|Sister Taylor & Sister Bautista|
I came out of conference afternoon with lots of answers, plans, and new goals. A great part about conference that no matter how world-wide every conference is, Heavenly Father still uses it to touch and help the individual. I figured out almost exactly what I'm doing when I come home, and what I want to be doing the next couple of years. I learned about the Atonement, and gained a new perspective on pondering (you'll laugh at that one Mom and Dad). I also spent the whole time looking for the old elementary music teacher in the tabernacle choir, but I couldn't find her! Did she retire??!!
It was almost 20 hours of new revelation that we listened to (how many hours does it take to listen to the Book of Mormon?), that's like an entire new book of scripture! I got ready for all that time at the church, sitting in a plastic chair, by picking out my most comfy skirt and buying all sorts of snacks. There were cookies, dried mangoes (of course), a chocolate bar, frozen grapes, and Filipino-style dried potatoes. Some of the time we squeezed into the only room of the church that has air-conditioning, and a lot of time was spent standing up over and over again to try to fix the tv connection. I loved the time Elder Holland commanded the entire conference center by the way he spoke, and the times revelation came for me came with furious writing and thinking.
My favorite talk was by Elder Jorg Klebingat (is that the right spelling?), I love the way he combined the importance of spiritual and physical well-being. I got the chills when he talked about trials seen as a time to prove our self, given at a time because of what we are doing right.
I loved too the focus of temples and the little bit that was said again about family history work. It's been amazing to see in all the emails I get every week, how my family is getting involved in the work of salvation. Reading all the different things you're doing (temple work, missionary callings, family blogs, indexing, and Anna's calling) makes me so much more sure how Heavenly Father is rushing his work now to the finish line.
I read somewhere that the Spirit of Elijah is actually a manifestation of the Holy Ghost that is given to accomplish the eternal work. We can all feel it, even non-members, and no matter where we all are around the world, it seems to have the same effect. To move the effects of salvation to every one of God's children, living and dead.
So while you've been busy with Elijah in the United States corner, he's been just as busy over here in my corner! Last month, I started a family history and temple prep class in Guagua branch! We got to the classes the first familyseach.org and our district president is also meeting with our companionship this month to be able to implement this program we've started within the whole district next year. This small manifestation of the spirit is impacting lives here for eternity. (I teach family history, my companion in temple prep), and realized no one knew anything about family history, only 2 relief society had even made it to the temple in the last decade and we had no access to computers. But I went to work. We've been training family history consultants, gotten half the ward members so far through the newly established family history 6-week program, and we have a branch temple trip finally planned for December. The whole branch has felt the Spirit of Elijah as we started to look towards the temple, and our branch president has been dealing out temple recommends like money:) We have a trip for all our recent converts this week to visit the district center (1 hour away) to start their pedigree charts on
Funny Story: This perfectly demonstrates the cultural differences in the Philippines and America, a little of what you'll be seeing when you guys come! There was a nanay (old grandma) that told us a story when her daughter was married a couple years ago to a foreigner. They had a reception in the states and the mom came with. After a wedding here, there are roasted pigs, cauldrons of rice, and all sorts of meals. And then they spend the day eating. The nanay said that when she attended the wedding for her daughter in the states, she didn't eat before the reception so that she could eat a lot at the reception. She got to the reception to only "a really sweet cake that tasted like sponge and colorful juice" in her own words. And she spent a little while trying to convince me to just get married in the Philippines because weddings in the states are "full of weird decorations and flowers you can't eat."
Would you guys ever come over if I wanted to get married in the Philippines?
P.S. That question is a complete joke.