I have been dying to read emails today because I was wondering what you all thought of General Conference! So crazy and so exciting! I already wrote Danielle some of this but I think I'll just make it the subject of the email today.
Why do we go on missions:
1. To baptize people and bring them into membership of the church, and more importantly to help them learn to live the gospel of Jesus Christ and find joy, peace and happiness.
But when they announced the announcement in general conference, that wasnt the first thing that came to my mind honestly. I feel like it is so important for as many people as possible to serve missions because of the impact it will have on their marriage and on their children and in their service for the rest of their lives. In my opinion, the 1.5 or 2 years is really just the beginning, I don't feel like anyone ever really needs to "finish" their mission. When you go home, you just continue a bigger mission. Because the whole point of life is to constantly progress and help as many people around you to do the same.
I think the announcement is the most amazing thing ever. I was sitting in a room with about ten other missionaries and we were all so happy and there was such a special spirit that entire session. The Saturday morning session was one of my favorite conference sessions I have ever heard in my life.
The rest of the talks to me were confirmations of some of the reasons why they made this change in missionary service. Elder Cook talked about the increasing wickedness of the world and how the family is the base of everything. He said that it's no longer enough to take your families to church activities and call it good/ Your children need to know that you have faith in Jesus Christ, you need to teach them so they are converted to Jesus Christ and His gospel.
Then it was Sister Dibb's, one of my favorites. Soeur Horn and I have been wanting to get Versailles ward member t-shirts that say "im a mormon" to wear. I think it would help our proselyting efforts. ha. I loved how she talked about never be ashamed of who you are and what you stand for. Being doers and not just hearers/ Love the gospel and constantly dig deeper.
Elder Bowen and the entire talk about the Plan of Salvation, you feel how much hope the message really is that we bring to people. And Elder Nelson where any question or problem you could possibly think of he encouraged anyone not LDS watching conference to ask the missionaries.
My favorite was Elder Uchtdorf's all about the regrets at the end of a person's life:
1. Not spending time with the people who mattered most
2. They failed to become the person they were capable of becoming
3. They didn't allow themselves to be happier
That talk along with Elder Holland's and Elder Eyring's (probably my three favorites but I honestly LOVED every single one) helped me to think a lot about how I want to spend the last six months of my mission and what kind of person I want to be. So good.
I was so happy to hear about Danielle preparing to serve, when I read about all the preparation she has already done I just felt so much joy and felt so grateful to have a family that loves the gospel. I told Danielle I think she's a lot more prepared than I was when I left. She will be so good. :)
As I have the opportunity to meet and talk to more and more people, I feel even more and more blessed for the gospel and feel a stronger commitment and responsibility for the rest of my life to help as many people around me, now and in the future to have those blessings in their lives.
I love you all and pray for you! Thank you for all your love and support.