Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Conference Weekend

Wow. I honestly don't know what to write. Haha I feel like Alma the Younger in the beginning stages. I've truly been struck dumb from yesterday's and the the day before's comments.
I'm guessing you probably want a piece of my mind on how conference was? Okay. I'll give it to ya'll (Uh oh... Georgia's gettin' to me)
Elder Holland growing up was always my favorite speaker. His talk on depression and other challenges was awesome, especially for some of our investigators that came. We had four (baptismal age) investigators attend four of the five sessions with us! Two of them were FAMILIES too which was awesome. As I talked with each one of them, they all expressed how much they loved his talk. But Elder Holland's remarks are always a given... He could stand up there at the pulpit and breathe and make it amazing, so, I'm not going to talk about his talk.
As I was in the MTC, I started lovin' me some of Elder Bednar. Holy smoke-a-locka he's awesome. I'm hesitant to say he's my favorite speaker because Elder Holland has been my favorite to listen to for so long, but I just love how he conveys things. I was looking forward to his thoughts almost as anxiously as I have my mission during my life. I loved how simply he put tithing. And there were a lot of applications you can take from how he went about his talk that you can apply as you study other doctrines and commandments. At first I was thinking, "Man! If only he would've chosen ANY other commandment to take further, something other than tithing," because you don't pay tithing as missionaries... Haha but the more I thought about it, the more I realized the awesome lesson plan I could make from his talk as I talk with people investigating the church, especially teaching on tithing. I can't wait to study his talk when the Ensign comes out.
I've decided to paste my letter to President Harding below instead of typing out roughly the same thing twice. That way, I can write a little bit more.

Wow, what a weekend. I was looking forward to conference like I would Christmas back home. And let me just say... It did not disappoint. As I re-analyze and refocus my thoughts on my awesome purpose as His representative, I cannot wait to go and find, teach and baptize. We have a good pool of investigators now to begin working with that we have found the first transfer here and I'm anxious to continue praying and working with them. I love them. I really do. And I desire them to receive God's greatest gifts.
My two favorite talks included President Uchtdorf's talk on "Rising Up" in the Priesthood Conference and Elder Nelson's talk on "Self-Mastery." I can't wait to get my hands on those talks and really dissect them. They were incredibly motivating and reassured me that this is His work, His glory, and that I can do this.
I'm going to begin studying the commandments on a deeper level so I can rise up against the adversary and become not just a master of "Preach My Gospel" but also a master of myself, yielding to any temptation, doubt, or bodily desire that used to easily beset me. I will become a "Master of Myself" as I focus on who I really am, and who He really needs me to become. I have begun focusing on a higher and deeper understanding of the Word of Wisdom so I can have these "hidden treasures" of knowledge that are promised along with this. I know that I will be more sensitive to the Spirit and what He needs me to do for His children. I just wish it wasn't P-Day today... I'm hungry for baptisms.
Thank you for your enthusiasm for missionary work! (Exclamation Point). I love you! (Exclamation Point). I'm so happy! (Exclamation Point).
-Elder Welch

During this week and even at moments during conference, I had an incredible cloud of disappointment come over me. I've never raised my voice to my companion but I definitely haven't handled certain situations the way I ought to. I have sent him locked up in several rooms in our apartment as he grows frustrated at me for asking for a little bit of help making phone calls/updating area book and other activities. I have never felt so inadequate in my life as I thought one morning about the responsibility that hangs on my shoulders. I spent an hour in a half one morning sitting next to my companion on the floor of our apartment trying to figure out how I can help him. He's had pretty bad headaches for more than half of this transfer, causing me to plan, do companionship study, and learn how to train a new missionary alone. I've had several conversations but we had an awesome one this past Friday where I read from my journal. Holy cow, it seriously was like scripture. Not because I am a good writer (in fact I printed out some of my letters last week and realized how all over the place I am and how thoughts don't connect to other thoughts. I really stink at writing but thank you for your patience. I'm like Ether who had this conversation with the Lord... Except for the Prophet part). Two things hit me from that experience: 1. How grateful I am for a journal. I love how President Monson said what he was going to write in his journal at the beginning of one of his talks. I read things I have written from it and they bring a lot of comfort and enthusiasm to each day. I know it will continue to be a resource I use in the future. and 2. How grateful I am for my companion. I love him. Transfers are this Wednesday and I really hope that we stay together.
After this conversation we had, he's been back studying with me and planning. It's awesome having him back.

Family... I love you. One thing I've learned recently from the Book of Mormon is how to "submit your will to His will." It sounds like there's a lot of challenges going on. Keep the faith. "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." And mom... It's a good thing you have to deal with it all because I'm not sure anyone else in our family could. Keep being you're awesome self.

"Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us; or the mountains, or the waves of the sea."  Jacob 4:6

There's a lot of trees here, so let's do this.

With love and humility,
Elder Welch

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