I don't know about all of you, but I am still on a spiritual high from watching General Conference this week! What a great opportunity it was to hear from our Prophet and Apostles. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the one and only true Church on the Earth, has living apostles and prophets who give us direction and guidance for today. We are so blessed! I prayed and fasted in preparation for this Conference, and as a result I honestly felt like the Conference was directly for me. I felt the personal knowledge that Heavenly Father has of me, He knows us all and when we put in our efforts, He puts in His. It was weird to think that it was my fourth and final time watching Conference on my mission. I received so many answers and so much hope, and will share a little of my thoughts, in just a bit.
Last Monday we had our Cultural Activity, and this one will be hard to beat! We got to attend the FK Rostov vs. Krasnodar futbol game here in Rostov with Brother and Sister Inkeles! They were able to get us tickets through Brother Ivan who is the second main coach for Rostov, and a member of the Church. Futbol is a major part of Russian culture, but especially in Rostov- FK Rostov is supposedly the best in Russia! It was a dream come true to attend a game here and see the passion they have for the team! I will never forget it!
Between, , and , we got all 10 hours of Conference in! I loved all of it of course, but my favorite sessions were definitely Afternoon and Morning, Priesthood was also incredible! I don't know for sure, but I think the Plan of Salvation was mentioned in almost every single talk Morning and that really stuck out to me. I have been pondering the Plan of Salvation often with the exciting recent news that we will be welcoming a new member to our family in September and I am so grateful for the knowledge we have of that perfect plan! (Yes, I am going to be an Uncle). There were multiple mentions about our discipleship, but I really loved Robert D. Hales' words about how we cannot be part time disciples of Christ! It is a state of being, not just actions!
Elder Holland, as always, gave an incredible talk about staying in the choir. Sometimes it is hard to sing and sometimes we just need to listen to the song of others, but we just need to stay in the choir! I loved when he said, "come as you are, but don't plan to stay as you are." We are all trying to improve ourselves and change as we stand as close as we can to the Savior and try to match his perfect pitch.
My favorite talk was probably Gary B. Sabin's about being "all in." That was something I really needed to hear as I strive to be "all in" at the end of my mission. He said that if what we are doing is not working, change it! If we are tired of walking, run! Change what needs to be changed in order to be fully commited to the Lord!
Elder Andersen talked about overcoming the world, something I have studied and thought of a lot on my mission as we are set apart from the world. He gave a great tribute to President Porter who was our Area Presidency and truly did overcome the world. President Porter was serving as our Area President until the very end of his life and is a great example of letting the Kingdom of God come first.
Elder M. Russel Ballard talked about goal setting and after his remarks, I took the time to set life goals as he advised and I would advise all that have not done so to do so! He, along with a few others, challenged us to study 'The Living Christ' in an effort to come closer to Him and renew our commitment to Him!
We were so blessed to hear from our Prophet, Thomas S. Monson. Both of his messages were short, but some of my favorite as well, because they were so simple and to the point. In Priesthood, he talked about charity, a true basic of the Gospel. We can be smart, cool, funny, happy, talented, etc. but without charity, we truly are nothing. If we do not have charity, we are missing the mark! He also talked about the Book of Mormon and I add my testimony to his that it is so important! If you don't know that yourselves, find out! Read it!
President Uchtdorf also gave great messages about leadership in the Church which also really helped me. I loved the quote, "Never break rule #6- don't take yourself too darn serious!" Those were some words that I needed to hear!
There was so much said about the Holy Ghost and the Godhead in general duringsessions that helped me to better understand the role of the Holy Ghost. I am trying to get better at recognizing the Spirit and being a "first repsonder" to his warnings, promptings, and guidance.
I could go on and on about Conference but those were just some of my biggest thoughts and impressions. Lastly, just want us all to not look around so much, look up! I often look around too much and it gets discouraging, even seems to be impossible. We must always keep an eternal perspective and rely on the God that has everything planned out!
I love you all and hope you all have a great Easter! Иисус воскрес!