Week 9 is really late!!! This is not the fault of Elder Jorgensen, but here at the home front. I guess it took me a almost a week to get over the shock of the forthcoming message!!! The first half of this message is Elder Jorgensen's recap of how much he loved General Conference (that is the shocking part). The second part, way down below, is the recap of his weekly experiences. We think he is pretty amazing. Here is Elder Jorgensen...
Guess who loves Conference?!?!?!?! Elder Jorgensen!!! I'll say it again!!! GUESS WHO LOVES CONFERENCE?!?!? ELDER!!! JORGENSEN!!!!!! What, you wanna hear it one more time??? ELDER JORGENSEN LOVES HIM SOME GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Man, conference was good!!! Would all of those in favor please, make it manifest??
Any opposed?? Watch it again.
Allow me to share with you some of my favorite quotes, if you will. They probably aren't all verbatum because I was writing them down but there are still some good ones.
Saturday Morning Session
-Edward Dube- Btdubs I could listen to him talk all day, his accent was inspiring!!
"Never look back, only look forward to what you still have to do." As a missionary I love this one because it reminds me to stay focused on the work, and to work as hard as I can!
"Faith always points towards the future." That one made me ask myself where am I willing to let my faith take me?
-David A. Bednar - I really liked this talk, I just didn't write a lot down. The one I did get was
"How is it possible that tithing funds work so simply? It is simple. This is the Lord's Church." I think that it is really significant that an Apostole of the Lord chose to talk about tithing... and it is really cool/mind-blowing to think about how well designed the tithing program is.
-Dieter F. Uchtdorf -
"Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." BOOM. Short. Simple. Powerful. And it's also a really cool way to think about it that I'd never thought of before, and I mean our faith is one of the few things no one should be able to take from us, nor should they be able to damper it. Our faith is OURS, we shouldn't question it, but let it shine as a light to others. Another quote that really goes well with this one is
"Nurture your faith, even if it is in the sandy soils of doubt." Again, BOOM. I like it because Faith is the most basic principle of this Gospel that we teach, and we have to nurture and grow our faith because without faith nothing happens.
Saturday Afternoon Session
-Boyd K. Packer"The best place to rear children is in a Gospel centered home."
"Keep scripture reading a part of your regular routine."
-D Todd Christofferson
"A mother can exhort an influence unequaled by any other person." Mom this one made me think of you a lot because you know you have been a successful mother when you get your children out on missions. I know people can see how well you raised me through my actions out here, and I also know people can look at you back at home and say that you sent out a good missionary.
"The world has enough women who are tough. We need more who are kind." Again, mom that made me think of you because you are undoubtedly one of, if not the, kindest person I know.
"Jesus' power came from his single minded devotion to the will of the Father." This one made me think once again that I really need to be focused on this work, that I really need to be trying my best.
"Do not be afraid to apply your good influence." This quote was talking about mothers, and I definitely think that is a good way to apply it, but I also think that we all have an influence in some way or another with the people we interact with, and sometimes we are afraid to share this wonderful message of the Gospel with them, but we don't need to be.
-S. Gifford Neilsen- I'm not going to lie, I thought this guy was a little bit goofy. But, nevertheless, he said some powerful things.
"Whatever our age, capacity, or calling, we are as one." BBBOOOOOOOMMMMMM. Ephesians 4:10 if I'm not mistaken says one faith, one baptism. D&C 4 talks about an eye single to the glory of God... we all have one purpose in this life and that is to help others come unto Christ.
"Pray for missionaries serving in your area and their investigators, every day, by name. The only way to do this is to shake their hand, read their badge, and get to know them." I need to come up with another sound effect other than boom.... but BOOM. I know before I left that the missionaries were just the missionaries, they've always been there, they will always be there, and a lot of times there doesn't seem like much need to talk to them. Now, as a missionary, I am on the other side of that mentality, that all people see is the badge and they just assume I was born and bred to be a missionary, and that that's all I am. A lot of times people don't see the person behind the badge, thus creating the mentality "the missionaries." But, surprisingly enough, not one missionary I've talked to has the same life story. I haven't met any 2 that act the same. We all had different lives before our missions and for this reason we have been called to represent the Gospel with the same purpose, as one, but we are a diverse unit. Aight I'll get off the soap box now...
-Timothy Dyches- This man was President of the OPM before Morby, so I payed pretty good attention to his talk.
