Cody portrait

Cody portrait

Monday, April 2, 2012

General Conference: A Spiritual Feast!

Hello Family!!
This has been another event-filled week!  
This week we had three separate Zone Conference's and Elder Smart and I attended each one. The "main-event" of the Zone Conference 's was the Scripture Chase. Which has not happened since my third transfer. Elder Smart and I competed in the first Zone Conference. We hit the books in all the spare moments we could find to prepare ourselves. Back when I first was apart of the scripture chase, I did pretty well, but was not able to get out of the first round. This past time I did much better, and it was a great moment for myself. I remember coming into the field and the thought of being a "scriptorian" was one of the first things that motivated me. Although I am by no means now a scriptorian, I feel that I have started to achieve that goal I set for myself so long ago.  
In one of the Zone Conference's Elder Jin shared his departing testimony. He will be my third companion to depart. It was a very special thing to see who he has become. He coming from a non-christian country, as a convert, and speaking little to no English. He shared powerful testimony of his conversion, which he shared came as a missionary.   It truly is remarkable what can happen on a mission. I am confident he will be a strong link in the growing of the church in China. We have become great friends, it will be sad to see him go soon.  
This week we were able to see Herman twice. He had a bit of a concern whilst reading this past week. He interpreted some scripture to imply that black people are cursed. We filled to and read 2 Nephi 26 :24,25,33. It helped him to understand that the love of God covers the entire human race, and therefore was able to resolve his concern. We also in his lessons put a big focus on conference, and the opportunity for him to bring questions and receive heaven-sent instruction through God's chosen servants. He became rather excited and even came to the Saturday night session. He affirmed that his questions found answers. Herman is doing well, we are just dealing with the typical 19 year old concerns... "Herman your ride will be there in 5 minutes?" "No, come on.. but what if I get there to early and I'm lingering about with old folks?" haha. Herman is quite the character. We are only left to teach him Tithing, and as of now he is ready for baptism.. He has experienced his "change of heart" and is acting like it. 
General Conference was just as it was anticipated. What a SPIRITUAL FEAST! I had a few favorite's Elder Bednar, Elder Holland, and Elder Richard G Scott's talks were among my favorite's. 
Here are some of the things I took from it:
  • The why of the Priesthood = fire, passion, power. It inspires and transforms.
  • The what is needed and informs
  • Doctrine ignites the gospel flame.
  • It is possible to be active in the church and less-active in the "gospel
  • Personal fulfillment comes through sacrifice and service. (This is so true, I have not felt remotely as fulfilled in my life as I have on my mission.)
  • The key to maintaining our faith when the going gets tough... is through personal integrity. Forged through daily righteous choices.
  • In the eternities righteous yearnings and longing will be fulfilled
  • Come boldly to the throne of grace
  • "Brethren, step up"
  • When you live to lift others burdens, your own seem to be lightened.  Your attitude changes, your gratitude grows, and your spiritual capacity is enlarged.
  • See the present with fortitude, the future with confidence.
  • Sense of humor is an escape valve for the pressures of life
  • Do not float along the currents of life, the way of least resistance.
  • Thanks be to God
  • Gain a sure witness that Priesthood keys are real
Favorite scripture of the conference. D&C 6:14-15. Shared by Richard G. Scott, absolutely loved it.
What a tender mercy the final hymn I heard was. The final hymn I will hear in England  was Come Thou Fount, my favorite song...
Here is this week's corner.. 
John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach at the University of California, Los Angeles, was a man who understood what it takes to succeed. In his 40 years of coaching, he worked at UCLA for 27 years, during which his teams never had a losing season. In fact, he led his teams to 10 national championships in his last 12 years at UCLA.
Coach Wooden cited some of the reasons for his success:
 “I emphasized constant improvement and steady performance. I have often said, ‘The mark of a true champion is to always perform near your own level of competency.’”
Champions are not born, they are made. The same with missionary work--great missionaries and fulfilled missions do not just happen by chance, they are built.
Each day of your mission is a brushstroke on the canvas of your character. Not all companionship studies, or full days of finding may appear to be journal-worthy or memorable. But just as simple strokes of paint complement each other and produce an impressive masterpiece, so our consistency in doing seemingly small things can lead to striking spiritual results. You might say the brush is in your hand, and you have the choice of what you make your painting.
One of the hardest things to keep consistent throughout a transfer is the full-potential of our planners. Here is what we call “the four point touch”, a template of what has helped us to be consistent with the use of all of our planner, and therefore maximize our time effectiveness.
1.Personal Study (5 min)
         a.   Review commitments left to me.  Do I need to study or focus on something?
b.         Investigators to study for? Fill in Personal Study Box with the plan.
c.          Add anything that may have been looked over in nightly planning  to the To-Do list.
d.         Fill in “Goal of the Day”, and assign “vocab word” of the day.
2. Lunch
a.         Ring 5 potentials
b.         Start going through the To-Do List, checking off when finished
3. Tea     
a.         Exact same as Lunch
4. Nightime
a.         Review the day with red pen. Writing in New Inv.’s names and putting a check next to appointments if they went through, and an “x” if they fell through for future reference.
b.         Transfer Un-done To-Do’s to tomorrow.
c.          Account for daily personal goal.
d.         Finalize all details of the potentials in the back of the planner, transfer to P.I sheets.
Let us commit to cultivate a reputation of excellence and consistency in all that we do.   
Thank you for all the pictures you sent.  The stadium is looking good! 
Enjoy the week!!!
Elder Eliason

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