Before I begin, I would like to wish Grandma Fillingim and very Happy Birthday!
I hope all goes well with Uncle Lennis funeral. I hope that the family's testimony is strengthened in the power of Christ’s resurrection, and how this victory takes away the Sting of death. It is real! There is a great video that you should see on that, 2 actually: Because He Lives and Thanks To Him (search on YouTube). I am sure that they will bring peace.
This was a busy week, by way of conferences. We had our Zone Conference with President Bird on Friday and our Stake Conference Saturday night and Sunday Morning, which were all really great.
The week started off really rainy. Normally we try to talk with a whole bunch of people in a market that they put up every Monday, but with the rain, there just weren’t hardly any people, or market. But the few people that we contacted were good experiences.
On Wednesday we tried to look for a member's friend to teach him, but he wasn’t too interested. I kept talking like: ' in my religion' and 'in your religion' and was more interested in our friendship than the gospel. Oh well. My Companion found a statement by the Pope saying that the Virgin is a myth (a lot of people believe in the Virgin here as if she was a god) and he wanted to bring it up, but I am glad that he didn’t. He would have felt like we were just attacking him.
On Thursday we found a less active member who is really cool, we could tell that he had a really great relationship with the missionaries who baptized him, but then after they left, he kind hasn’t been too active. That is something that I have seen a lot here, people who get baptized out of a friendship of the missionaries rather than an actual testimony. That is something that I am learning, we can’t expect to be able to always rely on the testimonies of others, we need our own and we need to have the initiative to live what we know, not because someone else is watching us or pushing us, but because we really Love Him who has unlocked Heaven's gate, and because we have a desire to be like Him and share His love with others. I am learning lots about being Truly Converted.
Then we had our Zone Conference with Pres Bird on Friday, and we talked about being full of Love, and we studied a talk by Elder Uchtdorf about not judging others. The Phrase that he wanted us to learn was - STOP IT! If we are gossiping or talking bad about someone or judging someone - STOP IT! Doing so is not a sign of Love, but one of Pride, thinking that you understand everything when you really don’t, because we do not understand what others are going through. We need to accept people with their weaknesses and do all we can to strengthen them. We also learned how to create good habits, which was cool, and talked about inviting people to baptism. We are going to try inviting people to baptism in the street in contacts!
Saturday was the adult session of stake conference, and a 70 was there, and taught us that we need to keep the Sabbath day holy. That it is vital and necessary so that we can have greater Faith in the Jesus Christ and his atonement. I pointed out some things that we might have been doing wrong, or some wrong perspectives, and now I would like to change a few things. We need to have a spiritually edifying experience in every Sacrament service. I am going to try harder to have that experience and to go prepared.
On Sunday the Temple President spoke, and wow. He reminded us that we have everything we need to be happy and everything that we need so that the Savior can come again. We just need to act, and he reminded us of the great power that we have. The thing that I took away from it is that I need the Spirit- I need it need it need it. If I want success, I need the Holy Ghost with me. He said that the secret is this - keep your baptismal covenant. Keep The Commandments with exactness - every single one of them. Go to church and participate of the Sacrament to show God that you Always remember his Son. And take Upon You His Name and follow his example in how you live. Then the Spirit will be your constant companion, and whatever you ask, if it be revealed to you by the Spirit, will be given to you. Wow. I need the Spirit!
I have been able to enjoy his company often, but I recognize times when I am distracted, and I need it even more. I am going try harder to look for the Spirit, because it just feels good too, to be led by it while working and testifying by it. I still have a ways to go, but I am going to do what I can to have that Power. What the Temple president was trying to say is that sometimes we forget the power that we really do have as members. He gave an example- if every family would just bring one other family to the gospel, we would have an entirely brand new Stake. It was a cool talk :)
Well, now we are waiting too see what happened with Elder Bravo. The other companionship that we are living with had special Transfers for some odd reason. Elder Bresee left, and Elder Bravo will be getting a new companion. We will see who he is today at Lunch when we see them. Elder Bresee got the call last night at 10:00, saying that he had to be in the offices the next morning. We are curious to know what’s up.
Well, thanks so much for everything! I love you all, and hope you have a fantastic week!
Elder Hayden Redford