Ah. Seriously. I'm so inspired and so pumped and so ready to GO.
To backtrack a bit before I dive into the rest of the week, I just want to say that I love the Brower family in F_____, and I miss them already. Sister Brower started to cry when we left- they were the greatest. Leaving was sad, but our last day was by far the BEST day. We normally just greeted people and answered questions in the reception tent, but the last day we were able to give the actual tours through the temple!
It was so cool, and I learned so much- plus, we mostly took the handicap groups through, and with only maybe 5-8 people at a time we could really talk with them. The Spirit of the Lord is so strong in His house, even before it's dedicated. I literally watched as the Spirit pricked their hearts, especially in the Sealing and Celestial rooms.
Saturday morning we left and got home just in time for Conference, and we took time after that to unpack and honestly, nap a little. We were so dead, and I accidentally fell asleep during a talk D: I was devastated, but I'll go back and read all the talks as soon as they're out so it's ok. Sunday we finished up Conference and then we actually proselyted!!!!!! IT FELT SO GOOD!! We talked with one family, the B_____s, on their doorstep for an hour. They're a hilarious family, and we have high hopes for them :)
I hope this will make sense, but for the first time General Conference felt real to me. This time around, every single topic and every single challenge and encouragement seemed like it was just for me. It wasn't a bunch of speakers talking about problems far away across the world or about things I don't have an issue with- EVERYTHING was relevant to me. When they looked at the screen, I felt like they were looking me in the eye. Several deep questions I had were answered, and fears and secret worries were assured. I hadn't even fully realized or written out my questions or concerns like I did last time, but the Lord still answered them because I was willing to listen, and I'm willing to act on my answers.
I have a lot to do, but I don't feel stressed out about all the things I want to do in my life anymore- I don't feel overwhelmed. I just feel an overwhelming sense of trust and love for my Father in Heaven. It truly is a miracle to me. I'm letting go of my worries, like will I ever get married, will I make it to school, will I be happy and successful in life... I'm turning it all over to the Lord and really trying to give up everything for Him. Even if I had to give up my family or I lost something like that for Him, I would be willing to because I know that we are an eternal family, and no power on earth can separate us forever. If I lost EVERYTHING in my life that I hold dear right now this very second, it would be hard, but it wouldn't be over. I would be ok, because I know the Lord is merciful and loving, and He would take care of me. I'll only end up filled with joy if I trust in Him. That's the sweet irony of sacrifice for the Gospel- everything you give only comes back to you 1,000 times better and enriches your life.
This especially hit me this morning when I got online to email, and saw that my Dad was in a bad car accident and rolled the vehicle. The car was totaled, but my precious Daddy is 100% fine. No scratches, no bruises, nothing. In fact, he got a new truck out of this whole deal, so he's pretty happy! But even though I was filled with dread wondering what happened to him when I first saw the email, I wasn't filled with panic. I knew even if the worst had happened, he would be ok and my family would be ok and I would be ok. Sad, but ok, and still able to feel joy.
This is why I'm a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints- the joy of Christ fills my soul at all times as long as I'm striving to do what He's asked me to do. And He hasn't asked me to do much. Taking my testimony and going further to be converted to the Lord fills me with joy and peace. Trust is scary, but only at first. I love my God with all my heart and all my soul. This kind of true happiness and true peace only comes from Him. I want to share this with everyone I can as much as I can- please listen to me, I beg of you. Come unto Christ. Let. Him. Heal. You. Do whatever you need to do to become closer to Him. No sacrifice, nothing is worth more than coming to know Him. Everything you give Him only comes back to you 10 fold, so don't be afraid of taking any "plunge" or leap of faith. Just do it. Keep the commandments and pray to Him- He misses you. He loves you. I testify of this with all my heart. PLEASE, I'm begging you, find this same joy that I have found.
I promise you that you will find Him, and it will be worth every second spent on your knees, every second reading His word, every second working to be more like Him, every second TRYING.
I love you all. In 10 days, I'll only have 9 more months before I can give most of you a big hug :) Stay fresh.