This week was totally opposite from last week! We had so much going on that I can only give you the highlights!
I helped lead my first zone conference this week. It turned out amazing. Topics were open communication with your companion, loving the language, and gratitude. I've really been inspired by gratitude recently. If you have time read the talk "A Grateful Heart" by Ray Huntington given at BYU.
a link is: https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/ray-l-huntington_a-grateful-heart/
In case you don't have the time here is a quick highlight. It begins by quoting a science experiment that compares the levels of happiness among 2 groups of people. Group 1 wrote down 5 problems at the end of the week and group 2 wrote down 5 things they were grateful for at the end of the week. Those that were grateful were significantly more happy. Huntington then goes on to talk about it from a spiritual side. My favorite quote was from President Monson stating, "Sincerely giving thanks not only helps us recognize our blessings, but it also unlocks the doors of heaven and helps us feel God’s love" What I have been doing to try to be more grateful is to write down 2-3 things everyday that I'm grateful for. Its amazing to see just how much I have to be grateful for! I also feel better and have better prayers because of it!
While on exchanges I was able to see an amazing miracle happen. We started knocking doors and on the 3rd door a college aged girl opened and talked to us. We asked her about her beliefs, to which she responded that she wasn't religious and she thought that we were just naive. For some reason, she let us in and we kept talking with her and found that several of her family members had passed away while she was a teenager but she thought the idea of seeing them was again naive. I don't know how but we started talking about life and next thing I knew we were in the middle of a lesson about gods plan for us. We went through every step of the plan. pre-earth, earth and after death. As the lesson went on her questions changed, she started to lean in as she listened, and even wrote notes. The spirit was so strong in the lesson and we could see that it changed her attitude and softened her heart. I can't explain it all via email but to end she said her first prayer ever! and said she wanted to go to church and talk with missionaries, sick! Only problem she actually lives in Sweden and was just here visiting her boyfriend. But we found her the nearest church to her and also submitted a referral for a visit from the missionaries. Who knows what will happen but it was a very special lesson
Lastly I finished the Book of Mormon earlier this week (yes a little late but oh well) and as I finished I felt a calm feeling. I would describe it as "full" not full of anything in particular but it felt good. I guess that's what it was like when the people took of the sacrament and "were filled". I know that the Book of Mormon is truly a book that comes from inspired prophets of God through a modern day prophet of God namely Joseph Smith.
I'm grateful for the many experiences I've had this week! definitely one of the best on my mission!
I love you guys!
Elder Talyon Anderson Perry