Thursday, October 8, 2015

Conference Weekend

What a busy week! I'm not sure that it was the same for you, but we spent a lot of time indoors. However, all the time indoors that we spent listening to conference was so great!!! I love conference so much, I'm always amazed at the sincerity of the brethren of their testimony of the Savior. They are all so dedicated to Him. 

Elder Hancock and I had a goal to follow any spiritual promptings we receive, so that is always neat to see what results. We saw a less active that we don't normally see and that went well. Here was a cool miracle. Elder Falabella taught us a neat principle (that Elder Bednar said very well) "If you always do what you have always done, then you will always get what you have always gotten", so I've been really taking that to heart because we keep hitting a roadblock in our work with one of our investigators. He is only 10 and he wants to get baptized, we just have to get the mom on board with it. So instead of seeing him after school, we went by on Tuesday evening to see if we can meet his mom and we pulled up and basically, we had a great talk with her and she said she needs to get her kids baptized, start coming back to church, and basically start living the gospel again. It was pretty cool! Perhaps you might want to evaluate something in your life to change and see the difference it makes. It's a great feeling (: I also owe the miracle to the mission fast that we had at the beginning of September. It took 3 months of trying to meet Sister Toki and it finally happened once we fasted. I always see great things result from fasting.

We gave a training on Thursday with all of our zone leaders/sister training leaders and the Hobbs' said that we really followed the Spirit on it. I was really happy and it enlightened myself honestly. It was about how we need to increase our commitment as missionaries so that the Lord will bless us with committed investigators. It makes so much sense that if we are going to teach others that the Lord will bless us for our sacrifices, that we must show our investigators that we're experiencing the exact same thing. It's so hard to give up our will for the Lord sometimes, and that's exactly how others feel about making changes in their life. I have chosen to make a deeper commitment to the Sabbath day by being on time to all of our meetings that take place that day. I'm excited to see the difference.

On Friday, I had a really great interview with President Hobbs. I expressed feelings of being overwhelmed with the work that has yet to be accomplished here in our mission and he advised me to set small goals every single day so that I can feel that I'm making a difference. I've just been able to see so much good in that man and I am so so grateful to have him here with us. He's so qualified in the Lord's work simply because he loves Him more than any one or any thing. I've seen him take his calling from the Lord 100% seriously and I love his stories, his humor, his passion for golf, and his deep love for his family. He's a phenomenal person. On Sunday, we had a meeting with him and he invited us over to have dinner as well and Sister Hobbs made a wonderful, traditional roast beef/potatoes Sunday dinner and it was delicious. 

As for the weekend, I thoroughly enjoyed conference. I love that each talk emphasizes a lot of the same principles, yet with a unique way for us to learn. Like the story from Elder Maynes of the Potter, the Elders Quorum President that shared the gospel when people were humble, and my most favorite was Elder D. Todd Christofferson's and the explanation he gave us for why God established a church to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man, I thought it was perfect because you'd be surprised how many times a week we hear "I don't need to go to church to be a good person" or "I don't need to go to church to show God I love Him". I was so sad about President Monson as I know a lot of us were. He was doing so well, but I think Elder Bednar's talk really complimented President Monson, especially with Elder Hales' comment of "When you can't do what you've always done, do what matters most" and I certainly know our prophet will keeping serving the Lord to the best of his capabilites. I also found comfort in King Benjamin's words in his address when he said that he was a mortal and was subject to all the same things we are. I know that sometimes we have a tendency to think that we're exempt from problems just because we have a testimony of the restored gospel, but that's where the real testing comes in!

I had many confirmations that this is the Lord's work this weekend. I had such an appeal to President Eyring this session and thought that there was no way men and women like him would continue being so faithful to a church if it were not the Lord's true church on the earth again. I love the reasoning Joseph Smith was so committed to the gospel and it wasn't to become famous or build his ego, but he wanted to be in the best possible standing before God and he loved the Lord so much that he was obedient to every one of his commands. I know that Joseph was instructed to build this Church according to revelation he received from the Lord. I know that nothing in His Church is out of place and I know that 'the Kingdom is ours'. Hopefully it's still wonderful enough to you to rejoice in the glorious gospel and that you delight in these magnificent truths that the Lord has revealed through His chosen servants. I know that they are men of God and that it is our job to sustain them in these latter days. 

A year ago today was my very first day in the Tongan ward up the hill and so much has changed in my life since then and I'm just so grateful to be a missionary. I know that it my duty and my commission to Christ to declare that He is truly the Son of God. I know He'll steer you away from danger and will help you evolve to become the person you desire. I know He has a heart of gold and has pure intentions to deliver us from bondage. He has been a very dear friend of mine since I discovered how much He truly loves us. 

I love you all very much and pray for you each and every night. Have a good rest of your week!

- Elder Shawn Lyle Bennion

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