Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's Great To Be A Missionary In The M.I.M!

Sister Ogletree & me

Ahhh, I feel like I have so much that I want to talk about this week. So many exciting things have happened and just a lot of thoughts have been going through my head!


It was so awesome! She came on Saturday night with her choir, they're called- Saints Unified Voices- and they are amazing. Basically this group travels all around to different areas and different missions to share the African-American music, but also to testify boldly of the Restoration and how they came to know that it's true. It seriously is so powerful! I loved every minute of it, and Ola did too. He was singing along and clapping and just going to town. Haha. I was so happy to see him that happy. The whole audience was filled with missionaries, and investigators, and just people who had come to see and hear Gladys. Man, I loved how bold they were with their testimonies. 

Gladys's husband, William McDowell got up and shared how they met and then his personal conversion story, and something that he said really stuck with me. He said, "I had no problem with the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, I knew it was true, but I asked the Lord, why did you have to give the gospel to a white boy?" And he said that the Lord gave him this answer, "I didn't give the gospel to a white boy, I gave it to your brother." Ha boom! How awesome is that?! It's so true. 

Then Gladys talked all about how much she loves the missionaries, and she had all of us missionaries stand up so she could pay tribute to us. How cool is that?

 I honestly feel so special to be a missionary, it's just.. such a wonderful time of life. I am so grateful Heavenly Father has given me this time to serve. I feel so honored. I truly am doing the greatest work, and the Lord makes sure to let me know just that. 

I am so thankful to Gladys for all of her efforts in doing missionary work. She probably has no idea how many people and how many lives she touches with her service. This whole event that she puts on all over, with her choir, is all for free. It's her way of doing missionary work and I love it! What better way to testify than through music and a devotional. I seriously lucked out being able to be apart of this! I will never forget all the "amens!" and "uh huh you go girl's" that I heard while I was there. Everyone was singing along and just lovin' on Gladys. It was so great!

Next super exciting thing- Elder David S. Baxter of the first quorum of 70 presided at our stake conference this Sunday. And boy did he have some awesome things to say. He first talked about our testimonies, and how the whole purpose of a testimony is to invite the spirit. He said, "Our testimonies should be short, brief, and powerful. They should be full of doctrine and nothing else. They are not meant to be stories. They do not need to be long and drawn out. They simply are to testify of what we know is true." I loved how he put it, because that's exactly how I feel they should be as well. He said when the Bishops turn the time over to the members of the ward in testimony meetings he said, "They shouldn't say I now turn the time over to you for the remainder of the hour, but that I now turn the time over to the spirit." Everything that he talked about was so simple, and so bold. He talked about all of the wonderful things that our church has done because we love the Savior. And how we ARE a christian church, and those who question can simply look at the fruits of our church and then ask themselves again if we are christian. Man, I'm not really doing it justice how he said it, but it was powerful. Something he also talked a lot about was how we are too hard on ourselves and that we are doing better than we think we are. Haha, I felt like that was just for me. How did he know I needed to hear that. He also talked about the role of a husband and how he needs to tell his wife that he loves her everyday. Because he's from Scotland, he made this joke about how as a Scotsman he is stubborn. He said that he told his wife he loved her the day he married her, and if he changed his mind, he would let her know. Haha, it was pretty funny. It just made me realize how important it is to show love in every way. Verbally is not enough, actions must be involved. I truly believe that the greatest way to show love is by serving. 

Oh yes I forgot, the opening song for the meeting was We'll Bring the World His Truth (which is the song we sang for the Prophet, and I could hardly keep the tears from coming). Also, President Keyes spoke in that conference and he had all of us missionaries in the audience stand up and say the first vision with him. It was the neatest thing. The spirit was so powerful. Anyway, I could go on and on about the stake conference, it was so amazing. I'm really grateful that I was able to be apart of that meeting.

So something I've been working on before I return home is reading the Book of Mormon all the way through again. This past week I have been reading in Helaman about Nephi and how earnestly he tried teaching the wicked people, and no matter what he said or did they kept rejecting him. I couldn't help but relate to that. I'm sure Nephi was so discouraged and frustrated, yet he continued to trust in the Lord.

In Helaman 10:4-5 he says, " 4) Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments. 5) And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will.

I know that what the Lord says here is true. I know that if I continue being faithful and doing all I can to share His gospel, that none of my efforst will be wasted. Even to people like this lady we met the other day who kept telling us what we believed even though it's not even in our doctrine. All she wanted to do was argue and tell us how we were wrong. And all we wanted to do was show her how there is more truth that she can treasure and more happiness that awaits her. The gospel is simple and it is true. Those who want things to be complicated will not see the goodness of the gospel, and those who desire simplicity- will see the truth. I love being a missionary, even when its hard, even when it's discouraging. At least I know I represent the Savior, and who better than He to walk beside you.

Love, Hermana Conrow :)   

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