, what experience will bring me greater joy? I don't know how my mission will play out, but so far, I've felt so blessed to be here in France, and I'm excited to overcome the culture shock, get on top of things, and become who the Lord needs me to become!

     Fun happenings of the week: We did service projects twice for different members of the ward! We did yardwork for a nice lady in the ward, and helped another family move.  I love meeting the members of the ward and just getting to know them.  Also my French is improving, I am so happy! Our investigator M. continues to come closer to her baptism, and I'm looking forward to the good things to come in her life.  Elder Johnson's Grandparents came and visited today, and they bought our groceries, and stocked our fridges with lots of meat, pastries, and other good food!  Best meal of the week: Elder Johnson and I made Gnocchi, a pasta filled with potato, we put gouda cheese on top, with meat on the side, and I almost died it was so good.  So basically, the mission is great when you look at all the positive, and yes, there is more positive than negative every day!
     Love you all, have a good week! And look at conference again, it was so good!

Pizza that looks like snowbird's logo, cool! The other elders in our apartment made pizza because it was Elder Christensen's birthday, and also Sister Walton's birthday as well! Sister Walton's family (from Holladay!) lives right down the street from us, so that is so cool we're in the same district. 

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