Worshipping Through Listening to Living Apostles
I have always enjoyed the week leading up to General Conference. It is, sadly, a bit different as a missionary. I feel because we are expected to work during the breaks and immediately after each conference is over (e.g. having knockout an hour after the last session) prohibits me from truly appreciating and reflecting on the things I have learned. Not to mention by the time a conference is over, I’m worn out physically because of the spirit being so very strong the past weekend.
I really enjoyed a few talks more than the rest. President Eyring , thankfully, used his golden opportunity as the first speaker in this conference to share the purpose of conference – to “draw near unto Christ”. His talk was spot on about how we can draw nearer unto Jesus Christ by listening to the Spirit, prayer and having real intent.
Elder Renlund’s talk about having a greater distance between giver and receiver usually makes us feel like we have a sense of entitlement. When we do what we can to draw closer to God, that gap narrows and we realized that we can do so much more to receive the blessings of the gospel.
Elder Holland’s talk put into a nutshell for myself how I feel the spirit. When I feel the spirit really strongly, I don’t want those feelings to end. I feel good, the meeting I’m in or the event that I’m participating in, I don’t want them to stop. I want those feelings to be permanent. It would be contrary to the law of heaven for us to just stay put. We come to these meeting to learn, then we go home to live those teachings. As I listened to Elder Holland’s talk I was reminded of the youth conference when we went to Nauvoo. I don’t remember per say if I knew the spirit was strong there in the moment, but after I came home and told you how good I felt and how much I wanted to stay there and have those feelings again you told me what I was feeling was the spirit. Ever since then, I will never forget that experience and how I now know how to recognize the spirit in my life.
Besides General Conference this week, obviously transfers happened. Having Elder Thompson as my companion has been a lot of fun. We have gotten along so well. We have a lot of the same interests, which makes time go much faster. Biking has been really cool. As much as I liked being in a car area, it was really boring, especially when I wasn’t driving because I didn’t have anything to do. Biking has also helped my weight to come down. I am now down to 245 pounds – 25 pounds lost so far on my full time mission.
We have an investigator we met with this week who is on track for baptism early next month. We taught him about general conference and its purpose in our lives. He even came to one of the sessions this past weekend. Our lesson was based on Elder Hales’ talk, “General Conference: Strengthening Faith and Testimony.” My favorite quote from his talk is “the greatest blessings of conference [and other church meetings] come after it is over. Remember the pattern … in scripture: We gather to hear the word of the Lord, and we return to our homes to live them”.
There is not a whole lot more to report on this week. We have a zone conference coming up this week. We know that we’ll have Elder Zaballos of the Seventy in attendance. There is a rumor that Elder Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve will be there also.
Love, Elder Allen Blodgett