Wow! What a week!
I wish I could repeat the elements of this week for the rest of my life!
One of the highlights of this week was General Conference. I look forward to 6 months from now when the next one will be held. A sweet man in the ward, Józsi, set up a special room with English conference for us missionaries. (The members watched in another room with the live Hungarian translation.) I was so grateful to watch the conference in my mother tongue and feel the full effect of the words and emotion spoken by the Prophet, Apostles, and other leaders of our day. I laughed many a time, and cried as well. The Spirit was so strong and bore testimony to my heart of the words spoken.
There was an incredible announcement about missionary work!!! It has long been the standard that boys may leave for their mission at the age of 19 and girls at the age of 21. The prophet announced that the standards have been adjusted so that as soon as young men have graduated highschool and reached 18 years of age, they may leave for their missions. Then he went on to say that women may begin their service at 19 years of age! This announcement surprised me in the best way. It has also been told that the time missionaries will spend in the Missionary Training Center will be reduced by one third. WOW: I know that these changes are revelation from God. We are sending out younger missionaries and faster. The youth of our day have been saved for such a time! These youth have been prepared by the Lord before they came to earth. They have been prepared to be bold and loving representatives of His truth and His church. I am SO grateful to be alive now and to be allowed to witness the changes in the world that will come about because of the revelatory adjustment. I will get to experience a new step in the gospel being shared with all the world! Wow.
Conference was also very humbling. There was a talk given where an Apostle put much trust in the missionaries throughout the world. He would put forth a concern or a question and say that if you yourself had such a concern or a question then “ask the missionaries; they can help”. I felt joy, but also great responsibility. The apostle reminded me that my calling here is of great importance. The Lord is trusting me to do His work, and to do it well. I am not here for me. I will receive many blessings of course, but I am here to bless others. I am here to serve. We serve a mission. I feel great responsibility as I reflect on the weight of my calling. If I do not fulful my call, I am withholding others from blessings they deserve. The Lord will bless them in other ways or by other means, but I will have to account for the good that went undone because of me. Maybe my father will be so kind as to put a link to that talk at the end of this message :) It teaches a little bit more about what the role of a missionary is. You all can get a bit more of a look into what is expected of me and other missionaries throughout the world!
There was also a baptism this weekend!! At a baptism is one of the places where I feel the most pure and sweet Spirit. Edina is her name, and she prepared very hard for her baptism. She is such a good example to me of diligence and love. After her baptism, Edina bore her testimony and gave a small talk. As part of her talk, she mentioned each of the missionaries who have taught her and the things she has learned from each of them. I was so touched as she thanked me personally and spelled out the part of her testimony she felt I helped her gain. I felt so humbled in that moment as well. I knew that it was not my own smarts or wisdom that helped her, but the Holy Spirit that works through us. I was grateful to see a fruit of my efforts, and was reminded how little I really have to do with it. I need to be a good tool, and a good conduit. I have to push my own desires and wishes out of the way so that the Lord’s will is done.
I hope the experiences of this week make lasting changes on me. I want to feel that the Lord is proud of me, and I need to grow to be worthy of that. It is silly every time I say that I “hope” something will change me or that I will change. I know it is my choice and hope doesn’t really have much to do with it. I need to make the changes. Let us all make the changes in ourselves that we hope for!
I pray that you will all feel the sweetness of the Spirit at times as I have this week. The comfort and love and peace are of such worth.
WIth lots of love,