On Friday we got our travel plans. We will fly to LAX, then to Hong Kong, and then to Manila! When we fly to Hong Kong, we will literally lose all of April 14th because of the 15-hour time difference, and the fact that it's a 15-hour flight.
General Conference was awesome. I was able to get so much out of it for missionary work. It was a great experience to watch it as a missionary. My favorite talks were Elder Dale G. Renlund's, President Uchtdorf's talk from the Priesthood session, and Elder Holland's talk that closed out the conference. My favorite story of the whole weekend was from Elder Renlund's talk:
A friend of ours in South Afri
ca shared how she came to this realization. When Diane was a new convert, she attended a b ranch outside of Johannesburg. One Sunday, as she sat in the congregation, the layout of t he chapel made it so that the deacon did not see her as the sacrament was passed. Diane wa s disappointed but said nothin g. Another member noted the om ission and mentioned it to the branch president after the me eting. As Sunday School began, Diane was invited to an empty classroom.A priesthood holder came in. H e knelt down, blessed some bre ad, and handed her a piece. Sh e ate it. He knelt down again and blessed some water and han ded her a small cup. She drank it. Thereafter, Diane had two thoughts in rapid succession: First, “Oh, he [the priesthood holder] did this just for me. ” And then, “Oh, He [the Savio r] did this just for me.” Dian e felt Heavenly Father’s love.Her realization that the Savio r’s sacrifice was just for her helped her feel close to Him and fueled an overwhelming des ire to keep that feeling in he r heart, not just on Sunday bu t every day. She realized that although she sat in a congreg ation to partake of the sacram ent, the covenants she made an ew each Sunday were individual ly hers. The sacrament helped— and continues to help—Diane fe el the power of godly love, re cognize the Lord’s hand in her life, and draw closer to the Savior.
On Sunday night, the devotional was done by BYU Vocal Point. It was great. They would sing a song, and then a couple of them would each share a lesson that they learned on their missions. they sounded amazing, were really funny, and had a lot of great lessons about the Spirit.
On Monday, we taught both of our "investigators" and both lessons went really well. We've been so much more prepared, and just focused exactly on their needs. That has made such a huge difference, and the Spirit has been there so much more. We always get told that our lessons are sobrang maganda.
On Tuesday we did service in our building by cleaning the bathrooms. while cleaning on one of the floors, I actually met Elder Caldwell, who is actually from Stafford! He said that he filled out his mission papers with President Kitchens! In class that day, we read in Alma 7 which people usually associate with the Atonement, but it is actually very much about the doctrine of Christ.
The Tuesday Devotional was by Ian S. Ardern of the Seventy, who is actually the current Area President for the Philippines. He shared ten lessons that he learned on his mission in France. There was actually a bat flying around inside the building during the devotional. Elder Ardern actually turned it into an additional lesson about investigators getting distracted during lessons. He was really funny.
On Wednesday we read 3 Nephi 8-9 in class with Sister Brock and related it to ourselves. My favorite was the last verse of chapter 9 because we can't let the Atonement to have happened in vain:
Both of our lessons also went very well yesterday. Elder Solis and are having so much fun teaching and preparing for lessons.
So they're building a new building here, and apparently it is tradition for people to sign the last beam of a building before it is set. So we all got to sign it yesterday. That was pretty awesome as well.
The Kiribati missionaries also had a lot of fun teaching us silly words. They always tell us how to say stuff like "You're childish" "You stink" "Shut up" and "You have a big forehead." they are always so funny.
We're all so excited to go on Wednesday!