Sunday, December 22, 2013

October 14, 2013

Hey family!

How goes everything? Sounds like everyone is busy and it will only get busier. That’s really good that mom got to start school, sounds like lots of work but it will be well worth it. Hope the kids are doing good, I haven’t heard from them in a while. They write me once but they never respond. Tell them I would love to hear from them.

Well this was a rather long week for us. Although time is flying by, I am scared in 2 weeks with the transfers I will get moved, but I really have liked this area and don’t want to be moved. We had 2 zone conferences (in one of which I gave the training with one of the zone leaders). And some activities that took up a lot of time. But it was good. The only bummer is we didn’t teach nearly as many lessons as we wanted.

So the weekend of general conference a few missionaries here in Celaya got sent home, 2 zone leaders and a former zone leader. And a lot of people got transfers. So we became one solo zone. And we had our district meeting on Tuesday, but we did it as a zone meeting. The president was worried that a lot of people still had things they needed to confess, or to repent for. He assigned me and my former district leader that is now one of the zone leaders to do the zone training together. He assigned us to talk on 2 talks from the Sunday morning session that were really awesome. One was from President Monson the other from Richard G. Scott. I learned a ton, I invite you all to read or listen to them! But I was kind of nervous before the conference, mostly cause I had never done it before, and the president told the other zone leader that "Elder Utley and Elder Poma are going to give the training, they already know what they are going to do". But it went really good, and I was able to share a really good experience I had a few months ago. (I shared it with mom in the handwritten letter.) 

Then we had another zone conference on Friday. It was basically a conference of new rules. We are now going to be living in a prison as the mission. We will be reporting obedience every week; and many, many others but that one that was the biggest for me and most ridiculous. Oh and if I looks weird in pictures we are now required to have a part in our hair or do it all to the side. Anyway I won’t bore you with our new rules.

This week I learned how much a testimony can change a person. We had a few experiences including a really great sacrament meeting. The first is that we visited a less active family that wanted to change wards because of the people in ours. We couldn’t change their mind but we bore testimony about obedience to the rules of which one they should be in, and more than anything listened. Well they came to church and the sister bore her testimony and thanked us and our ward mission leader for visiting and expressed how grateful she was.

Another experience is we visited a family that has 6 years that they haven’t been to church. We asked them a few questions about why and taught a little lesson. At the end they thanked us and said that in 6 years we are the 2nd pair of missionaries that have visited them, and not one member. I thought about that a lot of the week. And I realized why they haven’t been to church in 6 years. Because they told me they know it’s true. And I believe them, but I ask myself why don’t they go if they know what it is? I realized it’s because it’s something they know but a testimony has to be something that we know and we feel. The simple knowledge isn’t enough; we have to feel that the church is true. That’s why the visits we do are so important; it affirms the knowledge that the church is true with feelings, feelings that motivate and convert.

I challenged all of the people in my ward to open their mouth and share their testimony and to help someone feel that the church is true, whether that person is a member or not. And I know that would change lives if we all just shared what we know with accordance to what the Spirit tells us to do. And this week I want to challenge all of you as well to open your mouth and testify to someone that this church is true. I know it will change lives, even if it’s not in this moment.

I love and miss you all
Elder Utley

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