So....if I remember correctly, this was a great week! Time continues to speed up as I approach the end of my mission. In the beginning of my mission, the days were like weeks and the weeks were like days, but now it's just "everything is like an hour." Needless to say, I still have a lot of work to do.
We have a baptism coming up on the 17th for N, and I am fully confident that will go through. Our job at this point is to teach her everything she needs to know and make sure she is on the path to LASTING conversion. The last thing I want is to baptize a less active. She says that she is 100 percent and I can see that light in her eyes. She's just happy! When I got here, she was kind of "bah humbug" about everything, but she truly has gone through a change as she's learned about restored truths that have calmed fears that she has held on to for years. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be here to bring her into the fold.
We also had a lot of success with our other baptismal date L. He's progressing nicely. We got a member over to visit him and it went really well. We continue to promise blessings and ask him how he feels and he always says things like "if those blessings are really there for me, I want them. I know that baptism will be a good thing and will only bring good into my life." I hope that we can continue to help him progress toward his date. We've been trying to get him to church, but he has not made it yet. I think this weekend could be it. We just need to fast and pray a little more.
OTHER L is doing well. He's the 18 year old who's been investigating for a while now. We finally got him to church! Well, conference. But for what it's worth, he really enjoyed it. He really liked what the Apostles said and even found some things to apply in his life. We plan to fast this week with him so he can come to "real" church on Sunday. I think he's starting to get a little excited about the Gospel and I'm almost positive he has a testimony now. I really hope that he can continue to follow the Spirit so that he can make sacred covenants with the Lord and receive life-changing blessings.
Conference was very enlightening. I always enjoy listening to the words of the prophet and apostles. As some of you know, conference is like Christmas for missionaries, so we really enjoyed it. I especially enjoyed D. Todd Christofferson's talk about the need for the church. I've met so many people on my mission who look at the message of the Restoration and say "the church doesn't matter. It's not the church that saves us, it's Christ." Or "we are all part of the church of Christ. Anyone who believes in Him is part of that church." Or "we don't need apostles anymore. They left their message and now it's our job to study their words." We don't need apostles? We need apostles simply because us "Christians" are not unified under one body! We believe in different things! God called the apostles to proclaim truth, correct error, and administer the ordinances of the Gospel. The church has those same purposes: 1) Proclaim truth 2) Administer the ordinances 3) and keep us under one head, that is Christ. If we all believe different things, we cannot succeed. I liked one thing that Elder Christofferson also said. He talked about people who don't join a church because "spirituality is something personal and can simply be done in the home." His response? There are things that God cannot and will not accomplish unless we are all together to carry out His purposes. Look how he mobilizes the members and missionaries to spread the Gospel! He needs everyone working together. It's our job to be part of the work.
Sorry for the rambling. I just get excited sometimes. Some other things that stood out to me were the age of President Monson, the sustaining of three new apostles, and the testimonies of the Atonement and sincere conviction of the apostles. President Monson looked a little tired this session. In his talk yesterday morning he was struggling to stay standing. I'm sure we were all praying for him as he delivered his powerful witness of the Savior and of following his teachings. I'm grateful for his service and I hope that we can all continue to keep him in our prayers so that he can finish his earthly mission with health and happiness. I'm grateful for the sustaining of the three new apostles, Elder Rasband, Elder Stevenson, and Elder Runland. The only one I really know of is Elder Rasband, so it'll be nice getting to know the other two through the years. I love the apostles and I'm grateful for the words they share and the revelations they receive. They are commissioned by the Lord and hold the charge to carry the Gospel to the world. It's our duty and privilege to follow their counsel and learn from their examples. For a long time, President Packer has been dear to my heart. I've always loved his words and his witness of the Savior and the Atonement. In my heart, he was truly a witness of the divinity of the Plan of Salvation and of the reality of the Atonement of the Savior. All of the apostles share the same calling, and we need to be sure to heed their words so that we can experience the blessings of eternity.
There I am rambling again. I tend to do that a lot. Well....I better wrap this puppy up. It's been a good week and I have been uplifted spiritually. I hope that you all were as well. Please continue to keep me in your prayers as we strive to find the elect and bring them home.
Elder Landon Carroll