"Faith precedes the miracle." Like I was saying, faith is the most basic concept of this Gospel. It is the foundation for everything. When we move forward, we move forward in faith, sometimes not knowing what will come but all of the time believing that we can get through it, learn from it, and ultimately benefit from it."
"Have faith in the Savior's timing and purposes for you." God and Jesus know each of us, personally, individually, better than we know ourselves. We just have to have devoted minds single to the will of the Father and let Him work through us.
-Jeffrey R. Holland- Love this guy. He is amazing, and I thought his talk was pretty unique too.
"I am a vigorous advocate of square shoulders and positive thinking." I liked that one because sometimes it's hard not to get discouraged out here, but being negative doesn't help the situation at all.
"Above all, never lose faith in your Father in Heaven." Wait a second... faith... again?? That's weird... it's like maybe they are trying to say faith is important or something."
"God's love for you is there whether or not you deserve it. It is simply always there."
"Take the sacrament every week.''
"Never lose hope."
"If the bitter cup does not pass, drink it! And be strong!" Challenges come and go... some stick around longer and are more difficult than others. But with faith, we can push forward, get through it, and benefit from it.
"Patiently enduring some things is part of mortal education." I just liked that one plainly because of how impatient I am sometimes... and it reminded me that patience is a very important virtue to have.
"We are infinitely more than our limitations or afflictions." It's been awhile so I'm gonna bust it out again... BBBBBBBBBBBBOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can straight up see myself having that as a quote in my house someday!!!! BBBBBBOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMM!!!!!!
"Broken minds can be healed the same way broken bones are healed."
-M. Russell Ballard- I really liked his talk too... but you probably guessed I was gonna say something like that.
"There is an urgency for each one of us to share this Gospel." Yeah there is!
"Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together in the Lord's vineyard and bring souls unto him." Word.
"Make the decision to do what Jesus Christ has asked you to do."
"We must watch for opportunities to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ." I like how he says that we need to be watching, as in we need to be taking active roles in looking for ways to share this message with others. We can't just sit around and expect for opportunities to come to us.
"Sharing the Gospel is our responsibility."
"The voice of the Good Shepherd is your voice, and my voice."
"You can pray for the faith and strength to share the Restored Gospel."
"If you want to teach more, talk about the Gospel more."
"The key is that you be inspired of God, that you ask for inspiration."
"Whoever enters our meetinghouses should feel at home." I love how plain, simple, and powerful that one is. Obviously, when people come to Church, we want them to feel welcome, but many times it doesn't happen. It is a place of the Lord and we need to make sure all who enter can feel of his love."
"Unity is not achieved by ignoring or isolating members who seem to be different."
Dieter F. Uchtdorf-
"Even when we think we cannot rise up, there is still hope."
"Mankind can repent. However this does not mean we should become comfortable in our weaknesses or sins."
"Godly sorrow leads to a conversion and change of heart. It causes is to hate sin."
"Repentance should be a transformation, not a torture or a torment." Both of these quotes are really good because the only way we can feel the power of the Atonement is if we have the faith to try it for ourselves, if we believe that it can work and even better work mighty changes within us.
"You may occasionally stumble, but you will not be defeated."
"Falling is what we mortals do."
"There will be times when you think you cannot continue on. Trust in the Savior and His love." Again, Christ knows all of us on a deeply personal level. He knows what we are going through even when we might not think anyone else does.
"We mortals do not become champions without effort or discipline; or, without making mistakes."
"Rise up, and follow in the footsteps of our Redeemer and Savior, and one day you will look back with gratitude that you chose to follow the Savior and his Atonement."
Henry B. Eyring
''You cannot repair spiritual damage unless you have a vibrant testimony."
President Thomas S. Monson- I think it is pretty noteworthy to say that our Prophet, the man himself, chose to talk about something as common and simple as home teaching. That that is the message he decided to share should in and of itself be important.
"Home teaching is the response to modern revelation."
"If you would win a man to your counsel, first instill confidence in him that you are his good friend." I have seen this a couple times already in my short mission experience. Most of the time to even have a small conversation with someone they have to see me as more than a missionary knocking on their door. They have to see that I care about them, that I want them to be happy, and that I am a real person instead of a robotic missionary, and then things usually go smoother.
