Monday, October 5, 2015

(week 35) 7

Well guys, today marks the day...7 months in Italy so far! Crazy to think I arrived in this country 7 whole months ago, it feels more like 2, 3 at most. I'm fortunate enough to have enjoyed my second General Conference weekend in the mission already this past weekend. Gosh, guys I can't begin to tell you how awesome General Conference truly is. I was talking with my brother/friend Matt (Elder Moser) via email about 20 minutes ago about how neither of us took advantage of General Conference before the mission; we instead looked at it as an opportunity to take a day off from church and Sunday dress, and instead lounge at home with food and a couch with conference playing on the TV. As of April 2015, and even more so today, I can tell you that I was so dumb for doing that haha. I have a completely different view, opinion, and attitude about general conference than I did 18 months ago. 
As missionaries, I would venture to say that every single one of us looks forward to conference generally the same amount. When you immerse yourself in scripture study and things of the gospel every day of your life for 1, 2, even 3 hours a day, you begin to get hooked. It's like if you go your whole life drinking regular Mountain Dew because it's good and comfortable, then one day you try Mountain Dew Baja Blast and realize you've been missing out on this amazing new drink. Pretty soon you're hooked and can't go back. It's the same with your studies in the gospel. I'm at the point where it's addicting, and studying the scriptures and other teachings of the gospel is something I desire and hunger and thirst for, all because I made that initial "switch to Baja Blast." It is because of this that it has become a habit, thus making general conference another special type of Baja Blast that's only a limited time offer on April and October...dangit. But the good news is it's every year, twice a year, and you can even get free refills of it throughout the year (on gospel library you can listen and read past conference talks). Sorry for my weird analogy, but that's a way I can better describe why I'm so stoked off conference haha. Like I was saying with Matt, I can't wait to take these habits we learn here during the mission, and apply them and carry them on to after the mission. That's really what it's all about. Once the mission is over, your real mission has just begun--to apply all of that which you have learned, into the rest of eternity, and progress off of it.
Quick little thing about conference. It was awesome, and there were many messages and themes. But the first session, I totally thought was centered on the will of God. Maybe that's just me. But either way it's so important and a reminder we all need, maybe bi-annually. We must: 1) be humble enough to ask the Lord what He wants us to do, and 2) be humble enough to act upon the answer He gives us, regardless. The Lord will not answer us if we are not sincere in our asking, and truly willing to act upon our response. These characteristics and requirements are often referred to as a sincere heart, and real intent. I was reminded of D. Todd Christofferson's Conference address in April 2011, when he refers to Hebrews 12:6, and explains how the things that happen in our life are always in align with God's will. After all, He does have all power. But what he goes on to say is that we must be willing to submit ourselves to that of our God's will, in order to be happy throughout our toughest and most chastening trials. He then extends the bold invite to seek out God's love-inspired correction. Exactly like brother Lawrence invited us to do in conference--ask God sincerely, "what do I need to change?" And you will get your answer, if you have a sincere heart and real intent. I know this is true because it's happened to me, more than once. It's awesome. God loves us enough to chasten us, and to help us change our weaknesses into strengths. I wish I had time to talk forever about conference because I loved it so much, but I can't :/ however one quick thing--Holland's talk on the Messianic role of motherhood was amazing, and with pin-point accuracy. I don't know where I would be today without my mother and the love she, and her mom have for me. I probably would not be in Italy right now of it wasn't for her. I love you all and miss you all. I promise you all, who haven't seen conference, you will LOVE conference if you watch/listen/read the talks. So inspired. We have the opportunity to hear the testimonies of Apostles of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They are special witnesses of Him and His divinity. I know that. I feel it when they speak. May God bless all of you. Ciao bellissimi 😘

Madfredonia, Italy
Manfredonia, Italy

quick little passaggio rn

Brazillian soda sooo great!

General Conference squad
more General Conference squad
I can't tell you how amazing this lasagna was that a member made for
A random castle..haha

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