Monday, October 5, 2015

General Conference

Another week in the mission has passed, this one including a change in houses. Yes, we moved on Thursday into a brand new room in the same general building as our pension.  Now we don't have to walk to every meal! I wish I could explain houses here, they're so different. Suffice to say, I'm happy with our new home- it seems brighter and more cheerful. It's also slightly more comfortable as Elder Chujo and I arranged the furniture. It feels more my own. 

As interesting as moving is, General Conference took center stage this week. The fraternal feelings of bonding with the North American missionaries to make the scratchy connection with cable in a back room of the Stake Center were strong. When we finally made the connection just in time for the first speaker, we couldn't help but shout loudly and clap each other on the back. The Latinos in the chapel listening to the translation were doubtlessly disturbed. For those unaware of Conference, it's a semi-annual meeting of the Church's authorities at which they give talks to the 15 million members of the church in the world. Twelve apostles, the prophet, and other leaders address us, and this time was particularly special in that three new apostles were called, by revelation of the prophet, to fill the gap of three recently deceased apostles. Elder Rasband seems straightforward and reliable, Elder Stevenson sincere and humble. 

Elder Renlund's talk particularly stood out to me, in that we need to view others as a parent would see them. More specifically, their Father in Heaven. Upon searching the annals of our church magazines, I found two relatively recent talks- one in 2009, and one in the last conference. Latter Day Saints Keep on Trying was, I remember, a notable talk last conference and I'm sure he'll give more powerful sermons in the following years. 

I found a poignant theme in seeking the Holy Ghost in our lives throughout the conference. I liked Elder Lawrence's advice to turn to the Spirit for specific counsel. I would also encourage everyone to take to heart the challenge of Elder Durrant to "ponderize" a scripture each week. If you do, shoot me an email simply with the scripture. I can't respond extensively, but I'll give my pondered, memorized scripture for the week as well. Finally, I give my testimony of these men, that they´re called of God. As Elder Bednar said concerning the apostles:  Sure they're all old, that just means they have a lifetime of experience and service to God. 

The only downside is that when it comes time, we face with them the affects of mortality.  As were many of you, I was heartbroken to see President Monson struggle at the conclusion of his talk, only having prayers to sustain him and keep him upright. Having viewed him as an example all my life, enjoyed his biography, and studied his extensive history of sermons the last fifty years, I know the pillar of strength, enthusiasm, and service he is. He'll continue to demonstrate this, being the person he is, but keep him in your prayers. In the last short while, he's lost his wife and three close friends while in the meantime lifting the church, relying assuredly only on the Lord to lift his own burdens. 

That's all for this week, my friends. Until next time!