Date

April 6, 2020

Area

Blacksburg, VA

Companion

Elder Buchard

A fantastic Conference!

Howdy howdy howdy!

Hey Guys!! I am so so sorry for not writing last week. I definitely was not short on time so there was really no excuse. I will try to remember what has been going on the last 2 weeks!
So we are still in quarantine or self isolation and will probably be for the rest of my time here in Virginia. I will be coming home on May 1st. We got a call from Sister Newman this week, just checking up on all the missionaries and such, and she started to talk about how I would be spending the rest of my mission indoors. No more knocking doors for this guy! Bittersweet moment for sure. I am glad to know that we have such wonderful leaders watching over us.
The majority of our days are spent inside trying to find activities to keep us busy! Alot of the time we spend calling/texting people! We have been trying do lessons over the phone with members. We usually do 1 to 3 a day and have been teaching alot about peace. With that, we were able to teach an inactive member the restoration and prepare her for General Conference. Her name is Karen Kirk and she has asked us to pray for her safety as she is started her new job at Food Lion. Who knew working at a grocery store could be so dangerous...right on the front lines people!
Another cool thing was we started taking institute classes as a mission. We all call into a virtual meeting and listen to Brother Fuhriman, a member from my first area, and we go over the Book Of Revelation! And man what a treat! The only scripture I know from that book is 22:18....so it's been good to really dive in and learn alot about it. Lots of gems! Fortunately we get to do that every day at 1 o'clock for an hour. Gives us something to really look forward too!
Some of other things that have been going on this past week is our virtual district councils! Once again I have been assigned district leader. I thought I was done but I guess they wanted me to stay focused for these next few weeks! Anyways, I feel like I am in relief society....meaning it's all sisters and then just Elder Burchard and I. They're a good crowd and great missionaries as well, always laughing at my dry humor and working really hard! It is rough over the phone though, but the Lord has provided this tool to allow us to continue His work.
The past two Sundays have been really different! With one being fast Sunday and the other General Conference we are bound to have a good time and feel the spirit! We did have the sacrament in some members home just to find out right after that we are not supposed to do that! Was interesting for sure. The Biggs, their dog and 2 year old child Jack, our neighbors mother, and then Burchard and I all gathered around and partook of the sacrament together. We all tried singing and that was a mistake. Good thing the Lord doesn't expect perfection. Afterwards, we shared our testimonies since it was fast Sunday! It was cool and all, but the dog and kid were cracking me up the whole time so I don't know how edifying the experience was. My testimony focused alot on the Book of Mormon. The previous day, we gave two copies to some members in our ward. They asked us to write our testimonies in each one of the books. I didn't want to copy and paste the same thing from one to the other. So I really had to think about why I love that book so much and reflect on my own experiences with it. To my surprise it was alot easier then expected to fill up those pages with my testimony! And as I wrote, just like many times before, the spirit told me once again it was true!
Conference was great! I learned more about church history and the restoration over this past weekend then I have my whole mission! Man was it great! A much needed refresher. Another cool part was we had our friend Alfred tune in and watch it! We are talking to him more this weekend about it so pray that it goes well! Loved the talk from Elder Gary Stevenson. Christ is our corner stone in which we build everything upon! With out it, we would have no direction and ultimately our foundation would stumble and fall. Though we love Joseph Smith and the essential work he has put in should be noted and praised, we DO NOT worship him. As President Nelson once again repeated... This is not his Church, but it is Christs church! May we remember that as we continue to turn our focus towards the restoration this year and as it continues to unfold before us!

Stay well and healthy!!
Love Elder Brian




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