Monday, October 6, 2014

Conference!! And other happenings in Bountiful

So out here in the grand old state of Utah I often get the question, "So what did you think when you opened your mission call letter and saw that you were coming to UTAH?!" 

Honestly, after I got over my initial shock at HAVING A CALL (since it took me 8 whole weeks to get it!) I was thrilled! My first thought was, "I wonder if I'll get to go to the Salt Lake Temple?!" And then, "What if I get to go to General Conference??!" 


Every 6 months members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints gather to listen to the words of the prophets and apostles. There are 5 conference sessions that are each 2 hours long, which just sounds tedious, but it is WONDERFUL. Have you ever wanted to know what God's will for your life is at this time? Listening to conference is a sure way to find out! I really loved the Sunday morning session - three different speakers in a row spoke on the importance of listening to the prophet. This was even more incredible given the fact that none of the speakers talk to each other or discuss the talks they are preparing. The prophet spoke during that session. The prophet right now is President Thomas S. Monson, and I was really anxious to hear what he would say after all of those talks about listening to him! President Monson stood up and spoke on following Christ. 

So there it is: follow the prophet, follow the prophet, follow the prophet; follow Christ. I don't honestly know any truer doctrine. 

I think it's just incredible that 6 months ago at the last conference I knew that I wouldn't be home, but I never in a million years would have imagined that I'd actually be able to ATTEND! We went to both of the morning sessions. 

So everyone always talks about the protesters at conference. There are people that don't agree with our religion, so they come to protest outside of large gatherings of Mormon events. They honestly didn't bother me. It was mostly people holding signs telling us that we were wrong, and a few people shouting at us. I must say that they have a LOT of faith in the calmness of the Mormon people! There are 22,000 Mormons that gather in the conference center, and like TEN protesters. I'm not prone to violence at all, and I think it's a waste of time to tell other people how wrong you think they are, but I must say that it just doesn't make a lot of sense to me to try to stir people up to anger when you are so drastically outnumbered. Because really that's their whole goal, is to make us angry. 

But Mormons are awesome and respond in the best ways. Next to all of the really hateful people there were women holding GIANT signs that said, "I LOVE MORMONS!" One woman was singing the primary song "Popcorn popping" that passerby joined in with in order to drown out the sounds of the angry protester. And there were groups of people singing hymns for the same purpose. Pretty cool. :) 

We had interviews with our mission president this week. Sister Haddock told me that during her interview, President Hansen asked her how I was doing. She said, "President, she has Preach My Gospel in her heart!" Oh that makes me so happy! President and Sister Hansen both told me that I have a great companion. I really do. :) 

It's really incredible too to me how the things that we study in the morning can be of use during the day. On Tuesday a passage from the Book of Mosiah (In the Book of Mormon) came up twice during my personal study. It was about prophets, seers and revelators. Then that evening one of the girls we were teaching asked "what's the difference between a prophet and a revelator?" Ahha! I KNOW that answer! And where to find it!! Go go scripture power! :) 

Another really cool thing happened on Saturday. We were going to watch conference with a member but at the last minute realized that there was a miscommunication and that we wouldn't be able to go to their home. With 10 minutes until the session we were a little panicky about where to go - we tried a ward mission leader, but he couldn't. We tried the stake center, but no one was there. Finally we tried the senior couple serving in our area and they said, "Sure! Come on over!" With seriously a minute to spare. At their house we met their granddaughter who was formerly a teacher at the MTC. She asked to come teaching with us that evening, but we hadn't planned any appointments. But this one woman was on my mind all day. It turns out that Kelsie, their granddaughter, had also seen 'B' earlier in the day! Kelsie had the thought that she should speak to B, but didn't because she had no time. So Kelsie was amazed when B opened the door that evening. It was seriously so cool. I had wanted to see B because she has been trying to come back to church, but B doesn't trust missionaries because she has had bad experiences in the past. I just know that Kelsie had to be with us that evening! She really helped her to soften and open up. And now we have another appointment with B!

We are also going to begin teaching one of the eternal investigators! (He's been investigating for actual decades, and the rest of his family are members.) I'm so excited! 

This week we saw a gorgeous rainbow. It was the brightest rainbow I have EVER seen! And a double one too! I didn't get any good pictures of it sadly, but it was incredible. It looked like you could see the base of it, right in the mountains! The beauty of the earth is incredible. It's just evidence of how much God loves us!

And finally, I got to hold baby kitties!!! They were the sweetest ever!!! It was at the end of a long, busy day, so it was great to hold the kitties and feel their softy little purry love. :) 

Well my life is amazing. :) Hope you are all having great lives too! Until next week!
Sister Tipton

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