General Conference was so good! I think being a missionary makes it so much more awesome, but it seems like the things they talked about were different then they have been the past few conferences. We went to watch General Conference at the Bassetts for three of the sessions (Saturday and then Sunday Afternoon), the church for one and the Spearins for one (Sunday Morning). When we were at the Bassetts, Sis. Bassett remarked that for YEARS, they spoke about getting food storage, getting out of debt, living in your means, giving to the poor and needy, dressing modestly, and all of the other temporal things that we are supposed to do, but the tides have changed. They are focusing more on our spiritual welfare. There will be times that are coming very soon when we will have to be supported in our testimony by ourselves. When the winds come, it won’t be enough to lean on what someone else knows. We will have to understand it for ourselves and live it everyday. They spoke on qualifying for the spirit, forgiveness, not letting small things get in the way of our salvation, focusing on the Sacrament, seeing the good in our trials, not becoming complacent, praying from the Heart, having a strong testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith, not looking beyond the mark, making the Book of Mormon the keystone to our testimony, sharing the restored gospel and how, being ambitious for Christ, actually doing home teaching and caring for our families, lifting others up and putting our trust in them, focusing on what we know, having Joy in the gospel, taking the sacrament personally, being redeemed and cleansed through the Atonement, making worship the focus of the Gospel, disciplining like the Savior, having gratitude on the Sabbath, Coming to Know Christ, focusing on the Doctrine of Christ, serving others, remembering times of faith (Can ye feel so now?), seeing purpose in difficulty, loving Christ because he loved us, and focusing on Repentance. The two messages that President Thomas S. Monson shared really hit me. Making sure that we keep the Word of Wisdom and the blessings that come through knowing the Plan of Salvation. That is what the Prophet of God wants us to focus on. Even though it seems basic, there is so much power in each one. If you haven’t read it, read his talks and decide what you can do better because you love God.
Besides General Conference, not a ton has happened this week, but I’ll mention the highlights!
Monday was a ton of fun! We had the Plymouth Elders (Evans and Turley) and the Martha’s Vineyard Elders (Girardelli and Riches) come to the Cape Cod building and they played Magic and we all played some basketball while going back and forth to email. It was cool having everyone there for quite a while, and might do it next week! My shooting skills also got a lot better since I don’t play Magic, but I was dead by the end of the day because of all of the shooting…..
Tuesday we had a lesson with Troy (member) and with a guy we met at Stop and Shop. He had gone to church as a kid, but had not been going for a while, so he wanted to talk to us about religion. Turns out he has a degree in theology. He was a little tough to talk to. He wouldn’t really let us speak for long and wanted to say what he believed. It went on for a while and I could tell Elder Jacobson wanted to wrap it up, and so I would try to end it with a testimony, but then he would stop me halfway through and talk about what he knew or about a question he had for us. We really didn’t go anywhere with it, which really stinks, but some people just want to believe what they believe. On a better note, we stopped by Tyler, our investigator, and met his mom, but he wasn’t there, so we decided to knock doors. We were about to head back, but did the last door on the street, and there was a younger guy outside. We introduced ourselves, and he was happy to listen to us! We taught him the first lesson while he was working on his dirtbike, and I can testify that Satan does not like our message. Every time, without fail, that we talk about Joseph Smith, something happens that takes away from the message. Either kids ride by on the street over on their bikes, or the phone rings, or a dog comes in and starts trying to lick you, it ALWAYS happens! That is a testament to me that it is true! He seemed really cool and accepting of our message, but when we invited him to be baptized, he mentioned he had already been baptized, so that stunk because we had just explained it as straightforward as we could. Turns out, he is going back to Texas for a couple of months as an engineer doing preventive work on the big shipping barges, so we probably won’t see him again….after that, we biked home, and keep in mind, Elder Jacobson had given me one of his coats that was too small for him, and it was warmer than I thought, so when I got home, I was drenched in sweat! It was nasty, but thankfully I had a clean shirt in the closet 🙂 That evening, we went to a Sister’s home to give her a blessing and had a great dinner! That and the Red Sox were also on the TV, so it was hard to not watch…
On Wednesday, we tried to drop off some donations that we had received LAST transfer, but they won’t be able to pick up till this Friday. We made some burgers at home with a ton of Montreal Steak seasoning, and they were really good! I ate mine with just the buns, and it was delicious! We tracted for a while and tried to find someone to teach, but no one was really interested. We knocked on the door of a family, and for a moment it seemed like we could teach them, and then she said that she was Catholic, and the way that we all felt it, it was almost like she was close to saying yes, but she didn’t want to, or something like that. We ended the day at Casa Vallarta with the Lambs, who are an awesome member couple who have served tons of missions are always doing something, even though they are retired. When we walked in to Casa Vallarta, we saw our investigator Tashanna and her husband, we found the Lambs and then saw a guy we had talked to at Walmart earlier that day! I guess we’ll just have to open a satellite branch at Casa Vallarta!
