Monday, April 3, 2017

How Firm a Foundation

Week # 55

You know it's a normal day in the missionary life when a man opens his door in his boxers, a sarape and a beanie.

Not much surprises me anymore, though I should say that I do usually gasp when people walk straight out of the shower without knowing that their child has the door wide open talking to the missionaries.

This week was a blur. I feel as if not much has changed, but in all reality quite a bit has. Our investigator J could use some extra prayers. We hit a bump this last Monday and haven't quite recovered. We aren't sure how we can help him and could use a little extra help from prayers.

Transfer calls have come. The epic companionship de las Hermanas Jensen y Dickson is coming to an end at 10 a.m. sharp tomorrow. Transfers are bittersweet. My testimony of the blessings of change has grown so much on my mission. Though I will miss her, I also know that she needs to go find and touch a new area, a new branch, countless new souls, and a new companion. I think that I have laughed with her more than ever before in my mission and am so grateful to have been one of the many people that she has and yet will touch.

The highlight of my week has been the words of God's Prophet and Apostles. I did not fully appreciate General Conference before my mission. This is the third and last conference that I will have in my mission and it seems as though each time is the most powerful conference. It just keeps getting better and I plan for that exponential growth to continue after my mission.

The reality is that conference has always been filled with a powerful spirit. The difference that I have felt has been me. What you put in, is often what you get out. While I knew that General Conference was important before my mission, I have really come to love and long for more of the words of God. I truly know that Thomas S. Monson is God's chosen Prophet on the earth today and that his words are words of God.

I remember in my last area a special moment just before this last October conference. We were teaching a young lady and we explained that the words of a prophet are the words that our Heavenly Father would speak to us if He were here. That amazed her and she seemed so astounded that it made me contemplate that eternal truth. There have been countless times where I passingly thought "I wish Heavenly Father was standing right in front of me and could give me the answers to my questions. What does J need? Why am I struggling so much with the language? Why can't I feel happy right now?" While speaking and testifying to this young girl the Spirit spoke and testified to me that He is doing so. He gives us the guidance that we need. It may not be God literally standing in the room, but His servants just spoke to us this weekend. His words. No matter the question, we can ask. And if we ask with a sincere heart and with real intent, He will manifest the truth of it unto us by the power of the Holy Ghost.

I have often asked people that we meet this question "If you could ask God one question, what would it be?" A lot of the responses are very personal, but end with "well yeah that would be nice if we could actually ask Him that". We can ask Him. And we should ask Him. He is anxiously waiting for us to ask Him. He has given us the gift of prayer. Where we can ask any question that we feel to ask. He also has given us many gifts where we can find the answers. Promptings of the Holy Ghost, scriptures, feelings and words of the living Prophet and Apostles.

So since I'm a missionary I'm going to invite you to do something. :) Think of your question, and then ask Him. Look for the answer in the conference talks and the scriptures. Don't just wait for the answer to come, look for it.

Something that I really loved from this conference was Elder Cook's statement that the whole purpose of General Conference is to help us build our faith in Jesus Christ and in our Heavenly Father. "If there is one preeminent objective of general conference, it is to build faith in God the Father and our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ." That is one of my deepest desires. To continue to build my faith in my Savior and Heavenly Father throughout my life. I think that we all have the desire though we may not immediately recognize it.

The message of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ rings a familiar bell when we teach people. They may not even believe in a God, but will tell us that it sounds familiar. That's because it is familiar. We knew God before this life and chose to come to earth to build our faith in Christ and in our Heavenly Father. General Conference is a tool that we are given to accomplish that. A personal relationship with our Heavenly Father doesn't only have to be a desire. It can be reality.

I love the chance I have to be a part of the Lord's work. I love the days when I am exhausted. I love the moments when members give us the whole history of sarapes while not wearing pants. I love the people, my area, and every companion that I have been blessed to serve with. I love the message of peace and joy that we share. I love my Savior and my Heavenly Father.

Les quiero, 

Hermana Lauren Dickson

Smiling, serving  sisters. Rain or shine.

Keizer Zone

Woodburn District selfie:
Elder Bankhead, Hmas Jensen, Dickson, Elders Patterson, McKell, Davis 

Woodburn District:Hermanas Dickson, Jensen,Elders McKell, Patterson, Davis and Bankhead

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