1st email: SO, We got transfer news right after conference yesterday from the APs!!!
2nd email: I AM TRAINING!! The entire group that is coming in is from South Africa, and I will be getting my kid Wednesday morning!
3rd email: So, as far as I know, they are all South Africans, some Afrikaans and some Africans. None of them are from the United States. I’m way excited! I cannot wait. It is definitely going to be difficult and is a big responsibility only being out for 6 months in the field in Madagascar, but I’m excited!
4th email, the main one (not quite as charged): So, these past two days, we have watched 10 hours of revelation and teaching from our church leaders in these latter days. Fihaonambe amin’ny Manontolo Tontolo (General Conference). What a privilege it is to be a part of this church and receive latter-day scripture from men and women called of God to guide His children here on earth.
First off, as a missionary, General Conference brings a whole new meaning. Every time a general authority references or says the word missionary, it has a personal and direct application in your work and everyday life. Those 10 hours literally felt like minutes. Time passed by and short, simple notes were taken, not always what they said but what I felt. It is a new technique that I tried out this conference, writing any thoughts that come in to my head as I hear and listen to the speakers messages.
My favorite talk was by Elder Ronald A. Rasband about the Holy Ghost. He spoke about the ways that we can feel the spirit, grow strong in the spirit, and become better influenced by its promptings. The lesson he taught to the missionaries that he visited in New York about the small promptings from the spirit are crucial as missionaries. As a missionary, I feel the spirit prompt me every day, little feelings, and sometimes I second guess. But, as Elder Rasband pointed out, 9 times out of 10, it is the spirit. Especially as a missionary, what do you have to lose if you talk to someone? If they say no, that’s it and you move one. But if they say yes, then you have many wonderful opportunities to bless their lives in ways that they cannot thank.
People feel the spirit even in their homes, shopping, playing sports, hiking, enjoying time with the family and especially in church meetings. We just need to be in tune to the spirit in order to hear it, and when we hear it, act immediately. Heavenly Father blesses righteous desires from his children. If you want to listen to the Holy Spirit and be deeper in tune, you have to tell God and act according to his advice. Sometimes the Lord limits our blessings due to what we ask. Asking for help is an expression of faith and ‘humbling ourselves before him.’
Next, David A. Bednar spoke about missionaries in the priesthood session. He emphasized that a mission isn’t focused on where you serve, but the call to serve. I know for a fact that any worthy missionary can serve in any part of the world. As missionaries, we are called to the work. The Lord prepares people for missionaries and each missionary is sent to their particular mission because there are people in their service areas that need the personal and specific help from that missionary. Whether it be missionaries in distant parts or serving ward members, we are all called to ‘warn our neighbors’ as said in D&C 88:77, 80-81. Whether we are in the world, we can share the message of the gospel. Even as an 8 year old girl bearing her testimony, or a father and a mother sharing it with one of their long-time friends. Where we are is our mission.
Ny Taranako (My seed). So, right after the Sunday morning of session of general conference, the APs came in and told us all of our transfer news. So, I am training! Last transfer I killed Elder Tshuma. I sent one out of the mission field and now I’m bringing one in. I will get him on Wednesday morning, the entire group is South African, so I will let you know when I find out who it is. In the mission, when you train, you have a ‘son’. So, that is why I said (Ny Taranako) because I’m having a son. I cannot wait, but after last week of being in a trio in another area with Elder Shoemaker and Passey, I am eager to get back into my area. I love Madagascar, I know that the church is true and it has God’s ordained leaders at the head of it and although they are not perfect, their revelation and teachings bring perfection in our lives. Have a great week!