On Thursday, we had a lesson with Richard Blake! Elijah Emerson (He just graduated from high school and is getting ready to put in his mission papers.) We taught the first lesson and felt the spirit pretty strongly. Elijah testified of the Book of Mormon and Elder Jacobson and I taught with the Spirit, and at the end, we committed him to read the introduction to the Book of Mormon, and we are going to schedule a return appointment for sometime this week! We are excited for him, and he said that he seemed more open to the message this time around. Interestingly enough, most of his comments were right in line with the teachings of the gospel and when he said that sometimes he feels like a square peg in a circle hole, we told him that he was a square peg in the square hole of the gospel! Whatever you do in missionary work, you are preparing people to hear the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It often takes about 7 good experiences with the gospel before someone is open to hearing it, so don’t think that your work is in vain!
Friday was busy with the Last District Meeting we will have with Elder Turley (Noooo!!! Yep, he is going home next week…) (We’ll get pictures this week at Zone Meeting), a little bit of drifting, two canceled appointments, and dinner at the Rosbachs’. We stuffed six missionaries in a five person car, which only could have been thought up by Elders, and had lunch at Casa Vallarta after District Meeting. The Rosbachs cooked Chili and it was good! Liz, their daughter, also had a friend over, so maybe she’ll be interested in the lessons or be more open because we were over there. Only time will tell!
Saturday and Sunday were filled with Conference and early Saturday morning, we were able to give a blessing to a visiting/vacationing sister at the hospital. She had broken her foot and had to drive to Boston and catch a 4 hour flight within an hour, so our timing was impeccable. They were both really friendly and thankful we had come. After the blessing, her friend said that there was more meaning in the blessing than we knew. That was a testimony to me that we are truly led by God in the words that we speak. He knows each of us perfectly and is always watching over us.
We also taught a lesson to a Less Active member named Brother Mason on Sunday. He hasn’t been to church in a while because of medical issues, but we spoke of the importance of Sacrament meeting and how it needs to be blessed by Priesthood Authority, and even though he isn’t ready to come back to church, he said that when he is, he will let us know. Sometimes being bold is the loving way to reach people. If you are bold, make sure it is not overbearing and that it is with love. Earlier that day, we were also able to go to the Spearins’ house for breakfast and Conference and had a great time with their kids, and with the delicious food that was prepared for us.
I am so thankful for my Savior and for his Atonement. This morning, our studies were kind of scattered, but I was able to watch “The Testaments”, which is a movie produced by the Church. It bears strong witness of the Savior and made me feel so much love for Him. I know that as we faithfully press on focusing on Christ, we will be filled with so much joy, as Helam was, and that we will shout for joy because of the everlasting happiness that we feel. Jesus Christ is our Master and the Book of Mormon testifies of Him and of His divine mission. Read it, Ponder it, Pray about it… I dare you. 🙂
Always trying to do His will,
This is Elder Jacobson, your son’s companion. I meant to do this a couple weeks ago, but kept forgetting when it came time to email. I meant to thank you for the package that you sent me, it was very kind of you, and I really appreciated it. Your son is awesome, and works super hard. He has good desires, and is a great example for me.”