This week was another crazy awesome experience for Elder McConkie. He had some very spiritual experiences, unique challenges, and has met some old and new friends.
First, the friends:
I’ve run into SOOOO many people that I know here. Mom, do you remember Mike Brodsky?? The Russian from 6th grade??? He’s here!!!! So is Alli Davis!! And Elder Hansen from high school. As well as a few other people, including Madison Holmes from Syracuse. 🙂
Okay, so Elder Pratt and I have come up with something great. Whenever we say something that is cool or is a great comeback, we say “Boom, preached!” However, there is an art to this. After you say preached, you clap your hands together and then make like you are raising the roof. Yeah. We’re cool.
Also, slowly – ever so slowly – my puns are beginning to infect my district: everyone is beginning to make puns. Mwahahaha!
This past Sunday was AMAAZING. Elder Ballard came and spoke to us at 10 that morning (a meeting which was broadcast to all of the MTC’s). He really emphasized how Christ is and should be the center of everything we teach and share.
His talk was inspiring and powerful. However, what really touched me happened before he taught. My single greatest goal for the end of my mission is that I want to help everyone I meet feel the love that Heavenly Father and Christ have for them. So, I wanted to be able to look into Elder Ballard’s eyes and feel that love of God for me. I knew that it was slim to none that I would be able to shake his hand. We sitting about 4 rows from the front, so while I was looking at those up on the stand, I noticed Elder Ballard looking in my direction. I smiled and he smiled back: I realized he was smiling at me. I can’t quite explain it, but the Spirit I felt as I looked in his eyes was powerful and gave me such a great joy. 🙂 I am so grateful that our Heavenly Father cares for us.
Later in they day, my companions and I taught a powerful lesson on repentance – I am grateful it went so well! That evening we had another stellar talk on centering our life on Christ, after which we watched a talk called “Character of Christ” by Elder Bednar (which is only available in the MTC). Elder Bednar’s talk was beyond powerful. The Spirit that accompanied the powerful lesson was incredible. I honestly cannot even describe it.
*Note: I have changed the names of investigators in order that their personal journey remain personal until they are ready to share.
We got two new investigators this past week, *Nina and *Jacob. We have finished teaching Nina, who committed to baptism. A Mom of 5 and grandmother of 1, she is so close to God. In fact, at times I felt like we were the investigators and she the missionary as we learned more about Christ. We were merely there to guide her. 🙂
Our other investigator is definitely real. How do we know? Wellllll, he has the “mouth of a sailor.” He is agnostic and is very philisophical. In our first lesson, we lost track of what we were trying to teach as he started asking about how the Law of Justice worked with God and all that. It was beyond confusing. During the lesson, I had the distinct impression that if we were ever going to help him see the truth, we really had to stick to the plain truths (2 Nephi 31:2-3) and Christ. We needed to trust the power of the truths we were sharing. So we did exactly that for our second lesson. We discussed prayer and faith and then we felt prompted to share the first vision with him. The Spirit was so strong it was almost palpable. Afterwards, Jacob had a different look in his eyes. Elder Williams shared a story about a time when he was angry with God for taking his brother and how he found peace by talking to Him.
Afterwards we challenged him to pray tonight and tomorrow, both times with at least a little desire to know and then to wait afterwards for just a few seconds and pay attention to what he feels. While he still was a little cynical, he was more mellow and I am sure that the Spirit touched his heart. 🙂
Little intro to this, I received a phone call from the MTC yesterday telling me Elder McConkie needed an EKG with a stress test. This was completely unexpected and I had to keep myself from getting too concerned. A quick prayer and prayerful reminders to not overthink it helped me feel the peace that truly was there the whole time. At the core of it, we felt it would all be fine.
Okay, so yesterday while I was working out I started getting faint and nauseous. I went to the bathroom and laid down until I felt better. After, I started working out again, and I began to feel bad again. I tested my heart rate. It was higher than normal when I was working out. So, I went to the clinic and they fit me in. They felt, at first, that I should be fine. But, if it continued, I needed to let them know immediately. However, then, they decided that I should have a few tests done just to make sure. And Heavenly Father has been here through it all! Normally the tests would need to be scheduled at least a couple weeks out, but since I am leaving Monday for New York that would mean that I would be delayed. The Clinic was so gracious and amazing to call around to all the different hospitals and one of them made room where there was no room for me tomorrow!!! The Lord heard my prayers and I am so grateful!
So, to wrap that up. We received a phone call this afternoon from the doctor. He checks out fine. They had been concerned about him possibly having an enlarged heart…well, we could have told them that: He has always had a big heart! 😀 (metaphorically, of course) I am grateful the Spirit gave us a sense of peace if we were willing to feel it while we waited for word.
And the best part:
The most powerful part of the week was our district shared a portion of their testimony/experience here at the end of our last class (which was on Wednesday). Each of us shared very personal messages that really spoke of our individual conversions to Christ. I don’t want to share too much beyond that, so I’ll just say that it was a very edifying experience.
Have a great week!! Love you all!!
After General Conference weekend, Michael will be ready to head to the Big Apple! Oh, this is so wonderful! Missionaries take the love and word of God to all the world! Hoorah for Israel!