The geese are heading south--the end is near. Winter is coming.
I greatly appreciate the email from my parents with many powerful scriptures and the needed encouragement. Thanks to Kim for responding to my letter and providing her spiritual insights, and to Mike for his encouraging email. Surely the past few weeks have been difficult and unfocusing, yet I have never stopped working. I feel that the hardest part has past and the end is in sight because I know that I am heading back to Kenora and getting a new companion--a brand new companion, again. Yes, I will be training again and this time I will be a district leader in Ontario. I know that these responsibilities will help me refocus on my missionary purpose. I think what I lacked to do was set goals for improving myself. I was so set on helping another person that I neglected setting goals for improving myself and then the past few weeks have been so tumultuous for me that it has been hard to really get my feet planted, so-to-speak. (I am in southern Winnipeg if I didn't tell you, sorry to Aunt Susan and family for not visiting them--so much going on!)
I will begin with the more important things to include:
Reflecting on General Conference, I wanted a spiritual reconfirmation of a few important truths, because PMG (Preach My Gospel) asks us to frequently go to the Lord and reconfirm our testimonies of important truths, like the Book of Mormon. I have struggled with that counsel because in the Doctrine and Covenants section 6, 8 or 9 (somewhere there) the Lord tells Oliver Cowdery to "cast his mind upon the night that [he] cried unto him...did [God] not speak peace concerning the matter?" So I have always looked back to a certain event that was a very spiritual event that confirmed the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon to me, and I have felt somewhat guilty asking of the Lord because I instantly think about "did I not speak peace concerning the matter?" So I have not reconfirmed that testimony, not that I do not believe it is true! I do! I brought this dilemma up to my district leader and he pointed a few things out to me: He pointed out that to ask an important question flippantly, without really putting in the required effort, would be wrong, but, as PMG tells us to do, to seriously study and reconfirm our testimonies, especially of the Book of Mormon.
SO.....what I have been leading up to was that I went to General Conference seeking to reconfirm my testimony of the Book of Mormon and I cannot remember exactly when or who was speaking when I felt the peace and the impression "yes, the Book of Mormon is true". What a comfort. I took something like 13 or 14 pages of notes from General Conference! Yikes. It was all so good, and quite the struggle because we needed to be in Dryden during the whole weekend and I could not get ahold of the people I wanted to remind about General Conference and no-one came out in Kenora. I was stressed and pretty frustrated about the whole situation that I could not be in my area during such an important event and remind investigators to come. I had also invited MANY people on the street with cards that I had made and laminated and I will never know if they came or not. So there was a lot of frustration there, but General Conference itself provided a lot of relief. I definitely needed it. Nothing is better than General Conference as a missionary. Last Monday in Dryden we were able to find 2 exciting new investigators. Because its been over a week I cannot remember what their names were...wait, Darren and George. They are great and it was another confirmation that the Lord is preparing people to accept His word.
I really enjoyed Pres. Monson's talk about being prepared to share the gospel and our testimonies. We have to stand as witnesses, and every week we take Christ's name upon us when we partake of the sacrament. We have to stand for good, for right, and to stand up for what we believe in. He had a quote that was something like "when the time comes, the time for preparation has passed". Something like that. I loved his story about being on the bus in Texas and the bus driver asking if anyone knew anything about the Mormons. The scripture he shared was 1 Peter 3:15, and it is a scripture that I have recently begun using to try to motivate members to do missionary work. Be ready to share the gospel and your testimony, and not being afraid of referring them to the missionaries.
I don't have time to share insights from Zone Conference, but Elder Kevin Duncan (who spoke in April''s Gen. Conf.) attended and instructed us on a number of things, mainly working with branches and wards better and getting members involved. Took lots more notes.
Well I have got to go because I have limited time on the computers in Dryden, but I did want to mention that I do know that the Gospel has been restored and that the Book of Mormon is true. No argument against it stands, and the Spirit has testified to me it is true, and because of that confirmation to me, I will not waver. Some fun things from the past week: I saw 5 bears! 4 in a tree in Kenora, and 1 in Dryden...a guy we tracted into offered us a ride in his 1930 Model A. An investigator here in Winnipeg dominated the 3rd hour discussion...and Fall is my favorite time of year. Thanks to everyone for your support! I love you all greatly.
No pictures here (again), I need a cable to connect to the computers and didn't bring it. Have to wait another week...Thank you Mom and Dad for all the spiritual insights--they are THE most important part of your letters, honestly. Keep allowing your testimonies to shine through, and make sure you are progressing your testimonies, or else you ARE regressing.