"If any of you has slipped into complacency, there is no time like the present to rededicate yourself." This goes along with the idea that we should always be trying to improve some aspect of our lives, always working on improving our weaknesses. And we can never be perfect, but we can try with everything we've got.
Sunday Morning Session
Henry B. Eyring
"We must expect that it will take the help of God, and time, to polish us as we pass through mortality."
"We may be insignificant in our own eyes, and in the eyes of others... But the truth remains we are children of God." And that reminded me of another quote I have somewhere in my scriptures, I don't remember who it's by but I remember it goes something like, "Our value in the eyes of God does not fluctuate like the stock market. It is fixed; we are his children and he loves us."
"Joy is guaranteed for the faithful."
Dallin H. Oaks
"The role and perceived necessity of Fathers is diminishing."
"Our policies our determined by the truths God has identified as unchangeable."
"Man's laws cannot make moral what God has declared immoral."
"Like our pioneer ancestors, we should push our personal handcarts forward with the same boldness they exhibited."
"All men have their fears. But those who face their fears with dignity have courage as well."
Bonnie L. Oscara
"The decisions you are called upon to make on a daily basis have eternal consequences."
"If you do not have a testimony that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the only true church on the earth, now is the time." I liked this one because it applies to anyone. It was directed at the youth, but anyone, no matter their position in life, can pray to find out that this is true.
"Conversion comes as we act upon righteous principles."- And to act on those righteous principles, what do we need?? Anyone?? Anyone?? FAITH!
Richard J Maynes
"The challenges we face, if successfully endured, will be to our ultimate benefit." One of the ways we can successfully face our challenges is to draw on the powers of the Atonement to help us get through them.
"You must become the rock the river cannot wash away." Our faith has to be so strong that we never question it; never doubt it. We have to do what we know is right all the time.
"Let us run with patience the race that is set before us." That is a quote from the Bible, and it talks about racing. Word.
Richard G. Scott
"The sons were fortified in the faith of their mothers.'' Mommy, that's you!!
"Fortify weak areas to create strength."
"The Lord sees weaknesses differently than he sees rebellion."
"Repentance is not punishment; it is the glorious path to a hope filled future."
"Make the spiritual development of your children a very high priority."
President Thomas S. Monson.- I really liked how at the beginning of this talk he talked about his wife and how he missed her and how he knows they will see each other again. It was really powerful to hear.
"Sadness and suffering are universal."
"Difficulties allow us to change for the better."
"Were it not for challenges to overcome or problems to solve, we would remain much as we were."
Quentin L. Cook
"Righteous living is a prerequisite for assisting the Lord in his work."
"If we allow our culture to reduce the relationship between children and mothers/grandmothers, and those who nurture them, we will come to regret it." BOOM, there is nothing like a mother's love!
Niel L. Anderson
"Sincerely listening to the thoughts and concerns voiced by women is vital."
David M. McKonkie
"We encourage you to dedicate yourself to living the Gospel with more purpose than ever before."
"In truth not one of us can ever stop being a child of God."
So I guess one of the overwhelming themes I noticed was faith, just because it is at the base of everything we do. I also noticed how we all need to be one in purpose, and that unity is very important. Honestly I could probably find a way to relate all of the talks together, as I was typing all of this out I kept noticing connections that I didn't yesterday or Saturday, and I hope you guys see some of them too!!
Alrighty... I think that's about it. I wrote down a lot more that I could share but I'm pretty sure as much as I wrote was getting boring already...:) So, that's it for the first half of this week's letter! When I get back from b-ball I will tell you guys more about the events of the week and send some pics!!!
I love you guys!! Don't forget to nurture your faith!!! Talk to you soon!!!
Elder Travis Jorgensen
OH MY GOODNESS I AM TERRIBLE AT BASKETBALL!!
OH before I forget... 80 thousand Missionaries!!!!!! 80 THOUSAND!!!! I also think it's kinda cool because October 9th will be the actual year mark for the day the age got changed, and that will mark a month for me out in the field... pretty cool in my opinion. To answer your earlier questions, no, I am pretty sure I was not on tv when the CCM was spoken of... He must have done that between now and when I left because we didn't have any live speakers come to us. HOWEVER, directly after Saturday morning's session there was a little clip about the CCM. I saw that come on and flipped out, I was jumping up and down and probably got a little to excited but that's ok. I think there is a chance I might have been on that one... maybe. Right after they interviewed Presidente Pratt, they showed a short clip of a lot of missionaries gathering in a room... That room was the seminary room and the group of missionaries was the group that arrived and left with me... It was brief so I didn't get to check but it's possible! And in all honesty it might be possible that I was on during the actual session too, I just know that when I saw the speaker and knew he didn't speak while I was there, I automatically assumed I wouldn't be in any of the pictures. But some of the pictures they showed were of generations older than me.... so idk.
