Wednesday, October 9, 2013

"...become ye as little children."

 Oi! Is it just me or are the weeks starting to pass by quicker and quicker?  I think part of it has to do with conference as well.  How did everyone enjoy conference?!  I have never experienced something quite like it with being at Temple Square.  Being a missionary here really gave me a whole new perspective on the whole General Conference experience.  I want you to think of where you were this weekend for Conference.  Were you at home?  Were you at a friend's home or with family?  Did you watch on your computer, on a TV?  Think of the miracle General Conference is brothers and sisters.  Here at Temple Square I was a witness to thousands and thousands of people flooding the streets to go and hear a Prophet speak, to go and hear the words of God as spoken by his prophets and apostles.  Think of the miracle that is :) 

Day 1 of Conference with Sisters from all around the world! So exciting!

Walking around Temple Square we were able to meet people from around the world, people who had traveled thousands of miles and had sacrificed great amounts to be able to come and attend even just one session of General Conference. As a missionary at Temple Square, they needed us up on the square talking with all of the visitors, so we were able to attend just one session (the Saturday morning session), and even that gave me so much hope and so much joy to hear from and be in the same room as the Prophet, to be in a room holding so much hope and faith.

With Sister Deleu (France) and Sister Siegle ( adorable companion!) right before day 1 of General Conference

To be prepared for General Conference, we had a meeting Friday night as a mission.  Before the closing of the meeting, we watched a short clip from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland.  He said something that really stuck with me, "General Conference tells the world- God not only lives, but He speaks."  I testify to each of you that God does live and that He does speak to each of us, His children, today. I know that so many prayers and questions were answered throughout the world this past weekend, and not only with the distinct words being uttered by those who spoke, but also with the quiet whisperings of the Holy Ghost. I am so grateful that these words are recorded that we can go back and read them or view them as often as we would like to.  These words are revelation and they are revelation for the world!

With roommates and friends before heading back up to the square to finish out a wonderful conference weekend!

Can you see now why The Book of Mormon and why The Holy Bible are so important and so precious?  These books contain the records of ancient prophets.  God spoke to them, and He speaks to us now.  I am so grateful for how dependable our Father in Heaven is.  He truly wants to make Himself accessible to all His children around the world.

Sister Humble and I celebrating our first General Conference on the mission!

Something I love so much about the gospel of Jesus Christ and about the words of the Prophet, is that the message is so pure and so simple that "even a child can understand it."  One of the most touching experiences I had this weekend was at the Reflection Pond on the east side of the Salt Lake temple.  Sister Siegle had run into an older couple who spoke Portugese.  They had served a mission in Brasil and had come to General Conference with their granddaughters, Taylor and Courtney. 

As Sister Siegle spoke with this amazing couple, I was inspired and so uplifted by these two young girls before me.  Taylor and Courtney are twins, they are 8 years old and were just baptized this past Sunday. They were so sincere and so genuine as they spoke about the joy they felt at their baptism, of the presence of the Holy Ghost that was so strongly there.  They told me about the missionary work they have been doing with teaching their friends at school about the gospel.  I knelt down beside them and picked up two small "forget me not" flowers and handed them to the two little girls before me. 

I explained that these were flowers that can remind us to always remember the little things in our life, to remind us to always have joy.  I asked them about what little things there are in their life that make them happy. Taylor looked at Courtney and said, "Well, she's everything to me- Courtney has been with me forever.  We were born together, we were baptized together and we'll probably even die together...but I'm not really sure how that works." haha as you can imagine, these little girls were so cute and so adorable. Then Courtney smiled and twirling from side to side grabbed Taylor's hand and looked right into her eyes and said, "Yeah, we have been together forever, but we were with someone even before and now he's with us even more since we got baptized." 

Sister Barrett (California) is so much fun and has such wonderful stories! I feel so lucky to have been in her same district this transfer.

These two 8-year old girls went on to explain to me that Jesus Christ was their "forget me not flower."  These girls knew that they had lived with God and Jesus Christ before, and that they would return to live with them again. I remember feeling the spirit so strongly as these girls spoke about their love for Jesus Christ and of their love for their Heavenly Father and they shared that they were already preparing for missions because of the announcement and because of the emphasis on missionary work at general conference.

It was in this moment that I really learned what it means to come unto Christ as a little child.  In "Jesus the Christ," it reads,

"Christ would not have had His chosen representatives become childish; far from it, they had to be men or courage, fortitude and force; but He would have them become childlike.  The distinction is important.  Those who belong to Christ must become like little children in obedience, truthfulness, trustfulness, purity, humility, and faith."

Courtney and Taylor were my angels this General Conference weekend who truly were examples to me.  Their trust in God, their purity, their humility, was a reminder that we are to always remember WHO'S we are.  We are children of God.  Just as our Fathers here on earth, He wants us to succeed and He did not send us here to fail.  I know that General Conference, having a living Prophet and Apostles, the gift of prayer, church, the scriptures are all here to help us succeed.  Sometimes we may think that in order to succeed by the church's standards, by God's standards, we are sacrificing a lot.  If we really look at it though, we can see that this gospel, the doctrine of Jesus Christ, His plan, is perfect and we are everything to Him because we are His children.  I promise you that if there is something that you have been encouraged during this conference weekend to give up, or to be better at, it truly isn't a sacrifice but it is a tremendous blessing and opportunity to be transformed.

With roommates and friends before heading back up to the square to finish out a wonderful conference weekend!

Sister Asay (from Texas) and I were SO excited about Dinner Sunday night.  A local stake made us homemade Cafe Rio! Ahhh! :)

"What we give up only blesses us and prepares us for exaltation; there is no such thing as a sacrifice." (a quote shared with me by a fellow missionary).

I love you all and hope you have a most marvelous week!

Love always,
Sister Briggs

SHOUTOUTS: Sister McDougle, Zach Hansen, Carmen Bone, Danny Gessell, Joe Morris, Kenny Hutchings, Alexx Levya, Caroline Slater, Bryan & Casey, the beautiful Ensign King Family, Briana Layton and her cousins, Robbie Hernandez, Cory, Joe Peters, Sister Stephenson and Kate Thornock :)

Our amazing Zone Leaders (Sister Martinez from Spain and Sister Hvistendahl from Greenland) after our District Meeting...amazing spiritual thought from Sister Huffaker from California who shared with us her own version of Ether 12:27 (about making weaknesses strong).  She compared it to Pokemon and said , "Gotta teach 'em all!"  We love her :)

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