Monday, October 12, 2015

Conference Thoughts

WASN'T CONFERENCE WONDERFUL? I couldn't have asked Heavenly Father for a clearer way to answer my prayers. It was all inspirational, familiar, and filled with such a joyful spirit. It was so fun to watch for many reasons. Sister Clines mom sings in the TABchoir, President Yamashita gave a prayer, Elder Whiting gave a prayer, Elder Aoyagi gave a talk, and of course Elder Rasband, Elder Stevenson, and Elder Ballard spoke. We have been trained by all these men in the Japan Nagoya Mission. The familiarity of their voices, the words of apostles and President Monson, and familiarity of the conference center took me home for a while. ❤️ This weekend was very special.
(MY FAVS: Niell F. Marriott, Jeffrey R. Holland, Bradley D. Foster, Russell M. Nelson, Allen Haynie)

At the conclusion of this conference, my thoughts kept going back to families. And how excited and anxious I am to be a Mother.

I thought this was interesting. In preparation for training for DTM, I read this story which really tugged at my heart. I can't read it without bawling! Read this story and talked about Faith. Anyway this was Friday, then on Saturday, Niell F. Marriott, the mother of the young girl, told this same story. Tender mercy and tender moment. My faith is increased by seeing her faith and trust in the great Plan of Salvation.

Ten years ago as my wife, Kathy, and I were living in São Paulo, Brazil, President David Marriott was presiding over the Brazil São Paulo Interlagos Mission. He and his wife, Neill, and their sons Will, Wesley, and Trace lived near us. They had left their home, their business, and many in their family to respond to a call from the prophet to serve a mission.
President Marriott called me one afternoon. Their precious, righteous 21-year-old daughter, Georgia, a senior in violin performance at Indiana University, had been hit by a truck while riding her bicycle home after a Church meeting. On first report, Georgia was doing well. Hours later her condition dramatically worsened.
Family and friends began fasting and praying for a miracle for Georgia. Her mother flew through the night from Brazil. Arriving in Indiana the next day, she was met by her older children, who tearfully explained that they had been with Georgia as she passed away.
I watched the Marriott family at the time of this experience and in the months and years that followed. They wept, they prayed, they spoke of Georgia, they felt immense pain and sadness, but their faith did not falter. In this morning’s session, we heard of similar faith in the beautiful lives of the Bowen and Wilberger families.
The gift of faith is a priceless spiritual endowment.
We treasure our faith, work to strengthen our faith, pray for increased faith, and do all within our power to protect and defend our faith.
How do you remain “steadfast and immovable” during a trial of faith? You immerse yourself in the very things that helped build your core of faith: you exercise faith in Christ, you pray, you ponder the scriptures, you repent, you keep the commandments, and you serve others.
When faced with a trial of faith--whatever you do, you don’t step away from the Church! Distancing yourself from the kingdom of God during a trial of faith is like leaving the safety of a secure storm cellar just as the tornado comes into view.

I love this story so much. During the most painful moments of my mission, I realize that literally the only thing that kept me going were the same steps in this talk.
1. you exercise faith in Christ,
2. you pray,
3. you ponder the scriptures,
4. you repent,
5. you keep the commandments,
6. and you serve others.
As I think about experiences I had with practicing each of these steps, my heart is so full with truth from the Spirit that this counsel is directly from a loving Heavenly Father.
"Whether from mine own voice or the voice of mine servants, IT IS THE SAME."
We were just edified and touched by words of dear prophets and apostles, and yet it was our loving Father talking to us the whole time. How cool is that ❤️. I love Him!

Michael, thank you so much for praying specifically that investigators would come to General Conference. CHECK OUT THIS COOL STORY:

Remember our investigator we housed and tried to make a next appointment with, then she didn't come to church and couldn't contact, yada yada yada WELL on Friday we got this text:


I've had a little interest in Christ's church.
At church, what kind of things do you do?
Please teach me.

AHHHHHHHHH AHHAHAHAHAHA Sorry just a tad excited.
Soooooo we told her about #GenConf and she said ok. I'll be there.
N-chan is the name and she came to Sunday general conference!!!!!! :) we have an appointment with her tonight. Yay!

This week we went to institute with A-chan. One of the other YSA members there asked her why she still comes even without T-chan. She said she always leaves with a good feeling and is always glad that she comes. We are really trying to be so prayerful about what she needs because WHY she isn't baptized, we know not. She really is incredible, though.

Last Monday, cline Shimai and I went to a busy street near Gifu station. We brought a harp that a member let her borrow and she played her harp while I sang and talked to people. Hahah buuutttt we got a few numbers and passed out a lot of English class flyers. One of those numbers was a cute 17 year old girl who later texted us and said, "my mom wants to meet you guys! Can you come over for dinner soon?" WHOA THIS NEVER HAPPENS it was so fun. Were able to be in their home, build a good relationship, and try our best to bring the spirit into their home. We sang I am a child of God and shared our beliefs with each other.

Also met a super cute girl named S-chan, who is now doing 30/30 program! After our training at ZTM, I'm so glad Cline Shimai wants to use her talents more to hasten the work. I don't want her to ever be afraid the rest of her mission or her life to sing, or play, or make someone laugh, or comfort someone when they need comfort. She has many gifts from God. I totally believe the Lord uses each of our strengths, and because of our talents or personality or willingness or whatever, we were sent here. And Parker was sent to Argentina. And Shaylee was sent to Hong Kong. And Michael was sent to ?..Florida? And Jaren will be sent where his sweet testimony and witty humor will be needed. :) We are not perfect, but we sure are blessed. Blessed with gifts of the spirit. We should not be afraid to speak out and speak up, just like Elder Nelson taught.

Anyway, I love you soooo much dawlings. Thank you for your emails. You are full of the spirit and I LOVE IT AND LOVE YOU.
Have a fab week.
Song for you and song of the week,
"Heart don't fail me now, courage don't desert me don't turn back now that we're here. People always say life is full of choices, no one ever mentions fear. Or how the world can seem so vast. On this journey to the past."
Love you gump.
Love, Sister weerukokkusu

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