Wednesday, December 26, 2012

zone conference, Elder Packer, and trials of faith

This week was really good, and full of spiritual experiences.  We had our Christmas zone conference, which was absolutely amazing.  I always learn so much from zone conference, but this one was especially significant for me.  We watched a talk given by Elder Holland, probably when Derek was in the MTC.  He talks about the same story of Paul and the apostles that he shared at this past conference, but applied it more forcefully and directly to missionary work.  I'm so inspired by the way he speaks.  I think the source of his ability to be bold and loving at the same time is that the "loving" part comes from his love for the Savior.  I want to be better at that--to say what needs to be said, in the way that the Savior would have me say it.  We also got to have a little fun with a gift exchange at zone conference, just like last year.  The missionaries who are going home this transfer and next gave their testimonies.  I remember that a year ago at the December zone conference I was shocked that they could say that they didn't want to leave their missions, or that time had gone by quickly for them.  This year, I felt I could relate.  Time has gone by way too quickly, and right now my goal is to wear myself to the bone until the end.  I love this work and I love being with missionaries.
So remember how in Derek's last letter, he talked about a mission tour with Elder Packer of the Seventy?  The same Elder Packer spoke in our sacrament meeting this week!  He has great Spanish, so it was perfect.  He talked about the Book of Mormon.  He told the ward that if we want to fill the chapel every week on Sunday, the way to do it is by reading, studying, and pondering the Book of Mormon at home.  There is so much power in the Book of Mormon.  When we really seek to understand the scriptures, they help us to change more than anything else.
This week has been one that's required a lot of faith and endurance in our area...  We also had a couple exchanges that were a little taxing.  On our last exchange this week I felt like I didn't fully fulfil my purpose.  I've had to do a lot of reflecting and repenting this week to find out what I need to do to be better as I work with investigators and as I work in my assignment as sister trainer.  It's been a trial of my faith in the power of revelation.  Sometimes I feel like I have no clue what to do.  While it's not very comfortable to feel that way, I'm grateful to my Heavenly Father for giving me those moments where I have no choice but to turn to Him for revelation and help.  So many times this week I've been put in places where I HAVE TO believe and know that the Lord will intervene and show me what to do.  I've come to understand the doctrine of Christ so much better on my mission, especially lately.  Nothing happens without faith and repentance.  Nothing is satisfying without making and keeping covenants with God.  And the blessings of the Spirit are so essential if we are to make it through to the end.  I'm so grateful for the experiences that are helping me to understand the gospel and help others to understand it and live it as well.

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