May I just say, Zone Conference is soooo cool! For all you preparing to serve a mission, just know that Zone Conference is where you take a pen and a notebook and write until your hand cramps and feel so much love and the Spirit....man! It is such a blessing! President Burt is such an amazing man! He loves us all individually and you can really feel it! He is called of God. He shook each of our hands individually and looked into our eyes and told us that he loves us. I took so many good notes and learned so much from the people giving trainings and from the Spirit...man! I made a list of goals after Zone Conference...and maybe one of my goals should have been to remember all my goals!! hahaha always striving for perfection!! That's something we are always doing on a mission...setting goals. At first it was really overwhelming...but now I just love it! There is always something to reach for and when you accomplish it! WOOHOO!! All the good feelings!!
There was a sweet lady that gave a talk on Sunday (LOVE SUNDAYS!!!) and she talked about a sign that we all need to see when we are going through a trial. It is so easy for us to say "why me?!" or to freak out in one way or another not knowing what to do. The sign says: "QUIET! God at work" Really though...that hit me with such force! Heavenly Father knows the plan and if we trust in Him, we will get through and overcome anything we are put through! We just need to let Him lead us and do the talking! RIGHT?! It's so good!
I came up with an analogy this last week...just bear with me (classic LDS saying) and I would love to share it with you! It kind of shows the age group we are working with here in West Bank. ;)
The Savior lived the perfect life. = He has knitted the perfect scarf. We all are going through life knitting our own individual scarves. When we sin, we drop a stitch. Sometimes we try to pick up the dropped stitch ourself, but we can't. Sometimes we watch it drop helplessly, and don't know what to do. Sometimes we don't care or don't even notice we dropped a stitch or two until later we notice a hole. Each stitch dropped makes a hole, and dropping mores stitches makes a bigger hole. All we can do is keep knitting because we don't have the capability of picking up those stitches once they are dropped. The Savior does. If we turn to Him and hand Him our knitting needles, He can and will pick up the stitches. As we knit, we cannot go back to a stitch and pick it up. We would have to unravel the whole length of scarf to go back to that one dropped stitch...and we can't turn back time. Again, if we turn our needles over to the Savior, He will be able to present our scarves to Heavenly Father. Some will be longer than others. Some will be short. Some will be practically flawless with just a few holes...while others may appear as a mass of string, practically transparent. As we turn to the Savior, He will take our scarf and perfect it. All the kinks, holes, and imperfections will be fixed before our eyes. Rather than wait for that day to be perfected, I want to try my est to make a perfect scarf now. Rather than call the Savior over to help only when I drop a stitch, I want His complete companionship as I knit. I want to turn my life completely over to Him and allow Him to guide my hands as I stitch by stitch knit my scarf for Heavenly Father!!
I love this gospel! I love how we can always turn to Heavenly Father with anything that may be troubling us! I know that He is always there for us and loves us all individually and perfectly! It makes me think of the movie Facing the Giants. When we win, we praise Him. When we lose, we praise Him. And He will always be there to lift us up even higher! I hope we can all always remember the great sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us and strive to be worthy of the companionship of the Holy Ghost ALWAYS!!! He is the senior companion!!
lots of love from a wannabe Canadian,
Sister Alissa Van Valkenburg
PS. Nanaimo bars are amazing <3