Monday, September 15, 2014

LYON!! (Jacob-Nice)

Well this week was another quick one.

I will just highlight the big event of the week: Zone Conference in Lyon.

So we went up to Lyon on Thursday night with the entire zone and it felt like a party beecause they put 30 elders into the Office apartment (which is nice and big for the influx of all the missionaries coming through Lyon on a regular basis.) Then in the morning we all headed over to the Ecully Chapel which is great. We all got settled and the assistants asked me to conduct! That was very fun because I got to decide who said the prayers. The best part was obviously the conference. It was amazing because Elder Ballard talked about everything that I have been thinking about in the last little while! It seems to happen on a regular basis but this time it happened again! It was just a recording of the actual conference which occured in Geneva. He shared a particular a story that really hit me. It was of a son who went on his mission and went he got to the mission field he had an interview with the President and he told his mission president that he was going to be the "BEST" missionary he ever had. Obviously the mission president wondered why he would say that so he
 nodded and asked why so? Then the missionary expained how right before coming out on his mission his dad had gotten cancer and had been given about 9 or 10 months to live, This missionary having his mission call came out but on the plane thought a lot about his father and whether or not to go home. After lots of prayer and thought, he had the feeling to make a promise with Heavenly Father that if he was the "best" missionary ever then HF would keep his father alive. Elder Ballard then recounted several experiences where hard decisions were made by this young missionary in tough situations and his response was always to his companion "Help me save my father", It was amazing to see the faith and drive that this missionary had because of a promise made. He did return home and his father had lived a lot longer than expected, but I really just thought about how much drive we ought to have about the promises that we have made with the Lord. When we make those promises, then acting with full faith and confidence, the Lord will provide.

I am currently trying to follow Elder Ballard's advice that he gave us by "treasuring up the doctrine." I was very focused on reading Jesus the Christ lately that I lost a little focus on Preach my Gospel. I am taking chapter 3 at a different angle this time, I am focusing on different points of doctrine and focusing on questions or concerns that could come up in a lesson or in contacting (which is really just teaching on the street) and also the scriptures that go along with that,

At zone conference all of the missionaries that are going home in two weeks gave their "dying testimonies". That was very sad (in a good way) and scary to see. I still have a good amount of time left but that really motivated me to push to make every lasting moment count and to enjoy as much as possible France and this amazing opportunity to apply the gospel so really and quickly. There were a lot of them that got up and said a lot of things that they know and I felt good as they said it.

I wish I could say I "know" that Christ lives and that I "know" that the Book of Mormon is true, but I can't, but I do KNOW that the Gospel blesses families, and that when I read the scriptures I feel really good and something enlightens my mind and when I pray I feel so good, especially if I am sincere. I KNOW that the apostles and other leaders are called of God and that we can put our confidence in them.

I love this work, I love Preach my Gospel, read it, I love you all!
Elder Pettingill
Lyon Conference photo

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