Saturday, April 26, 2014

Belief = Action

 This week was super great.  We worked super hard for five days and then we went on "mission vacation."  Obviously, there are no vacations on the mission or even days off, but we did spend the weekend in Ballesteros to watch General Conference.  The talks given by the Prophet and other leaders of the Church were extremely inspired and applicable to all of us.  We were lucky enough to get there on Saturday to view those sessions and we nervously left our members and friends in Ballesteros with a plan, just hoping that they would get to the Sunday sessions.  And they did!  It was a Conference miracle!  Our investigators gave up important funds and time to travel a total of four hours to hear the Prophet's broadcast.  Members and our recent converts did the same.

I would like to share portions of my favorite General Conference talk:

"For example, a sister missionary recently wrote to me: “My companion and I saw a man sitting on a bench in the town square eating his lunch. As we drew near, he looked up and saw our missionary name tags. With a terrible look in his eye, he jumped up and raised his hand to hit me. I ducked just in time, only to have him spit his food all over me and start swearing the most horrible things at us. We walked away saying nothing. I tried to wipe the food off of my face, only to feel a clump of mashed potato hit me in the back of the head. Sometimes it is hard being a missionary because right then I wanted to go back, grab that little man, and say, ‘EXCUSE ME!’ But I didn’t.”

To this devoted missionary I say, dear child, you have in your own humble way stepped into a circle of very distinguished women and men who have, as the Book of Mormon prophet Jacob said, “view[ed Christ’s] death, and suffer[ed] his cross and [borne] the shame of the world.”1y distinguished women and men who have, as the Book of Mormon prophet Jacob said, “view[ed Christ’s] death, and suffer[ed] his cross and [borne] the shame of the world.”1"

Like the missionaries in this story, or the members and their friends who sacrificed great funds to attend conference, the Lord needs us to sacrifice in our own ways to be believers and followers.   When you believe, you act.  When you understand the gospel, you will sacrifice for it.  I love the people here.  In America a drive for a few hours to a meeting is a simple task; here it is days of selling fish on the streets or washing many clothes of your neighbors.  This is just one way the Saints here sacrifice to live a "more excellent way."

"In keeping with the Savior’s own experience, there has been a long history of rejection and a painfully high price paid by prophets and apostles, missionaries and members in every generation—all those who have tried to honor God’s call to lift the human family to “a more excellent way."

Besides our conference miracle, our two baptismal candidates, Angeliq and Alyssa, passed their interviews this week.  It will be a wonderful event next week as they enter the waters of baptism and show their willingness to follow the example of Jesus Christ.  They are not nervous or scared to bear the name of the Lord.  They are proud to stand for what they believe.  

"Be strong. Live the gospel faithfully even if others around you don’t live it at all. Defend your beliefs with courtesy and with compassion, but defend them. "

I love conference and I love my mission.  We need to now take the time to act.  We need to listen to the prophet, believe, gain the faith, and adjust our lives so we can better follow the Lord.  A little adjustment here and there will help ourselves align our lives with the plan that God has for us.  

Check out my favorite conference talk by a real and living apostle:

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