Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Awaaaaaaaaake Myyy Souul

The only thing I'm trunky for is Mumford and Sons, thanks for asking.

Well folks, General Conference, to a missionary, is better than Christmas. You get SOOOO much good loot, spiritually fed, and by the time you waddle out of the house, you're so happy, you don't mind waiting for a forever till it comes again. Texas was even cold this weekend so Sister Napper and I got to break out our boots and socks and cardigans. I never really stopped wearing scarves.....

Well, some good news before I launch into my General Conference findings, we have another new little investigator who, of her own desire, wanted to take the missionary discussions and get baptized!! She's 9 years old, her name is Trinity and she invited us to invite her to be baptized. Man, I love kids out here. They say stuff like "yes m'am" and "pleased to meet you."

Now. Conference.

If you couldn't tell, this theme was "Brace yourselves, storm's a-coming." But because the prophets and apostles are speaking (essentially, Christ) we didn't get talk after talk of "brace yourselves." It was really cool to me because my question to Heavenly Father was "Okay, what do I need to do in order to become who You want me to be?"

A mission breaks a missionary down and builds them back up again the way God wants them to be. Lately, the chink in the armor that the adversary has tried to exploit has been my worthiness, my strength, my ability to endure and my ability to grow stronger. I think a lot of people forget that the final step in repentance is forgiving yourself. I hadn't done that yet and was carrying a needless weight around. This particular conference not only witnessed to me my own abilities and potential, but it gave me all the things I need to do in order to get better, to gain "spiritual stamina" as Elder Maynes said.

The question throughout my mission--and as President Monson says, our entire lives-- is "Shall I falter or shall I finish?" My all-time favorite scripture has been and probably always will be 2 Nephi 4:17-29. That's why I love the Mumford and Sons song "Awake My Soul" so much. Not just the banjo frenzy, but because of Nephi's own personal lament and hope in lieu of.

Sometimes, I think Marcus Mumford must be a Mormon. So many good songs, so many gospel correlations.

So what did YOU learn from conference? (Hopefully to do more MEMBER MISSIONARY WORK)
Love, Sister Gunson
Editor's note for those not of the Mormon faith:
1."trunky" means to miss home (comes from packing your trunks)

2. General Conference happens twice a year.  It's an entire weekend--5 sessions, 2 hours each--when we get to listen to our leaders teach us.  We can go to our chapels and watch on a satellite feed or go in person to the conference center or listen/watch on the internet or cable channels at home.  It is simultaneously translated into I don't know how many languages (a lot).  It is always very inspired and inspiring.  It is on for those of us who like to listen multiple times, in case you would like to hear some of the talks.  The prophet spoke several times.  He can also be quite funny.

3.  The scripture to which Hannah refers is from a prophet named Nephi.  In this particular chapter he is lamenting his own personal weaknesses but then declares his faith and regains strength through Christ.  I personally have relied on the last 3 verses quoted below.  It has given me power when I thought I had none. As follows:

" 17 Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great agoodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.

 18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me.

 19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.

 20 My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.

 21 He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh.

 22 He hath confounded mine enemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me.

 23 Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time.

 24 And by day have I waxed bold in mighty prayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me.

 25 And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been carried away upon exceedingly high mountains. And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man; therefore I was bidden that I should not write them.

 26 O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath visited men in so much mercy, why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?

 27 And why should I yield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?

 28 Awake, my soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul.

 29 Do not anger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.

 30 Rejoice, O my heart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the rock of my salvation."

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