Happy October! The weather finally agrees! Last week it was ridiculously, unbearably hot -- seriously, 104, 106, 112 degrees almost every day! But today it's beautiful! It's really great October, fall, Halloween weather! It's been cool, gray and drizzly all day. A little on the chilly side, but that's a nice little change from the heat!
YAYAYAYAYAYAY for General Conference!!!!!
Yes, I LOVED conference!!! I totally meant to bring my notes and share a few things, but alas, it is at home sitting on my desk. Oh well, I'll try to share a few thoughts. I loved Pres. Monson's opening remarks...something about being a full-time missionary just makes those comments and talks stand out a little more :) I was really impressed with Elder Christofferson's comments about living a consecrated life. I wrote the 5 or so points on a 3x5 card with the words "How consecrated am I?" to remind me and help me stay focused.
Mom and Dad, I especially want to thank you. As E. Holland spoke about his mission and the sacrifice made by his parents, it really brought me to tears as I thought about the incredible love and sacrifice you've always given me, especially in coming on this mission. Also in E. Lawrence's talk, as he mentioned the 5 things that will keep your children anchored (Family prayer, scripture study, FHE, family dinners, and personal interviews), I could look back on my life and see what a great blessing all of those have been to me. So thank you. I know we weren't perfect, but like it's been said, we don't have to be. Perfection does not come in this life, but thank you for working so hard to do all of those things, even and especially when it was hard. I know you always say that you were blessed with good kids, but we don't just turn out like this on accident! I can honestly say, with Nephi and Joseph Smith that I was born of goodly parents who loved and taught me in the ways of the Lord, and I am eternally indebted to you for that. Thank you. I Love You SO MUCH.
I miss you, you know! Sometimes here at the end it's hard not to think about or look forward to being home with you again. As much as I love my mission and am not looking forward to leaving it, I'm really looking forward to seeing and being with my family again!
PRESS FORWARD, SAINTS!!!!!
I also loved Pres. Uchtdof's talk! It's been interesting on my mission to see people from so many different walks of life, to see their lives, their joys and challenges, and to learn from them, both good and bad. I can really see the great importance of following Pres. Uchtdorf's counsel of simplifying and making sure that we know and have a strong relationship with the Lord, others, and ourselves! I was really struck with the impression of how important it will be for me to keep up my personal scripture study and prayers, and not to get caught up in the snares of wasting time on unimportant things once I'm home and in school and everything. Oh how important it is to put the Lord first!!! I see it, I see it, I see it! When we forget Him and let other things come in the way, we slowly, gradually let go of the rod and get lost! I DON'T WANT TO GET LOST!!!!!!!
Something that I've been thinking a LOT about lately is how important and what a blessing it is to keep the commandments (just ask my companion -- I say this all the time!). Oh my goodness, I just wish the whole world would JUST KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS!!!!!!!! UGH!!!!!! There is so much sadness and heartache and misery in the world, just because people break the commandments -- those natural and moral laws established by our Father in Heaven for our joy and happiness. Do you realize how much happier the world would be if everyone would just follow God and keep the commandments?!?! It breaks my heart as I see individuals and families suffering with the results of bad decisions. Por ejemplo, the RC (recent convert) family where the husband and wife got married just before her baptism so that she could be baptized, who are now getting a divorce because the wife is having an affair. She moved out, and the husband has been struggling to make ends meet and take care of his son. Their 9 year old son is now having to deal with parents fighting over custody, and just terrible sad circumstances and consequences. It kills me -- absolutely breaks my heart to see them suffering and so sad. And we see it every day...people breaking the law of chastity, the word of wisdom...pretty much any commandment you can think of, we see it being broken, and we see the terrible sadness that it brings; are they happy? NO! I can honestly say that most of the sadness and suffering I see everyday is a direct result of someone choosing not to obey God. Truly, wickedness NEVER was happiness!!! As Harvey Carroway always said, "Keep the commandments and you'll be blessed."
That is my plea for the day: Please, Please, PLEASE just keep the commandments!!!! I promise you'll be so much happier if you just will! Heavenly Father promises that, and He definitely doesn't lie!
Now, all that said, I know there are other things in life that cause us grief and sorrow that aren't direct results of sin, but I know too that throught the Atonement of Jesus Christ, peace, comfort and and underlying sense of joy or even just being ok can be ours if we'll follow Him and allow Him to heal us.
Ok, ok, all that said, I'm doing GREAT! I'll keep you in my prayers, and you keep praying for me, ok? I need you!!!
I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!
who LOVES being a missionary!!!!!
HURRAH FOR ISRAEL!!!!!!!