Nikki's email from April 6th!
"cathedral! in gent"
"at the castle!"
Hey everybody! What a wonderful week--General Conference was outstanding--and I haven't even watched the last session yet (we'll do that today). I put a star next to each speaker's name that I felt really spoke to me...and I ended up starring all the talks. Each speaker was so inspired, inspiring, loving, and amazing. After I talk about my week I'll go through some of the things I learned.
Monday we went to Gent! It was really fun--we ate at Pizza Hut (wohoo so European....actually it is a lot different here, but still...the Elders from our Zone wanted to go....). Anyways, Gent is really beautiful--we went in a couple of beautiful cathedrals and also a castle there. It was really fun! We had a really cool miracle that night--we had the impression to call up Ann and invite her to come to Family Home Evening at Sister Vanwawa's (she has us over for FHE if we have investigators to bring). She was able to come and we watched the first half of the General Sister's Meeting--it was so good. Ann got pretty emotional and told us that she had just had the most terrible day and that she felt very peaceful with us. She felt the spirit very strongly--something that has been difficult for her. Her and Sister Vanwawa clicked really well too--it was such a spiritual experience. We are going to Ann's tonight for dinner and a lesson :) she is so sincere, kind, and has a true and pure desire to follow God.
We met with Sena this week--she was baptized recently but hasn't been able to come to church because of her crazy work schedule. We watched part of Sister's Conference with her as well--she loved it. She is from Africa and has such a cool way of expressing what she believes. We will be meeting with her more in the future.
Brother Schiltz told us to visit with a woman who owns "The Little British Shop" in the centrum--he gave her a Book of Mormon a while ago. We visited her (and got some cadburry eggs for easter :) ) and have a great discussion with her about our church and what she believes. And she has the cutest little shop--I'm excited to chat with her more.
I had an experience this past week that I will never forget. Susan, a less active, called us a little while ago to schedule an appointment, and this past week was our appointment. We didn't really know what to expect or what her story was, but we prayed to have the spirit with us and we prepared according to the impressions we had. From the moment we sat down she was pretty closed off and very convinced that the Church was wrong. We asked her why she asked us to come, and she wasn't really sure--she had a friend from Gent (I had dinner with her when I was on exchanges) that told her she had the missionaries over and that it helped.
She was very open in her concerns and was very convinced that she was right. I don't think I have ever felt so guided by the Spirit. I sat, listening to her talk, and I said a silent prayer to Heavenly Father asking for guidance. And He guided me and Sister Young. We testified powerfully of the Book of Mormon and of the truth of the Church. We made some progress with her, and both of us left that lesson with pain in our hearts that she was so unopen to search for the truth, but with strengthened personal testimonies.
Now, for GENERAL CONFERENCE!!! Wasn't it amazing?? A couple things I really loved:
Elder Bednar's talk on fear was so amazing--I loved when he was talking about the final judgement and said "I don't believe we will be afraid of Him at all." I also loved when he said that we cannot be good enough on our own--we are made whole only through the Atonement.
I loved Wilford Anderson's talk about "learning the dance steps" and how we need to "listen to the music" to learn the steps--and relating that to how we need to heart the spiritual music in our hearts to learn to "dance" in the gospel.
I loved Michael T. Ringwood's talk about doing good things because we love God--not because we want recognition or power.
President Uchtdorf's talk on grace was so beautiful--I am so excited to study all of the talks again and again!
A couple things that really stood out to me from Conference was that I want to work more on totally relying on the Spirit and focusing on the Savior. I am so grateful for the leaders of the church and their inspired words they shared with us.
I love you all! I know that Jesus Christ lives--I am so grateful for that knowledge and truth.