Monday, April 14, 2014

April 7, 2014

Wow, general conference has already come and gone this week! I always hate the last session because I know its the last- but like Pres. Uchtdorf said, There are no real endings, only eternal beginnings. The end of each general conference is a new start to resolve to live what we have learned. We feel the love of God for us as He speaks through His prophets and apostles. And the light of the Lord shines through the eyes of these holy men and women as they testify of Him. I think the most powerful testimony given was that of President Boyd K. Packer. In what is probably his last testimony to us, he declared with clarity what we believe as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, what he himself has come to know for a surety in his long life- "We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost" (Article of faith 1). The most important thing we need to acquire in our lives here on earth is a PERSONAL TESTIMONY of Jesus Christ, and CHOOSE TO FOLLOW HIM every day of our lives, in everything that we do. We may never be a special witness of the Savior in this life; but I believe we each can come to know the Savior personally, with just as much a surety that He lives when President Packer said: "I know the Lord. I am His witness."

One of the most special parts of conference was the historic General Women's Meeting! How important, necessary and vital for our eternal happiness are our covenants with God. More important than making these covenants, is how we keep and honor them- And how we help our family members both enter and stay on this "covenant path" back to our Heavenly Father. Pres. Eyring taught: "The happiness of eternal life comes through family bonds that last forever." Thus, how high up on our priority list of life should we not only make and keep our own sacred and eternal covenants, but help our family members do the same. This includes family members past and even future. There are many of our own heritage who are waiting on the other side (and are willing to assist us!) to do this work for them that they cannot do for themselves. I know that we can come to love these special people who we never met before they passed on, as we find them and learn about them through the resources that are SO readily available. Like Elder Quentin Cook said, "Family history centers are now in our homes!" I can hardly wait to get home and take my own family names to the temple, so that they too can make covenants with our Father- In this process, we bind ourselves with them forever. This is happiness!!

Yes you heard right, our mission president, President Pinho, has been called to be an Area Seventy. He is so amazing and what an honor it has been to serve under him. And I can't even begin to tell how much I have learned from him! His influence in my life has given me power to be a greater influence for good in the lives of others, both here as a fulltime missionary and life after the mission serving the Lord.

This week here in Parelheiros was another great one. I love this area- the people, the members, (the green!)... I love my companion Sister Soares da Silva. I always tell her that she is training me haha- she has so many strengths that I am learning to develop from her example. Something funny that happened this week- we taught a man on the street, and towards the end of our teaching him I asked how old he was. He said, "Almost 100." haha Meeting and getting to know people is one of my very favorite things as a missionary- I know that each of them is a son or daughter of God with infinite and divine potential.

I am so very happy being a missionary, and part of me never wants to leave. But I know the Lord guides us in life- He knows best. It is when we let Him lead us by following the promptings of the Spirit that everything works out!


Sister Katie Thornhill 

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