I took pretty good notes through all of it but during the Prophet’s talk, I just sat and listened and FELT. All I do all day long every day is teach people about prophets. I teach them about how there is a living prophet on the earth today who loves us and is God’s mouthpiece. I teach them that the authority to act in Christ’s name is currently on the earth and that we are so blessed from that. So, I decided I wanted to reaffirm the testimony that I’ve never really doubted, but want to be completely sure of. Guess what? HE’S REALLY A PROPHET. I don’t know if the spirit testified to all of you like it did to me (but if you were listening and seeking that same confirmation, I’m pretty positive it did), but it’s really miraculous to know that God loves us so much that he is literally speaking to us on a regular basis.
I think one of the most amazing things about General Conference is that all of those things that are being taught about are things that obviously pertain to us. But, sometimes the way that the information and revelation is presented is in such a way that it teaches us more clearly about things that the Spirit tries to convey to us on a regular basis. (I’m not sure if that sentence made sense at all). What I mean is that sometimes when I am learning things, the Spirit tells me that they’re true but I’m not super good at recognizing the it. So when other people outline it more clearly it helps me grasp the concepts of the doctrine more firmly. Anyway, this is more of journal stuff but that’s okay. I’m writing down my history for my posterity! 🙂
This week we did something great. We DOUBLED the amount of lessons we taught with members present. Now, considering that the number has been 2 for the past three weeks, it’s not that huge to bump up to 4. But thinking about the fact that we doubled is so awesome.
We have a new investigator named TJ. He blows my mind a little bit. He’s probably one of the more odd people I’ve ever met. Kind of one of those people that’s so incredibly intelligent that socially he’s a little bit off. But he’s so stinkin’ funny. And better than that… HE IS SO PREPARED. It’s been throwing me off because he has a million questions, but when we explain them he’s accepting the information so quickly and making really important connections between different principles of the Gospel. We taught him twice this week and he came to three and a half out of the four sessions of General Conference this weekend. This is such a result of the fast that the branch did last week for missionary work. We actually met TJ about a month ago and we haven’t been able to meet with him. Then, the week that we were doing the fast, he just SHOWED UP at church and we started teaching him. We should set him with a date this week. Probably sometime in November.
So, a little clarification again on how it’s working in State College currently (mostly for you, Dad). Sister Chang that is here from Temple Square (originally from Taiwan) speaks Mandarin, obviously. So that has been really helpful for the area in general. BUT, we don’t share a teaching pool. We share the same branch that we’re working in but as far as “areas” go, we have separate ones. She doesn’t help us teach. So, if there’s a Chinese person we’re still pretty much toast. Either that or they just don’t talk to us. Haha. So… The Chinese work in State College is definitely picking up! Just not with Sister Hurdsman and I. Haha. We actually dropped Chunxiao this week, unfortunately. She is so sweet and still wants to come to activities and things but she mostly just wants friends. She’s not too interested in learning about the religion. But that’s okay! Mormons are good friends.
We invited Jacob to baptism this week but he wasn’t too impressed. He’s having a hard time with the idea that he needs to be rebaptized. He doesn’t feel like God withheld any blessings from him because he didn’t get baptized into this church. We’re gonna work on his testimony of Joseph Smith this week, hopefully. 🙂
Okay one other thing about Conference. Elder Holland’s talk that mentioned Stephanie Clark Nielson? So good. But all those pictures! I’m pretty positive a majority of them were Justin Hackworth’s beautiful work! That was so cool. I totally bragged to all the missionaries here. Haha. But speaking of Justin Hackworth’s pictures… You guys never sent me the ones that he took on the day of my farewell! So, if you want to do that, that’d be awesome. 🙂
This week has flown by, though. Since everything’s been picking up it seems like P Day just comes faster and faster. And every P Day I miss you guys just a little bit more. And since this email is kind of boring, I’ll give you a list of random/funny thoughts and happenings of my mission so far.
- I’ve lost 7 pounds. I don’t really care about how much I’ve lost but it’s just weird because I totally still eat garbage all the time. But I don’t snack. So apparently that’s been doing good things.
- I love hanging out with other missionaries because our collective sense of humor has gotten increasingly lame. But it’s been consistent so we at least all think that we’re funny with each other.
- It’s been pouring rain all morning and I can’t begin to describe how much more motivated to do my studies I was. I got my warm blanket, opened the blinds, and read the Book of Mormon. What could be better? Well.. It would’ve been better if I had made up some herbal tea to drink during all of that but I ran out of time before our alarm went off to start personal study.
- This week we tried to set our alarm for 6:00 so we could snooze it until 6:30 thinking it would make it easier to wake up. It didn’t.
- Elder Arnold of the Seventy is going to be here on Wednesday night for the young adult fireside in State College. I’m going to be chillin’ with a general authority. NBD.
- As I’ve been thinking I might get transferred, the thought of packing up everything has given me so much anxiety that I had a nightmare about it the other night. I seriously hate packing. So.. That’ll be fun.
- I didn’t think I’d ever been one of those people from Utah that is just “Utah or bust” but I totally am. I love it here. But I FREAKING LOVE UTAH. I have to bite my tongue anyone here tells us to “drive toward the mountains.”
- There was a spider in our apartment this morning bigger than a quarter. Try FIFTY. CENT. PIECE. Dang. It was scary. And I was feeling kind of queasy already so I made Sister Hurdsman kill it.
- I bought some delicious Triscuits today and I’m really excited to eat them later.
- We’re playing Monopoly today for P Day and I’m really excited except this version DOESN’T HAVE THE MONEY BAGS. I’M ALWAYS THE MONEY BAGS. THERE’S A STUPID CAT INSTEAD. I’m a bit peeved. I guess I need to pray for charity for Hasbro or something.