Holy cow! General Conference was absolutely amazing! The speakers and messages were tailored to exactly what I needed to hear at the exact right time! Our prophet and apostles are amazing! I remember how I felt as the solemn assembly took place. When we stood in our various quorums and groups to sustain the prophet, first presidency, and the quorum of the twelve, I felt the Holy Ghost testify to my heart that they are called of God, and represent His and Christ's will. I took President Ballard's challenge, and wrote down in my journal that night the impressions and feelings I had after participating in the solemn assembly. I would invite each of you to do the same!
This week has gone by so quick for Elder Habel and I! We have done what's felt like a ton of proselyting and teaching! We have helped a lot of our investigators we are currently teaching to make significant progress in the gospel, and at the same time, there were people who were unwilling to carry on investigating. I've seen it's never easy to move on from someone we are teaching (whom we dearly love) when they make the decision the restored gospel isn't "for them", or that "it's too much of a time commitment". I've wanted to show people how happy it's made me in my life, and really promise them the blessings that come because of the Book of Mormon, and the restoration. I read in Preach My Gospel this past week that our success is measured in part by the desires of our hearts when we do the work. We will feel saddened when others choose not to accept the restored gospel into their lives, but true disciples of Jesus Christ do not let themselves become discouraged. Instead, they move forward with faith and continue diligently working to bring others to the knowledge of the truth. That section really hit me, and helped me to once again have a more eternal perspective than I was looking outward with.
We went on exchanges with one of the district leaders in the zone this past week, and I was with the district leaders companion, Elder Capel! He was a power lifter back home, and worked to compete in strongmen competitions.. He's only a little taller than me, but about 80 pounds heaver, and ridiculously strong! We had a blast in his area walking around and talking with all the people outside in between our lessons. There were a lot of things that I learned from him, one being how I can be more bold in a loving way with people on the street when we see them. Elder Capel led out contacts with more or less "hi, we're sharing a message about Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon!" a LOT of people rejected us because of it, but a couple let us continue to talk to them. We both understood how to better contact after that exchange!
One fun experience comes to mind from the past week. Elder Habel and I were proselyting in downtown Salem (really, both our first times down there) and people are super mean there! We faced a ton of rejection (which was awesome! we loved it!). After one particularly interesting conversation with a lady who told us she would never tell a "cult" about the people she loves most (we asked for a referral :D) we walked across a crosswalk and heard a loud horn after we crossed and the light turned green. We watched as two cars turning onto the road we were then walking on almost turned into each other, both trying to go from two separate lanes to the single new lane. The car that was cut off immediately zoomed around the car who cut it off, and they pulled into two parking spots 15 feet or so in front of us. By the time we walked to where they were parked (we were actually heading in that direction...but also curious about what was going to happen) the two men driving were out of their cars shouting and cursing at each other, and looked about to start fighting! We just shook our heads, looked at each other, and said "this is downtown Salem Oregon!" :D We thought it was pretty crazy!
On a more spiritual note, one of the things that answered one of my questions I wanted answered from General Conference, and something that really struck me was from Elder Taylor G. Godoy of the Seventy. He talked about how sacrifice is critical for success in things you want, be it spiritual, secular, or what-not. I know as we continue to sacrifice things of the world and put the Lord and His work first, all other things will be provided for, and everything will work out as it should.