It has been an awesome week. I wish I had more than thirty minutes because I don't feel like I'll be able to include everything. Ok there are 4 things.
1. First let me describe how the MTC reacted when President Monson announced the age change for missionaries. Everyone was screaming and blabbering their mouthes off for 5 minutes. Seriously though, it was slightly annoying because we couldn't hear what President Monson said those whole five minutes. But the funny thing was that President Brown didn't do anything to calm the missionaries down. I think he was just as excited as we were. This announcement is so exciting! The Lord is "hastening His work." That puts a bigger responsibility on our part.
2. General Conference as a whole was amazing. First time I actually stayed awake throught the whole thing!! The main theme that I found was loyalty through preparation. Maybe no one else saw this, but I felt that this thought was a prompting from the Spirit. There were quite a few talks about parents preparing their children for the future. Also there were a few talks about true conversion which I loved. My favorite talk was President Eyering's at Priesthood Session. Listening to his talk as a missionary really helped me realize how much I can do if I leave everything and focus on the will of the Lord.
3. Guess who spoke at the Sunday Night Fireside?!! CHAD LEWIS!! I got to chat with him a bit beforehand. My companion is a huge fan so I wanted him to meet Chad. He told me that he's gonna go golfing with dad in a few weeks. (jealousy) We took a quick photo and then all these people started swarming him, so he had to go sit on the stand. He recounted experiences in his life that really changed his look on things. All of these experiences were in his book, but it was nice to listen to them again and see how they all applied to mission work.
4. Last and definitely not least was the Tuesday Night Devotional. Guess who came to this. ELDER BEDNAR!!! It was the coolest devotional I've ever been to. He taught us how he studies the words of the modern day prophets. It's amazing to me that he shared that since he is one of the most doctrinal smart men on the world. His study guide revolves around the doctrine taught, the invitation said, and the promised blessings that will come from heeding the invitation. Here are some inspiring quotes he said.
"The Lord can do His work. He can hasten His work at His own time."
"There are no assigned topics at General Conference."....."All the talks end up weaving through each other by the doctrines they teach." To me, weaving reminds me of a rope. The talks weave themselves into an iron rod that we "These blessings WILL come. These men all hold keys. The blessings will come on the Lord's timetable." I had never thought about that before but it is true. These men of God know what they are talking about.
"We are raising the bar yet again."......
"The teachings of the apostles has influenced every aspect of my life"
It's amazing to me that each general authority practically follows the "doctrine, invitation, and blessings" path for their talks. I'm really excited to reread my notes and apply these steps to see what each general authority invites me to do. Elder Bednar said to write down not what they invite you to do, but what the Holy Ghost invites you to do while listening to their invitation.
Whelp there's a quick recap of this past week. Best week so far in the mission. BTW if you haven't heard, we're leaving 4 days early to Chile! Next Thursday!! I sent a letter to the parents with all the details about the phone call and all. Time has seriously flown by at the MTC. I was blessed beyond measure to be at the MTC when the announcement about missionary age was told to the world. The Lord has a reason to all things. The bar has definitely been raised yet again. I feel that this is a message from Heavenly Father that we need to work even harder.
Good luck this weekend BYU. You are in my prayers. And so is the whole family. And you too Bishop Willey and Brother Callister. Thanks for everything!