General Conference was SOOO good! Ahh. I just want to listen to it over and over again. If any of you didn't get to watch any of the sessions, you should go watch it! It was so amazing and so evident in the feelings I felt as I listened to these inspired men and women that this is Christ's church. Listening to them and feeling the power made everything so real. The restoration is more real to me, Living prophets are more real to me, Christ is more real to me! It was so amazing.
This week was empowering. With General Conference as the exclamation point. Goodness, I love the gospel so much.
1st of all, on Wednesday, we did some service with Brother Y., our wonderful branch mission leader. We did that most of the day, then came back to go find and teach in the evening. As I was waiting for Elder Gorringe, I realized I didn't have the fire and excitement I should as we were about to go out. So I opened my scriptures randomly to 1 Corinthians 7:21-24. It talks about being a servant of Christ. My favorite part is verse 23: "Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men." That gave me the fire and excitement I needed. We were bought with a price, we were saved by Christ, by His suffering, so we should never serve men, but Christ! It was definitely what I needed. The scriptures are so powerful.
That night, we tracted for several hours, and on the very last house, we met Brother B! ( it is always the last house...always) He was a member for many years, but stopped coming after a divorce. He has a testimony and such a good heart. We shared a short message with him and said a prayer with him. It felt like Heavenly Father was guiding us there, saying, "go and find my lost son." In Preach My Gospel, it talks about how when we do all we can to be guided by the spirit in planning and finding, then the Lord will guide us and others to be able to find His children. It is so true.
We had an intense and powerful lesson with Georgia this week. We knocked on her door, walked in, and she was in more pain than usual. It hurt me to see how much suffering she was in. Still, she invited us to sit, and said she has some things to tell us. "Well, my priest came by to visit me this week..." She began. Sadly, usually that is not a great sign, so I anxiously anticipated what he had said. "He gave you all so much praise for what you are doing and what you have done for me. You have brought me back to the Lord. He told me that God works in mysterious ways, and he has used you to help bring me back to him." She went on to tell us how she had seen her bible next to her bed, and realized she needs to read that more. He priest told her she should get into the word with that more and invited her to come to their bible studies at church again. She readily accepted, as she finished telling us this, she said, "So, I am going to give you back your book tonight. And I appreciate all you have done for me." Pause. These are the moments, when I know I am absolutely nothing. There was nothing I could do or say to convince her to change, nor did I have any idea what to say. So I turned to Heaven. After several seconds of silence, I asked if we could share one more scripture with her before we left. We turned to 2 Nephi 33 and read with her:
"...if ye believe not these words, believe in Christ. And if ye believe in Christ ye will believe in these words, for they are the words of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they teach all men that they should do good."
"And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye-- for Christ will show unto you, with power and great glory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness."
After we read that, there was silence, and the spirit guided us so much. I testified to her, with all I could, pulling from the depths of my spirit, "Georgia, I know that these are the words of Christ. They are his words." The spirit guided us from one inspired question to the next. We left her to read about the story of Alma and Alma the younger, because she is struggling with one of her unbelieving children, she was very grateful and agreed to keep the Book of Mormon.
In that 1st moment, I felt like nothing and I knew I was nothing. How could it be that this woman who had so many great personal experiences with the Book of Mormon could be giving it back to us? But it is in these moments, when we know we are nothing, when the Lord can use us His best.
I don't have much more time, but real quick. We had John come to the Saturday morning session of conference which was so great! I was so glad he heard President Uchtdorf's talk. That was so powerful. Then a few other people we are working with came on Sunday morning, and they heard Elder Oaks powerful and bold talk on the law of chastity, which was definitely inspired. It was amazing to see God speaking to each person individually. As I sat there in the 1st session, hearing the choir sing, "Come to Zion! Come to Zion!" I felt the spirit so strongly. I wanted to yell to John! Come! Come to Zion! Because it is real. I know that this is Zion. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints IS the church of Jesus Christ himself here on the earth. Thomas S. Monson is His prophet! And Christ lives! He is so much more real and involved in His work than we know. I love this work and I love the Savior! In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
I love you all! Have a wonderful week!
Elder Heath Tenney
Pictures of Midwest skies that I am obsessed with!