God is so good! How incredibly lucky are we to live in this amazing dispensation! What a great day to be alive!
First off, general conference was just amazing this year as always. My heart is so full of joy and light as I reflect upon the words of wisdom, guidance, and joy from our living prophet. He truly is called of God to lead us and give us specific direction just for us! How grateful I am for the priesthood power that directs our true church.
I still haven't been able to watch all of conference, but I'd have to say Pres.Uchtdorf's talk was probably my favorite.They were all so good. Our amis Isabelle and Claudia came to multiple sessions! This was Isabelle's first Sunday at church. She will always be one of my favorite amis. She just has the sincere desire to know the Heavenly Father's will. She truly studies it out in her heart and her mind to know. Lately she's expressed her concern for how to determine specific answers through the Spirit. We had a great lesson with her this week with a member named, Beatrice, who is just great. The Spirit was so strong as we testified of the Plan of Salvation, the divine plan that God has created for each of us. She told us that it made sense. As she looked me in the eyes and told me she wanted to go to the Celestial Kingdom, I could feel that one day I will see her there.
After Saturday Morning session of conference (Saturday evening for us) I talked to her about what had happened. She told me she liked the talk by Elder Soares (talked about meekness). She told me she received her answer! I asked her what she asked and what she felt and she opened up and said, "I've been trying to feel the Spirit. I asked to know how I can determine truths and I felt it! During his talk, I felt the Spirit. I felt it." Her eyes filled with a new light of Christ and fulness. It was incredible to witness and I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to hear her feelings.
Our other ami, Claudia (she's lately been unsure about her date for baptism) told me she loved conference. She has so many friends that are members. She already looks like she is a member when she interacts with the ward. I asked her how she felt after the conference and she told me, "I know these things are true. They are true. My repentance is near. I'm going to repent." To see people grow and understand the path to happiness just fills me with so much hope that this world is not lost.
Lately, Soeur Lefrandt and I sing a lot of hymns. We suddenly realized that our teaching pool has become mainly elderly women who desperately need a spark of hope and light to keep going. So much pain and sorrow can be curred in an instant with a simple, beautiful hymn that helps us remember our Father and older Brother who love us and have given us everything. I am so grateful for the power of hymns and the peace that accompany the words.
Our ami, Susan made a huge leap of faith this week. She didn't make it to conference (which I was so sad about), but Soeur Lefrandt had a great idea to share the Joseph Smith video with her. We went over to her apartment and watched the video together. Afterwards, we asked her what she thought. She only made a few statements about it, but they were the best statements I could have ever heard. She said, "I know that no one could have created this without it being real. There is truth behind this. No evil man would create such a film or story." We then asked her if she would pray to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet (something she has been putting off for a while) and she said, "After watching this video I think I will sincerely pray now." WOW! We then introduced the lds page andmormon.org page and she LOVED it!
General Conference talked so much about the sacred work of missionary work. I hope we all recognize our personal calls from Heavenly Father that it is now time to open our mouths. Share with others why we have reason to rejoice in such a place filled with despair and sadness. I loved the statement by President Uchtdorf that we should "doubt our doubts, not our faiths!" It's so true. We must be quick to recognize the true pieces of truth we have and turn away from feelings of despair and hopelessness. Satan wants us to feel like we can't do it. "When Satan reminds us of our past, remind him of his future!" We have more power than that. We can do better. We have our Savior to lean on.
"He was betrayed..denied..accused..rejected..bound..scourged..mocked..reviled..spit on..crucified..forsaken..He did His Father's will..He atoned..healed..held His peace..forgave..He gave His life..He is risen!" He gave all he had so that we might find peace, feel joy, find strength, and return.
He stands at the shore of Galilee today just as He did 2000 years ago and beckons us to drop our entangled nets of sin and worldy challenges to Follow Him. Follow Him and you will find peace. What a marvelous promise! All we need to do is ACT. Act on our faith, believe in His name, lean on His Atonement. "In our hour of deepest sorrow, we can feel profound peace through the words on the Easter morning, "He is not here, for He is risen.""
My plea to all of you my family and friends is to choose HIM. Choose to use His Atonement and find joy. Choose to recognize our human need for His perfect love and perfect sacrifice. Choose to find out for yourself each day His will concerning you. Choose to be healed through His power. Choose Him.
May we all find the beauty and peace we long for through Jesus Christ. May God bless you all this week.
Stay righteous, be true, be you! Avec amour, Soeur Berge