Zone conference was great and it was a great time to learn more about what we can do to become better missionaries. The focus has been family history and service. They really want us to focus on families because they are so central to our heavenly father's plan for us. Our work here on earth doesn't stop with us getting all our ordinances done we also have to help those who have not had the opportunity to do so in their lives. The idea of focusing on the family and inviting those we come in contact with to learn more about their ancestors is much less threatening and more people are open to it. I think it is a great way that members can share the gospel with friends. I invite you to find a way to invite someone to learn more about their ancestors and help them feel of the spirit that is associated with family history work. Service is also another non threatening way to share the gospel. We have started looking for more opportunities to serve people and show that we are here to help and we really do care for them. Even if they won't listen to the message of the restoration we can still serve our fellow man. Eventually they will ask about the church and we will be able to teach them more.
Elaine's baptism was amazing! Elder Turley was able to perform the baptism and it was also his first time baptising someone. She has such a great testimony of the gospel and knows that this is what heavenly father wants for her. She is separated from her husband and has had problems with her relationship. Her husband eric has agreed to meet with the missionaries in Moses Lake so we are hoping for the best. Elder Tanner and Elder Baker have also been working with her parents but forgiveness has been something they struggle with due to the problems in Elaine's marriage. They are open to most of the teaching behind the gospel and we are hoping that they can overcome this problem in their family. We are going to be starting up the recent convert lessons with her. I am excited to see how much more she can grow now that she has been baptised and received the Holy Ghost.
I went on exchanges twice this week. Once with Elder Baker while Elder Turley was on splits with the assistants to the president and a second time while he was on splits with Elder Pullman who is the district leader for Royal City. They were both great experiences although we really didn't get to teach anyone. With Elder Baker all of the appointments fell through and we ended up walking around trying find some people to talk to. With Elder Gabruel we spend most of our day knocking on doors and talking to people. We went and walked a family's dog for an hour which was some good time to talk while also serving. We had a good lesson outside the door of one of their recent converts whose son has been having trouble dealing with the death of his brother. He has trouble accepting the fact that there is more after this life and that there is a plan for us.
We have started teaching the Goddard family this week. The father is very inactive and hasn't been to church for over twenty years. We have been told they haven't been open to talking about the gospel in the past and don't want anything pushed onto them. We were able to get in and teach them the restoration simply. It was great to teach them and see the potential they have. After teaching the father said that he had never heard the gospel taught in a way that made sense to him and was reasonable. I think it echos the importance of teaching simply and not getting lost in the details. When we teach simply and really apply what we have to say to them the spirit is able to testify and they are able to feel that it is right.
This upcoming week looks like it's going to be a little crazy. Elder Tanner and Elder Turley have a lot of zone leader things to take care of so Elder Baker and I are going to go on splits fromnight to or morning. I'm not going to be able to work in my area much but that shouldn't be too much of a problem.
I have studied a little more about prophets with general conference this upcoming weekend in mind. The role of the prophet is so important here on earth and we need to head his words. In D&Cit says, "whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants,it is the same." I think whenever we listen to the words of a prophet or an apostle we need to listen as if our Heavenly father himself were talking to us. We have a great opportunity to hear from all the different leaders of the church this general conference and we should take a moment to realize that they are all speaking for the lord and expressing what he feels is important. We are going to be watching the Conference from the Othello stake center.
I hope everyone is doing well back at home