Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Service and General Conference

This past Tuesday, we had mission leadership council (MLC) so I went with Elder Mikesell down to the TC Jester building. We were there from 8:30 in the morning to 3:30 in the afternoon and I still wonder why I lose so much hair. Keeping Elder DeLuca focused for 7 hours can be a challenge, but President Mortensen seems to do very well every time. He is called by God and I know that. I know that he is one of the reasons why I was called to the Texas Houston Mission. It was here at this meeting that we received the training that we were to take and teach to our zones on Friday. When I dropped Elder Myers off to stay with Elder Mikesell's companion, Elder Elsberry, I felt like I was a daddy dropping off my child for their first day of school. It was sad for me to leave him for that long, but good that he was able to be with Elder Elsberry. Plus he probably wanted a break from me. ;) 

Wednesday, we went to help Brother Stringer cut down some trees, but this time I was cutting. Back home, Jim would cut and then just yell at me to run when it started to fall! Haha!! I always wanted to run the chainsaw, but he never let me. Now I know why. It is so dangerous! Holy cow....I never realized how hard it was and how scary it can be! This leads me to my next topic, "Don't be so quick to judge the barrier, it is the only thing keeping you from being devoured by the sharks" or, in this case, the chainsaw. 

Yesterday morning, in my prayer before my personal study I asked Heavenly Father to help prepare me for this last session of General Conference. Earlier in the week, we saw Brother Ure from Tomball. He was up here running errands for a member so we went and talked to him for a little. He told us about a talk called "The Challenge to Become" by Dallin H. Oaks in October of 2000. I had forgotten about this talk, but yesterday after I prayed, I had a strong impression to go back and read it. After a few minutes of searching for it, I found it and read it. I marked it all up and shared what I learned in our companion study as well as what I learned in the talk "Fatherhood - Our Eternal Destiny" by Larry M. Gibson from this past session in April of this year. I also shared some insight that came as I read the Book of Mormon. Read 1 Nephi 2:16 through 1 Nephi 4:31 with this question in mind: "What does it take to become a man?" Its awesome. 

Anyways, this is the cool part about General Conference for me. Elder Von G. Keetch was the one who was talking about not being quick to judge the barrier. I'm just going to be honest, at first his voice kind of annoyed me and I was listening to him but I wasn't that engaged. Then I heard him make reference to the talk by Dallin H. Oaks in October of 2000 THAT I READ THAT MORNING! I went from sitting slouched back like a congressman who has been in the same seat for hours on end to a little boy on the edge of his seat with his hand raised as high as he can to answer a question in class. It changed everything! It was at this very moment that the Spirit told me, "This was what Heavenly Father was preparing you for this morning in your study." How cool is that!? There are few people, if any, that read that talk, "The Challenge to Become," yesterday morning and had the experience that I did. It amazes me how the Spirit works, and I am now just beginning to understand how it does.  

Heavenly Father knows each of individually. He knows our potential and He sees things in us that we cannot always see. The adversary is well aware of this and he and his followers will do all that they can to blur the vision which is available to us as we communicate with our Heavenly Father daily and make and keep sacred covenants. Elder Dallin H. Oaks said, "The commandments, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel are not a list of deposits required to be made in some heavenly account. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become." How beautiful is that? I know that we are spiritual beings simply wrapped in a physical body and that our potential is endless as we seek to do what our Heavenly Father would have us do. May we all seek His will and keep His commandments, that we may see into the future and see the things that our Father in Heaven has prepared for us. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 

I had to get a couple cavities filled.. Aww! I was so upset!! I NEVER got cavities back home. That's what 20 months of no dentist will do to you. Oh well, they are fixed but my retainers didn't fit as well so the dentist made me new ones for free! He is a member and he did all of the work for free. What a blessing that is. Don't worry, I got him a salad from Chick-fil-a today because that is worth a couple grand! :) 

​We always forget to take pictures, so all we have are these awkward ones. Hope you enjoy! 

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