Hello again from the wonderful South Ribble! This week has been great. I love my companion, this area, and the amazing people here. Couldn't be happier :)I got to go on exchange with the cute Sister Guyman this week! I really love getting to know so many sisters. At first, each exchange would stress me out a bit. But now I'm getting more used to it and can really enjoy it and help the sisters without getting too stressed. This is Sister Guyman and me and also sadly the only picture I took this week. Sorry!
So, how about general conference?! Was it amazing or WHAT? So far I've seen the women's meeting, both Saturday sessions, and the Sunday morning session. And I probably won't ever get to sit down and finish all the rest until I'm not a missionary anymore. But oh well! It was a wonderful experience for me. My favourite talks were by Lynn G. Robbins, D. Todd Christofferson, and Elder Jorg Klebingat. The questions I had prepared were mostly about what I needed to change to be a more consecrated and sanctified disciple of Jesus Christ. And let me tell you, Heavenly Father wasted no time in showing me a few things that I need to change in order to get closer to His son. But I'm truly grateful for personal revelation or else I would never change.
Along with specific things I need to change to become more Christlike, I've also been pondering my motivations for missionary work. I honestly have no idea WHY I decided to serve a mission. I can't remember! All I remember is just feeling like I should and that I would regret it the rest of my life if I didn't. So I did! But I don't think I was prepared for the amount of love that is required to be a good missionary. Maybe that's why I struggled so much at the beginning, who knows. But lately I've wondered if all my actions as a missionary (studying, finding, teaching) are really motivated by love or instead by a desire to follow the missionary schedule exactly. For example, when I was on exchange with Sister Guyman, we both had TERRIBLE colds so we had permission to sleep in to fight it off. That meant we missed our study time. That night when I got into bed I realised I hadn't read my scriptures that day! And it hit me! Do I only study the scriptures daily because the missionary schedule provides me with one hour when it would actually be disobedient to be doing anything else? Or do I actually love the word of God and am willing to MAKE time in my life for the scriptures? And I can apply that to finding and teaching as well. Lately when I'm talking to someone on the street and am feeling a bit fidgety or bored, I ask myself: WHY AM I TALKING TO THIS PERSON? Is it because I would feel guilty letting someone pass me without at least trying to share the gospel with them? Or is it because I have a love of the gospel and really truly believe that it would change their life for the better? Would I talk to them even if I wasn't specifically assigned to because I'm a missionary? Basically, I want to become a more pure in heart, gospel loving, Saviour following PERSON. I want the changes that I've made in the last year of my life to last much longer than 18 months. I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father has taught me this lesson. And luckily, I still have 6 months to figure out what I can change to truly become a sanctified disciple of Christ for the rest of my life, not just until the end of my mission.
I love you all! I'm so thankful for this experience. I'm so thankful that I'm having this opportunity to really put my trust in the Lord and let him shape and refine me. I'm thankful for goodly parents who reared me completely motivated by gospel love and a desire to help me be worthy to live with them forever one day. I'm thankful for a loving God, my Heavenly Father, who sent His Son, even Jesus Christ, to satisfy the demands of justice and allow change, progression, and salvation. I'm thankful for the organization of the church, namely apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists and so forth. I'm thankful for my witness from the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. If my mission has done anything, it has strengthened my testimony of those simple truths. Those truths are treasures in heaven for me. I share these things with you, my wonderful family, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.