Today we had a zone conference with three zones (basically, a meeting with a ton of missionaries). It was a really great conference and I received some very personal direction. I even got guidance on a subject I wanted answered from General Conference, but wasn’t directly addressed at General Conference. Sometimes we have to be patient, but God answers earnest, important questions, and it’s so cool! I definitely get much more out of these meetings than I used to. Every time we have a church meeting (especially General Conference), we can get questions answered and receive the revelation we need for our lives. I need to be better at looking for inspiration in my Sunday meetings, and I’d invite everyone to do the same, it’ll be great.
At the zone conference, President Ivory spoke at one point about how he has previously felt that some of his counsel has been for specific people. There was definitely one point where I felt that was true, more directly than ever, so that was exciting.
The two major themes of the conference were being open to change, and the concept of pushing (forcing people) vs. pulling (inviting people). Essentially it was a lot about the importance of agency, especially with regard to missionary work; about how to encourage people to act for themselves rather than to be acted upon. It’s so cool that the concept of agency (the ability to choose) and its role in God’s plan for us, has been restored in these modern times.
Another thing that impressed me came from President Ivory’s friend, who spoke at the conference. He said the most important thing to learn on a mission has to deal with the answer to the question: “what is the number one thing to being a successful person?” This also answers the question: “what do you do when you don’t have to do anything?” I’ve definitely learned a lot about being more diligent on my mission (although I need to apply what I’ve learned to help accomplish goals I have set).
I think a lot of my becoming more diligent can be credited to my prior amazing companion Elder A, who I still am serving around (we’re practically part of the Mihai Bravu District, though unofficially). So yeah, it’s important to always be “anxiously engaged in a good cause” (D&C 58:27) and always be working on improving ourselves. It’s something good for all of us to remember, as spiritual stagnancy equals spiritual regression. You don’t just stop when you stop, you go backwards.
On a less spiritual note, I made brownies and two apple pies for the conference. On the second pie, I finally realized the importance of making the dough thin via a rolling pin. I made a double-crust pie that actually had decent crusts and didn’t leak. Yesss! But then, the good-crusted pie was an upside-down pie, and in flipping it out, the bottom stuck and part of the crust fell apart…so close. Anyway, baking should go much better with my new crust knowledge, including chicken pot pie, which I want to try using from-scratch crusts.
All the best,