Family!!!Today was the. Best. Day. Ever. Oh my gosh! So much happiness was had! So I started off my day going to the mission conference with Elder Bednar!!! And I saw Esther!!! Oh yes! I can't believe it! It was so great! I was so happy! We talked a lot after the conference was over, it was so awesome! I missed her so much! She's doing so good! It helped me a lot to see her and talk with her again! I'm doing much better now. She's still as cute as ever! By the time you guys get this I have already told you all about today I'm sure, and I'll have sent you our picture. But, Elder Bednar... Wow, the conference was so good!!! It was good also because it was so small, only 170 have us missionaries. He talked for so long, and was so straight up and real with us. It was so great. And we all got to shake he and his wife's hand!! It was absolutely amazing there's so much he talked about. What Sister Bednar said was amazing too. And then president and sister Hobbs talked a little bit, and our area seventy and his wife that were there. So good. I wish you could have been there all of you, because I'm not a very good explaining other people's words. I'll try to give you some of what I remember from my notes.
So sister Bednar started out telling a few stories from when her sons went on missions. It was really good. A few important points she made were: 1) develop a love for these people you spend one and a half to two years with. It's not only a love for them but also love for the Lord. 2) The Lord will bless your work, and every person you talk to or knock on doors, will be hallowed by your night. On your name tag, your name, your family's name, Jesus Christ's name, and the church's name are all on there. That's all who you represent. Glorify those names and all you do. 3) It's the last dispensation already it's your job to prepare the world. So don't hold back, and just go! I felt the spirit so strongly as she was saying these things, because all of this is what I have been praying and asking about. She shared Doctrine and Covenants 84: 87 - 88 "behold I send you to reprove the world of other and righteousness unrighteous deeds, and it takes them of a judgment which is to come and who stole receive with you, there I will be also for eye will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my spirit shopping in your hearts, and mine angels rent about you, to bear you up". I love that.
Then Elder Bednar talked for a long time. He told us not to write down everything he said. To take notes on "small plates" the important stuff, not "large plates", like Nephi. Then he taught us some do's and don'ts. He also asked us what we learn from the three talks of his he had told us to read before that meeting. Which talked about faith, conversion and the spirit. He gave us feedback, Taught us more, asked us for questions etc. Here are a few points he said: in the church we tend to play "guess what's in my head." When you do that you turn the person from an agent into an object. And you cannot feel the spirit. All your planning and studying won't cover it anyway. The Holy Ghost will. You have to be the willing instrument. The Holy Ghost reveals truth. Pray to see who you really are. Ask inspired questions. And inspired question is specific to the person, the place, and the time. Pray with the expectation to act. If you are truly doing what you're called to do, you cannot go amiss. There's tasks we have to do (study, be obedient, plan, pray plan, etc). To allow the Holy Ghost to teach, get out of the way! The Lord gives a pattern in all things: one by one. You want those people your age to have a one on one interaction with heaven. Them and the Holy Ghost. Learn to get out of the way. The Holy Ghost comes more readily and willingly when he is invited. There's not repentance without the Redeemer. Sorrow of the Damned is not repentance, it's embarrassment. We need to feel Godly sorrow. Repentance is to turn from self to Christ. Faith is a spiritual gift, but it is not given unless you take this step. Don't avoid the hard aspects of missionary work. Be you, and the Holy Ghost will help guide. Spiritual apathy is the church's biggest plague. You expect greatness all at once - line upon line - press forward, this Mission isn't a sacrifice; you were foreordained to do it. Listen to the spirit and honor your covenants and the spirit will work on those of whom you love you don't believe or care when you can't change them. So yeah, I definitely felt the spirit, and felt strengthened. It made me so happy.
So then after we got home from the meeting we had an appointment with Eddie. He had just walked up to the church on Wednesday night looking for a church service. There were people there for Mutual, so the stake president saw him and started talking to him. He had just moved back and was looking for a church close by. President told him we didn't have a Wednesday service, but we had Sundays, and told him there were some missionaries he could talk to, so he gave us his number and we made an appointment to meet him at the church with an older couple from our Ward. So we got there and he's an hour late... But he comes in and starts talking to us, seems like a very nice guy. First thing he says is "sorry, do you want to have a prayer to start this?" We thought, "well, that was easy." He said yes and had a prayer. After, he said, "okay let me tell you where I'm at, so you can know more about me..." Haha, he was doing our job for us! He went on to say how over the years God has been softening his heart and affecting him, he has a son, his father died recently and that makes him sad a lot. He said he's going to many churches and he just thinks none of them are truly what God teaches. He said in the Bible so much, like well, he's probably in his late thirties, he knows the Bible front to back! We got in teaching the restoration and he seems to accept it pretty well! He was so prepared as possible! We gave him a book of Mormon and he said he'd read and pray about it and come to church tomorrow! The only problem we had during this lesson is the older couple wouldn't shut up the whole time, and they went into things we didn't need to go into at this point. It was very frustrating. But anyways so prepared. I was so confident and ready I knew he was so prepared, and so was I, God told me there's no way you can miss them! So yeah, it was so exciting! It made me so happy! Sorry I always share such long stories with you I hope you like to hear them! I'm doing alright. I miss you all so much. Hopefully I write you enough. Keep asking questions! I love you! I miss you! Love, Court