The first good majority of the week was very, very difficult. Probably the most difficult point of my mission to be honest.
From Tuesday-Wednesday, I was on exchanges and was in a different area. And the entire time, the Elder I was with wanted us to visit a bunch of former-investigators and talk to nonmembers in general. We didn’t really make any contact with members at all during this exchange. And the thing about former-investigators is that they’re “former” for a reason. And there are usually two types of “formers.” Ones who will be extremely rude to you and tell you to leave or ones who will be nice and say that they’re just no longer interested. Regardless, the chances of getting to teach or even talk to them are slim. So you can probably imagine how the day went. We bike around and literally every single person we talked to was being extremely rude and there were a few who flat-out threatened to kill us if we wouldn’t leave… it was bad. And then we had one person who did answer the door and she was nice, but the conversation got too deep and too long. The Elder I was with is very awkward and will often ask questions that appear out of nowhere. And then these questions tend to lead to very complicated answers (this girl didn’t believe in God or anything and is all about science and doesn’t believe there is any “proof” there is a God). Long story short, the conversation became an overly-deep-doctrine conversation that ended up lasting over an hour and a half with us just talking to this girl outside her door step. It was bad. And I was trying to end it long before it got to the point of where it got by simply bearing my testimony and then ending it off of that. But each time I try to end it there, the Elder I was with asks a question that ends up taking the conversation to a whole other level. By the end of the conversation, everyone was frustrated and the spirit was just not there. I felt absolutely horrible. I did not feel the spirit at all during this exchange.
Interesting how the worst days of my mission proceed the best day of my mission thus far.
Friday, I got to go through the Temple for the very first time to get endowed. I chose to go through the Gilbert Temple since that is the Temple that my first three transfers of my mission have been building up to, so it just seemed fitting. It was interesting going through the Temple for the first time. There’s not a whole lot you can do to truly prepare for it, but I was always given the advice to not worry about memorizing anything or the things that would happen, but just to enjoy feeling the spirit. So that’s what I did. It was great seeing my family, both my actual family and my mission family there in the temple with me. When we entered the celestial room, I had never felt the spirit so strongly before in my life. It was very powerful and I could feel the love that my families and friends had for me as well as my Heavenly Father.
Then on Friday night when we got home and we were getting ready to head out, Elder Bailey told me that he had a feeling that we should stop by sister Gissell. So just as we are about ready to leave, sister Gissell calls us and says that her next-door neighbor is shoveling a giant pile of gravel over to the backyard if we had time to help. So we did just that. We were not able to spend a whole lot of time because we had an appointment about 30 minutes after we got there, but we were able to get a good amount of the gravel shoveled. So that was really cool. Then after the appointment, we bike around and we see brother Nelson standing outside and this big truck of sod (grass) comes by and we find out that he is laying out sod in his backyard that next morning. So we set up a time to help him at 7AM.
Saturday and Sunday was of course General Conference. We got to see all of them, but we missed the first 70% of the 9AM session on Saturday because we were doing service by laying sod on a dirt field for grass. We were surprisingly able to get it done fairly quickly because we were able to bike home by 9AM, shower, get dressed, and then head to the stake center to watch conference. I was a little disappointed to miss a big chunk of the 9AM Saturday session, but we were out there doing work and ultimately that was what was important. Plus, it’ll be in the Ensign soon enough (probably while I’m at the MTC, now that I think about it)
This was a really good General Conference. There were lots of great talks given. My favorite session was probably the Priesthood Session and I really liked the talk by President Eyring about have traits of a “Priesthood hero” and being a good model. And President Monson gave a really talk on being courageous in the Sunday 9AM session and how we must always show courage and stand up for what we believe in no matter what may happen. Those were a few highlights that I can think of at the top of my head, but the whole conference was great.
So yeah, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were really great days. It’s interesting how the week turns around like that because the Tuesday and Wednesday before were so hard and I felt so horrible. It’s hard to believe I’ll be going to the MTC next week. That’s gonna be weird.
Anyway, hope you all have a great week! Love you all!