Monday, April 8, 2013

Where to start... it has been a crazy crazy week haha...


Where to start... it has been a crazy crazy week haha. Elder Gentry's new responsibility has required us to be in Baton Rouge a lot and we haven't had a whole lot of time in our own area. On Thursday he was in a meeting from 9 to 4 and I was tracting with another missionary for almost the whole time. It was actually really fun and exciting to get some doors slammed in your face. You always hear about it, but it is another thing to experience it. But I will tell you about some of those experiences for sure.

Conference was awesome this weekend and you are right dad, it is a nice break from the usual routine and is a great source for revelation and comfort. Elder Gentry was telling me before conference that it is way better as a missionary; it is practically like the super bowl, or as he said for me...the world cup haha. And it really is! It was so exciting and I was looking forward to it all week. And I didn't fall asleep at all, so that was an accomplishment and more importantly, I got more out of this conference than I have ever before in previous ones.

We watched the first 2 sessions in our little branch building and the priesthood session in Baton Rouge at the Stake center. And then yesterday, we watched both sessions with a part member family, the H's and played conference bingo. G., our one youth, is Emma's age and is a funny kid. That was a lot of fun to be over there and felt really comfortable to just be in a family setting. It is true dad that as a missionary you are more focused and sensitive to the spirit and to the talks that are given. Conference has never gone by so fast. I really liked the talks about how to have a successful marriage and family--there were a couple--but one of them was by L  Whitney Clayton.

I really liked the talks by Pres Monson and Pres Uchtdorf in Priesthood about the formula to prepare for a mission and the titles we as priesthood holders have. I really liked the talk by M. Russell Ballard that talked about the priesthood and how the procreation power and the priesthood power are shared by husband and wife to use them to their full divine potential. But along with that, I really liked all of the Apostles' talks (and all the other ones too, haha), and I was able to get a lot out of them. But man... Elder Holland really is a powerful speaker and I hope that everyone can do that, do no more than want to believe and act on that belief. Conference was awesome and I am excited to get the conference issue of the Ensign. It was also cool because I knew that you guys were watching the same thing as me at the same time, listening to the same people and feeling the same spirit. I really felt close to you guys yesterday and I loved it.

A couple other things that happened this week:

- A man that we see answered the door only in his boxer shorts the other day and that was a scary sight haha. (I'll give you a hint... Ab Rocket)

- Elder Gentry and I are both learning a lot with our new busy schedule and how to juggle a lot of things at once. I am really learning how to be a supportive and positive companion. It makes a big difference when you try not to take life to seriously and be happy.

- We knocked a mans door (when i went tracting with Elder Asuao) and he was bald, had a beer stained moustache, really pale skin, scraggly hair and beard and was wearing an LSU shirt. He told us he was a man of many faiths and that he wished us the best of luck with our missions. It was a different, but encouraging meeting haha but as we were walking away he stuck his head out and said to us " I am sorry gentlemen, but I must get back to drinking my beer and smoking my marijuana!" It was strange, but I loved it and had fun with Elder Asuao. He was telling me about a talk by Elder Holland that says it is always the last house, the house that really tests your faith. We were walking back to the car and he said let's knock that last house and give them a Book of Mormon. We knocked and a young girl in her 20's answered the door. We talked to her for a little and found out that she was from Colorado and had a couple of Mormon friends over there. She was really friendly and took the Book of Mormon (with their number in it).  It was cool to see that happen. It won't happen every time, but Heavenly Father has prepared people and we as members of the church and missionaries just have to try to find them and the Lord will put them in our paths. This really is the Lord's work.

I want to end with a last thing that I heard from conference and it came from President Monson, he said "A mission is a family affair." And that is so true. I am happy that I can be here in Louisiana sharing the same blessings that I have received from my family. I love you guys very very much and am looking forward to hearing from you this week!

Thoughts and Prayers always,

Elder Soper

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