Monday, September 29, 2014

Spiritual Overload

Even though I just wrote home a few days ago, I still have so much to tell you all today!!! Mission Conference was SO AMAZING!!!!! So I'll give you a quick play by play of the whole day.

We had a mission leadership meeting before the actual zones all met together with Elder Teh  [which consisted of the district leaders, zone leaders and sister training leaders]. He is so amazing. Down to earth, funny, bold, and just down right awesome! Considering he hasn't spoken a ton in Conference before I wasn't really sure what to expect. But it was all so great! [Stupid me forgot my notes today though so I will try to recall everything that he taught us as best as I can] He told us how we are responsible for the culture of the mission. Whether good or bad. I especially loved how he said that he recognized that there is a lot asked of us. Not only do we have to do all that we can to help to strengthen our individual areas, but now we also have to help so many other missionaries to strengthen theirs as well. "Whom the Lord calls He qualifies". I have most definitely felt and seen that over the past few weeks. I most definitely did not feel capable of being the sister training leader that these sisters deserved. However, Heavenly Father called me to this position and He most definitely has helped me to fulfill it. I am so grateful for that. For a majority of the time he talked about how he uplift and strengthen the missionaries that we serve. Of course a lot had to do with being humble and loving. Throughout all of the meetings, it was so cool to me to see how many scriptures he used and turned to. He was going so fast sometimes that I honestly had a hard time keeping up. He validated everything he taught us with references to the scriptures.

In the main Mission Conference meeting we had President Titera [the Cleveland Stake President] (we had dinner at his house this week:) ), President Haymond [Kirtland Stake President], Elder Anderson and Miller [the assistants], and President and Sister Vellinga teach us. EVERYTHING they taught was so amazing. Maybe they were all steppin up their game since it was in front of a general authority as well, but it was really all so incredible before Elder Teh even addressed us. One of my favorite things that Elder Teh talked about was missionary work vs. missionary things. Are we doing things because we are missionaries, or are we actually out doing missionary work? I have definitely been guilty of this at time on my mission. We just get so caught up in the routine of things sometimes that we loose the spirit, heart, drive, and purpose behind it all. We have to always be focused and centered on bringing people to Christ. Not just going through the motions. I took so many notes but honestly can't even remember now. I am so ridiculously tired today. These past couple of weeks are really starting to catch up with me. This week is going to be even crazier. [5 hour long mission leadership council, Zone Training Meeting, General Conference, and then 3 exchanges on top of that. Yay.] Although I do love staying busy much more than having too much time when things are slow. So I will promise to bring my notebook next week and tell you more about what he talked about. [Oh that reminds me! Transfers are next week. So Preparation day will be on Tuesday. So don't freak out and call the mission office again....]

So after all of mission conference was over President excused Elder Teh so that he could catch his flight really quick. Before we all got up to leave he quickly announced "I need to see a few missionaries really quick up front before they leave." He called my name first and I immediately freaked out. I don't know why but for some reason whenever something like that happens with President I get so scared that I am in trouble. It's like when Dad would calls our name across the house and tell us to come here. I just start racking my brain to think if there is anything I am in trouble for. Even if I know I haven't done anything wrong, I still get scared! So President called me and 3 other missionaries out and then told us that Elder Teh wanted to interview us. WHAT?! HOW AWESOME IS THAT!??! My heart started racing and I was the first one to go in and so I had no time to gather my thoughts at all [Or my tears. The closing song was "Lord, I Would Follow Thee." Gets me everytime!] So I was totally flustered when I walk in there and then he asks me to say the prayer for us. Thankfully I could calm down by the time we said amen. It was such a neat experience! He asked about my physical health, my spiritual health, my family, [If Erin is going to serve a mission. He said, "Well, if she feels that she needs to then she will" So there's some personal advice for you from a Seventy Erin!:)] He asked how long I had been a sister training leader, how that was going, how the work has been. I talked about how I had felt being called as a sister training leader and he goes, "yes, it is a very humbling experience. You can learn a lot from the sisters you serve. But no, Heavenly Father never makes a mistake." I immediately wrote down every thing I could remember about in my journal afterwards. I was so touched that he wanted to email you guys! That was a really nice surprise. That will most definitely be an experience I remember for a lifetime. I also was really excited that both Steph and I got to be interviewed by General Authorities on our missions :)

Saturday we helped out at a baptism for a little girl in the ward. We gave a talk and shared the "Because of Him" video while she was changing after the baptism. No matter how many times I see that video it is so powerful every time! No matter who it is that is getting baptized, whether I know them super well or not, I always get choked up at baptisms. And it makes me miss my Poppa Bear a whoooooooole lot. I am so grateful that Dad has the priesthood and was able to baptize all of his girls and help them to start their lives out on the right path back to our Father in Heaven. We are so blessed to know that we are an eternal family. 

How awesome was the General Women's Broadcast?! I thought it was really interesting how last April in the Women's broadcast they focused a lot on making and keeping our baptismal covenants and then this time was all about temple covenants. I miss the temple so much. That is the number one thing I miss most out here. I so badly wish that we had a temple in our mission. Well....a working one I suppose. The Kirtland temple is wonderful as well. I loved that video they shared of all of the different women that testified of the importance and blessings of the temple. Especially the last one that said that we should "never stop taking steps towards the temple". Even though I am a missionary and can't attend the temple right now, I still need to be working towards going back again and keeping my covenants. Also, that was really great of Elder Uchtdorf to write a talk just for me. I guess since Elder Teh and I are so tight now he put in a good word for me. ;)

Wow, this email is super long. Sorry! Promise I'm almost done. Yesterday the bishopric had asked all of the missionaries to fill in for the primary teachers so that they could attend the third hour meeting that was all combined. Oh my goodness. It was so much fun!!!! All the kids were together and we just had to sit with them and keep them quiet and well behaved. I was with the four year olds and they were the cutest things ever!! I had two super crazy little boys sitting next to me, but I pretty much just kept laughing the whole time I was trying to quiet them. They were hilarious. Then down at the end of the class Elder Anderson was sitting with the little girls and the one next to him just kept staring up at him and playing with his face. It was so great. The kids loved having the missionaries in there with them! I miss being a primary teacher so much! That was probably one of my favorite callings ever. Well, and being a missionary is pretty great too :)

I am so excited for General Conference this week!! As we have been meeting with members the past month we have been sharing Mosiah 1:2-3 and discussing how we can prepare for General Conference. Sister Maddox and I have been listening to last conference addresses in the car while we drive. Also I love studying the talks every morning during studies. You really do get so much more out of them when you ready and study them than when you just listen to them. 

I am so grateful for this gospel. Sadly sometimes I take this knowledge for granted. We have so many answers in life that some people have no idea about. And possibly never will. I know that this gospel is true. I know that it brings the greatest joy in this life. I know that Heavenly Father loves me. 

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