Conference, Conference, Conference!

Well this has been a busy week! So on Wednesday this week we had Zone Conference and then on Saturday and Sunday we had our broadcasts of General Conference so basically it was the week of conferences. But everything was so good that I was so grateful for every minute of everything. Man, I love inspired priesthood leadership.

Okay, so first of all about our Zone Conference. So the topics were about the Doctrine of Christ and also Using Time Wisely. The Doctrine of Christ training was awesome. It was all about keep things simple and really trying to help your investigators understand the simple invitations and commandments of the Savior. They talked a lot about how we need to have that understanding first before we teach it as well. We also have a goal now to be extending baptism within the first or second lesson to help establish the expectation and the spirit from the beginning. It was really inspiring and I totally know that it's effective. I've seen it happen. When you extend baptism, even if they don't understand it perfectly, they are required to exercise a particle of faith and the spirit just takes over and helps them know it's true and then they act, their faith grows and they are truly committed. It's awesome. Then there was a big training about using time more wisely and also having more effective weekly planning sessions. I learned SO much about my weaknesses at that time. I'm not slothful by any means, but I definitely found room for improvement and it was much needed. Especially with regards to weekly planning. I think I'm going to be a planning fool when I get home. Look out future husband, you're not going to know what hit you! :) President Tobias also talked a lot about personal conversion and personal worthiness, how those things relate and how important they are for us to be effective teachers. I know that this is definitely true. I see it all the time. It's all about how clean your vessel is. If you offer the lord a dirty, dishwasher-beaten, spaghetti stained piece of tuperware, He's not going to trust that you can effectively carry the message to the hearts of those you teach. But if you work toward having that clean, totally clear, perfect, crystal vase (although it may be fragile) the Lord knows you are ready and willing and he will help you be effective. It's true. Of the few things I can say that I REALLY know, I know that that is true. And I'm grateful for it.

Okay, so now for General Conference. So I was SUPER excited for this conference. Especially as a missionary, you just are starving to hear the prophets voice and I was definitely fed this weekend. It was AMAZING!!! Seriously, conference just gets better and better. After it was over I found that there 3 specific themes that I found: 1) Remembering covenants and attending the temple 2) the need to practice Charity ALWAYS and 3) The blessings that come from trials. It was so good! Okay, here are some of my favorite things about it.
1. 52, 225 missionaries serving in the field. I AM ONE OF THOSE!!!! It was just so awesome to hear that number and know I'm a part of something so big, the biggest of all things! It was so awesome.
2. Elder Kent F. Richards talk about the purpose of pain. This was awesome and I really found so much personal application to it. I especially like the analogy of the Savior as the Master Physician. It's so true. GREAT TALK!
3. Elder Russell M. Nelson's talk about faith and obedience. There really is no substitute for this. I have learned that this is especially true on the mission.
4. Elder Dallin H. Oaks. Okay, so he has always been one of my absolute favorites and this talk about Desires was amazing. Let me just say that serving my mission in a country that is so overwhelmed by vices, this was especially poignant to me.
5. Elder Paul V. Johnson--Okay, a talk about hiking and trials! Yes please! This was so great and so true. It's about he journey that get's us to the summit and the beautiful views, so enjoy it!
6. Elder Richard G. Scott's talk about marriage and his wife. Well I definitely bawled like a huge baby the whole time he was giving this talk. I can't even imagine how hard it must be for him now not to have such an amazing woman in his life. But I am so grateful for his example and his willingness to share about his experiences. What a great reminder for all of us of the importance of marriage and the REAL, TRUE, LIVING blessings that come from eternal marriage and from NO OTHER SOURCE.

Okay, so that's all I really have time to share now. I hope everyone enjoyed the awesomeness that is General Conference. If you missed it get on right now and download is. It's all there, waiting to be read!

So in other great news, we had 2 investigators at Conference and 3 recent converts. That may not seem like much, but our stake center is pretty far away and most people can't afford to come that far. But our bishop is awesome and got those that were ready to conference. It was SUCH a huge blessing. I cried. I wasn't sure if anyone would come. Almost our entire ward was there. I cried in gratitude to Heavenly Father. The best part was the brother Joel (the husband of our recent convert and my favorite, Jeannette) was at conference with his wife in a white shirt. We have been teaching him and he is SOOO smart and he remembers so much detail from what he reads. He always reads. He knows it comes little at a time, but he knows so much is true. And there he was at conference. It was AWESOME! Seriously, I'm jumping up and down here with excitement.

Well that was my week. Amidst the busyness we even got to teach some lessons as well! Later today or tomorrow morning we should know who is transferring. We are sure that it is one of us, we're just not sure who. It's probably me because I've been here longer, but who knows. I'll admit I am not ready to say goodbye to these people, but that probably means it's time to transfer. We always need growth and change... no matter how much we hate it. Well wish me luck for this next transfer. It's my 6th, can you believe it. Actually this week is going to by my HALF WAY MARK!!!! Yeah, I've been on my mission for 9 months. It's going WAY to fast, but I'm loving every minute of it. I will also celebrate my 24th birthday this next Monday. I'm not quite as happy to be reaching that milestone... i feel like an old person. But that's okay, birthdays have to happen. At least I'm a missionary and so it will just be like any other day. :) Well I love you all and miss you all. The gospel is so true, spread the good news!

Sister Jackson


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