We FINALLY had some stuff happening last week. Por fin!!! Last Monday we were headed to our last planned appointment of the night, after having everything fall through, AGAIN. So right before we knocked on the door we looked at each other and said, "Let's get a lesson." And they opened the door and we got in and we ended up teaching them for about 30 minutes about the book of Mormon. Their name is the XXXX family and the best part is they are a family of 7!!!!!! 5 of them listened to our lesson and the only reason the others didn't is because they were busy doing stuff. So that was good.
This is Hermana YYYYY, she is a member we found a couple weeks ago when we were going by members' houses trying to squeeze some references out of them. When she saw us, she just got ridiculously happy and started talking and talking. She is from South America so I don't understand much of what she says, but really she just needs someone to listen to her. I don't know all of her story; Her husband died awhile ago and somehow she got to the home where she is living. The people taking care of her don't speak any Spanish and she doesn't speak any English, so she is literally alone pretty much all of the time. Elder Cooper and I both agree that when we are with her there is not a better use we could be putting our time towards, because our job is to help others come to Christ and the way her face lights up when she sees us lets us know she needs some love and we are doing our job when we are with her. We try to see her once a week and it is usually one of my favorite parts of the week.
Also on Wednesday we taught 4 other lessons, making our total for the day 5. That alone is almost more than I've gotten all the weeks previously combined. We hit up a few more less actives, and we got una fecha suave (soft baptismal date) for ZZZZ. She wants to be baptized in a river... luckily she asked a member to do it! But hopefully on Oct 20th I should get my first baptism!! The other member present we got on Wednesday also happened to be my first Bible-bashing experience!!! Que divertido!!!! The investigator we taught is named QQQQ, and he is a die hard Catholic. I kinda think he thought the purpose of our meeting was so he could teach us, because EVERY TIME we would try to do part of the first lesson, he would go, "Miren:..." and then go OFF! Miren basically means look here, or look, but commanding and forcefully. We managed to get a few testimonies in but the Spirit was not present at all! However when we left we left him with a Book of Mormon, and though he only believes on the Bible he flipped through it a little before we left. OH and that guy speaks freaking fast, paisa (Mexican Redneck or hardcore native) spanish, and "That ain't what they taught me in the MTC."
On Thursday we took our quarterly temple trip... pictures coming. It was pretty epic, I mean what else does one expect from the Temple? We had to get rides from members, and they got headsets to translate it into Spanish... except the new video hasn't been translated yet... Pero esta bien I shall see it one day!!!
Also on Thursday you guys' package came. Freaking getting mail as a missionary is the best, it's like Christmas everytime
Have I told you guys about TIWI yet?? No? I didn't think so... Tiwi I am fairly certain is the brain child of someone who is a back seat driver as a hobby. It is a system that you can install in your car and it gets mad at you if you drive too fast, brake too hard, turn to sharp, don't put on your seatbelt... and pretty much everything. It also records how fast you drive. The only thing is that since I have gotten out here, the speaker in the Tiwi of our car has been broken... so Elder Cooper couldn't hear what he was doing wrong, he just saw the red light flash at him. Well, suddenly, on Friday, the speaker decided to work again... and the rest of Tiwi decided to lose it's mind. Pretty much it started saying random stuff that wasn't happening and it was repeating "no driver/invalid driver'
Remember how last week I kinda whined a little because it had been raining a lot?? Or maybe I whined a lot, but whatever:) Well, it hasn't really rained much since that venting session I had... In fact... a like an hour after I sent that email last week, the sun came out and started shining, and it's been shining pretty much all week. The weather here is bipolar... I am just afraid of when the rain comes to stay... but that will be ok because I have a SICK rain jacket, and I either have to wear that or a suit ALL THE TIME until next conference!!! Yippeeeee!!!!!
Alright familia mio creo que este es todo... (I think that's all)
I love you guys tons!!! I miss you a lot!! Wes keep doing good on your running!!!!
Elder Travis Jorgensen