As I mentioned in my last post, last Friday was mission conference with Elder Bendar! He and Elder Ballard had been touring around Europe, and we were blessed to have some time with an apostle, just us missionaries. Another highlight of the conference was seeing mission friends. As we walked from the train station to the Haaga chapel, I was suddenly seized from behind in a death-grip disguised as a hug. It was such a startle, that I punched myself right in the face! My crankiness over the face-punching lasted just a couple of seconds, because how can I be upset at SISAR NYMAN?? I was giddy to see her, and even more excited that since she's now in Lappeenranta, we'll see each other again at zone meetings. One person who I, unfortunately, do not get to see at such meetings, is the incomparable Sisar Dayton. As we approached the doors of the chapel, my heart leaped in my chest a bit, and I thought, "It's HER!!" Serving with her has been one of the highlights of my entire mission, and I hugged her until I thought my arms would fall off. I got to chit-chat with sisters serving in my old areas, and one of the sisters now serving in Lahti told me that a certain maaaaan who Sisar Daytooooon and I would sometimes meeeeet on the buuuuuuuuuuuus asked her if she knew Sisar Hansen! Ahhhh!!! I don't know if you remember me mentioning him in one of my posts from way back in May(?) but it's good to hear that I've made an impression on somebody who's also made an impression on me. :) At the end, we arranged ourselves by height, of course taking more time than we anticipated, to take a mission photo. I'll look forward to seeing that one.
As for the conference itself, we've had a lot of members ask us what Elder Bednar said to us. One of the best parts was the first thing that came out of his mouth: "It's easy to tell that you have prepared." Too many would-be spiritual experiences are blocked off by lack of preparation. We'd read talks, prayed, and asked questions throughout the mission to prepare for this event, and it all paid off. We had what turned out to be a question-and-answer session with an apostle. He asked us what we'd learned from our preparations, and then we had time to ask him questions. The Spirit was undeniably strong, and I very early on found a good answer to the question I'd been prompted to write down as we quietly waited for our guest speakers to enter the chapel. From that answer, I got a lot of follow-up answers, some to questions I didn't even know I'd had! One thing that was stressed to us in the beginning was the importance of proper note-taking. Instead of writing down what he said, the rule was to write down what we heard- what the Spirit communicated to us. That rule was a game-changer that allowed us all to receive personally tailored revelation from the conference. I walked away feeling lighter than a feather. I hope the same goes as Sisar Schellenberg and I take our saved-up P-Day time to go to the temple this week. As tired as I am, the temple is sure to be a welcomed refuge and place of rest.
I continue to enjoy the work here in the Marjaniemi ward. The people are wonderful, even when we get lost/lose our phone and can't show up, or explain why we can't show up! But we've been given opportunities to serve, and I've had opportunities to use my French powers for good! Not only do we have a French investigator, but on TWO separate contacting occasions, I was straight-up asked if I speak French, to which I gladly replied, "Oui!" Maybe that's one reason why I've been called to serve here.....
Last week was a dream week. I pray that the spirit of that week will continue with me for the rest of my mission, and even beyond. I'd invite you, as General Conference draws near, to ponder how you can prepare to receive and record revelation during that special time.
Jumalan Siunasta teille!