My Last General Conference of My Mission

The subject explains a bit of sadness I am feeling right now. There are a lot of mission milestones and one of the milestone systems is the number of General Conferences left. I have none.
Anyways, it’s been quite a fast week despite the fact that we were all getting very excited for General Conference. Wednesday, we started with weekly planning followed by knockout.
Thursday, we had the mission “funeral” for our District Leader, Elder Durrant, who goes home in just over a week. It was also a great district meeting though and we talked a lot about the purpose of baptism and how it fits into receiving the blessings of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. After district meeting, we went on exchanges with our district leader. For once, I got to stay in our area and I went with our district leaders companion, Elder Brown.
Friday, we went back to the food bank for some more service. After service, I helped Elder Brown with by doing a little bit of his training (it’s his first transfer). We went to the library and did a cool online course for the Adjusting to Missionary Life booklet.
Saturday and Sunday were a sacred and edifying conclusion to our week. First off, no thanks to a great Sister Missionary, and a good friend of mine had to remind me, we go home next month. Wow! To the more spiritual part of the weekend, the 187th Annual General Conference. It was so nice to be instructed by our Church leaders.
The Saturday Morning Session focused primarily on the Plan of Salvation and how the Atonement of Jesus Christ is central to that plan [note the italicization of the word “of”?] President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency opened the conference, encouraging adults to catch up to what family history and temple work the youth have done. Brother Brough taught about the various tools, a “care package,” available to be lead, guided, walked beside [sound like a familiar hymn?]. Elder Clayton, of the Seventy, spoke beautifully simply about the simply beautiful simple Plan of Salvation. Apostle, Elder Dale G. Renlund spoke on how to fully go though the whole Plan, we must repent. Elder Soares spoke on the need to stand straight. Elder Bragg encouraged us to keep our lights lit. President Russell M. Nelson spoke on how the Atonement is doctrinally incomplete with our saying Christ’s name with it.
We began the Saturday Afternoon session with church business, the chance to sustain our Church leaders. What a privilege that is. The first two speakers were of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. First was Elder Robert D. Hales, who set the the tone for the majority of the rest of Conference, true discipleship. Second was Elder Holland speaking about the need to “sing” the “anthems” of heaven. Elder Sabin, of the Seventy, spoke on being all in and Elder Cordon spoke on preserving the language of the Gospel. Elder Neil L. Andersen, spoken on overcoming the world through righteous conduct. Elder M. Russell Ballard concluded the session by explaining the difference between goals and plans, a topic many missionaries are keenly familiar with in chapter 8 of Preach My Gospel.
President Thomas S. Monson opened the Priesthood Session with a talk about charity, the pure love of Christ. Elder Bednar followed him by explaining the difference between the call of service in the Kingdom of God which is greater than the assignment of labor. Presiding Bishop, Gerald Causse spoke on bridging the gap between the Aaronic Priesthood and the Melchizedek Priesthood. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf reminded the brethren that the most important calling is the one we currently have. President Eyring spoke on the magnitude of Priesthood service.
Our beloved Prophet, President Monson, once again opened the Sunday Morning Session by speaking on the importance of testimonies. Primary General President, Joy D. Jones spoke on keeping covenants and that promises are insperable from covenants. Elder Choi of the Seventy spoke on being the strong link in our family tress (ancestors and descendants). Elder Ronald A. Rasband, an Apostle, instructed us on how to follow the counsel from the Holy Ghost through striving to be worthy of it, being willing to receive it, recognizing it,  and acting on it. L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy spoke on how we need to unconditionally accept God’s word, especially in advance. Elder Dallin H. Oaks, spoke on how everything in life is centered in God. President Uchtdorf closed the session with a joke about how the healthiest sleep is Church sleep and the difference between fear, uncertainty, and doubt versus faith, uncertainty, and trust.
The concluding session was opened with an address by D. Todd Christofferson about practicing what we preach and preaching what we practice. Elder Costa spoke primarily to investigators and how to gain a testimony. Elder Palmer spoke on having Christlike love. Apostle Gary E. Stevenson spoke on how the Holy Ghost helps us by warning, comforting, and testifying to us. Elder Grow taught us how to have a better relationship to God through prayer, scripture study, and doing God’s will. Elder De Hoyos spoke on how we, as individuals need to be Ensigns to the world. Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles concluded the weekend with sharing a statistic researcher concluded upon about how if we spend 10,000 hours we will be able to be truly skilled at something; we must do that with the gospel also.
Again, it was an edifying weekend. We’ll apply what Elder Hales once taught, “The greatest blessings of conference come after the conference is over … we go home to live it.” It was hard to see President Monson struggle, especially that he had subtitles. Thankfully, however, he did announce 5 new temples. We have a new General Relief Society Presidency. Singing the congregational hymns was difficult because the subtitles were not present, however, the music was beautiful, as always.


Elder Blodgett

California San Fernando Mission
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints