Another great week here in Norway. The leaves are beginning to change color and fall drastically here. The weather is beginning to turn colder and it just goes to show there are many "lasts" that I am experiencing while here in Norway. One of those lasts, I experienced this past weekend - my last General Conference as a full-time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The leadership of the church instructed us with incredible messages that help us seek correction and guidance in our lives. They are absolutely fulfilling talks.
One of my favorite talks given from the conference was by Elder David A. Bednar - he was the apostle who just recently visited our mission here in Norway. I am attaching the link to the talk so that all can see Elder Bednar describe why we are missionaries in this church:
This is the very reason that I have decided to dedicate 2-years of my life to this work. I have experienced first-hand the cleansing and healing effect of the Savior and His Atonement. I recognized that the only way to really reach one's full potential is by living the laws and commandments given by our Savior and His prophets and apostles. As we listen to the conference talks, there comes new goals and a vision of how we can improve as a child of God.
In the overview of our week, I'd like to share a story that helped build my testimony in the power of fasting:
Last Sunday, my companion and I decided that we needed to fast in order to help the progress of our area to go forward. As the 'leaders' of the mission, we understand that the importance of our calling is to lead by example. Our purpose as missionaries is to "invite others to come unto Christ...through...baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost." Baptism is a very essential ordinance that we all must take part in. Jesus Christ Himself, taught the importance in John 3:5 "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." My companion and I decided we needed to fast that we would have a baptism.
We visited a family this past week whose children have not yet been baptized. At the conclusion of our lesson, the father of the home said, "The children have an announcement to make...they have decided that they would like to be baptized." It was a complete shock to me and my companion! That week we had fasted so that the Lord would help us fulfill our purpose. He did so by immediately answering our faith.
I have experienced throughout my life that my Heavenly Father knows me as an individual. He knew me before I was a missionary, and He knows me as I have become the type of servant He would like me to be. It is by submitting our will to the Father's that we find the most happiness. He knows what is best for us and He will do everything in His power to bless us if we are willing to obey Him. My hope is that everyone can experience the joy in knowing that we are individual children of our Heavenly Father.