I hoped y'all watched conference. INCREDIBLE. My companion described it, "It's like the Super Bowl for Missionaries. But Better. Like Way Better." Here are some major things I learned this week, both from conference and other experiences:
-Hope, according to Chapter 6 of PMG is an expectation, confidence or assurance something will happen. It's a step up from Faith. Our Hope is based off of our Faith (belief). When we truly believe in Jesus Christ, we will expect the blessings of His Atonement in our lives and the promises He has made to us. Esperar (Portuguese) =to hope, but also to wait and to expect.
-From exchanges with Sister Bennett this week, I learned to not be intimidating to talk to people. They should feel lucky we are talking to them. We have the most important message they will ever hear. If they don't know that, at least we do.
-ALWAYS be strengthening your testimony. Continually cling to the iron rod. This includes going to church and listening to conference. Those are ways we can receive personal revelation and always have the spirit.
-It's not where you serve, but HOW
-Bringing others to Christ blesses their life for eternity, not just the moment
-Blessings do not always come how we expect them. Often we will receive a greater capacity to change our circumstances rather than have our circumstances directly changed.
-PRESIDENT UCHTDORF's TALK was so powerful. Missionary tool! Love it!
-One of the questions I wrote down before conference was how do I get members more excited and involved? Just watch the first session of conference again. S. Gifford Nielson: What if the prophet called you? HE HAS. Pray for the missionaries and their investigators by name each day. The Lord cannot hasten the work in the manner He wants without the help of members.
-Christ's healing begins with Faith
-We chose to live in this fallen and imperfect world with trials and sickness
-If the bitter cup doesn't pass, drink it and hope for (or expect) better days to come
-Conversion comes by FIRST living it
So my week:
Tuesday. Sister Anderson and I ate a whole pizza. No big deal. Walking really racks up a big appetite sometimes. We also got lost in student housing looking for a referral. Just imagining opening lots of doors and peering through windows. It was good. We also met with Linda in her care center and met her roommate Debbie! It touched me how Debbie talked about her husband and family. It literally brought tears to my eyes the relationships she has with her family and also what a wonderful friend she is to Linda who really doesn't have family.
Wednesday was my first exchange! I was with Sister Bennett and learned so much. I really learned how to talk to different kinds of people. After all, you knock on a door and you never know the person who will answer or the response you will get from them. One of these was Bob. Bob is an atheist. He was going to close the door and I stuck out my hand and was like "Hi, I'm Sister Shipp!" Anyways. Long conversation about how he thinks there is no God. He tried to keep up an argument. Favorite moments: Sis Bennett asked how he could prove love. He was like "I feel it!" I said "Well, I feel the presence of God!" Later, he told us we were lost. Sister Bennett said, "Well, I'm usually in Ventura, so I don't really know this area... But we've got a car and a GPS so I think we're okay!"
Thursday we met a Cal Poly student named Alex who is the roommate of a referral we received a couple weeks ago. He is agnostic. We talked to him a lot about the Book of Mormon and God. We have a return appointment this week. I am so excited! We felt the Spirit really strongly.
We started making 72 Hour missionary kits for the families we eat dinner with! It includes a Book of Mormon, Pamphlets, and Mormon.org cards. I am really excited to continue this after all the messages about member missionaries during conference!
There are some really amazing families in our ward. One of which is the Riries which we ate dinner with last night. They reminded me of eating dinner with the Paystrups or Shipps. Miss y'all!
One thing I've learned is that you are a successful missionary when you teach with the Spirit, regardless of whether the person accepts or rejects the message. We had a lesson with a man named Ryan the past week. We both felt the Spirit so strongly talking about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. In the end, he said he didn't see how Joseph Smith could be a prophet and didn't indicate he would read the Book or Mormon. I was disappointed that Ryan couldn't see past his doubts, but I am completely confident that I delivered the message I was called to share.
I hope all is going well with each of you! I invite you to read or listen to conference again and again. There was a specific promise to the youth that as they listen, the Lord will show them the direction He wants them to take in their lives.