Monday, April 11, 2016

Conference was amazing!

Date:  April 11, 2016
Area:  Maseru, Lesotho
Companion:  Elder Woodland
Week 42

So this week was pretty normal for the life of missionary work in Lesotho. We did though have one way powerful lesson. We met with a new investigator we tracted into named Ma Thapelo. She is awesome. So we went to her house for our follow up appointment and just started to talk with her. She all the sudden opened up about how her husband just told her he wants a divorce because she has been able to have children for the past four years. This was heartbreaking for us to hear. We have only know this women for a short time but have this incredible love for her and it broke my heart hearing this and other things that have happened in her past that I can't share. So emotions were high and I didn't know what to do. I wanted to just give this women a hug and just cry it out but that wouldn't work. We came to teach the restoration and about Joseph Smith but every time I thought about how I was going to tie her struggles in with it I couldn't. I was blank. I then remembered what  Elder Bednar said when we get in a situation we don't know what to do or say. Testify of Christ. This is what I did and boy did it work. The spirit came in strong and I testified that Christ is our brother. His love surrounds us, He died for us and so much more. I honestly can't even remember a lot of what I said because honestly it wasn't me speaking. The spirit had control of the lesson and steered it where it needed to go. She continued to open up to us and tell us more about her life, struggles and all. I then asked a few questions and she mentioned how she felt and knew we were sent by God to see her. And that she now felt relieved and so much better. We knew that was our que to leave because she was feeling the spirit and we want to leave her on a spiritual high. We closed and said our goodbyes with a final testament of our love for her, which was and is indeed a real and genuine love. It had been one of the most powerful moments of my mission thus far.

So a couple weeks ago I was talking with our mission president and we decided that I wanted to work on being more mature, in my conduct, talk, attitude and all. So I'll share a bit about that experience as well. This is what I wrote to my mission president this week....

"What a difference! I decided I should reflect some more about our interview and the topic of maturity. I was honestly shocked to find so many instances throughout the day where I was considerably "immature".  I guess it was a bit of a humbling experience. It reminds me of the talk two conferences ago, and the talk entitled,  "What lack I yet?"  The spirit really does show and tell you what you lack and need to improve on and is not afraid of being blunt about it. I saw that I do indeed need to act more wise and mature in my conduct around other missionaries and even members. I hope realization will be the first step in changing to a more fervent servant. Thank you for your council and guidance. My parents have greatly stressed to me how important it is to follow the direction of our mission president as he is the one who can receive prophetic guidance not only for the work in our area, but I see now also for ourselves and individual missionaries. I am thankful for your persistent communion with the spirit that you can follow His guidance."

As for the area, things didnt necessarily pick up as I was hoping for this week but a new week comes and we can only move forward. I am anxious to see what the Lord has planned for the people here, Its actually quite exciting when you really start to think about it. I was listening to talk by some youth speaker and he related a story about his football career to making decisions to determine your destiny and at one point in his story president Hinkley, prophet at the time, came into the BYU locker room and told the team that it was the coaches last day and "dont muff it" I have been thinking as if the current prophet is saying this to me, I have come out on mission, to a new country, there is work to be done and work expected to be done... dont muff it. I dont know why but when I picture in my head the prophet or the savior pushing me to work harder it gives a sense of motivation.

I also was talking with Hailey and I can't remember if I ever shared this story about prayer but I will now.
"I have always struggled realizing answers to my prayers and mistaking them for just thoughts or luck or pure coincidence. For example, there was this one day where I had to send in a baptismal form that day because we were updating the system for church stats and they needed all baptism records immediately. I had filled it out a few weeks earlier and just gotten the bishop to sign it off the previous week. I forgot to send it in on Monday so we got a call saying we needed to do it ASAP and it was like a Wednesday or something, I can't remember. So I went to my folder and looked.... it wasn't there.... I went to my binder and checked.... nope nada..... went and looked fetching everywhere and I could not find it, tore up my closet and my bag and desk and dresser and the record could not be found. Now no it was not the end of the world but I hate when I was supposed to get something done and then I failed something completely in my power that now puts others through a headache so I was quite frustrated to say the least. After looking once, twice and thrice my wonderful comp who had his head square on his shoulder just looked at me and said well.... you know what we have to do right?... pray.... so we knelt down a said a verbal prayer just asking our loving Father to help us find the missing record that we would be able to send it in on time and that everything will work out. Now half way through the prayer I remembered that I gave a talk the previous Sunday and I brought the record to church. So the thought came to me, maybe I put it in my note book while giving a talk. Sure enough it was there and all went well. So I was ready to head to the email shop to send off the record when my comp stopped my and brightly said. " well we have to say thanks now" Now my original instinct was. " this was just my own thought. I remembered where I put it, this wasn't an answer to my prayer." I of course could not have been more wrong. It indeed was an answer to my prayer and pretty clear. The role of the Holy Ghost is partly to bring things to our remembrance. I searched for 20 minutes on my own and could not find or remember by myself where t
I think these are cool!

he record was. But as soon as I calmed down and allowed the Holy Ghost to remind me, he surly did. I learned how important it is to recognize the little and great answers we get to our prayers. We must say thank you. No one likes an unappreciative person. I did in fact feel the warmth of the spirit as we gave thanks to God for taking the time to help us in such a minor thing in the grand scheme of things but so important to us at the time. If it is important to you, it is important to God. How often does a little child bring home some terrible looking painting from school and they are so proud of it and love it and give it to mom and dad. Mom and dad of course take the painting lovingly and hang it on the fridge because it is important to them. Why? Because it is important to their child. The same goes with our Father in Heaven, he is a perfect Father and finds so much joy in our happiness and achievement, no matter how small and insignificant according to the world it may be."

Now there is general conference. Soooooo all of you who have made it this far... Thank you mom, and Hailey and Amber..... It twas grand! I'll speak brief on it though because of time. It was all fantastic. I loved all of it! as a missionary I think conference becomes more interesting. I felt like there was so much mention of God loving each and every single one of us. To me it seemed like countless times they talked about our individual importance and love from our Father in Heaven. Christ is the good Shepard and would not leave his flock untended and without

We made our bakkie look american.  Really dirty.
Here they was their cars religiously and hate the look of a dirty car.
provisions. We are all sons and daughters of the most power being in the universe and that makes us all royalty. We are kings and queens to be. Currently prince and princesses, in quite a real way. I don't know if we all completely grasp this. When we know for sure that God loves his children, nothing else really matters. It all makes sense. Things happen, but always for our good. We all go through many experiences in the life. some hard, some fun, challenging, depressing, sad, hurtful, painful, shameful, disgraceful, exciting, joyfull, and pure and more and more. I think you get it. We experience a lot of things. Now out of all of these are any bad? No! All experience is good. Although painful it is indeed good, most of us know by now in our stage of life that we learn the most through the hard times of life, that is good. There was also a lot of talk on family and temple, those go hand in hand. I love my family, and the separation because of mission has only made my love for them grow so much! I hope to be with them for eternity and know I can because of the temple. Guard our families, do everything in your power to keep a strong and healthy loving family and God will bless you with so so much. What makes God, God? Well he presides. over who? His family! What do fathers do? )Preside. over... their families. We are now preparing to become Gods and Goddesses. and we can! I love you all and if you did not get the chance to listen to general conference please do
Conference was amazing!

so! it will enrich your life, understanding, and love!

Tag is getting full
Thank you for all the love (1000x apologizes for the length....)
Elder North

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