One YearWell this past week I completed one year in the mission. And I didn't really do anything to celebrate. We had a big mission conference, my comp and I wore the outfits that we wore on our first day in the MTC to commemorate the day, and then we took a picture with all of the other missionaries that were completing one year. Oh and my amazing companion gave me a box of Nerds:)
It seems weird that I've been doing this for a year...it is almost unreal. But when I look at how I've changed throughout the course of my mission it is obvious I've been here a year. For one, I speak spanish! Fluently. A few times people have asked if I was from Chile, and sometimes they don't know where I'm from...I would think it would be obvious that I'm from the US, but the Spanish throws them off...and then someone told me that I kind of look Chilean too. In the blessing I received before coming on the mission I was told that I would embrace Chilean culture so much that I would cease to think and act like a North American...that is coming true.
ConversionThis last week was really great. We had the mission conference which was so inspiring. We learned about conversion. This Sunday I also spoke in church on the same topic...conversion. We ourselves need to be converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then help others have this same experience of being converted. Being converted means we are changed. We are purified and committed to doing the will of the Lord in all things. In my talk I shared this scripture that tells about how a group of people in the Book of Mormon felt in the moment that they became converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ
And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually. ... And we are willing to enter into a covenant with our God to do his will, and to be obedient to his commandments in all things that he shall command us, all the remainder of our days... (Mosiah 5:2 & 5:5)I want to be even more converted than I am. Until we are perfect we still need to change and convert ourselves even more to what Jesus taught. Conversion is a lifelong process, that comes through small spiritual experiences as we make an effort to keep the commandments. Moments in which I have felt the workings of conversion in my heart have occurred while praying, reading the scriptures, or attending a church meeting. No wonder these are the most basic, but most repeated commandments that God has given us. Through small and simple things are great things brought to pass. Our conversion and eventual exaltation are great things brought to pass by our small efforts to do what the Lord asks of us.
This week was also so great because a young man that Hermana Kemp and I have been teaching was baptised on Sunday. His father (who is a member of the church) cried and his mom, brother, and sister-in-law said that they too will be baptised soon. There is no greater joy than seeing an entire family accept and live the fullness of the Gospel. It is amazing! I love being a missionary, it truly is the work and glory of God:)
Love, Hermana Bowns