K......talk about the best conference ever!!! This whole week, as I've had to wait in anticipation for it, i literally felt like a giddy little child waiting for Christmas, no lie! As i listened to conference, my testimony was strengthened heaps in the fact that Heavenly Father really has shown us that he loves us so much, by calling a modern day prophet and apostles! Their words truly were his words and were not only answers to prayers and questions I had personally, but also for like EVERYONE we are teaching! We truly are so blessed to have General Conference! We were able to have a few investigators there which was really good, and them along with Brian (our recent convert) were very moved by the messages given, the spirit was so strong and I know that Heavenly Father is sooo aware of us!
PARVONAY AND KARIM ARE GETTING BAPTISED ON THE 26TH!!! How amazing is that?!? This week we went over to talk to them about the book of Mormon, and they told us that they know it is true! They know the church is true, and they love it! During this time they had been looking for a house, and finally after the committed to baptism they were able to get a house the next day! God is blessing them for their righteous desires and actions, as he will for each of us as we do the same! Please continue to keep them in your prayers:)
This week was really really really good one. For a lot of different reasons. We had a lot of little miracles but probably the best part about my week (aside from Parvonay and karim committing to baptism!!!) was when Marc Lambert (the less active man I've been telling you about) called us Tuesday night. He reported how his meeting with bishop went! He sounded so excited the minute we answered, and he went on to tell us that HE IS GOING THROUGH THE TEMPLE ON NOVEMEMBER 16TH TO RECEIVE HIS ENDOWMENTS! He has been progressing little by little in the past 6 months, but the light switch just went off and now he is on fire! He prays and reads everyday, he has a calling, and is even a ward missionary now! Sister Kanee and I have permission to go with him through the temple on the 16th of next month and I seriously cannot wait!!! He couldn't help but just thank us missionaries after telling us about his great news, but really I know it was NOT us! The lord is the one who has truly softened his heart, and helped him see the bigger picture and it is just the most beautiful thing! I'm so excited for him to make more covenants with our Heavenly Father in the House of the Lord!
Last thing, was this week we taught a family of 6 (another answer to a prayer- I had been praying for my companion and I to find a family to teach...sure enough...prayers answered;)) and as I looked at them, and their wide eyes concerning the things we were saying...I realized again that the most important place to learn, is in the home and ESPECIALLY as a family! This week while reading in the bible dictionary about temples, I read that the second most sacred place (temple being the first) is the home. This is sooo true! As I looked at this family I couldn't help but feel so much excitement from my Heavenly Father that families are what need to come together in today's world. They need to be strong. and not just "strong" alone, but strong in the gospel. I know that Having the Savior AND HIS ATONEMENT at the center of the things taught and lived in the home, is most important. This family is coming along well, and 2 of the kids have already received a witness that the book of Mormon and the message we share is true! The lord is definitely working through the "rising generation" to convert the rest of his children, it's a beautiful thing to see.
Update on Rowena...she is down to one cigarette a day and is doing awesome! She loved conference, and she loves the Book of Mormon...she is getting close to committing to baptism...but is still waiting for an answer from God that she needs to be baptised again (she was baptised as a baby) so please keep her in your prayers as well. There is so much potential in our area right now, and our sweet ward mission leader and bishop prayed about a number goal for baptisms to reach, until the year ends...and came to the conclusion that Heavenly Father needs 20 of his children (in our ward) baptised before the end of the year! This is HUGE!!! Our whole mission aims for 25 per month, but with nooooo doubt, as we exercise our faith and work our hardest, this goal can be met! We have already started to see so many miracles, with 2 girls now, telling us that they are ready to be baptised (members friends). Gordon B. Hinckley said that the day would come (in western Australia) that non members would be coming to the missionaries looking for the truth...we have already seen this begin to happen in our zone and in our companionship. I have never seen the work hasten so quickly...it's kind of scary haha. Our Saviors coming is nigh...we need to be ready. We need to repent NOW. There really is not time to procrastinate. As we declare repentance to our investigators, I literally feel as if it's not me moving my mouth...it is the most surreal thing...but I know that "this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God" (Alma 34:32)...we truly cannot put off repenting any longer. We have the free gift of the atonement waiting to be used...don't take it for granted. I have felt the power of the atonement in all things, both big and small...I testify it truly swallows up our pains. As I bore testimony of this yesterday, one of our less active lady's flipped at me for saying that; but I cannot deny it... the power of the atonement is real. it is powerful, and it is the means for CHANGING!
