Happy Easter! I am very excited for this Easter week. My studies have been more focused on the ministry of Christ during the last week of His mortal ministry. I sure do love the Savior and all that He has done for all of us. I am also totally pumped for General Conference! Never before have I been more excited to hear from our Prophet. Maybe its because I am missionary, or its just because President Monson is my idol, but either way I am very excited. I am trying to reread all of last General Conference in preparation for the upcoming sessions. We will be watching it in our chapel with the other members of our branch. It will be much later than I am used to though. Priesthood session will be from 8pm to 10pm! Hopefully I can stay awake.
Anyway, it has been a great week! A little disappointing towards the end, but overall pretty good. We taught a lot last week, met with some great people, and also visited members of the branch as well. We have been in contact with some wonderful families that have expressed interest in the church and hearing more from us. I have developed such a strong love for each of these families and individuals. I have been praying and thinking about these people so much! It really hurt when one of them decided not to meet with us anymore. Never before have I felt just so disappointed. I know that what the Lord has to offer these individuals through us is so important and it brings eternal and lasting happiness. I still love them to death so hopefully we can meet up with them again soon. This experience really helped me to understand how the Savior must have felt when he was "despised and rejected of men" that he loved and served with all of His heart. He knew them, and desired so much to help them, and then he took upon Himself all of their sins and pains, then died for them. Many of them still rejected Him. I can't imagine how hard that must have been for Him.
We had a mission conference this week with Brother Drubois, Head of the Missionary Media Department (he supervises over things like mormon.org and Preach My Gospel), and also Brother Watson, Head of the Missionary Proselyting Department in the church. They gave us a lot of great insights in how to improve our proselyting efforts. One thing I especially loved was this statement, which I tweaked a little. "Obedience is power. Obedience is spiritual credibility. Obedience is Repentance". They also hinted to us that our mission is going to be testing the missionary iPads!! It is so cool! They have a really cool weekly planning app that reminds you about lessons and investigators and such. We should be getting those around June. It is going to be awesome.
We had a really cool experience with a member after the conference too. We simply went over to share a quick message with the family and it turned into a really cool experience. We were taught in the conference that we should trying something I now call "prayer tracting" where we simply just ask people if they would like us to bless their home with a prayer. We then ask them what they would like to pray for and then pray, but ask the Lord to bless them under the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood. It has been quite successful and we have only tried it once so far. Anyway, I decided that I would try to apply this to the members we meet as well and with everyone. I asked about some of their concerns they would like me to pray for so that the closing prayer could be more meaningful. They then told me some things they needed help with and I prayed and asked the Lord to bless them and did this by stating my priesthood authority and asked for blessings. It was a really powerful prayer. Then one of the members said she felt prompted to share an experience of hers that when she told it helped her to remember some things that really boosted her spirits. We then gave her a blessing and it is juts so awesome to see the spirit working through me as I use my priesthood. The priesthood has always been important to me, but never has it been such a powerful influence in my life and something that is SO important to me. I love having the opportunity to have this authority that is after the order of the Son of God and that the Lord is willing to work through me to bless the lives of those I come in contact with.
We are doing "Music Tracting" now too! My companion and I have been preparing songs with the guitar and violin and going to houses asking if we can see them a gospel song we have put together. We start by reading a scripture that goes along with the song then see and play! It is really fun. We have only had one chance to use it, but we will keep doing it in the future.
It is going to be super busy here as transfer week begins. I will know on Saturday if I am being transferred or not. There is pretty good chance I will have a new companion since Elder McDonald and I have been together for so long and he has been in this area is whole mission. I am really looking forward to the changes as they only give me more chances to learn and grow!
Happy Easter everyone!