Monday, April 30, 2012

Honoring His Name

The other day I was speaking with our ward mission leader and he was telling Sister Stoker and I how on his mission he could not wear a name tag until the last 4 months of his mission because of the area where he served. He told us how because of that experience he really appreciated so much more being able to wear his name tag- which holds the name of Jesus Christ. His experience reminded me of a conversation I had with a young return missionary at the temple open house. This Return Missionary told me how the night he came home and was being released, he could literally feel that mantle of authority as a full-time missionary be removed from him. He said, "It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do- to hand over my name tag that I was so privileged to wear for 2 years." Man, that was so awful to hear, it kind of made me have anxiety to be honest. It made me want to run away and hide when the time comes for me to go home, but at the same time, it made me realize how blessed I am to represent Him, our Savior for these 18 months. How precious this time is that He has given me, but also how quickly it can go. We as missionaries must strive to always be anxiously engaged so that when the time comes for release, we can feel peace about the efforts and the work we have done for Him. I hope that I can strive to be more diligent and steadfast in all that I do. I know I'm not perfect, but I really want to do all I can to make every moment worth it.

So it's a sad, yet joyful day.. The Kansas City Temple Open House is now finished. It was the craziest 3 weeks of my life, but I loved every minute of it. I have met so many wonderful, and loving people that I will never forget. I cannot thank Heavenly Father enough for allowing me to be apart of this amazing experience. Last week, I ran into that same couple that introduced me to Warren. They hugged me and told me how thankful they were for the things that I had said to him. They said, "You'll never believe it, but Warren and the lady he brought with him are both taking the discussions again, only this time, more intently!" They were so excited, I was so excited, and hope that I'll be able to go to his baptism! They went on to say, "You have just been so perfect for all of the friends that we have brought with us to the temple open house.." That made me feel really good, because often as a missionary, it's really hard to see that I am making a difference in what I do out here in the big world. I heard a really neat story also from this same couple the other day. They told me about a lady (not of our faith) who had a prompting to drive to work a little earlier one morning for no reason. As she did so, there was a man who's car had broken down on the side of the road. She decided to pick him up, and as a result, this man was on his way to help out at the temple open house. He told her all about the temple and invited her to come and take a tour. Well, she did just that, and loved every minute of it. I was introduced to this lady by the very same couple who introduced me to Warren. Her name is Barb, and she was the sweetest thing. With almost tears in her eyes she said, "I just know that it was Heavenly Father who sent me here, I just know it. I loved the temple." She lives fairly close to the area that I serve in so I hope that maybe Sister Stoker and I will have the opportunity to possibly teach her! Ahh don't you just love it?! I do :) 

Ok another way cool, exciting story- Benedict, our investigator from Africa- is getting baptized this Friday!!!!! You have no idea how excited we are. Let me tell you how it all went down: So we met with Benedict early last week, and were feeling a little confused on where he was at and if he even wanted to be baptized because he hadn't been to church and we hadn't been able to get hold of him.. We had a member from our ward with us, and as we taught Benedict he started telling us how all last week he had been praying on his knees morning and night and kept getting the feeling that he just needed to dive into the church, and be baptized. He said, "I just want to know what I need to do to be baptized." Sister Stoker and I sat there with our eyes and mouths wide open. Haha. We said, "We'd love to help you with that!" So we continued to teach him and as we were trying to set a date, he said, "I would be baptized tonight if I could." Ha, it was so sweet! Later on in the week, we met with Benedict again to finish teaching him, and after many attempts at trying to set a good date, we finally picked one out that would work for him and the ward.. Well, after doing so, we realized we hadn't taught him about the Word of Wisdom and weren't sure if he was struggling with anything. As we started teaching it, we got to coffee and he told us that he was a pretty avid coffee drinker.. Sister Stoker and I looked at each other and didn't really know what to say.. we were so worried that we were going to have to tell him to change his date, but before we could say anything, he says this, "Well, for some reason these last 5 days I haven't drank any coffee at all, I don't know why, I just haven't needed it." Once again, our eyes and mouths were on the floor. Isn't that such a miracle?! The spirit had already been preparing him for our lesson. He committed to live the Word of Wisdom and realized that he had received a prompting from Heavenly Father. It just doesn't get any better than that! In addition to Benedict's baptism this Friday, our sweet Beth in the Branch will be getting baptized as well tomorrow! We are pleased as punch and couldn't be more thankful to a loving Heavenly Father who has given us this opportunity to be apart of so many amazing miracles! It's so great!

Well, I'm almost done with this novel- This Saturday all 240 of us missionaries will be traveling to Kansas City to sing We'll Bring The World His Truth for our beloved Prophet, Thomas S. Monson, Elder Holland, Elder Scott, and Elder Hallstrom!!!!!!!!!!! If that isn't exciting, then I don't know what is. It seriously gives me the chills just to think that I get to be apart of this, and that we will be able to be in the presence of the Prophet for Jesus Christ's church! And then on Sunday, we will be able to go to the KC Temple Dedication with 2 new recent converts! Ahh, I just love this mission, I love this Gospel, I love it! I know it is true! It is so worth the small sacrifice to serve Him. I promise! 
Love you all!

Love, Hermana Conrow :)

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