Monday, October 5, 2015

General Conference!

Hey folks!

I hope you all got to watch conference this weekend. I loved it. :) But more on that in a minute!

This week was good. We didn't see very many people but it was still fun. This was my first week on a bike, and hoo boy, people aren't kidding when they talk about the "hills of Tennessee." Hopefully I'll have some pretty epic thighs by the time I leave the area. :)

We did see a few less-actives and recent converts, and that went well. One older couple, Roger and Mayetta, are both recent converts and less-active, but recently they've started doing a lot better. Last week they came to church, and it was great. :) This week we invited them to watch general conference, and to have at least one question apiece written down (and prayed about) to look for answers to as they watched. (Don't judge my grammar, not sure if I Englished that sentence right... haha)

We also hung out with a really cool member in our ward from Thailand for his birthday. He's really eccentric but has a huge heart and loves all the missionaries. His real name is hard to say so he just goes by Pete. And he loves Star Wars, so we all (Elders Hoyt, Milne, Bateman and me) pitched in to get him a 3-foot-tall clone trooper action figure. It was really fun.

I had a really good experience watching conference. I decided to do the same thing we challenged Roger and Mayetta to do - go into conference with questions written down. And I got answers to my questions! The answers weren't all straightforward, but they all made sense to me, and they all required me to act in some way. Which makes sense. After all, God's purpose is to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life (see Moses 1:39), and He can't do that if He doesn't help us progress and learn. Giving us all the answers to all of our questions without requiring us to put forth any effort would be counterproductive.

I hope all of you had similarly good experiences watching conference. I hope you all learned things, and felt the Spirit teach you and testify of the truthfulness of the words of those who spoke. My challenge to you this week is to reflect on the things you heard and felt during general conference (unless you didn't watch it, in which case your challenge is first to go and watch it!). Go back and study your notes if you took notes. Watch or read again the talks that stood out to you. I know that if you prayerfully look back and ponder the things you heard and learned and felt, you will find things that stood out to you, things that you feel impressed by the Spirit that you need to do. Because God loves you, and He desires your happiness and progression, and He knows what is best for you, He will always invite you to do something, to act. When we listen to His words, the Spirit whispers to us and quietly impresses upon us things He would like each of us to do. I invite you to find what those things are - the things He would like you to do - and then DO THEM. Act!! God desires so much to bless us and help us progress, but He will never force us, so it is up to us to choose to act. When we act, we have His promise that He will help us.

I challenge you to exercise the faith to act. I promise you can do it. I promise He will help you. Trust Him. He loves you and won't let you fail if you will do the things He asks you to do. And don't try to do everything at once. Mosiah 4:21 teaches:

"And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order."

Remember also the words of Nephi in 2 Nephi 28:30:

"For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have."

He won't give you more than you can handle at once, and He doesn't ask you to try to do everything at once. He gives "line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little." And that is how He asks us to improve and learn and grow. Be patient with yourself, choose to act now, exercise faith in the Lord, and take it one step at a time.

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen. :)

I love you all! Thank you for your prayers and support. Make yourself a great week. :)

Elder Swindler
1) Elders Hoyt, Milne, me, and Bateman at the Sun Sphere in Knoxville

2) Because we can adult
3) Conference dogpile
4) Pre-conference selfie
More fotos...
1) Redneck mirror
2) "Get your freshman fifteen here"
3) A victory for Tennessee literacy
4) Post-conference selfie

Gotta love the South!
1) Redneck fan
2) Yes, that is a lawn mower in the back of a car


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