Wasn’t Conference Wonderful?!

6 Apr

Well, it’s April 6th, and that means that it’s been 185 years since the organization of the church! And it’s also the actual birthday of Jesus! I happened to be reading the Christmas story in the book of 3rd Nephi today when I realized that what the date was. I thought that was pretty cool. I hope you all had a lovely Easter and enjoyed General Conference. I love when they fall on the same weekend.

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The feeling when you leave a lesson and you can’t stop smiling… that’s what the mission’s all about. We taught the Williams last Monday night, and it was just perfect. During weekly planning the Thursday before, we felt impressed that we should teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson next rather than the Plan of Salvation, which is typically lesson #2. It didn’t really make logical sense but it felt right, and on Monday night we found out why. As we taught about the doctrine behind baptism and the “why” of the covenant, I felt the Spirit’s guiding hand. After that principle, Sister Williams said, “After so many missionaries teaching me over the years, they never explained why baptism was necessary or really what it was, so I was always afraid of it. I have always felt like I wasn’t good enough for the baptism… but now with the covenant it makes sense that God will help me”. We were able to testify to her about the gift of the Holy Ghost helping us and guiding us after our baptism and that we would be able to renew our covenants through the sacrament. When we got in the car after the lesson, Sister Wankier and I were so happy! We knew that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was exactly what she needed that night.

A beautiful Wyoming evening

A beautiful Wyoming evening

I went to my last zone conference on Tuesday, and it was wonderful as always! The theme was “Companions with the Lord”, and it was all focused on working in unity as a missionary companionship and also having the companionship of the Holy Ghost. I played the piano for the conference, and I accompanied a small ensemble musical number entitled, “Deep, Deep Love”. The lyrics of the piece were about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and there was a video of the crucifixion and resurrection playing silently on the projector during it. At the exact moment that they sang the line, “Deeper than the nails driven into His hands, is the love of a Father who gives His only Son”, it showed that exact scene in the video which I saw from the corner of my eye from the piano. I felt the depth of our Savior’s love, and it’s a miracle I was able to finish playing the piece because I could barely see through the tears in my eyes.

Happy Easter from the sisters! (Sister Wankier's mom sent us bunny mouth suckers, haha)

Happy Easter from the sisters! (Sister Wankier’s mom sent us bunny mouth suckers, haha)

The middle of the week was kind of rough for us because both Sister Wankier and I caught a small stomach bug. We’re pretty sure it was a little bit of food poisoning from a mexican restaurant that some members took us too… Let me tell you, I have not had good mexican food in 17 months! Oh well, this is Wyoming and Montana I suppose.

Oh General Conference, how I love thee! I felt like all of the talks were being spoken directly to my soul. I brought several questions that have been on my mind, and they were unequivocally answered. Some of the highlights that really stuck with me were Elder Renlund’s talk about how “saints are sinners who keep on trying”, and President Uchtdorf’s amazing explanation of how grace “does not move backward, but upward”. The talk that affected me the most with Elder Kevin W. Pearson of the 70’s about enduring to the end. I loved how he said, “hanging in there is not a principle of the gospel!”. He spoke directly to current and returned missionaries, saying, “Do NOT do a swan dive into Babylon!”. I have come to realized that the absolute key to maintaining what I have felt and experienced on my mission is the Book of Mormon. We each have the promise that if we study the Book of Mormon every day, every day, every day, that we will remain faithful and grounded by the “tree of life”. Oh, I could go on and on about what I learned and felt from General Conference!

The only amusing thing from this week that I can remember right now is that it was only us and the elders at the stake center for all four sessions of conference! We held out faith for a least one family to come to the Sunday morning session, but alas, ’twas just us and the elders again. I think the elders weren’t sure if we were supposed to be alone together (it was fine) so they sat at the wayyy back, haha.

Just us and the elders holdin' down the fort at the stake center during conference

Just us and the elders holdin’ down the fort at the stake center during conference

Well, the time grows ever shorter. I realized today that I only get to write you all two more times. But hey, then I get to see your lovely faces. I love you all so much!!! Have a marvelous week!

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