There was a lot of spiritual insight this week that came from 3 main events.
1) Interviews with our mission president
2) Stake Conference with Elder Corbridge
3) Going to a temple sealing with a recent convert and her husband
But first, I want to talk about something that doesn't happen every day in missionary life! Grandma Margaret came to visit me! Hahah, we got permission, don't you fret, but it was so fun to see her. The day she came, it was a torrential downpour, but it didn't make the day less sun-shiney. We had a ball! I'm sure she's told most of you this story by now, but she is an incredible missionary! She tried to pay some guys at Jimmy Johns to go get her key for her, because we locked ourselves outside of the car, but they wouldn't take her money. They went to get the key, came back, and refused to take her money. We put it in a Book of Mormon and told her to give it to the man, and so she said, "These girls are missionaries, and it would make them very happy if you would take this book." He promised he would take it, but not the money, and she told them she would only take the money out if he would promise to read it. He agreed, and then they left.
My favorite part of this interaction was watching her face light up as we walked away. She was so excited to have given out the Book of Mormon, and it reminded me how abnormal it is to share the Gospel. It feels relatively normal for us, but to see her celebrate the mini-success reminded me to look for the joy in spreading this message, no matter how small the interaction may be. I love Grandma, it was such a special treat to see her. And, luckily, it didn't make me too homesick ;) Especially because the next day we had interviews with President Walkenhorst. And he has a knack for helping us get back on track just by being a spiritual motivator. He shared this scripture with me in D&c 43:34, which says, "Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world. Treasure these things up in your hearts and let the solemnities of eternity rest upon your minds." It tied in to something I've had on my mind a lot lately this week which is the law of Consecration. How can we give everything that we have and are to God? It's a lot of work!
But something Elder Corbridge said really stuck with me. He shared a scripture about serving God with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. And he said, "In that, there's good news and there's bad news. The bad news is that we have to give Him everything we've got. The good news is that we only have to give Him everything we've got." Then he pointed out how God doens't require anything of us more than we have to offer. He only wants what we're willing to give, until that will expands, and we're willing to give Him more. He also pointed out that life is easier when we do give him more. "Life is hard enough under the BEST of circumstances, without up making it any harder than it needs to be." When we keep God's commandments, and do what we can to surrender all that we are to become all that He wants us to become, we avoid a lot of human drama that accompanies being stubborn. I'm learning that in a very real way. :)
The theme of conference was centered around participating in Family Councils, and there's only so much I could glean out of that as a missionary, but something that really stuck out to me was the ability we have to constantly teach one another using Gospel principles, without really sounding too preachy. When we apply the fundamentals principles and doctrines of the church and the Gospel to every day situations, and when we advise others to do the same, it is possible to solve our worldly problems. that was a powerful lesson to learn. We can serve and teach people who don't share our beliefs just by privately helping them live the Gospel. :)
Being in the temple with the Wilsons was a special experience, indeed. It's always special to see families be sealed to one another. And our lacking frequency of Temple-attendance made it an especially potent spirit that was present. I'm so grateful for the restored truths we have on the Earth that make it possible for us to feel the spirit more abundantly in our day to day lives!
Read this: Proverbs 17:22
I love you guys! Happy Mother's Day! Hopefully I'll get to see some of you via Skype on Sunday. :)
Happy Birthday Christie!
Pictures: Dinner with Grandma Maggie and Conor and the wonderful people that GM lives with. :)