April 7, 2014

“Even Unto an Experiment Upon my Words” Alma 32:28

I LOVE CONFERENCE. I have never been more excited for General Conference in my life. I mean I always look forward to it, but it's even cooler as a missionary because you hear things and you think "oh man I hope so and so is watching because this is exactly what they need to hear" and "this is exactly the thing I've been looking for to help me with so and so" and all these other things. I mean I learned a lot for myself too, like usual, but there's just a new spin on things when it comes to being a missionary and listening to conference. I can't explain it right, but it was so good. And if I had to pick favorites, I would say I can't. But I loved President Uchtdorf's a lot about gratitude, and Elder Teh's about where your heart is. And of course President Monson. It was just all so good!!!

So this week was April Fools, as I'm sure you all remembered. I didn't think we were going to get pranked, and we didn't, but we thought we did. So there are two elder's in Kirtland 4th ward who like to joke around a lot. So we got a voicemail for this guy named Eric who sounded exactly like one of these elders. The guy was like a golden contact...he had found a pass along card with our number on it and decided to call it. So we thought it was too good to be true. So without calling him back to be tricked by these elders, we called the 4th ward elders and left them a message with his information. Well two days later, we had district meeting and our district leader told us that the 4th ward elders had given Eric to the district leader because he was in their area, and he and one of the zone leaders vouched that they had gone and seen the guy. So either he was a legitimate guy or the 4th ward elders recruited the higher ups to continue in this prank. We still are confused and don't really know what to think...

Oh yeah, and if something pops up in the church news about a lady suing the church because two missionaries knocked on her door, it's mine and Sis. Farnsworth's fault. Haaaa....okay so here's what happened. We knocked on this door that we've been trying for a while. The door has a window that is covered by a towel. The lady moved the towel to see who was knocking, and I smiled at her, and she opened the door. Sis. Farnsworth had just barely said hi when the lady cut her off and said "just so you know, because you're standing here, I'm going to sue the church. We resigned from the church a long time ago. Bye." And she slammed the door on us. At first I was like what in the world is happening, and I even got a little teary eyed because I was sad that this lady felt so strongly against the church. But then Sis. Farnsworth started laughing so hard and as we walked away, we were talking about it and were thinking you can't resign from church. You resign from a job, not a church. And you can't sue the church either...I don't think. But yeah if it happens that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I love S. S.! She's one of the older ladies in our ward who is a ward indexer. We stopped by yesterday to see her to see if she had gotten to watch conference because her computer was supposed to be fixed on Friday, but we weren't sure if it had or not. So we stopped by to check on her and it hadn't been fixed. So we shared a scripture while we were there and talked about conference. We shared D&C 2 with her (look at it...it's awesome). After we said the closing prayer, she pointed to a plaque on her wall and said this reminds me of you two. We read it and it said something like "Many people will walk in and out of your lives, but only a few leave footprints on your heart." Is that not the sweetest thing!? She's so cute and I just love going to visit her. It was so sweet, and a simple reminder that even though nobody's getting baptized and people keep missing their dates and not coming to church, I'm still doing the Lord's work.

That's something that can be hard. I mean people actually have lives and they have to cancel on us because the gospel isn't a priority. And things have fallen through a lot this week. A LOT. But even though they fall through, there are so many people we meet that we wouldn't have otherwise, and that's what the Lord wants us to do instead. And yeah no one's coming to church, and no one's getting baptized yet, but that's okay because I am still planting seeds. I read a scripture in John this week...I don't remember where at but it's towards the beginning (maybe chapter 8 or somewhere around there...I don't remember) but it talked about how both the reapers and the sowers will rejoice. So even though I'm not bringing people to baptism just yet, I'm still planting seeds with all these people I'm meeting, and I'm still teaching these people the gospel of Jesus Christ--this doctrine that saves souls and changes the world. Right now, the Lord wants me to be a sower, so a sower I will be, and I will still rejoice that I am doing the Lord's work.

So older people are just the best. I've told you about the 100 year old woman who picks weeds and eats pickles and can still walk pretty much by herself. Yeah she's awesome. We had lunch with her, her daughter in law, and her son. Her son is a cute old man, very quiet, and he is always helping his mom. It's so sweet. So we went to lunch in between conference, and we talked about it a little bit and I love all their insights. But what was so great was when we asked if there was anything we could do for them and one of them almost immediately said "what are you learning from Preach My Gospel?" Isn't that the best?!?! I think so! Because M. Russell Ballard had just given his talk about following up and told everybody to do that, and he immediately heeded that apostolic counsel. It was so incredible. I just started smiling so big because he was acting! He had just heard it, and obeyed with exactness, the counsel of an apostle. If only every member could be that way, so faithful and diligent!! It was great. So we got to share insights from chapter 1 and chapter 5 in Preach My Gospel, about how only the gospel can change the world and about how the Book of Mormon can be used to counter any objection to the church.

The Book of Mormon really is so powerful. I'm just beginning to realize how vital it is to everything in the church. I mean it's the keystone, yeah, but do we realize what that means? It is the one way that you will know if the church is true, the one way that you will know that Joseph Smith was a prophet, the one way that you will know anything. EVERYTHING hinges on the Book of Mormon. It is the evidence of the Restoration, and you can hold it in your hands, you can read it, you can pray about it, and you will know it's true. So read it like the sacred treasure that it is! It is so precious, more precious than anything.

I only have 15 minutes every morning to read from it, and I always end up going over because I lose track of the time. We have an hour every morning for personal study. It's cut up so that we read 15 minutes from the Book of Mormon, 15 minutes from the New Testament, and then 30 minutes to study whatever we need to study for our lessons that day: Preach My Gospel, certain topics, the missionary library. But I cherish those 15 minutes of the Book of Mormon the most.

Your challenge this week is to do what M. Russell Ballard talked about and study from Preach My Gospel! And then share with somebody what you're learning. The first part of our companion study is sharing what we learned from our personal study. And the coolest thing about sharing is that you learn something new as you're talking about what you learned. It's the best. And if you choose to share with me what you learned, I would love it...especially if it was via snail mail ;)

Your scripture is one that I came across in personal study! Alma 13:27-29.

I love you all and wish you the best week! And please never forget that the Lord is in the details of our lives.

Sister Garcia

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