April General Conference 2015 – the last general conference that I will be watching as a missionary. I have come to appreciate, so much more profoundly during my mission, the words of Heavenly Father’s chosen leaders. Every talk that was given really applied to my personal life, and many inspirational things were said. I am so thankful for a living prophet and apostles, who continue to guide us to help us find happiness in our everyday lives. I am grateful for the knowledge that Jesus Christ continues to lead us today, and that His church has been restored. If only everyone knew.
One of my favorite stories shared was that by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. He spoke of two brothers who found themselves stranded while free-climbing. Even though they were just beneath the summit, the rocks made it impossible to climb to safety. The older brother was able to use himself as a lever to help his brother get to safety, but found himself without a way to get there himself. The only thing left for him to do was to either jump, and risk his own death, or to wait and die. Deciding that the first option was the only option to safety, he told his younger brother to fetch a branch to help him up. Of course, he knew that there was no such thing on that barren canyon, but he knew it would save his younger brother the horror of him falling to his death. With all his might, he jumped, and succeeded at getting his arms over the ledge. However, there was nothing to grip onto He quickly slid, with sand brushing quickly under his arms. All of a sudden, he felt the tightest grips around his wrists. His brother had never left. He had waited for him. He saved him from plummeting to his death.
In the like manner, we have all found ourselves, at one time or another, having to take that leap of faith. But our Savior, Jesus Christ, is like the little brother, who would never leave our side. Just when we think we are falling, He comes and grasp our wrists to save us. We all have to take that leap of faith, and trust that He will be there. I am so thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ and for the ways that He has strengthened and uplifted me in my daily life.
This week was also a week of many miracles. It was definitely a little fatiguing, with the tasks that we were required to undertake, but on the exchanges that we had, we were able to live some really great testimony building experiences.
One of the huge focuses that we have had has been on planning in a spirit of prayer. I remember, at the start of my mission, when my trainer would have us pray and ask me to pick a place that I felt would be where our new ami would be waiting for us. And almost everytime, we would always find someone who would be ready to receive the gospel. We were always able to teach somebody and bless a life. Well, this week, we took some time to plan for a number of members who we had not seen at church for a long time, and did not know. My companion for the day, Elder Meng, and I went looking for one member who was supposed to have been active in the past, but had not been seen for a few years. We went in faith to the address, knowing that we had felt that this was the perfect time to pass by his home. Yet, unfortunately, his name was no longer on the list of letterboxes. He had moved.
Knowing that we had to have been there for a reason, we began ringing the doorbells of the people living there. After about 20 minutes, still, no one was interested, until a woman bringing out her trash in the parking lot caught our eye. We went up to her and asked if we could share a message about Easter with her, and she smiled. She replied that she had been praying more fervently to have God at the center of her life, and that she was starting to go back to church, but needed to know where and what to do to increase her faith. She invited us to her home, and we taught her family an Easter message and set another appointment to teach her again.
Miracles happen everyday. There are no coincidences in this life if we leave our home with a spirit of prayer each and every day.
I know that the gospel is true, and I know that Jesus Christ lives.
18 – Elder Johnson, from Brussels and I
21 – Elder Meng, Elder Hall, Elder Dayley and I on exchanges