Monday, October 7, 2013

Conference Thoughts

Hello Family!
Well it was another amazing week in Ohio!

Conference was absolutely amazing! The simple truth and testimony that we know there is a prophet on the earth and that the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles also exists is so amazing! As usual I like to decide or look for themes found within conference. The themes I found were these: 1. Repentance. I feel that the Doctrine and Covenants 58:42 was quote many times this conference. It states, " Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more." The Lord is letting us know that we can repent and that afterward we are clean. Many times through my notes over this conference I wrote thoughts such as, "Repentance is not a punishment." and "Repentance is about transformation, not torture" What we need to realize is that repentance is the opportunity that we have to utilize the Atonement and time to be polished for eternal life. One thing I learned from this conference from Elder Randy D. Funk is to be whole we must be broken in heart. That which is broken is what makes us whole. In the words of grandson of President Uchtdorf, "You can do it now!"  
2. The love of God. This theme went hand and hand with the theme and topic of repentance. We see that also with in Doctrine and Covenants 58:4. Also within many impressions I wrote down this week consisted of things like, "The love of God is ALWAYS there" or "Dawn will always come" and "He is ALWAYS with us." We can never forget the simple truth "I am a Child of God" This small gospel principle is the foundation for testimony in all other gospel principles and doctrines. We cannot forget the unfailing love that our Father in Heaven has for us. We only need to pray to feel the love over our Father in Heaven touch our hearts no matter how broken, bruised, or torn it may be. Because what we need to come to know and find strength in  is that Christ himself was broken, bruised and torn for us.
3. Compassion. The speakers  through out general conference let us know that we as Latter Day Saints do not practice acceptance but we do practice love and tolerance. Or in another cliche saying, we hate the sin but love the sinner. We need to love all men no matter the sin they committed or are committing. We need to forgive ALL men. "I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men." Also along with compassion is loving those that are in trials. We can't change the tragedy they are in, but we can make sure that they feel the love of God. 
Of course the other great message found within conference was the topic of missionary work. We can find this especially in Elder Ballard's and Elder Nielson's talks. The thought and impression that came to me after Elder Ballard's talk was this. "You want more love within your home? Do missionary work! We as the youth have answered the call of the Lord to serve. Are you, the mature members of the church, going to answer the same call with the same enthusiasm and energy? Don't let us fail! We can not do missionary work without you! Don't be like those of Jerusalem who ignored Lehi and Jeremiah who prophesied of their destruction. Do not ignore the call of the Lord from his servant President Monson to preach the gospel." One thing that we are going to do with all the members we eat with is invite members to complete the same commitment that Elder Ballard gave us. We are going to ask every family in the ward to find 1 friend and have them be learning from the missionaries. The time frame is  now till Christmas. I would invite you to do the same. By the way mom, you ROCK!! Your missionary work is stellar! I do not know many members that would call out a less active and lovingly invite them back into the fold. I do not know many members that would ask a non member if they would like to receive a priesthood blessing. You are a fantastic member missionary! Take the things you learned from conference and change. Frankly if you don't change at least one thing in your life from the messages in general conference then you wasted time watching it.  

So this week we had 7 investigators watch all or at least one session of conference. Here is a miracle that occurred this conference for me. We have 2 investigators that struggles with the law of tithing. We also knew that she would be with us the last session of conference. One thing I have learned while on my mission is what president calls "razor sharp prayers". We need to be extremely specific with our Father in Heaven when it comes to our prayers. So instead of praying for them to learn something in conference, I specifically prayed, at the beginning of the week, for a talk on tithing at around 5 o'clock during the second session of general conference. Then about the middle of the week I felt impressed to pray not for a talk on tithing but I prayed that there would be a talk that would touch there hearts around 5 o'clock during the second session of general conference. Well at around 5 o'clock (it was I believe about 5:10ish) Elder Vinson spoke to us. Well guess what talk was there favorite? Elder Vinsons! The Lord will answer our prayers if we know how and what to prayer for. 
Also within our week we got to take a chapel tour of a Presbyterian church. We tracted into a Presbyterian minister name Pastor Deborah Patterson. She is so awesome! We went on Tuesday and took a chapel tour of her church and we discussed similarities and differences between our 2 churches. We were able to teach her and 2 of her assitants about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. We have a chapel tour scheduled for her to tour our chapel on Thursday this week. But even better we are getting started with her and our ward on a combined out reach program for the community. Yes we are from different churches, but we all are trying to follow Jesus Christ. So we are working on a project to do with them.
Well family sorry for the lots of gospel insights and preaching. Know that I love you all!
Love Elder Baird

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