Hey everyone! I hope that all enjoyed General Conference this weekend and were able to listen to the Prophet and His Apostles and other leaders of the Church. What an amazing weekend it was!
I have always liked listening to General Conference, but until I came on my mission I didn't have a very great understanding of how important and essential it is for us to listen and follow the counsel of our leaders. I'm so grateful for the opportunity that we have to be here at this time, to have the restored truths that we have, and to be able to have the guidance of President Monson, the First Presidency, and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. I love how everyone can get something different out of conference. I have always been told that if you write down questions in preparation, you will be able to find your answers. I had multiple questions that I pondered about beforehand, and every single one of them was addressed in one way or another. The one that stands out the most to me was my question of "How can I make prayer more sincere and meaningful?" Well, within even the first session there were two entire talks dedicated to talking about prayer. Overall, every single talk provided me with something that I can improve on and I'm so grateful for that. I particularly enjoyed Elder Ballard's talk, "To whom shall we go?", and President Uchtdorf's opening remarks. I'm grateful that President Monson was well enough to speak to the us and that we could listen to his guidance and wisdom.
I'm excited for the next six months now, where I get the opportunity to put all of these things into action! I hope that we all can continue to remember the impressions that we had and follow through on the commitments that we have now made to ourselves, to our families, and to our Heavenly Father.
It was a very busy week! We had two different exchanges. For one of them, I got to stay in Ellicott City with Elder Ashby, and for the other I went to Frederick with Elder Wilson. Being back in Frederick made me feel like I was back towards the beginning of my mission, it brought me so many amazing memories. While in Frederick, Elder Wilson and I found such an amazing family! Christina Goodwin is the mother's name. She is separated from her husband and has five children. We knocked on her door and she allowed us in. She had previously lived in Colorado and knew many different members of the Church. She instantly had so many questions! We taught her about the Restoration of the Gospel and about the Book of Mormon, which she loved and believed immediately. Towards the end of her lesson, her 15 year old daughter came home and Christina said "Kiya, come sit with us and listen!" She then went on to explain and teach the entire lesson to her daughter! Not only was it great evidence that she had paid attention during the lesson, it showed the impact that it had on her. She told her daughter: "We've had such an amazing discussion tonight, this will change our lives!" It's so amazing to see people that can immediately realize the difference that Faith in a Living and Loving God can bring into their lives. Christina and her children accepted the invitation to be baptized and I'm so excited to hear about their progress over the next few weeks! It was such an amazing miracle.
A few months ago, we had another Elder named Elder Fisher (not my companion though) and he had to go home after a few months because his dad was in very poor condition. He went home and his father passed away a few weeks later of cancer. This week, he came back to the mission and we picked him up at the airport. He's been such an amazing example to me of perseverance. I'm sure that coming back out on the mission after going home would be one of the hardest things to do, but I'm so grateful for him and his example!
I hope all is well! Thanks for everything!
- Elder Leavitt