April 29, 2015
We had the Anziano Bednar Conference on Monday and it was just as mind blowing as you might imagine. I loved the Conference so much not because I sat 4 feet from an apostle of God, but because I was able to be taught by the Spirit cosi tanto! Anziano Bednar is an amazing teacher. He used D&C 88:122 as the guide for Conference:
Appoint among yourselves a teacher, and let not all be spokesmen at once; but let one speak at a time and let all listen unto his sayings, that when all have spoken that all may be edified of all, and that every man may have an equal privilege.
We appointed the Holy Ghost as the teacher and had a discussion among all 241 of the missionaries and the visiting General Authorities. I learned a lot on how to be a better teacher. Anziano Bednar easily could have given a great talk that would be very beneficial to us. But he let us talk and we learned and were edified by our own comments. One thing that we talked a lot about was moral agency. We are not objects, no one can make us do anything. We are agents. We act. But we, as endowed members of the church, don't have the same agency as others. We have covenanted with the Lord to represent Him in all that we do. Quindi, we don't have the freedom to do whatever we want, we have covenanted to do God's will. Often we think of covenants as blessings for us and we sometimes forget the significance of the promises we have made. They are ALL about the Lord and not about us. We have (in the words of my companion) "una grande responsibilita!!" We cannot afford to have bad days. But, we are human, and things get hard. That is what the Atonement is for. We can receive strength from the Atonement. The Atonement can carry us when we think we can't go any further. It has carried me. It has given me power when I have needed it most. I know we can do great things (MIRACLES!) when we remember and ACT as a convenant keeping people. I think the key is to understand. We need to remember exactly who we are: Children of a very real God who loves us and knows us, then we will receive the desire to do His will. We have an investigator in particular that says she wants to join the Church but she has a BILLION questions that get in the way. The other day she told us that our problem wasn't that we didn't have all the answers but that we didn't have questions (personally). She always asks have you not asked this questions -- nope! I have never needed to ask a lot of questions, because I know with my whole heart that this Church is true. Once you know with your heart, your head stops wondering about it. True understanding comes to the heart not the head.
Yesterday we ALMOST set a baptism date with one of our investigators. It was one of the most powerful and spirit-filled lesson that I have had on the mission. We really tried to apply what we learned from the Conference and let the Spirit guide the lesson completely. She said that she knows she will be baptized but she isn't sure on the date yet. We asked to pray about it. I am so happy to see these people progress here in Bologna.
Oh, Saturday was Independence Day here in Italy! It was fun to see all the people out celebrating. Our bus got stuck on the way to an appointment because of a parade of WW2 vehicles doing a parade. It was really cool because there were a lot of American vehicles.
I kind of forgot everything else that happened this past week because of the conference. It was so great to be so spiritually filled... we are overflowing over here. It was also great to see all my past companions. Before the Conference started they asked us to sit and read our scriptures. I opened up to Alma 29:
Yea, and that same God did establish his church among them; yea, and that same God hath called me by a holy calling, to preach the word unto this people, and hath given me much success, in the which my joy is full.But I do not joy in my own success alone, but my joy is more full because of the success of my brethren, who have been up to the land of Nephi. Behold, they have labored exceedingly, and have brought forth much fruit; and how great shall be their reward! Now, when I think of the success of these my brethren my soul is carried away, even to the separation of it from the body, as it were, so great is my joy. And now may God grant unto these, my brethren, that they may sit down in the kingdom of God; yea, and also all those who are the fruit of their labors that they may go no more out, but that they may praise him forever. And may God grant that it may be done according to my words, even as I have spoken. Amen.
Exactly how I felt :) I am so thankful to be here in the Italy, Milan mission, representing my Savior.
Remember who you are!!!
Sorella Dani Hamblin
Sorella Hogan (found a few previous companions) at the Bednar Conference.
Sorella Hastings at the Bednar Conference.
Sorella D'Ambrosio at the Bednar Conference.
Sorella Distante's usual stance. Italians are very expressive. :)
She is always cold too!
Love serving with her though!