Monday, April 4, 2016

April 4, 2016

Hey Mom!

This week:
General Conference. Yeah, I'm not going to lie, that actually sums up the week. 

I am so glad that you guys finally put that coat rack to use. It seems like yesterday that I was asking Kim Cox for rusted horseshoes for the weld project Jeff had us on. Those memories in the wood shop are special to me. Sure, I can't see myself being a carpenter, but I really did like building something that others got to use. After all, we still use that cutting board (or the zombie-killing board as Daniel puts it) that I made in 7th grade for cutting bread right?

So....there's a stray cat at the cabin eh? Well, I guess it's not bad that you guys are being sympathetic to it. When you described it I immediately thought of Bandit. Perhaps it was him resurrected or something. Meh, probably not. Still, cats have a fancy survival skill of making their way across mountains to where they were last welcomed. Hearing it come all the way from Alton was a fun thought.

I can't really way that I know too much of John's story to accurately re-tell it. Sorry. Keep in mind he was already an investigator when I came in and I never got around to personally asking him what his story was. But to answer your question on the Holy Ghost, I can safely say that I still sometimes struggle to heed His promptings, but when I do there is a distinct feeling that speaks to me. I remember when I was in Yakima, Vajner and I had just got back from service and we had the elders who gave us a ride drop us off at our next appointment. It fell through, so we decided to go tracting. As we were walking down the street, I got a feeling like we should go down this one street and knock doors on the north side of it. Beatty and I previously did the south side. Well, few doors in and we run into a young guy named Austin, who let us come back to teach him! I am uncertain as to how Vajner and his new comp. are doing with him now, but that experience was a testimony builder to me with regards as to how the Holy Spirit works. If you get what you think is a spiritual impression, act on it! What's the worst that could happen?

And speaking of Spiritual things, General Conference. Oh mah golly that was spiritual! I definitely felt the spirit all throughout the sessions that we watched. I've always been a fan of President Uchtdorf's talks, and the ones he gave in Priesthood and Sunday morning were absolutely fantastic! I loved how he compared the church in Dresden to our ability to rebuild our lives into something grander even after we get knocked down. Elder Holland's address at the end of the conference was also great insight to me as well. We'll always have to return to the world after out special moments, but that doesn't mean that we have to fear tomorrow. As long as we hold to the spirit we receive, then we can have hope for our future because of the love that God has for us! And of course, President Monson's talks were short, but very uplifting as well! You can tell that despite the fact that his age is taking a toll, the spirit is working with him as he speaks. I must say that the spirit was so strong during the whole thing. Particularly when the choir sang "Come thou Fount of Every Blessing." Safe to say that some tears were shed at that too.

It was a real testimony builder of the restored Gospel, conference was. You can always tell a person by the way that they speak about what things they do. And I can say now that I know that god has a prophet here on Earth because of how much our Father in Heaven loves us to give us His gospel to live by. It definitely was a spiritual highlight watching General conference as a missionary. I felt so much peace and joy afterwards that brought a lot of calm to the qualm of mind that I have sometimes. 

But either way, I hope you get the chance to watch what you missed! It doesn't really matter what faith you are, General Conference will serve as an answer to your questions if you listen for them. Despite the noise of the world, sanctuary still exists, and it is more felt in the word and presence of those called by God to direct His work on the Earth. Yeah, the world may label you as Christian, and then Christendom may label you as Mormon, but God and Jesus Christ forget labels and call you loved. So...what have we to fear? As Paul said "If God be for us, who can be against us?" In a peaceful way of course.

Still, I appreciate the love you send me in the emails. We don't get to much as missionaries with regards to most entertaining things, and I've definitely come to see the value of penned or typed encouragement. Keep up the faith that you guys have! Hope that the season goes well with the cabin, I do miss our cleaning trips we'd make in the summer, but there will be plenty time to do that after I'm done here. And boy, is this an awesome work!

Love you dear Mom!
Michael