Monday, February 13, 2012
"Justification is the intellectual drug that anesthetizes the sting of conscience."
So Zone Conference was amazing! It was so fun to get to see some of my Elder friends from the MTC :) The missionaries in this mission are really amazing. I felt like I'm in a room full of my brothers (and a few sisters as well). We are united in cause, and it's so happy to see each other and see that we're all still going, still fighting in this (epic spiritual) war. I felt so happy, like I was walking on the clouds. In KK, we hardly ever see other missionaries. It was really strengthening to be around such a big group of other missionaries (maybe 70 of us). :)
President Clark is an INSPIRED man. I'm sorry to everyone who doesn't have him as their Mission President. He gave the conference on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It was very in-depth and very touching. Some things I wrote down include:
- The Atonement grants us grace, freedom, motivation, succor, repentance, peace of conscience, exaltation, personal resoration/healing, the Resurrection...
- Life is progress. Death is damnation, or stopped progress.
- Alma 42-43 explains why we needed an Atonement
- D&C 84:38, the Plan of Salvation was created to qualify us to receive ALL that the Father has.
- The Atonement covers anxiety that comes from exercising faith.
- "Justification is the intellectual drug that anesthetizes the sting of conscience." - Tad R. Callister
- Repentance is burning desire to make amends with God at any cost.
- Do you believe only in Christ's identity as our Savior/the Son of God, or do you ACTUALLY believe in His power to cleanse, purify, and heal you?
- Alma 33:16 teaches us to accept the Atonement by forgiving ourselves. Don't put yourself above God by holding yourself accountable for past mistakes.
That doesn't even do it justice, it was just a really inspiring conference. President Clark cares so much about his missionaries. I'm going to be really sad when he goes home this summer!
Also thoughts on Bintulu: very rural! It made me think of the outskirts of Tennessee. Haha. It was really pretty. There is no chapel, so the church space (our conference was there) was an office area underneath a daycare. It was a very humble setting but the Spirit was for sure still there.
So there's this investigator!!! His name is Bikram, and he referred himself to us. It was a miracle. But first let's back up... We had met his sister Shanti by knocking, and she invited us in to teach her 6-yr-old daughter Kathy. They are all Indian (!!) originally from Kuala Lumpur but have lived in England for a while. Shanti thought we were Catholic sisters (the reason why is beyond me), but we still agreed to teach Kathy and did our best to let her know we were from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was fine, and we taught Kathy about prayer and prophets. Until our second visit, Shanti asked, "After you're done with Kathy's lesson, can you stay so we can ask you some questions?" We were scared that something was wrong/the questions would be to make sure we were Catholic. But we finished our lesson with Kathy and told Shanti she could ask us questions. She said okay, and instead of asking herself she went up and called her brother Bikram (who we had only met briefly before) to come downstairs. He seems to be in his early 30's, he's a single doctor. He is new to Christianity, he was Hindu before. He had TONS of burning questions about God and the Gospel. He was really sincere and looking for answers. We made a return appointment with him, and soon we found out that actually none of these people were Catholic (so it was not a problem when they found out we also were not). Shanti and Bikram both agreed to meet us again, and we did on Sunday. They had so many questions we covered SO much material (repentance, baptism, Heaven, judgment, the nature/identity of God and Jesus Christ, prophets), showed them the Restoration movie, gave them a Book of Mormon with an assigned chapter, invited them to pray. I told Bikram that he could pray to God, asking Him specific questions, and that God would answer. He said, "I think I can really use that." I am really excited to see where this goes! We are going to meet them again soon and plan to invite them to be baptized next month.
Being a missionary is great. The Gospel is the best thing ever. The Atonement is the most important thing that exists. Period. I know that everything I teach people is completely true.
Romans 8 is a really cool selection.