Conference. Conference was an absolute delight. Just like Dad said, this was probably the most intently I have ever watched conference and I plan to watch it this intently the rest of my life. I thought it was a very unique conference but I loved every talk. It didn't have too many talks directly about missionaries but every talk has something I need work on in my missionary life. I noticed a lot of talks were about faith, keeping the commandments, Holy Ghost, trust in our Father and Heaven and his chosen leaders and let our lives be molded by our Father and Heaven. Some talks that really stood out to me were by: Randall K. Bennett, Richard J. Maynes, Larry R. Lawrence, Quentin L. Cook, Jeffery R . Holland, Bradley E. Foster, and David A. Bednar. Sorry, it's kinda long, but I really gained and felt something in their talks. But I took Erin's advice and already have them downloaded on a flash drive so I listen to them every morning while I workout. This conference made me realize how much I regret not taking full advantage of the church and all its wonderful resources growing up as a youth. I wasn't focused on the right things and let those valuable years of testimony building slip through my fingers. So, Summer, Carly, and Addi, don't make the same mistakes as me. Read the friends and the New Eras every month, the simple doctrines will remind you of who you really are and what you stand for. Listen to the EFY music so you can have the spirit and be a standard and role model for your friends. They let the worldly influences blind and disguise you from what really important. I'm trying to work extra hard and be extra faithful to make up fro my lost time. We just need to step towards him and he will bless us more than we sacrifice. It doesn't matter how long you've waited or sinned, Heavenly Father and Mother rejoice with even the smallest step towards them. Remember it's not the speed, it's the direction you step that really matters. Improve one thing at a time and your live will be molded by the same hand that created you.
I really loved the ponderizing talk by Devin G Darrant and I did it this week for our family scripture. The scripture dad chose was perfect with one of my problems I'm working on as a Missionary, which is treasuring up in my heart and mind the words of life continually. I read in a talk "Becoming a Consecrated Missionary" By Tad R. Callister ( you should read it, I'm on my second time through already) But it talks about putting things on the altar of sacrifice, and it talks about putting everything throughout the day to the Lord. A part I liked and wrote in my planner says; "[a Consecrated Missionary] His eye is riveted to this work.He is like a thoroughbred horse with his blinders on. He races ahead, seeing only track and finish." But it's so hard to keep my thoughts focused and centered on Christ. As we are walking my mind will start to wander and I will think about family, hunting, friends, memories, etc. And I have to push those thoughts out repeatedly throughout the day. But I never I will get better at this the longer I'm out, like Quentin L. Cook said, "Self control is a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it gets."
Thanks so much for being such an awesome family. Mom, Elder Holland couldn't have said it any better, I owe my whole life to you, and I know I've caused you stress and pain on countless occasions, I thank you for everything you taught and done for me. And Paps, I thank you for being so in tune with the spirit. Your motivation at the end of each of your letter always fits perfectly for what I'm struggling with and what I need to hear that week, "You must have been a missionary once too."
I Have so much to work on and improve. But even though I am a thick and hard clay, Our Potter, is patient and will continue to shape my life into the one it needs to be.