Friday, November 9, 2012

Conference Follow up 10/13/12

Dearest family,

Another of the perks to being in the offices is that we have ready access daily to re-listen to the sessions of General Conference.  I still haven't listened to all of Priesthood session, but things are coming along.

So now for a rundown of how I loved conference.

Saturday Morning:   !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  O.O  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  O.O  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  etc.  The announcement of the new age requirements has thrown us all for a bit of a loop.  One of the sister's families in the mission already has two daughters out and now the other two are doing their papers.  By May we expect to be receiving some of the first wave of the 19 year olds.  Perhaps sooner, but time will tell.  I thought it was also really interesting how Elder Cook opened the conference with remarks about intrafamily respect.  Part of the interesting bit of conference this time was that I listened to almost the entirety of it in Spanish.  Elder Bowen's talk was really good.  I liked how he touched on the reality of what most people feel when they lose a loved one.  There are many people who are less active in our branch who have dealt with recent losses.  And it's true, no one else really knows what that feels like, except for Christ.  Elder Nelson's talk just made us all chuckle, and very frequently.  We've kind of picked up that phrase as a companionship motto.  "[We] can help you."  We've actually tried to focus more on that and have tried coming up with random situations in which we could be posed with a dificulty and figuring out how we could be of help or how the Gospel could apply to and help them.  It's a very interesting and spiritually uplifting experience.  President Uchtdorf's talk was one of my favorites this conference.  While reviewing some of the frequent regrets, he touched again on his good-better-best concept.  I did find some of the regrests really interesting.  Just to refresh all our minds, I'll write 'em here too.  First, they wished they had spent more time with loved ones.  Second, they felt like they had failed to become the person they could have been.  Third, they wished they had let themselves be happier.  The first one I felt was relatively common, it's something that everyone desires, regardless of how much time they already spend with family.  The second one was a little more perplexing to me in that President Uchtdorf mentioned that it wasn't in the aspect of achieving some sort of business recognition or other promotion, but a personal spiritual desire.  The last one threw me for a loop.  But as I continued to think about it, it is so true.  As agents, we are all personally responsible for how we act.  We have the choice to be happy or not.  It actually reminds me of a talk that the Bishop's wife gave in Tortuguitas my last day there.  I'll indulge in telling that story here too.  

There was a King who had a very wise and wonderful servant, but this servant was also just a little strange.  No matter what happened, this servant always said "Que Bueno" (translated it would be something like how wonderful).  The King was not bothered by this most of the time, but it did call his attention.  One day, the King was practicing his swordplay and cut off one of his toes.  The servant then said to him "how wonderful."  At that comment, the King was infuriated.  How could his servant think it was a wonderful thing that he had cut his toe off?!  So the King fired this prized servant.  At the pronouncement, the servant again replied "how wonderful."  The servant was thrown out of the palace and the King continued his reign.  The following week, an enemy tribe came and captured the King.  While discussing what to do with him, the suggestion was made to sacrifice the King to their gods.  Preparations were made for the sacrifice, but then they noticed that the King was imperfect, he had a missing toe.  They decided that such an impure sacrifice would infuriate the gods rather than appease them, so they let the King return to his kingdom.  Realizing something, he called back his servant and told him of the event.  The King asked of the servant, "why did you say 'how wonderful' when I cut off my toe?"  The servant replied, "if you hadn't cut off your toe, you would have been sacrificed to the heathen gods."  Then the King asked of his servant, "Then why did you say 'how wonderful' when I fired you?"  The servant then said, "If you had not fired me, I would have been captured with you, and they would have sacrificed me in your place."   Moral of the story, try to see the good in every situation.

Saturday Afternoon:  Elder Perry's talk was really good and family oriented as well and I liked how he enumerated a few things that we can do as families to strengthed our ties and relationships.  Elder Andersen's and Elder Oak's talks were brilliant as well and answered many questions that investigators and less actives have had about God and our relationship with Him.

Sunday Morning:  Elder Eyring.  May I just say, WOW!  I received a lot of personal revelation during that talk.  It was interesting for me to hear that it is never God who is hidden, but rather that perhaps we are hidden from God.  We, perhaps, are placing a pavillion over ourselves which keeps us from feeling that which God wants to give us.  One thing that I personally thought about was the following, in reference to prayer: "If you aren't receiving revelation, change the way you ask your question."  It came to my mind in those words.  I also loved President Packer's talk, which to me featured the theme of rescue, especially with the story of the island and the two lights, and Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy.  That also made me think about the last Sunday we were there together and sang that song in Sacrament Meeting. It was pretty cool!  Called to Serve was fun to sing, but it was interesting to see the confusion on peoples faces when we stopped singing after two verses.  There are four in Spanish.  Elder Holland's talk closely followed one that he gave in the MTC almost two years ago that a lof of elders here have on DVD.  It also made me think of his recent CES fireside address.  It would be a wonderful thing to watch when you get the chance.  I do feel really bad though, that I missed President Monson's talk.  He has a bad habit of speaking so well that it lulls me.  Needless to say, I will be listening to it again shortly.

Sunday Afternoon:  It was really cool how Elder Hales and Elder Holland used the same story from the Bible as the basis of their addresses.  Both used the same story with a slight twist.  It was way cool!  Listening to Elder Scott's talk was awesome because he did his own recording to be played during the conference.  I loved his focus on ancestry.  Elder Nash mentioned a few things that I really liked.  1) Fear distracts from faith.  2) the story of Anne Rowley.  The story of two hard seabuiscuts turning into a pot full of food is truly a miracle.  That one reminded me of the story of the woman who fed Elijah before herself and her son.  In that story, they only had enough to make food for their last meal, but the prophet promised them that if they gave him to eat first, they would not run out.  Elder Johnson's reference to Fiddler on the Roof made me chuckle, especially since I had mentioned that to my companion earlier that week.  I love Tevye.  Elder Clarke's talk on the Sacrament was really helpful because I think many of us don't really think of the preparation that we need to do personally to partake of the sacrament.  It is the same as if we were preparing to be baptized again.  That is what the sacrament represents.  A renewal of covenants made at baptism and a weekly opportunity to cleanse ourselves of sin.  The sacrament is of equal importance to baptism, for without the sacrament, we would not be able to receive a continual forgiveness of our sins.

GOOD CONFERENCE!!!!  It also helped with one of our investigators.  Leandro has been having a rough time really focusing in our lessons with him and we had been discussing whether or not to stop visiting with him because he just wasn't progressing.  But when he went to conference, he felt a tranquility that he hadn't ever experienced before and he then started getting more serious about this.  We actually were about to set a date for his baptism last night for the 21 (we've been teaching him for a while).  Tonight we have plans to review the Word of Wisdom, which would be his next step towards preparing to be worthy for baptism.  We're still struggling to get other investigators, but we don't lose faith.

I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!  Good luck in the next couple of weeks Megan and Sarah.  I want you to send me an email the moment (or at least the day) that boys are born!  I won't be able to see it until a saturday, but I want to see what day it was the moment I sign on.  Have a great week!  Y'all are in my prayers.

Oh, attached is one of the pictures I took when I went to help prepare the MTC.

Elder Matthew H. Dewsnup
MisiĆ³n Buenos Aires Norte
Gral. Lavalle 1828
1646 San Fernando
Buenos Aires, Argentina

No comments:

Post a Comment