Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Week 52: Exchanges, Conference, and I have no idea what else just happened

I woke up with a burning desire for hot apple cider, donuts, pumpkin bars, and jumping in piles of leaves.

I love the fall time :)

This was a long week with so much going on. I am dead tired today so I apologize if this email is a little blah. Sister Bill blames it on the impending year mark as when you realize just how tired you are from everything you've done over the past several months. I just think we did so much this week that my body finally caught up with it all. (Note from mom - Lauren's one year mark is on Thursday of this week.  Since she was 12 years old, she hasn't gone an entire year without a significant hospital stay where she slept for days recovering from some ailment.  I am sure she is physically exhausted!)

MLC (Mission Leadership Council): Eight hour meeting on Tuesday. We were dead at the end. BUT we were able to watch part of Meet the Mormons! That is an incredible film! All of you should go and watch it. Seriously. 
We learned a lot of other good things about spiritually uplifting sacrament meetings, meeting goals, and basically how to be more awesome. I'll share those later on in life.

Exchanges with Sister Haddock! Exchanges are when we switch companions for a day. Organizing and going on exchanges is something that sister training leaders get to do with each companionship. This week I was over in the Bountiful Heights Stake. It was a little crazy - we saw someone I started teaching over in Mueller Park, and then one of the service couples from Wells Stake. It was an amazing day full of beautiful views, awkward selfies, meeting lots of people! 

The miracle: we finally were able to meet up with this man who has been coming to church for years. He has never had a desire to be baptized, but as we were visiting with him, he shared that he wants to be baptized in November! They were finally able to add him as a new investigator. It was a tender mercy of the Lord, and a miracle that those Sisters had been praying for. 

General Conference. WOW. We were blessed to go to the Conference Center for three of the sessions. There is such great power in the combined faith of thousands of people. I know this is the true Church of Jesus Christ on the earth today! We are so blessed to have the counsel of modern prophets to guide us through the challenges of the world today. I thought I would just share a few thoughts from the talks this weekend:
·  Heavenly Father needs and wants us to be back with Him.
·  The sacrament must become one of the most sacred parts of the week in our personal lives.
·  Do not fear man! God's help is far stronger.
·  The choice is ours, but truth will always be truth. Personal responsibility is a gift from God.
·  We must strengthen our faith in the words of the prophets NOW. 
·  Parenting is the greatest calling we could ever have.
·  We must apply the Atonement into our lives daily as we consistently seek to improve and become more like our Savior.
·  It's really cool when people give their General Conference talks in their native language :)
·  Christ is the only way to experience peace and joy.
·  Seek after your own spiritual confirmation for those things that were taught.
·  Now is the time to prepare.
·  Always invite others to come unto Christ!
In Preach My Gospel, there's an incredible section about following the prophet and the blessings we have when we do follow the prophet's counsel: 
"Those who listen to and follow the counsel of living prophets and apostles will not go astray. The teachings of living prophets provide an anchor of eternal truth in a world of shifting values and help us avoid misery and sorrow. The confusion and strife of the world will not overwhelm us, and we can enjoy the assurance of being in harmony with God’s will."

I know that as we all seek for our own testimonies of what was taught this weekend, the Spirit will give us the conviction that these things are true. This is what the Lord needs us to know in our day! I know President Thomas S. Monson is God's prophet on the earth today. I know that his words are what our Heavenly Father needs us to work on and apply in our lives right now. The invitation I have for you this week: review your notes, watch the talks, listen to them, and study them, then set some goals for what you will go forth and apply because of what you have heard and felt this weekend. I'll be following up :)

I love you all! Remember to smile and follow the prophet :)

Sister Holbrook
Alma 23:6

Exchanges with Sister Haddock! That's us standing in front of the house of Jon Schmidt. You should be jealous.

Me with Hannah Holbrook elementary while on exchanges!

At General Conference

The tireless trio at the temple!

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