Monday, April 14, 2014

Week 27

So CONFERENCE was GREAT. We got to watch all four sessions in the stake center. I can't wait to get all the talks in the Liahona. I loved it. I didn't realize how much I needed to hear Conference again. I also didn't realize how much strength I received from it. Here are some of my thoughts on it:

To me, the main theme was Obedience. I heard Joseph Smith's name a lot, as well as Nephi's. There were so many comparison's to both of them... And I think it's because they are probably a couple of the greatest examples of obedience. For example, Nephi was tied up by his brothers on the ship going to the promised land. And yet he still praised God and thanked Him. He didn't ask to change his circumstances, but he remembered his faith and went back to it. Through his obedience, his faith was strengthened. I personally appreciated a quote by Elder L. Tom Perry who said something like this, "The difference between disobedience and obedience is like going back to our limited knowledge or receiving the unlimited knowledge of Heavenly Father." For me, that really helped me understand the concept of obedience and the natural results of being obedient. If we are obedient, then the blessing is knowledge. If we want knowledge, faith, hope, charity, etc., obedience is the springboard to all of those good things. And obedience starts in our heart first. If we choose to be obedient in our heart then our actions will follow. Sometimes I think that we think changing behavior does the trick. But it's changing the nature first that changes the behavior. In PMG it says, "Doctrine changes behavior." This is so true. If we want to change our nature, then we ought to be obedient to Jesus Christ.

I personally enjoyed the story of the horses and the "spiritual bits" that are given to us. Are we paying attention to those? Or biting so hard on them that we are past feeling? Or maybe we just need to stop fighting the bit and let it help us!

Also, I picked up on a lot of references to service. It really doesn't matter where you serve, it's really about how you serve. It doesn't matter how far away from home you serve or what quarter of the earth you are in because distance doesn't change nature! Just like little children sometimes will say, "I'm running away and never coming back!" because they want to change their circumstance, or because they aren't happy and they think that the further the way they are, the more happy they will be. It's often our nature we need to change.  The reason is within ourselves, in our hearts. Sometimes we think that the further we run away from God, or by trying to chase Him out of our lives, it will help us to think or change more or "find ourselves." But we really only find ourselves when we lose ourselves in Christ. (I really hope that you are all studying the Book of Mormon. :) It's truly for us! Read it!)

So this week... We have Lionella and Lily who are preparing for baptism on April 23. I am really stressed out about this because I'm not so sure that they are going to be ready. My companion and I struggle to understand each other's sides on the matter, but I am trying to just have faith that it will work out and that we will teach them and help them enough. That's the hardest thing! Knowing if you have done enough for them. But I also have to remember, it really comes down to their agency. :)

Zone P-day hike to Taytay Falls -- Beautiful!!
It's been a super hot week which has practically killed me!! I almost can't breathe. hahah It's just TOO hot and there's no wind anymore. BUT today for p-day we went as a zone to a place called Majayjay which has a waterfall. That was beautiful! It was a nice dat and cooler there but a long drive--about 1 hour by jeepneey. The trip was full of rice fields and beautiful scenery. The scenery really helps me feel close to Heavenly Father. Especially going into the mountain tops! I sort of feel closer to heaven the higher I climb the mountains of the Philippines. :) I love my mission.

My favorite experience this week was teaching Oliver about the restoration. We used the DVD about Joseph Smith, and I always love to share this with people. I'm really growing in my testimony of Joseph Smith and the Restoration. I love learning about it.

I will be able to see on Wednesday if I have received the package! Thanks so much again :) I already can't wait to hear from you next week! I hope you know how much I love you. I miss you guys a lot every day. But I have FAITH in Jesus Christ. I am determined to TRY! We can all determine to try, can't we? :) LOVE YOU SO MUCH! Don't worry about me :) I'm doing alright! I don't want to miss out on any blessings from the Lord. And especially, knowing the Plan, why should I? Why should anyone? :) Have a good week!!!

Sister Seastrand
On our way to the Zone P-day Hike
Taytay Falls

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