What a day! It's been snowing all morning, and we're supposed to be getting 8-12 inches by the end of tonight. President Brough restricted the whole mission from using our cars until 12:00 tomorrow, so we're stuck inside until then. Luckily our apartment complex has a computer in the office, so we get to email for a bit. We're going to trek over to Goodwill after this. Luckily it's right across the street.
Before I get started talking about the conference with Elder Christofferson and Elder Soares, I have to tell you a really funny story! It's probably the funniest thing that's happened on my mission so far. I was in Lexington on an exchange the other day, and Hermana Arnoldsen and I were walking around a neighborhood talking to random people. We got to talking to this nice black lady, and about 3-4 minutes into our conversation a bird pooped right on her face! I had the hardest time not laughing. I awkwardly looked up and said, "Oh, it's a bird" and hooked her up with a tissue and hand sanitizer. It was so embarrassing. Luckily we didn't laugh until later, but man, self-control was a virtue in that moment!
Saturday morning, Elder Christofferson of the Twelve Apostles and Elder Soares of the Presidency of the Seventy came to speak to our entire mission. It began at 9:00 am. It was so cool to watch him walk in -- he was shorter than I expected -- and to feel the Spirit rush into the room. Elder Soares spoke first, then his wife, then Elder Christofferson's wife spoke, and finally Elder Christofferson. He did just a question and answer session, and there were a lot of good questions posed, such as:
- How can I be the best companion I can be?
- What is the significance/symbolism of the laying on of hands?
- How can I help my less-active family members and friends from out here?
- What is the term 'Heaven' intended to describe?
I just have to tell you: I learned a lot from his responses, but I learned a lot more by just observing him -- observing the way he talked, responded, moved, etc. He was so peaceful. He was not rushed. He was real. He was professional. He was so Christlike. In the end, he left us with his testimony. He said, "Above all else, I want you to remember and know that I said to you in person, that I know that Christ lives. I know He is our Savior."
Brothers and Sisters! We have prophets in the land today! This Church is lead by Christ Himself, not by man! I have listened to and seen an apostle of the Lord in person, and I can't deny the things the Spirit testified to me: that he is one called of God to be his special witness; that Christ lives; that God loves us and knows us; that this Church is the Church of Jesus Christ. Above all, I want the peace the Spirit brings. I want to emulate Christ. I want to have the Spirit with me always. I don't want to jeopardize that one bit by doing something against God's will and commandments. No matter how hard the circumstance or difficulty in keeping a certain commandment, do it anyway. There is no sin that's worth losing the Spirit. Use the gift you've been given. Be worthy of it always. It's so precious! A testimony is so precious!
Christ lives! I am so grateful to be a missionary so I can declare that to the world right now! I love this Church. I love my Father in Heaven. If you still don't have a testimony of the Church or of the Prophet or of Christ, ask God. Do what it takes. I know He will give it to you.
I love you all!!!!!