I didn't know Mike and Paula had a place there. Sounds pretty fun though. Tell all my aunts and uncles and cousins I love em.
Conference was amazing. I think it was not only my first conference as a missionary but also my first conference in general. Usually I would be eating or trying to sleep or totally zoned out or just not watching them at all. I don't know if I have ever really got much out of conference before this weekend. But this general conference was just such a spiritual boost. I think my favourite talk would have to be Elder Uchdorfs about the Paradox of Man. I was actually quite disapointed with Elder Bednars though. But I also really loved the Japanese guys talk, and Elder Scotts talk, and Elder Tad someone's talk about the Book of Mormon. One thing I tried to do this conference is not just learn from the words they said but try and recognize personal revelation that I was receiving. I went into conference with a couple questions and looking for the answers. One of my questions was 'What is my greatest weakness as a missionary?' This question was answered but not really through a specific talk just through how I felt. I realized my greatest weakness is that I am relying far too much on myself as I teach and find and do pretty much everything, and that I need to allow the Holy Ghost to work through me far more often. The other question I had was 'Should I take three days next week to read the BoM cover to cover?' Actually that question needs a little bit of background info.
This week on Friday we had zone conference. I went on an exchange with the zone leaders on Wednesday night, and so all day Thursday I was serving with Elder Hotchkiss in Plymouth. I always enjoy exchanges, and we had a pretty good day finding and doing service for a less active lady picking apples off a bunch of her apple trees. Then on Friday morning we all travelled up to Poole where like the three western zones all met up for zone conference. A bunch of my MTC brothers were there, and we got to hear amazing talks by Pres. Shamo and Sis. Shamo, and also from his counselors and the ap's and a couple other people. President Shamo had this big powerpoint all made up about what he wanted to teach us, but like 2 minutes into his talk he scrapped the whole thing and just took us on this crazy journey all through D&C where we learned all about the role of the holy ghost. It was really cool to see how he was inspired at the last minute about what he really needed to teach us. But in this talk, he talked about an experience he had on his mission. He had a companion who was struggling to get motivated, and he couldn't seem to do anything to help him. So one day he called his mission president and asked for permission for an idea he had. For the next three days, they didn't leave the flat. He had his companion read the BoM cover to cover, really studying and praying about it. His companion in doing so gained an incredible testimony of the BoM and never struggled with teaching or working hard again. President Shamo told everyone at the zone conference that if anyone feels like they should do this same three day BoM reading, they had his permission. I have really been pondering this idea. I went into conference with a question of if I should actually do it, because three days out of your week is quite a lot. There was a huge emphasis but on the BoM, and some of the things the general authorities were talking about were almost tailor made for what I needed to hear. Elder Simmons also really wants to do this. As you hear other missionaries teach people, you can see a hug difference in their teaching based on how strong their testimony is. Someone with a strong testimony just teaches with so much conviction and power. And although mine has really strengthened in the past two and half months, I still have a long way to go.
Im glad you also got so much out of conference. I can't really think of any awesome stories I have about receiving revelation and having some miracle happen. I'll try to pay attention to any that happen this week and tell you in the next email. But ya Pres. Monson was on his A-game this weekend. He was so funny, and telling the best stories. That one about the talk at the temple dedication was really cool. I can't believe that was Brads mission president, that was like the best story.
Sounds like you did great in the marathon. I'm glad dad is pushing you. I think you're faster than you think you are, you just gotta push yourself. I'm just thinking, I think there has only been like one week my whole mission where you guys have written me emails from home. You guys are on a constant holiday it seems!
That talk uncle mike gave at lawnees funeral was incredible. You should ask him if he still has a copy of it he can send me. Or even just to email me. I would love to hear from him.
You might no believe this, but it was almost as hot here this week as it was in arizona. Oct. 1 and 2 were like 29 and 30 degrees outside. It was roasting, and we were out knocking doors and street contacting. I think it like broke records for the hottest Oct. 2 here ever or something. But now I am afraid winter has really started. Its getting colder and always drizzling.
Not too much new has happened this week. We picked up a couple of new people to teach, both former investigators. One of them is this big, loud, irish lady who has been investigating for the past 34 years. We just thought we might as well give her a shot, because its been like 6 months since any missionaries have seen her. We taught her and brought along one of the less active ladies we helped to reactivate, and it was quite a good teach and she said she is going to really ponder and pray about being baptized. We also are starting to teach the grand-daughter of a less active lady in the ward. She is like 17 and has investigated the church a couple times before and we heard it was just because she had a crush on the missionary. So were gonna see how things go and make sure she is investigating for the right reasons.
This p-day we spent like the whole day cleaning the flat. It had gotten pretty disgusting. We threw away the shower curtain, chipped all the ice out of the freezer, cleaned the stove-top, the bathroom and everything else. We did a huge deep-clean. The house seriously feels so much better. You can really feel the spirit better when you live in a clean environment. It was such a noticeable change I was just blown away. The reason I emailing today is because the computers were down in the family history center yesterday. So we had to come back today to email.
Things with our investigators are still going really good. We haven't seen Josh and Stephanie in a while still, but I think we are going over there for dinner later this week. Ken and Toni made it out to conference this weekend, and we had a really good teach with them last night. We are re-teaching everything, and we retaught the plan of salvation. Ken had some really insightful questions that led to some quite deep doctrine about the spirit world. But afterwards Ken said it was his favourite teach and exactly what he needed. This was good to hear, because we have really been trying to teach by the spirit and discern the needs of people more often. Other than that, a lot of the week has just been taken up by the zone conference and general conference. We had all 6 elders in our district down here for the two days of conference which is always fun.
Love Elder Steed