Monday, April 6, 2015

A Growing Testimony

This week I have really been able to see growth in my testimony. For the last week and a half we had really been focusing on General Conference. We did it in quite a few different ways but after each lesson I felt my testimony get a little bit more firm. To some people we taught the Restoration and how God has always called prophets because he loves his children, we talked about the power and authority that the prophets had, then we would explain how God has once again called a prophet and that he has the exact same power and authority. With others we watched the video ¨He Lives¨ and we would talk about the truthfulness of Christ´s life and that he truly lives. Sometimes we would talk about the relationship between Christ´s live and what the prophets if the Book of Mormon foretold hundreds of years before and how they truly had the Spirit of God with them to be able to prophesy of things like that and that we were prophets called by God. We sometimes would share a quote from President Monson that my companion found that says, ¨... I assure you that the Chrch is in good hands... Our Savior, Jesus Christ, whom we follow, whom we serve, is ever at the helm.¨ If Christ came to the Earth and if he died of us and if he rose from the grave then surely he guides and directs this church so that his sheep can come unto him and participate in his love. And I do know that he did come to Earth, that he did die for us, that he did rise from the grave and that he lives. I know that he is literally at the helm of this church and just like what Elder Neil L. Anderson quoted from President Monson yesterday, ¨We watch him open doors we cannot open, we see miracles we could not imagine.¨ He is there and is doing His work in His own time through His servants.

I´ve been happily surprised to feel my testimony deepen on these few things that I mentioned. As I watched conference I kept these things in mind and it was the first time I really got into Conference and understood the importance of their messages. I am so grateful that we get to hear inspired messages from our Church leaders every six months.

In the mission I have been constantly chasing something, there hasn´t ever been a time, up to now, when I have been able to just sit back and relax. For example, I used to be chasing the language (not that I speak perfect spanish). I use to say that the mission would be easy when I could understand what people said to me or it would be easy when I could talk fluently enough to manage myself out on the streets. Now I know that that is not necessarily true. Yes maybe I can understand people now but other hard things have come and more are still to come. I´ve learned to be grateful for the hard things that pass. There is a song we always listen to that says, ¨give me mountains to climb because I know it´s taking me higher.¨ There will always be mountains in my mission and in our lives but when a mountain comes that looks too high to climb do we ever stop to look at the view and see how high we already are? And see the progress we´ve made to get to where we are now at?

I say all this because the last couple of weeks have not been easy and the mountain I was trying to climb seemed to just get bigger and bigger. But during this Conference I got to thinking about where I was six months ago and where I am now. Six months ago I was struggling to understand just two things from each conference speaker. I was honestly thinking, though I wouldn´t have admitted it at the time, that I would never learn or understand spanish and that I would never be able to be a real missionary (to name two things). But as I thought about this during this conference I saw that I was able to climb those mountains and that knowledge gave me hope and motivation that I can climb this mountain that I am currently climbing and I can make it to the tops of those that come.

We didn´t do anything terribly exciting for Easter although I did make and eat hard boiled eggs so that counts for something. I mad dog food (muddie buddies for anyone who does not belong to my odd but wonderful family) and a peanut butter bar to share with those at Conference.

There were a number of talks I really liked but I´ll share some of my favorite lines! They might not be word for word but are more or less what I got out of the line:

President Eyring´s first talk: By fasting we will have greater ability to recieve personal revelation and we will be stronger when temptation comes.
Elder L. Tom Perry: The older I get the more I realize that the family is the center of life, that it is the key to happiness.
Elder Bednar(sat. in the afternoon): Christ overcame, overcomes, and always will overcome the worldly fears if we edify ourselves on his rock.
Wilford W. Anderson: I can teach you to dance, but you have to hear the music.
Elder Cook: I loved when he said at the end of his talk that he knows the Lord´s voice.
Elder Ballard(in the Priesthood session): His whole talk was incredible but he asked a couple questions and I think we would all do good by asking ourselves the same questions.
Rosemary M Wixom: ¨You´re not so much in the dark as you think¨ and ¨Come, we want you in whatever stage you are at, we´ll meet you there.¨
Jose A. Teixiera: Make time to set aside our mobile devices. It will enrich and broaden our view of life.
Gérald Causse: Never tire of discovering and redescovering the truthfulness of the gospel.
Brent H. Nielson: We are all prodigal sons. We all fall short and we all need God´s love. He watches, hopes for, and waits for us.
Elder Holland: Need I say more? It was a beautifully powerful talk.
President Uchtdorf: Grace is the gift of God to us. Obeying his commandments is the act of reaching out our hands to recieve the gift of grace.
Kevin W. Pearson: The Book of Mormon is key to spiritual survival. Cling to truth. Study the Book of Mormon every day, every day, every day. Don´t be distracted and decieved. The great and spacious building is filled with people who seem to have it all.

Those a just a few points that stood out to me! Also it was really cool to see Elder Zeballos in Conference because he came to the MTC when we were all there and we gave him a hug and talked with him then he came for our Christmas thing we did so we have been able to see him and interact with him and then he showed up in Conference! So that was pretty cool!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! A nice big shout out to Marshall for winning the egg throwing contest this year. I didn´t hear anything about a wheel-barrel race so did we give that tradition up after only one year? Bummer... 

Oh! It was about a year ago when I opened my call!! Crazy don´t you think?

Thank you for you letters! We´ll talk next week!

Elder Gunnell

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