Isn't it cool that speakers can speak their native language in conference now? I was hoping to hear president Uchtdorf speak german. Maybe next time. Did I ever tell you that President Morrise's son was companions with Presiden't Uchtdorf's grandson and found out that among his favorite movies is Jack Black's "School of Rock?" I smiled a grand old smile when I found that out :)
As mother predicted, I do have news of a new companion! I will be moving to 답동, to serve as zone leader of 인천 (Incheon) zone with Elder Nemelka. This will be my third area in Incheon, which, consequently, makes me the oldest incheon missionary by far! I will die in Incheon!! :P
I was quite sad to hear that I will be leaving 부평, as I have gotten very close with all of our wonderful members, but I am excited to serve with Elder Nemelka. He is a very hard working missionary and speaks Korean very proficiently! It will be good to learn from him.
I will admit, however, I was a little intimidated by the notion of serving as zone leader. I feel that I am barely learning how to be a district leader! There are such wonderful missionaries in our zone, to whom I look up for an example, and who are seeing great success as a result of their efforts, so hearing that I was being assigned to lead them was a little daunting. It still is daunting!
Yet, I found great strength in General Conference this past weekend. (It was so good!) I enjoyed President Uchtdorf's Priesthood session talk, "Lord, is it I?" in particular, as I feel his advice is the key to missionary work. So, David, Jacob, or anyone else who might be preparing for a mission, I highly recommend reading and re-reading this talk.
Perhaps a mission is less of simply a mandate to serve than it is a call to change one's very nature, in preparation to become an instrument in the hands of the Lord. A comment in President Uchtdorf's talk supports this idea. He promised that as we make pursuing Christ-like attributes our priority, then we will become effective tools in God's hands.
I think there are many missionaries who focus the majority of their time on studying doctrine in great detail, in attempt to understand every point and prepare a complete front against any who question or challenge. Studying doctrine is indeed absolutely essential as a missionary, but as we remember that we are emissaries of Jesus Christ, we realize that, in essence, we are the very message. Once we understand this great truth, I suppose bettering ourselves and becoming like Christ naturally should become the greatest focus of our service. In doing so, we qualify ourselves for grace, which God has explicitly stated He freely gives to the humble. Just as president Uchtdorf stated, that "the first step to discipleship is our asking 'is it I?' I would assert that our constant self evaluation as missionaries provides us with the greatest tool to become effective advocates of truth.
In reflection of this talk, I have come to better appreciate the scripture I chose for my missionary plaque, in Ether. His grace is sufficient for those that humble themselves before Him and have faith in Him. This is exactly what we need as missionaries. Grace. As the qualification for receiving such, to humble oneself, are against basic human nature, we cannot afford to criticize, or judge others! We need to work on ourselves, tirelessly!
That is about it for this week. There were so many good talks in conference that I would love to talk about, but this one made the greatest impact on me.
Love you all so much! Have a great week!