Oh my goodness conference was soooo good! Definitely different watching in the field,but the effects are the same! I feel like it always gives that extra spiritual recharge that I need! So awesome! So cool that you all got to go up as a family and that Jo and some of the YM got to go also! And how exciting that Jer had his mission reunion, oh and I was totally tripping out when I saw Elder Schaap and a few other of my friends! So cool that we are all united in this great cause! I also loved those same talks, especially Jorg Klebingat’s talk, I loved when he said “To take responsibility for your own spiritual well being!” It’s so easy to make excuses for not doing what we know we need to do, or to complain about our situation, but we are the masters of our own ships! From the words of the classic My Turn on Earth,”I’m the one who writes my own story, I decide the person I’ll be.” The Lord is waiting and wiling to bless us, if we humble ourselves and rely on him wholly, obeying with a sincere heart. I loved when Elder Klebingat said “selective obedience brings selective blessing.” One of the hermanas in the MTC always said “If you’re almost obedient, you almost received the blessings.” I also loved the talk by Elder Larry Kacher, that spoke about how certain currents can lead us down wrong roads and certain currents can lead us closer to God. Reminds me of when me, Josh and Kiana got pulled out by one, and how scared I was. I remember praying with all my heart that we would make it, and we did. I’m so grateful for all of the times the Lord never gave up on me, and saw me for what I could truly become. I am SO grateful for the current that led me to my own conversion and to the knowledge that I truly am a child of God, and thankful for the current that helped me get on my mission, I know this gospel is so true and am grateful I have the opportunity I have to share it with others. Like Elder Bednar talked about, I know how much comfort and strength I receive from this gospel and just like that little boy I Want to share it with others so they can also feel of that same love! Today I am just so grateful for the tender mercies. First we went to Costco with a member which was SO nice because it was way cheaper to get groceries! And while we were there these other ladies from another ward came and brought us ice cream, and when I got my haircut later, the lady said “Yinz missionaries?” (Pittsburghese) And when we said ‘yes’, she charged us half price! And it’s not even about the money but more about the help! I am so grateful for the Lord who knows us and puts people in our path to help us along the way! Oh and tomorrow we are watching Meet the Mormons! I’m stoked! This week has been good, but I definitely struggled with missing home, especially after the first session of conference, I realized how ungrateful I truly have been. I realize how blessed I’ve been to have parents who made sure to make conference a priority, and I just missed being home and watching with everyone and it was rough because all I wanted was a big bear hug from mom! And as I sat there sulking, wishing I was home, the words to one of my favorite primary song floated through my head. “I see my mother kneeling with the family each day, I hear the words she whispers as she bows her head to pray.” Pure gratitude flooded my heart as I pondered the words and the many memories of family prayers, “Her plea to the father, quiets all my fears.” It truly has brought me so much peace, and there are honestly no words to describe what a huge example you have been of faith to me, in every aspect of your life you have relied on the Lord to help you through the hard times, as I had this experience I decided to say a prayer. As I prayed I opened my heart to my Father in heaven, and not long after I said ‘amen’, I felt peace, and confirmation of why I am here. To help strengthen other families so that they themselves can receive that same strength! I really do love being a missionary! Today as we had studies, my companion had the Lord of the Rings soundtrack playing in the background and as I opened up my scriptures I opened up to Alma 37:6 “By small and simple things are great things brought to pass” And I was like that is totally LOTR! Of all of the people in Middle Earth it was the power of two determined hobbits, some of the smallest most simple people who ended up saving so many. In D&C 1:23 “That the fullness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world.” Just like the hobbits, to the world, us missionaries are nothing but naïve or inexperienced 18,19, 20 year olds, in the eyes of the world we may be seen as weak or ignorant, but we know who guides us, maybe we are weak, but we know whose strength we can rely on. The hobbits could not do it alone, they received help along their journey from so many, and It was so difficult, at times they could think of nothing but being at home in the shire, but they knew how important the work they were doing was! I am so grateful for all of the help I receive from family, friends, strangers, and ultimately the Lord, I know this is his work and I am grateful I have the opportunity to proclaim it! I love each of you so much and am sincerely so proud of yinz! Para siempre Dios este con Vos!!
Elder Justin Wilson