Wow it’s been a busy week! We have successfully moved from Kingman and are now in Lake Havasu! That took quite an effort, but we made it and are getting all settled in down here. It has been a very weird transfer as we are still in the same zone and go back to Kingman at least once a week. It doesn’t quite feel like we have left. And what’s cool is, I get to go on exchanges again in Quartzsite in a couple weeks! That will be exciting.
There have been a lot of miracles this week and I don’t even know where to start. I have truly gained a testimony of inspired leadership. Our mission president was very inspired to put us here in Havasu. Already in just a week, we have seen how badly the Lord needed us here. And it really truly is nothing about us, but just that we are elders, I guess....This area has had sisters for a long, long time and people loved them, but every area, after it has had elders or sisters for too long, can use a changeup.
On Wednesday night, we went to the church for a Book of Mormon class and to get to meet some of the members. There was a huge combined mutual activity in the gym with both of the wards youth. We saw the bishop from one of the wards and wanted to introduce ourselves to him. We started talking and he was so excited to have elders. He is a very missionary minded bishop and had lots of people for us to go see. And then all the youth started chanting our names and they called us to the middle of the gym and wanted us to play this game called 'chubby bunny', where you stuff marshmallows in your mouth and say chubby bunny. So that was really fun, and the youth loved it!
And then this one brother in the ward came out with us to some lessons and afterwards he invited us over to meet his family really quick. A funny thing is that he is a judge in Havasu and he said that he knew some of the people we went to go from court! hahaha He said, “This may be a little awkward for them.” So that was a surprise, but anyway, when we got to his house and met his family they were so awesome. He has six kids and they are all so great. The youngest one, about 4 years old or so, had told his mom a few months ago that he couldn’t go on a mission because he wasn’t a sister. His mom told him that boys can go on missions too and that they are elders. But he said he didn’t believe her because he had never seen one. So yesterday was his first time meeting an elder! It was so fun and he was super excited. They also had made us oey goeys, which are basically chocolate with a little bit of cookie. They were great!
There are a lot of youth that we will get the chance to bless. Their eldest son is 15, and a member of the seventy told him one time, while his family was hosting him while on a trip, that he would be responsible for four baptisms in his high school years-What a prophesy! And so the family is super missionary minded and has some awesome families they are working with. And I think the key is, that they know it will happen, and so every friend he makes they see them as a potential member of the church. Imagine if we would do that with our friends! I challenge you to try it out.
So, to end my long discourse today, (haha) I want to talk about conference, and all the many wonderful things I learned from it. I prepared questions that I wanted answers to and I received many answers to each question. It was amazing how some of the talks seemed to be just perfect answers to my questions. It built my testimony again of inspired leaders in the Lord’s church.
1.) Don't forget the gospel when trying to teach the gospel. That little catch phrase came to me during President Uchtdorf’s first talk. Basically, sticking to the fundamentals in all we do. I know I for one, always try to do crazy, out of the park things, when really I just need to do the basics. It’s like in baseball or golf, trying to kill the ball is not as good as having the correct fundamentals and smooth swing.
2.) 2nd Nephi 5:27, a scripture quoted by Elder Maynes, lead me to a discovery. True happiness comes as we apply our past circumstances and growth to our future. Nephi built swords after the sword of Laban in that chapter. He had learned from that experience, the sword symbolizing what he had learned, and he used that to mold more swords for a protection for his people. He also taught them in matters of wood working, metal working, and construction; things he learned from a life on the road and building a boat. The Lord had taught him these things, and he applied them the rest of his life. Our mission vision is to become preach my gospel missionaries for life. I must apply what I learn on my mission to the rest of my life
3.) Resentment diminishes progress.
4.) We cannot only have faith in the best of times, and then doubt when things are tough. We must be a constant in the Lord’s army!
5.) My mother’s love for me is the closest thing to Christ’s love for me. But not only that, the suffering I have caused my mom, and the things she goes through for me is the closest thing to Christ’s suffering on that painful night in Gethsemane.
6.) As a leader, rely on the Lord more. Those in my stewardship were His before they were mine. He wants them to succeed and so He will show me how to accomplish that.
7.) Spiritual Integrity is remembering our faith even when we are tempted to doubt- Elder Stanfill
8.) The Sabbath day is a setting apart, just as a missionary is set apart from the world when he or she begins his mission.
9.) If we have a lack of spiritual habits, we will forget our most precious and wonderful spiritual moments and experiences. It has to be repetition, otherwise our testimonies will fade.
10.) Continued commandment keeping brings about a changed nature
11.) The Lord has called me to His work, and if I want to accomplish the things he has prepared for me I can only do it His way!
12.) True disciples desire to inspire - Elder Schwitzer
13.) A scripture a week can keep the devil away! Don’t forget to ponderize! My scripture this week is Alma 26: 12
14.) Don’t be too critical of the barrier (commandments). It is the only thing keeping you from being devoured.
15.) God is the ultimate leader. He delegates all things to us. He has given us the power of procreation and He knows many of his children will abuse it, but still He allows us to that power because He knows for in it we will grow. We must all become that type of leader! As I was studying this topic, Alma 60 really hit me of what type of leader we must be. We must be a leader of action and we must do it with all humility.
There is so much more I learned from conference and I wish I could share it all, but I will spare you!
Have a great week! Share the gospel!