This week i had a lot of little tender mercies when my eyes were opened even more, to how much Dad has done for us! Lets just say, when I'm home I'm going to help dad with ANYTHING he asks, WHENEVER he asks...He has done so much for us kids and it's all been done purely out of love...dad, you are such a good example to me. There are a lot of missionaries who struggle with talking to people...they are scared of rejection. Many of my companions, and even the sisters in our zone right now struggle with that, but I feel soooo grateful for you as my dad because through your example/the things I've watched you do growing up...I LOVE TALKING WITH PEOPLE! I can probably count on one hand the number of times, I've felt intimidated to go talk to people...dad...your the best. I owe this gift to you! I also thought back to the time when Hunts and I were pulling the weeds in the massive garden, (feeling like we had been there 293847298374 hours...beginning to feel tired, and just being a girl ;) ) and I began to cry. As I told Hunter how nervous I was to move out for college. Well Hunts was the perfect example of Jesus Christ, because rather than telling me to toughen up...he listened to me. He told me that he loved me and that everything was going to be ok! I will never forget that experience:) The Savior (just how hunter demonstrated) is here to listen to us no matter what we've done...I've learned that we are NEVER "unworthy" to pray...if we feel like that, it's Satan telling us that...Satan is the one who teaches us not to pray. I know that Heavenly Father and the Savior will always listen, and send comfort, which is all possible through the beautiful atonement Christ made. I also thought back to a funny experience with Sammy, when her and I were sitting in her room and I would tease her by saying, "if you can get out of the room without my tagging you, I'll buy you ice cream." And then I would stand in front of the door making it totally impossible for her to ever "win the ice cream". I was such a stink Sammy...I'm sorry haha. Thanks for being such a good sport though, you have definitely brought heaps of smiles and laughs into my life. I am also grateful for your strong spirituality...if more children were like you...the whole world would be a different place. I hope you are always making sure to recognize the spirit and the little miracles in your life that bring you closer to Heavenly Father. Be sure to thank him each time you feel the spirit, or feel him help you- it is very important that we acknowledge him and his hand in our life. Then mum, as I listened to conference and heard several talks on the importance of having Mother's IN THE HOME to raise their children, I couldn't help but just feel so much gratitude for you doing this while bring us kids up. Not only did you always cook us beautiful meals, sing to us at night, take us to the park to play, and endless other things...but you told us about our Savior, Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father and the things that they have asked us to do. And even better than that, you lived the things you taught. Having a mother in the home truly is not a common thing anymore, and I'm just grateful that I had you and dad to follow the council of our leaders by putting your family first. Yesterday my companion leaned over to me in conference, and said, "You're parents form their lives around you kids ,didn't they?" I humbly said, "yes, they did". She hasn't had this growing up and hearing and seeing her family life has truly made me so grateful for mine! My companion has literally become my best friend. I can't even begin to explain how close we have grown. She will be an eternal friend of mine. I can't wait to tell you all about her one day, and all the things we've been through...you're in for a treat. But I have learned more from her than I have anyone else while being in the mission. She is one of the best examples in my life, of being truly converted to the gospel, the work, and our Heavenly Father. With transfers being next week...and considering I've been here for 6 months...we will probably get separated and I will leave the area...but I'm just so grateful for all that I have learned!
This week in my interview I was able to account to president on the area, my companion, the sincerity of my prayers, my testimony and many other things...like wise I know we will account to the Savior one day, of all our thoughts, actions, and desires as well. This is something I've really come to understand, and as a result it pushes me to try my best each day. I love you and hope you know how much I pray and fast for you! As my family, next to the Savior, you motivate me and truly have played a role here in the work in Western Australia!
Sister Diondra Ensign