Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Monday, October 8
How is everyone? Did you like conference? James, are you gonna leave right out of high school?! It's pretty crazy! This week has been good, but work has been slow. First off, last Monday we went to the Ys for Pday. They live in the same neighborhood as Greg Maddux and Nicolas Cage used to. We came in and Brother Y was just sitting at a table in the back, in front of a massive window with a beautiful view of his fountain /pool and the strip. The neighborhood is called Spanish Hills, and that's because it is a giant man made hill with cliffs that's only function is to give the houses prime views. He just sat there very calm, and I guess guests just come and go all day. There were janitors and like butlers and business associates all over, I guess he owns a company and pretty much does nothing now. He's in probably his late 60s, he was the first person to import Aloe Vera to the US I hear. Anyways, he holds pday activities there just so missionaries can like explore his place I guess. It's got an elevator, and two stories underground. His garage is 3/4 empty even though he has 8 cars in there, including a 2013 Ferrari. He's got an indoor basketball court/racquetball court in the bottom level in a big glass room, with a balcony, and the hoop retracts into like a trap door in the ceiling, it's a pretty ridiculous house. There's about 12 refrigerators throughout the house, and every room has a touch screen thing built into the wall that gives a map of the house, and you can control everything from them, and many of the rooms have cameras. So that was a pretty fun p-day. So yeah, that was a ton of fun, I guess you'd have to be there. Oh, and Elder G in his last area knocked on Mike Tyson's door, which is cool.
But so this week there has not been a lot of progress, a lot of people canceled and all. We taught K another lesson, and that went awesome though. Since I challenged them last week, they have done morning and evening prayers together everyday, and he did good not having his coffee. Elder G also has this challenge to write down 5 questions you have before conference and to see if they don't all get answered, that we have been leaving people to help get them excited and prepared for conference. I tried it too and it was really cool. I am definitely going to continue that one, too bad I couldn't tell you all before conference. They should divide conference up more. It was WAY fun indulging in 10 hours in two days, but it is so hard to fully appreciate each talk. So many were so meaningful to me but get overshadowed and blurred by the next great one. I took 45 pages of notes (smaller paper) on conference, and it would take forever to fully examine all of them. Every talk has so much to get out of it. It's so hard for me to pick a favorite, because there were so many. One that kind of sticks out most is Henry B. Eyring's, but I'm not even sure which one now, maybe both together, more so the Priesthood one I think. About praying to know who you can be and help others be, and how sometimes we don't even get the full vision of one's potential, until they decide to submit to God's will and then become that person, and about how he realized that our heart's desires ALONE are a great gift.
And Elder Bednar's about the value of testimony, and its difference from conversion, despite its necessity. But I could go forever about these. Overall it seemed there was a big theme on fully submitting to God's will, but the Gospel is so complete that it could be taken anyone depending on how the Spirit prompts the listener as it is all the same. A main realization that stuck to me in particular throughout conference was how crucial we are to God. I knew God loves us and has his perfect plan because he wants our success, which is SO amazing, but I didn't think about the trust he really has in us to return any glory upon Him, or at all repay Him. His work and Glory is the eternal life of man, and individually, especially as members of the church we have SO much privilege and responsibility to use our gift of agency to further that. We have SO much freedom, responsibility and power. The good things we do for others are truly blessings to God, which is hard to comprehend because it seems hard to give something meaningful to God. But we can truly lay up treasures in store for our Heavenly Father, and are actually PROFITABLE servants, we really have a gift to give God, and our services to men are ABSOLUTELY like we are doing them to our Lord. We have real gifts to give, and He has MUCH more to offer those profitable servants who prove trustworthy to properly use such gifts. So use your agency right, it's what we're here for, and we can master it, no temptation is unbearable. And often we try to imagine an unbearable temptation as something huge, but really, aren't the ones we find unbearable the very small ones we fail to overcome everyday? Or the bursts of hate, anger or pride we choose to have or dwell on, and we tell ourselves are harmless or inevitable? ALL DAY, every moment diligence to exact obedience to following Christ is probably the hardest of all, because it is so hard to prepare for, happens slowly and gradually, and consequences often seem nonexistent or so minor. So wouldn't fighting these things, which in reality are small, yet very difficult to overcome, (as they are the ones we do the most), the most profitable ones for us to strive to overcome?
It reminds me now of Elder Cooks talk, and about sin dulling us spiritually, which we do not always notice. We can again be sharp Spiritually to those small hinderments, which President Eyring compares to a pavilion over our testimony. So we can overcome and gain dominion over those small ties that Satan has on us as natural men, and we can literally become more Christlike, with a cleaner vessel to be filled with the Holy Ghost to lead and teach us, all things of truth of light, which is God's infinite wisdom, and we can not only more fully be converted, and more truly reborn of Christ, but we can more clearly see the blessing and glory of God and his love towards us, which gives us so much more reason and determination to serve him valiantly, and get all of the eternal treasures on earth that God has in store for us now, and forever.
Ok I haven't been doing so good writing in my journal recently so I kind of just used this time to do it. Me and Elder G get along great so I guess he is big distractor of my writing, which isn't a bad thing. Just curious but dad, have you sent a letter? I haven't got one in a while, and I just don't know if that is due to the move and mail going to my old address, so i just wanted to make sure, and if it's because you haven't written, it's not to make you feel bad, but you can still try and get one that. Just kidding. But my time is running low, so I'll leave you all now, but let me know how things are going! Oh and people are asking about my birthday, money and ties are never bad, and I guess maybe an ipod dock/small speakers, socks, tech decks, sweatpants, church pants might all be cool, but feel no obligations. Or whatever else comes to mind. Or an Ensign, especially a conference one. But yeah, talk to you Monday!