Hello Everyone! It seems that my email hasn’t been working and thus hasn’t sent emails in a while? I am sorry. I promise I’m alive and still quite sassy.
This week we had the amazing opportunity to go to Zone Conference! So our zone (Jax South) met with the Jax West Zone (the one I was just in) for a conference! So I was able to see Sister Barton and meet her trainee, Sister Hannah! And I was able to see Sister Nish (I LOVE HER SO MUCHHHH) and Sister Tullis! Aaaaaaand I forgot to take pictures because I was driving… Oops! Anyway, Conference was amazing!
They introduced something to us called “Tiwi” and it is a thing to help us drive in a safer manner. You log in whenever you drive, and if you are speeding or driving too aggressively, it talks to you and tells you to check you speed or correct your behavior. It’s pretty great haha. It’s the voice of someone from Space Oddessy 5 apparently. Whenever we log in, it talks funny and says “Driverrr loggggggged inn” and it makes us laugh. But ours stopped working a day after we got it so we are waiting for a replacement one…
Also, we drove 45 miles to get to the building to meet for Zone Conference. And Sister Beach’s GPS, instead of taking us on 2 highways, took us on a very scenic (and bumpy) ride down a 25 mile dirt road haha. I had never driven on a road where the dirt was so loose for so long. It was an adventure. I felt like I was off-roading at a speedy 25 miles per hour haha. We decided to look at a map and take the speedways home haha. At least I became a more experienced driver!
At Zone Conference we learned about how to strengthen our faith through inspired goals and plans. Even though we were talking about goals regarding the mission work, I think this applies to other aspects of life, whether musical or work-wise or at home. When settings goals, President Craig gave us a formula: SUCCESS=FAITH+OBEDIENCE+HARD WORK. In any goal-setting, you have to be committed. You have to believe in your goal and in your ability to do it. You have to be obedient to the specific restraints associated with that goal (i.e. Working out to be healthier, practicing piano to become better, etc.). In my case, it’s being obedient to the missionary rules so I can find those who are prepared to change their lives to follow Christ more. In order to be their guide, I must be focused entirely on Him and be firm in my faith. And then you have to work for it! As much as I would love to be healthier by simply looking at a picture of a healthy person or hanging out with healthy people, if I am not myself doing healthy things and working hard I will not see results. As a missionary, I can’t just do missionary things. I have to actually change my nature to be more like Christ. It is not enough to simply desire to find people to teach and baptize. Rather, one must begin to understand the Atonement (Christ’s sacrifice for us) in order to truly desire to help people enter into the covenant of baptism. I am so thankful for the
opportunity I have to experience the Atonement in my daily life. Thankfully, we have the opportunity to exercise faith, experience comfort, and repent daily and thus truly accept Christ’s gift to us. I love a quote from Elder Jorg Klebingat’s October 2014 talk, saying:
“Become really, really good at repenting thoroughly and quickly. Because the Atonement of Jesus Christ is very practical, you should apply it generously 24/7, for it never runs out. Embrace the Atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance as things that are to be welcomed and applied daily according to the Great Physician’s orders. Establish an attitude of ongoing, happy, joyful repentance by making it your lifestyle of choice.”
I feel as though repentance is like sunscreen. We know we need it. We need to apply it often. We get burned if we don’t and it hurts. So why don’t we apply it? We don’t like how it smells. We’re too busy to apply more. We don’t think we will be burned by the sun. There are so many excuses to not apply sunscreen (or the Atonement). I urge everyone to think about their spiritual sunburns and to seek to apply the Atonement more.
I learned so much more and I wish I could share it with all of you, but that would take much longer than y’all probably have to read or I have to type. This week we are preparing for I’s baptism! I am so excited! He is so amazing and so ready to follow God!
I love all of you! I hope your week is going well! Remember that God loves you SOOOOOOO MUCH!