Liebe Familie und Freunde!
What a great weekend! It started with Luisa's baptism! It was so nice and I felt blessed to have been asked to baptize her. She invited many of her friends, so it was a great opportunity to show others how we baptize and for them to feel the great spirit and power of that sacred ordinance.
And then CONFERENCE! I love conference- It really is my favorite holiday. I thought of you all, watching the Saturday and Sunday morning sessions of conference live when we were also watching them live... just at 6pm! I really felt "filled" with the Spirit, and I felt like the conference overall was very personal- like they weren't speaking to everyone all at once, but like a one on one conversation. I like that. What really hit me the most was President Monson's testimony at the end of the Sunday Morning session. He was speaking of the Easter holiday coming up and of Christ, then said: "As His Special Witness, I ..." and continued to bear testimony of the reality of Christ. "As His special witness". not "As one of His special witnesses" or "I bear my special witness", but "As His special witness." The spirit bore witness to my heart that President Monson truly is the Lord's Prophet on the earth today, even His special witness. THE prophet, the only person on earth who holds all the Priesthood keys and is authorized to use and delegate such. The mouthpiece of the Lord, His special witness. What a great blessing. I think I have taken this too much for granted in my life, that we have prophets and apostles on the earth today. I have always admired them and wished to follow their examples of faith and testimony, of service and love, but recently, I have come to appreciate even more the blessing and doctrinal truth of having prophets on the earth once more. We have prophets on the earth again! Just like the Lord did in times of old, He has called prophets to teach us, lead us, warn us, and be those special witnesses of the reality of Christ on the earth- and it's all because God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He called prophets then, He calls them today. It just makes sense! I have heard people trying to give big deep explanations for why we don't need prophets and the confusing ends that are drawn... I trust what the Lord said in section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants, which was given as instructions for the organization of the church- that great event that we will celebrate this week!:
The Lord gave Joseph Smith "power from on high, by the means which were before prepared, to translate the Book of Mormon; Which contains a record of a fallen people, and the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles and to the Jews also; Which was given by inspiration, and is confirmed to others by the ministering of angels, and is declared unto the world by them— Proving to the world that the holy scriptures are true, and that God does inspire men and call them to his holy work in this age and generation, as well as in generations of old; Thereby showing that he is the same God yesterday, today, and forever. Amen." (D&C 20:8-12)
I love the Book of Mormon! It, too, is a witness that God speaks to us and has called prophets for us today! What a great message of hope and truth for the world! God truly loves us just as much today as He loved those at the time of Adam, or the Children of Israel with Moses, or His disciples in Jersalem. I look forward to studying this conference in the next 6 months, preparing for the October conference :-)
I am grateful for this Easter week. It is neat how the Easter week and the week of the organization of the church and passover all line up this year! Cool.
This week was really great of meeting more with Reza and Amo, helping them both prepare for baptism. Reza will be getting baptized this Thursday evening, and Amo in a week or two!! This work is so great. It is a simple work, a non-complicated work that just makes sense, to both the mind and the heart. Reza's father is still with the Book of Mormon busy and feels that it really is true. It is such a blessing to work with so many wonderful people and feel their strength and desire more to learn.
I just felt so uplifted from this last week- conference and baptism and lifing heavy cabinets out of a basement and balloons on a windy day and Berliners... life is so great! I am so grateful to be here!
I sure love you all! Keep smiling!