Thursday, October 9, 2014

The goodness of the Bible and Book of Mormon

Hello Hello! 

This last week has been crazy and fantastic!!  General Conference was fabulous!  We were able to go to the SundayMorning session and got to hear the Prophet speak!!!  We also got really good seats.  I was about 15 meters away from the 70s.  I could see the speaker pretty well too! :)  I really enjoyed my session and learned so much.  I really enjoyed Elder Eyring's talk about personal revelation because that is something that I have been working on lately.  I learned more about what I can do to better receive and recognize revelation.  I also loved listening to the prophet.  I know with all my heart that Thomas Monson is the prophet of God.  I loved hearing about how we need to be better disciples of our Savior and walk as he did.  I had a beautiful experience when I really felt the spirit testify to me. I felt the spirit so strongly in the Conference Center!  It truly was a spiritual feast and I only went two the women's broadcast and the Sunday morning session!  I can't wait for the ensign!!!  Overall, I learned that I need to trust my Heavenly Father more and strengthen my faith in my Savior.

That is not all of conference though!!  Conference was very draining spiritually, mentally and physically, but I loved every second of it!!  We talked to so many people and had so many spiritual experiences that I am just amazed!  And I cried a lot!  Good tears though so don't worry.  There were easily over 25 thousand people on Temple Square all gathered to hear the prophet speak!  (conference center + Tabernacle + Assembly Hall+ Theaters in the North Visitor Center and Joseph Smith Memorial Building + everyone on the grass and planters outside= a ton of people!)
On Saturday, we met a couple outside of the Tabernacle who looked like they had cried a little after the morning session.  They said that the session that they went to was just for them.  They received all of the answers that they needed from Heavenly Father.  As we talked with them, I started telling them how much their Heavenly Father loves them and they were meant to be in that session of General Conference.  I started crying and so did they.  They actually found us the next day and took pictures with us with his kids.  She was disfellowshiped but is working to go to the temple and He lost his wife a little while ago and is working on going to the temple as well.  It was an amazing experience.

We met a part member family who were so sweet.  The Mom told us that she was hoping that something would touch the dad's heart and he would feel the spirit and he agreed.  They were hoping to get tickets for the priesthood session so that the Dad could go with their older boys.  We promised them that they would be able to hear what they needed to know from God if they listened with the spirit.  We saw them on Monday after conference and they got to go to the priesthood session and the Dad really felt the spirit!  God answers prayers of a righteous mother that is for sure!
On Sunday we were walking to go get our dinner and I felt like we needed to stop and talk to a guy who was sitting on the planters.  He just looked sad and like he needed someone to talk to him.  It turns out that he really needed to know that God is there for him and has a plan for him.  He is going through lots of trials right now and feeling lost and like how he does not know what to do.  I shared Isaiah 41:10 with him. "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."  Sister Magidson and I testified to him that God had a plan for him and is so aware of him.  He started to tear up.  I also cried when I was telling him about God's love for him.  The spirit was so strong!

We met a sweet little member who is from Japan.  Her name is Sister Honda.  She is the only member and joined the church after her friend passed away and the missionaries shared about the plan of salvation with her.  Her faith was so strong!!  She was an amazing example to me of living the gospel.

We met mother and her daughters who was so sweet!  She didn't serve a mission but she talked to us about how she is helping and working to have all of her children to serve a mission.  She was so sweet.  I also cried when we talked to her because I know that she is doing all that she can to help raise her children in righteousness.  We shared Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."  It was an amazing spiritual experience.
We also got 2 new investigators who both speak Arabic!  Crazy!  We will see how sincere they are. :)
We talked to so many more people than that and they all have stories that Sister Magidson got to hear and be a part of.  One thing that I really enjoyed is just feeling God's love for each person and telling them exactly what Heavenly Father would have them know.  It is the very best feeling in the world to know that I am being a good tool in God's hands and telling his children what He would tell them if He was here.

By the way, I did not cry in every contact!  Just in many of the powerful experiences that I have shared with you.  Also I had the bible with me, that is why all the scriptures that we shared were from the Bible. :)  I love General Conference so so SO MUCH!!!  Amos 3:7 "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."  If that is true, then General Conference is when We get to hear all of the secrets from God!!  Isn't that exciting!!

We have had an amazing miracle yesterday and today!! Sister Magidson and I have been working hard to achieve our baptism goal this transfer and I have been getting worried about it.  I have had an investigator since the beginning of my mission that has not seemed to be progressing very fast, but I would call him every once in a while. When ever he seemed like he was progressing again, he would stop answering the phone. Yesterday he texted us and said that he was getting baptized on the 18th of this month and asked if we are available to skype him!! I was in shock and I still am! We just got off the phone with him and the baptism is real! He is talking to the Elders later today about setting up the skyping. He gave me the biggest compliant ever and told me that because of me and Sister Olongayo (she finished her mission a while ago) he is getting baptized. We have been the ones that have talked and kept in contact with him for the longest and and steadiest. I don't feel like I did anything, it was all the Holy Ghost. I just took him longer to realize that the Holy Ghost was telling him to join the church. General Conference really helped him as well. In the session he watched in Virginia they answered all of the things that he had wondered about. He said that he learned more in those 2 hours then he did in going to seminary school for 2 years. :)  We are also helping 2 investigators to stop smoking so that they can get baptized on the 18th as well. We sent them a homemade quit smoking package today. :)  I gave up peanut butter to support them. :)

We went to the Temple on Tuesday and it was so wonderful!!  I loved it so much!!  I didn't really go to the temple with a question, but I got questions that I didn't know I had answered! :)  We stayed in the celestial room for a little while and just enjoyed the spirit there.  I just felt God's love for me and that He is proud of me.  It was something that I really needed to know and be reminded of.  :)  I just love Heavenly Father so much!  He knows me perfectly.

Are you going to go see Meet the Mormons?  Our mission got to see a pre-screening of it and it is FANTASTIC!!!  I loved it so much!  The spirit was strong and it was such a good missionary tool.  I thought about how I would feel watching this as a non-member and I think that it would be a really good experience.  So don't be afraid to invite your friends to go!  It is a very well done film that shows a very honest perspective of who we are as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  It is an awesome missionary tool! :)  I really hope that you get to go and see it.  There are some really funny parts as well!  I was dying with some of the comments in the begin. 

I shared this with Audrey earlier, but I want to share what I learned from PMG this week!  I studied Patience and found a scripture that I learned a lot from.  This was a really good scripture for me Alma 31:31 "O Lord, my heart is exceedingly sorrowful; wilt thou comfort my soul in Christ. O Lord, wilt thou grant unto me that I may have strength, that I may suffer with patience these afflictions which shall come upon me, because of the iniquity of this people."  I learned a lot from this one scripture!  I learned about then enabling power of the atonement and how we can gain strength from the Savior.  I also learned that sometimes we have situations that are not our fault, but we still have to be patient and learn from them.  When we are truly patient, it means that we have faith and are willing to happily endure whatever situation be it good or bad knowing that God is there for us and all will be for our good.  That is my definition anyway.  I hope that all made since.  I am working on being more patient. :)

This was a really long email, but I didn't even share all about conference!!  It was an amazing experience.

I hope you all know how much I love you!!
Love Always,
Sister Stephen

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