April 2, 2012

This week has been a great week! Fairly busy, but really nothing out
of the ordinary, except for the fact we had Zone Conference on
Thursday and at the Zone Conference we had a scripture chase which I
will tell you more about in a minute. Of course there was also General
Conference which was amazing once again. Being a missionary and
watching General Conference at the same time is a special, wonderful
thing. We watched all of the sessions except for Sunday Afternoon
session, which we will have to wait until the Ensign comes out to
read. Of course all of the talks were good, and some of your
favourites were mine as well, but I really appreciated Elder Bednars
once again. The importance of us having Power to accompany our
Authority, and as well that we as members of the church NEED to be
different than other people. Of course that is not to say we are
better in any way and God doesn't love us more, but we have a
responsibility because of the knowledge we have! Great talk it was.

This past week President Preston asked us to write to him our
conversion story, and I felt that it would be good to send it to my
family as well. So here it is:

"My conversion story is special to me really only because it is mine.
To everyone else and the way they look at it they would probably say
it is nothing special, but I know differently. The reason I say this
is because I never have had a Joseph Smith experience, a Nephi
experience or even anything out of the ordinary for most peoples
standards. My conversion story is one that has taken years to unfold
with no specific beginning, climax or ending. My conversion is
continuing on even as I write this letter. Mine has been a simple one,
simple but powerful to me.

Growing up, raised in the church I have had many others testify to me
of the truthfulness of the church which I am thankful for, and really
I have my parents to thank for the conversion that has taken place in
my life thus far. After every Family Home Evening, General Conference
or Sacrament meeting, my parents have always had the expectation of
their children to find it out for themselves and that is exactly what
I have done. Every commandment given and every principle taught I have
applied into my life, afterwhich the promised blessings have always
come. Maybe I didn't realize it all the time at the time it came, but
I know they have come, if only that blessing is me becoming a better

Every feeling of peace and comfort coming from the Holy Ghost confirms
to me the church is right, and it is real. I can't say I have never
had questions or even doubts, but I know as long as I follow the
pattern of Listen, Remember, Understand, Apply, & Become I will
receive my answer. My conversion has not been a specific point in time
conversion, but has been a lifelong conversion process which will
continue on as I go to church, read the Book of Mormon, and then pray
about all the things I learn. Then the feeling will come that it is
right and that it is good, and really that is enough for me, because
every good thing comes from God, I believe that."

Now I can tell you about the scripture chase. I really enjoyed
preparing for and competing in it. There is a scripture list in the
mission called the EMM Scripture list, (imagine that) with 125
scriptures. So we prepared and memorized where they all were. Elder
Okeson and I did quite well all the way through and made it to the
final round. The first round was easy because they would read the
scripture from the beginning and then we would ahve to go and find it.
Then I must say I was thrown off a bit with the clever clues and other
types of introductions to the scriptures in the final rounds. For
example they would play a song on the piano or draw a picture,
sometimes there would be more than one that could be the right one
which threw everyone off. We really had a good time.

The whole point of course was to help us learn the scriptures better
and then from that use them in the lessons we teach. It has done just
that for Elder Okeson and I. We prepared well and competed well, but
most importantly we are now ready to fully apply D&C 11:21. We have
obtained the word in part, and now we want to go Declare it to others.
I love the feeling of someone asking a question and really the first
thing that pops into my mind is a scripture that they can read for
themselves which can help answer the question. This activity has
helped me to more fully let the scriptures do the heavy lifting. It
was also amazing to see the number of scriptures used by the prophets
and apostles during General Conference on the EMM scripture list and
Mission Vision. Every time I heard one it made me smile inside,
thinking, I know where that scripture is. :)

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