Time for an update from the South! This week was General Conference! For all of you who don't know what that is, I am going to tell you! We have a prophet on the earth today and he has 12 apostles, just like in Jesus' time. Twice a year they speak to the whole world in a conference that is broadcasted into 52 languages. They teach us about things that God would have us do. I LOVE General Conference! Go watch it! www.lds.org then click "General Conference."
One of my favorite talks from General Conference was given by our prophet, President Thomas S. Monson. He spoke about enduring to the end, finishing strong. He said that when we are tested to our limits we are aloud to change and become better than we were before. I love that! I know that stress can greatly increase our growth. Then he continued saying that "During the best of times or the worst of times He (God) is with us. He has promised this will never change." I know that God is always with us and is always aware of us. We are His children. He loves us! Like any good Father he wants the best for us and wants us to grow, that is why he allows hard things to happen. Another quote by President Monson that was given to the women of the Church last weekend said " He has assured us that He will be there to help us if we just ask." So when times get hard, when times are good, when times are in between, turn to God, your Heavenly Father, and pray! He will be there to help you!
STORY: About two or three weeks ago I was walking through a neighborhood, knocking on doors, when I saw an older lady outside scrubbing green stuff off of her white picket fence. My companion and I walked over and started to talk to her and offered to help, she refused saying that she was only doing on section of the fence and was almost done. She insisted that she was having someone else do it tomorrow or something and then went inside. About twenty minutes later we drove past the house and saw her scrubbing her fence! I told my companion that we needed to go and help, my companion agreed but it was awkward because the lady did not want our help or even company before.
So we got out of the car, crossed the street, and started towards the lady. She was surprised to see us and looked a little uneasy. We offered to help her again, then we begged her to let us help. I told her that we are missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and that we strive to represent our Savior Jesus Christ. This means that we try to do good and do the things that He would have done. Then I told her that I know that the Savior would have helped her clean off her fence. (Five minutes later) We promised to not preach to her if she would let us help. She let us help!
She then told us that she used old rags with bleach to scrub off the fence. (As I am wearing a black dress. Bleach + black = disaster!) I insisted that it did not matter that we wear clothes that we don't mind getting dirty because we are on missions to serve people! (It didn't matter one bit about our clothes!) We were able to help clean and scrub her fence. It was such an amazing experience as she slowly opened up to us. We became good friends and we met her disabled grandson who she cares for and raises by herself. We became his friend too; he was 14 and loved airplanes! We were able to learn about her life. True to our word we didn't bring up the gospel although she asked some questions and we slipped good old family values in. We helped her scrub the green slim for a while and then left.
The whole point of this story is that to share the gospel we don't have to talk about scriptures, about the first vision, or church. All we have to do is serve and follow the example of our Savior Jesus Christ. Sometimes we don't preach with words but with actions. One of my favorite quotes it "Preach the gospel and if necessary use words." I love that because I believe that sometimes the Savior would just simply serve other, lighten their day, lift their load without teaching a sermon. I love being a missionary. I love being able to serve others and do it in the name of our Savior.
Will you all find one way to serve another this week? Just a random act of kindness. Open a door. Ask someone how they are doing. Give a compliment. I promise you that as you do this you will be uplifted yourself as your follow the example of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Sister Susan Anderson
This week I get to go to the Temple! I am so excited! Also, last weekend I went to a mission conference in Irmo (a suburb of Columbia) and I got to stay in the mission home! It was so great!