Many magnificent things happened this week. Monday definitely started on a great note. Bishop Jed Black, my Bishop from my ward at Stanford was here in Paris to attend some meetings and Elder Kwang and I had the pleasure of having dinner with him. It was such a wonderful opportunity to meet someone who I respected greatly during my time at Stanford, who lovingly guided and led me during my time while I was away from home. I will never forget how inspired he was to ask me to fast and pray about a mission in December of 2012. The month before he did, I frequently had impressions that I should serve a mission, but thinking that I was being fickle-minded again in my resolve to just continue on with my studies and eventually a job without serving a mission, I ignored those promptings until he spoke to me. We talked a little about that pivotal decision that I made and it was a joyous occasion for me to share all the incredible miracles that I had seen, and the happiness that I have found through my mission. I have loved every moment of my mission, even the hard times, because it has strengthened my testimony and helped me see other the way our Heavenly Father sees us. The mission is so great!
Tuesday was a day packed, filled with many activities. In the morning, we had district meeting, and because it was the last district meeting for one of the Sister missionaries who will be finishing her mission in a week, it had to be a meaningful last one for her. I decided that we had to talk about finding happiness on the mission, ‘Finding Joy in the Journey’, and recognising the blessings and miracles each day. It was a great moment for us to reflect on the sacred nature of this calling, and the divinity of the responsibility that we have been entrusted. One of the greatest difficulties that we as missionaries have is remembering ourselves because we spend so much time serving others and trying to help them in the best way that we can. Sometimes, we become disappointed with the choices of others because we know the amount of joy they are forgoing as they reject the gospel. So, I decided that it would be a great way for us to help us remember why we are good people and why we are good missionaries through the eyes of the other missionaries in the district. Everyone was given a card on which we wrote compliments for each person. It was a great experience and there was much gratitude in the room as we learnt to recognise the goodness in each person in the room. Later that day, for the next 6 hours, Elder Kwang and I ran from location to location, teaching the 5 lessons that we had planned for that day. Every lesson was filled with the spirit and it was clear that Heavenly Father was sustaining our efforts and especially our energy.
Many other lessons happened over the next few days, especially during an exchange that Elder Heath and I had where we were really guided by the spirit to teach find people to teach during a day of contacting. It was remarkable how many people we talked to and taught, and although we were out for about 5 hours contacting, it seemed so short because every moment was filled with the spirit.
General Conference was the highlight of my weekend. There was so much to be learnt. It is hard for me to single out a talk I really liked, however, here are a few quotes that inspired me:
“Pure Christlike love flowing from righteousness will change the world” – Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
“Develop your ability to see beyond the moment” – Randall L. Ridd
“Just be the same person that you are in the dark as you are in the light” – President Thomas S. Monson
“May we realise how close to us He is willing to come, how far He is willing to go to help us, and how much He loves us.” – President Thomas S. Monson on our Heavenly Father
I hope you will all take the time to watch and read the conference talks. It definitely gave me a much needed spiritual boost, and also gave me much needed direction.
I love my Heavenly Father, and I love our Savior Jesus Christ. Through the gospel are all things made possible.
My District (From left – Elder Heath, Soeur Wynn, Me (Elder Lam), Soeur Thibault, Elder Clawson, Elder Kwang, Elder Cottle, Elder Ganjanakrit)