Thursday, May 26, 2016

April 4, 2016 Conference! Conference! Conference!

 Hiya Fam!

Wasn't Conference incredible??? I just loved it so much. President Eyring started it off perfectly, teaching us how to listen to Conference. I did my best to follow his counsel throughout the Conference. That's probably one of the reasons why it was so good!! :)

I would just like to make an announcement, by the way! This conference is the first conference that I know of that had a Star Wars reference made by an Apostle!! Just wanted to throw that out there...

Anyways, so there won't be as much to mention this time because of how late I had to email last week. Still, these past few days have been full!

So Wednesday after I emailed you guys we also went to teach Ma. I went through the Baptismal Interview questions to make sure he understood everything. It was difficult remembering all the signs!! But once he understood me, he gave some great answers!! Unfortunately he does not yet have a date. We've been trying to get in contact with President McCormack, the Branch President, to set up a meeting with him. But he hasn't been answering his phone. :/

Anyways, we had Branch council that night, which went well. Sister Major, the Relief Society president, bought us a TON of food again!! :9

Thursday we did Weekly Planning, had lunch, then went to the Library so I could do Eye of Faith. Basically I have to fill in a spreadsheet on all the missionaries in my District, writing what they're good at, where they need improvement, just how they're doing. I also have to do that for the Sisters, which is weird when I've only had one District Meeting with them... But oh well, they're good.

Anyways, we went over to Bainsford, the area we put up Door Hangars, to follow up with people. Unfortunately most people never saw it, and no one was interested. It was a bummer. But we've still got plenty of doors to knock, so that's good! :)

Then we taught BSL. In honor of Conference coming up, we taught everyone how to sign "Follow the Prophet" It was quite fun!

Friday we had an appointment with two LA, but only one held. A C. Nice guy! He committed to come to church next Sunday! His Home Teachers have done a fantastic job. That's what really makes the difference: good Home Teachers. You have no idea how important it is to "magnify your calling" as Home Teachers. My understanding of that importance has really grown on my mission.

Anyhow, that night we met with Ca. His baptismal interview was that night. The Zone Leaders were arriving at 6:30. So we met with him about an hour earlier to go over the interview questions, teach him the Law of Chastity, and answer any of his questions. He always has lots of questions. If other people were asking the questions he's asked, I'd think that he was attacking my beliefs, but that's not the vibe we've gotten from him. He just wants to know the truth. For example, he was asking a lot about the Temple. He'd heard a lot of false stuff about it, but we calmed him down. 

Then Elder Ensign and Elder Lindsay arrived. Elder Ensign was the one that did the actual interview. So Elder Ward and I hung out with Elder Lindsay for a few minutes, during which time he told us that he had been called just that morning to become the next AP! Elder Illori, one of our current AP's, is going home this transfer, so I knew they'd be getting a new one, but I didn't expect the change so soon! Then again, Moves Call is next week. 

Anyways, so the real important stuff is that Ca passed his interview!!! He's going to be baptized this coming Saturday!!!! :D :D :D

Oh, there's so much still to do... It's just been so quick! But it'll be great!!! :D

So Saturday Morning we met with M. We watched the Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration DVD. Fantastic film. He really liked it too! Afterwards Elder Ward bore a powerful testimony of the Restoration. He's moving along, slowly but surely. 

After teaching M, we had a wonderful appointment. Do you remember the Bl's from Cumbernauld? It was the Bishop's family. Do you remember the story of how I lost my badge in their car the night before I moved to Inverness? Well, I got back in contact with them, and they said they'd be in Falkirk on Saturday and asked if we could meet up so I could get my nametag again!! So we did! It was great seeing them again!! Their kids sure have grown! It was a wonderful meeting. I should have taken pictures dang it. Sorry.

So later that day I was studying for District Meeting. And it was just a whole hour of me banging my head against the wall. I wasn't getting anything! I was so frustrated with myself. So I prayed that in the next 24 hours (knowing that I'd be primarily watching General Conference) I'd receive revelation as to what to teach in District Meeting. More on how that prayer was answered in a minute!

So we went to E's for the Saturday Morning Session. We got there at 4:30, the session started at 5. There was us, E, M, Ma, and Ca. We also made dinner for the gathering: pulled pork! :9 It was such a fantastic conference. After President Eyring's talk, M said "That man was inspired!" I just about jumped for joy hearing that!! :D

After the session was over, Elder Ward and I had to catch a train for Edinburgh. The next morning, before the Priesthood Session was shown at the Stake Center, there was a Zone Leadership Council. All the District Leaders and their companions and the STL's met up. And Elder Ensign, our Zone Leader, literally said "this is what we want you to teach in District Meeting." I was literally given everything on a silver platter! It was a little interesting seeing how our whole district was there anyways (the STL's are in my district, remember?) but it'll be good!

Then we watched Priesthood Session at the Stake Center. After that we went back to Falkirk, where E had us over to watch the Saturday Evening Session. It was on live at 9pm the night before, but obviously we couldn't watch it. Right after that we went to the church to watch the Sunday Morning Session. Unfortunately only Ma was there, but it was still a great end to the week! :)

So what to say about General Conference! I think I've said enough times that I loved it, now for why. There were a lot of themes I got from the talks. Perhaps the main overarching theme for me was kind of a swift kick up the backside, like the Apostles were saying "Alright, Elder Bates, you can do better, and here's how." Which sounds bad, but I liked it! I needed it! I also thought that another theme was that of marriage and fatherhood, which, obviously, doesn't apply to me. ;) I loved Elder Uchtdorf's talk in Priesthood session on that subject. In the middle of his talk he interrupts himself and said "and as for those of you who are YSA, perhaps just returning from missions, remember it is your duty to make marriage your highest priority!" And I just put my head in my hands and thought to myself "oh no, it's already started!" ha ha

My favorite talks were that of President Eyring's (both of his), Elder Hallstrom, Elder Stevenson, Kevin R. Duncan's, President Nelson, President Uchtdorf's (both of his too), Elder Bednar's, Elder Cook's, and of course the Prophet's! His were short, but sweet. As of yet, I haven't been able to listen to the Sunday Afternoon Session. But I should by the end of the week.

Good luck this week! I hope I stay! I hope Elder Ward Stays! There will be a baptism to report next week! :D Hope your week is as good as mine will be!!! :D Love ya!

Elder Bates

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