This has been a beautiful week and one that I am very grateful for! I don't know how its possible to end one's week with inspired talks from prophets and not look back on the week with joy. There was so much said in the talks that felt like they were written for me, or for the people I am working with in this area. Plus, as a great added bonus, two of our investigators came to church for the first time and had the opportunity to hear the Prophet Thomas S. Monson speak! There is so much I want to talk about, especially concerning conference weekend, but like always have a very limited amount of time and have to be selective. One that I felt prompted to share, probably out of gratitude for such inspired parents, was by Larry R. Lawrence ( I might have the name wrong because I don't have my notebook with me, and I might get what I write a little off, lol). He spoke a lot on the need to brave and inspired parents in these latter days. There are, according to him, five big things that if applied can strengthen children and families. 1- Have a curfew and wait up for the kids to help enforce it and show your love when they return home, 2- Sleep-overs are dangerous and should be prayerfully considered before allowing them to occur, 3- If one parent feels uncomfortable about something then the other parent needs to support them, 4- Parents should hold private interviews with the children periodically, 5- Family dinner and FHE should never be scheduled over. And then in another talk, by Thomas S. Monson, it was mentioned that sports are not to be played on the Sabbath.
The reason I wanted to mention those is because as I wrote them and looked over my notes I was thrown back by the revelation my parents must have been receiving through my childhood since those are guidelines I have grown up with. So many times I have been told by friends, or companions on the mission, that my parents were being over bearing by not allowing me to miss seminary because of sports, or FHE for a friends party, or stay at a friend's house over night. I learned a while ago that I personally agree and am thankful for all of those family rules, but now a General Authority has come out in General Conference and voiced his agreement as well. Joseph Smith taught that no religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things does not, and will never, be able to build the faith necessary to enter the Celestial Kingdom. WOW right? Those guidelines that my parents had me grow up with have shown me repeatedly that nothing should come before God or my family and I have been required to sacrifice what I thought of as 'good' for what is 'best'. In a world that asks us to be away from our families so much it is wonderful to hear assurance that it is still possible to follow that timeless council. Last week I was told that my brother, Harrison, chose of his own free will to miss one of his soccer tournaments so that he could make the Saturday conference sessions. When I read that I broke down in tears knowing that my siblings are growing up in righteousness and I can be certain of their happiness and safety as well as our eternal relationship. My siblings are growing up to be better then I am, and I look forward to reading letters from Harrison as he serves his mission and tells me of the miracles worked through him. Is there anything greater then being eternal with your family in the presence of our loving Heavenly Father?
This weekend we received needed council from servants of the lord that if followed will keep up on the strait and narrow and out of the mine field of misguided worldly distractions. Carnal pleasure is and always will be bitterness, so I have decided to follow the prophet and receive peace, the promised gift of the spirit. I have not been able to write much about my week or the many miracles I have been witness to but I have loved it and look forward even more to this coming week. I am so grateful for my family, friends, mission, church leaders, Belen and the ward here, my companion, and so much more!
I love you,