Wednesday, April 8, 2009

General Conference as a Missionary

General Conference was wonderful, but that goes without saying. We had Zone Conference last Tuesday, and President Anderson urged us to cherish our General Conferences as missionaries, because it is the only time in our lives that we are working along side the general authorities in full time callings, as witnesses of Christ. Zone Conference was absolutely wonderful. It was interesting to hear many of the same things President Anderson talked to us about appear in General Conference as well. Specifically, he told us, as Quentin Cook did, to not dwell too long on the commonalities between others of a Christian faith. Because of the restoration, we can come to know deity in a way other denominations cannot. The restoration of the gospel took place in our day, that's why we are called Latter-day Saints.

Apparently, in Priesthood Session there was a story about missionaries finding a lady that had been "lost" or "dropped" by other missionaries. That message fit right in along side our Zone Conference, in which we focused a lot on using area books as Liahona's to find individuals who may not have been ready for the gospel then, but who are prepared now. But the REALLY exciting thing about General Conference was that a good number of people who we invited to come to General Conference came! Some of the people thought it was too long...and booked it out of the chapel as soon as conference was over, or in one case, right in the middle of a session. But the person we thought was LEAST likely to show up...came, and thoroughly enjoyed it....and even took copious notes!

I may have mentioned a few weeks ago that we tracted into a Baptist preacher. Well, we went back to see him last week and invited him to General Conference. He said something to the effect of, "You are some of the only Mormons who I can really feel and tell have truly let Christ into your lives. I can always learn more from people who study about Christ. So, it will be a pleasure to hear Thomas S. Monson." It was so exciting to see him there! He told us that one of his Mormon friends had given him a Book of Mormon recently. How interesting it was to find out that a member felt prompted to talk to him about the Church around the same time we were visiting with him! We've come to find out that there are several members in Bloomfield who know him. That made me think how easy it is to justify not sharing the gospel with someone because they are very strong in their own faith, or in the case of the preacher, PREACH a different faith. It just goes to show that we cannot judge who is ready. It will be interesting to see what happens with this man. He may be interested out of a mere intellectual curiosity, but maybe that will bud into something more.

The preacher reminds me of a cross between an old cowboy, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. Whenever we visit with him, his wife is always there and he always refers to her as "Mama". It's super endearing. He made Mama teach us how to wink, last time we saw her. He also offered to give us one of his paint horses. Crazy right? Can you imagine us riding a horse as missionaries? Anyway, I wonder what will happen here. He may brush us off and dismiss our message. He may learn out of intellectual curiosity, or maybe, he could be the next Sidney Rigdon, who urges his congregation to study the Book of Mormon as well. One point of clarification, we don't know if he is a preacher that ministers on Sundays or if he just runs Bible camps. He talks a lot about "his preacher boys" who are training to become ministers. He also teaches Navajos how to read the Bible. So to be perfectly honest, his exact line of work as far as the ministry goes, is somewhat ambiguous.

I love you all. Have a great day!

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