Dear family,I have been so humbled this week, and I cannot begin to express how blessed I feel. I must firstly say how absolutely amazing conference was. How blessed we are to have a prophet, Thomas S. Monson, on the earth today. Sometimes I wonder if missionary work is supposed to build me up and make me stronger in the Lord or tear me down and make me doubt. Satan works hard on missionaries. But don't worry-of course it always ends good, right? ;)
This week we had our last official visit with Karen. She explained to us how so much of our doctrine she cannot believe in. She cannot believe in and accept the same Savior Jesus Christ that we do. We listened to her talk for probably a solid 20 minutes, going through doctrine after doctrine and discrediting it. I don't mean to say she was mean or anything. Karen is so kind and friendly. It was just a very open and frank discussion between all of us. And although I do have a testimony of this Church and of the restored gospel, it can be painful to hear someone who is kind and Christ-like, and who you have come to respect and care about, tear apart the very foundations of what you believe in. Heavenly Father sent me to this mission for a reason, and the longer I serve hear, the more I suspect that what I need to make me stronger is to confront human reasoning in the face and throw it out the window. My faith is getting a great 18 month work out! Although I had a peaceful feeling after we left Karen, it still haunts me to think about not being able to help her understand, and wondering why that is. If this is the one and only true church as we claim that it is, shouldn't this be just a little bit easier? On the contrary! I think that is part of the testimony that it really is the one and only true church. Satan will do anything and everything to keep people from it. During the 3rd session of Conference, I received thoughts and feelings that were balm to my troubled heart. It was during Elder Scott's talk that I began writing a quick note about covenants. I honestly can't really remember what his whole talk was about, because as I began writing, more thoughts came to me about why covenants are so important in our church and how this is a testimony to me of the truthfulness of this gospel. I would not want to worship and follow the Lord any other way than through keeping the sacred covenants I have made at baptism and in the temple. I believe in a God who holds true to covenants, and who expects us to become as He is through keeping our covenants and trusting in him. I know through so many testimony building spiritual experiences that this is Christ's true church restored to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith. And although my witness may not be as powerful as I would like, there are 15 special witnesses of Jesus Christ on the earth today who bear witness of the testimony that Jesus Christ lives, that He loves every single one of us, and that His Church has been restored and all are invited to join and gain peace and eternal happiness from it.
one. Seeing the way his demeanor changed touched me. I was so grateful that the Lord granted us that tender mercy, and that we could see how we were instruments in His hands.