Monday, October 5, 2009

Thoughts from General Conference........week 21

Thoughts from General Conference...

Monday Oct 5, 2009

So family, another week and it was a great one! General conference was so
inspiring. I expect that everyone thinks so too.

This week we tried to focus on finding new investigators (and not only new
investigators but references from members) We actually had a good week in this
regard and were able to find many new investigators through the members. I
really have a testimony that the members are the best way to do missionary work.
They already have the required friend in the church…they only lack the teaching
and the responsibility. I find that many times the friend part is the most

This week as we contacted references, I was able to have a really good
experience. We began teaching a few investigators that had previously received
the discussions from missionaries about 2 years ago. It turns out that the
daughter is still reading the Book of Mormon and another daughter attended
church activities up until last Christmas. The mother is having some marital
problems because her husband is supposedly unfaithful. I find this humble family
ready for the gospel. I hope they can open up their hearts to the messages of
the Savior and experience the mighty change of heart requisite to remain
faithful servants of the Lord. I really liked that talk about changed hearts by
the way in Conference. Very powerful.

As we left that lesson, my companion began talking about how he felt he had met
that family before. It wasn't until then that I realized that I had been feeling
the same way. As a missionary, the spirit works with us in so many ways. I am
still a young and inexperienced missionary and servant of the lord and I have a
lot to learn. I learned about one more way that the spirit works in my life, and
it is through remembrances and feelings such as this. There was a point in the
lesson with them where I almost had a deja vu. I felt like i had been there
before and seen their faces. I expect that that feeling was what my companion
felt too. How great it is to be a missionary! How great it is to feel the
inspiration and guiding spirit of the Holy Ghost! We truly encounter people
every day and every minute that we have met before, we just don't remember it.
Conference gave me such a boost that I am now ready to work harder in the work
of the Master. Several talks were very powerful to me, including the talks about
writing spiritual impressions, the change of hearts, service, love, the Book of
Mormon by ELDER HOLLAND! and Elder Christofferson's talk about moral discipline.
The talk on temperance also stuck with me, that as we temper our spirits, we are
more willing to and capable to resist a higher impact. Elder Osguthorpe's talk on
teaching was very enlightening and I feel like I need to focus more on saving
lives than giving a speech. I should inspire. I should lift hearts. I should
show confidence. I should close the manual and open their eyes to the glory of
God. I too have been a product of great teaching. I too can say with Nephi that
I have been born of goodly parents.

Elder Bednar's talk about parent and child relationships in expressions of love,
etc helped me reflect on my own childhood experiences. Being away from home and
family life, one has time to ponder on the way that parents taught and how
effective their teaching was. I see troubled homes every day. I see parents lost
at how to educate and teach their children. I see children with hatred towards
their parents. I see terrible family relationships. I am so grateful for what I
was given, the parents that God elected for me (I say elected because they were
specifically chosen and they are elect in their obedience) and the brothers and
sister that I have had as a support all my life. I know that I am not perfect,
but I know that my parents have taught me in a way that helps me approach this
eternal goal.

I pray that you will always walk in the ways of the Lord. Strive to live and
apply what the prophets and apostles taught this past week end and I will do the

I know that this is the church of Jesus Christ. One cannot listen at the feet of
the prophets, hear their divinely inspired messages, and not know that they are
called of God and have His authority today, if he does so with an open heart.

Thank you for your prayers and love. Thank you for you thoughts on my behalf.

Thank you for your teaching, your kind words and your examples to all of the
world. I stand with Elder Uchtdorf and say that in the end, the one defining
characteristic of the only true church on Earth should be love. Love others.

Serve them. God will bless you all. Until next week. May God be with you always.

Elder Russell