Monday, 28 April 2014

Week 28: Week 22 in Stuttgart: "Drei-ecke-ding"‏ - Family, Bonfires, Comps/Splits, Good friends, good times and oops! TRANSFERS NEXT WEEK!

I know the week is filled with 7 days... but I feel like it's been 2. It goes Monday...... SUNDAY! All of a sudden the week is over and I'm here like..... What happened last week?? Where did all the in between days go?

So I'll just tell you about the highlights :)

Monday: ALI AND NANA AND THE BOYS. Okay, that was pretty much the coolest thing ever!! I loved it! I loved how well Sister Winters fit in and how normal it all was! The best part is that I didn't have any home sickness. I had been really praying that that wouldn't happen cause I really just wanted to enjoy it, and then get back to the work. And that it totally what happened :)

We went to lunch, had Eis, walked around Schlossplatz and... just talked. I cuddled with those sweet little boys. Man, I really missed them! I didn't even realize! It was so tender. I love our relationship together. I loved hearing about the missionary work that Ali and Neil are doing. It was really cool to hear about how other Sisters in other missions do things. I love seeing souls accept the Gospel :) And to think I played a really small role in that shows you how doing something as simple as going on a shopping trip the day you got your call can really make a difference. 

I love that they took the time to drive down to see us. They delivered gifts.. and I felt so spoiled! We loved everything :)

Tuesday: We may or may not have broken the Word of Wisdom... It was an accident, I swear! (BG: Don't swear:)) It was a cherry- rum truffle. We really didn't mean to. And we both ate it... so.... we are both sinners together. We repented, no worries. Gotta love mission adventures... 

Wednesday: Tausch. Or exchanges. I had Sister Motto with me here in Stuttgart. From the moment we were with each other, we didn't stop talking. I learned so much from her!! We all have our struggles on our missions, but we all come out of them learning so much. And then we get the chance to share those parts of our stories with other missionaries and help each other out. Because of the things that Sister Motto has learned, I can now learn from her experience, prepare myself for my turn, and hopefully come out of it less painfully.

Taushes are always really crazy. We had an appointment 1.21 hours away, so we trekked out there. It was really good. The Zone Leaders had to cancel on us because of their Tausch, but it was still really good. The food... top notch. We had white Asparagus. So good and such a delicacy here in Germany. It was probably one of the best member appointments/ lessons I've had on my mission. 

Then we ran home (I say ran like it didn't take an hour and a half to get back) and went to another member appointment with the International Elders. That was also one of the best lessons. It's so funny to go to Ami appointments, though. So different. But so good :) After the main spiritual thought had been given, she told us about a problem that she was having. I sat for a second and said "Have you ever thought about talking about the Pre-existence with him?" Man.. talk about the Spirit working through me. It was such a cool discussion and you could totally see how it helped her :) I love being a Sister. 

Anywho... this Tausch. I can't tell you all that happened, but I can tell you I have been changed. I used to hate Tausches, but now I'm starting to like them. It's like a sleepover on a mission ;) 

Over all take home from this Tausch: If we can bring just one soul unto Christ, how great will be our joy. That one soul? That one soul is ME :) If there is anyone that I can say I have honestly helped and can see the affects, it would be me. I have been saved on my mission. And then to think how greater our joy will be when we bring MANY souls unto Christ. Man. Sister Motto is wonderful. 

Thursday: here is a quote from Elder Escher about why they were so late for picking up the keys (it's translated, so hopefully it's still just as funny):
"There are about 1 million people of the train and it can't drive any further..."
*one text later*
"Now we're by Schwabstrasse... and it is unimaginably got on the rain because there are now 2 million people on the train."

Dang it. It's not funny in English. Just imagine it's in German and then laugh. Cause it was HILARIOUS.

And then skip a few days until Saturday. We can a big grill with the Breuers. They have a HUGE garden. We, all the missionaries and Erin, all went and had such a good time. We played Volleyball and ran around and spoke in German and ate REALLY good food. I love German grills. There is nothing better. We had a HUGE bonfire... and a few of us lost some leg hairs, I think ;) 

I felt so normal at this appointment. I was with my best friends, having a grill, having a fire. These missionaries really are my best friends. I love them all so much. And then having Erin there... I was with my best friends. It was honestly like I was up Provo Canyon on a Friday night. And then 8 o' clock hit and we had to go before we turned into pumpkins ;) But beside that... it was normal. We all made plans together to hike Timp next April. They're wonderful people :)

And then that night. Oh that night. God knew I needed "Chloe" time. He let it pour and pour. I showered with all the lights off, window wide open, and beautiful music blasting. There are few things in life that are better than showering in the dark while it is pouring rain. 

And then I came out to find my companion sitting on the windowsill, curled up in a ball, with a cute little smile plastered on her face. It was magical. Something I won't ever forget.

We spoke a lot of really thoughtful words that night. We did a lot of thinking... more than usual ;) A lot of reflecting, and a lot of just trying to figure out what the Lord wants from us. Trying to find balance in our work, and how hard we need to be on ourselves. Whether our feelings of inadequacy are the works of Satan, or if Heavenly Father is really trying to tell us that we aren't doing enough. This has become a daily discussion. 

With that in our minds, we said our prayers and curled up in bed. But this night, we left all our windows open so we could hear the rain fall. We could see the lightening lighting up our room, and experience the shaking thunder. It was like we were in the storm, but curled up in the safety of our blankets. It was a beautiful night :)

Even on missions we can take time to be us; those people we were before we came here. We can experience the things we loved before, but on a whole new level, with new knowledge and new appreciation. I think that's what I loved the most... that it was something that Chloe loved to do, and still does, but with knew knowledge. I was doing something I loved in a whole new way :)

Then Sunday came. :)

It was good. Sundays are either a day of "finally, I get to take the Sacrament and start over", or "man, I'm the worst missionary ever and I'm totally not doing enough". It's always fun ;)

Yesterday was a combination of both for me. I felt really.... like I was an awful missionary at the beginning. But then as all the miracles started to unfold throughout the day, I stopped those shameful thoughts and thought: Look at all the good things you have helped do here, Sister Gilmour. Look at it. Look at all these people at church. Stop it. God loves you and you are enough. 
And then we had an eating appointment with the Gierschkes. I love them so much. Those little girls are the sweetest. They LOVE us. It melts my heart. I love being loved by children :) I'll attach a few pics for you. 

Here are a few things I will be doing in the week to come:

-LOTS of goodbyes (oh yeah, Transfer calls are on Saturday. I'll probably be heading out. I'm hoping for Brixon, Italy right now. The only "opening" in Switzerland is in Zurich, which is totally fine by me. Eh, we'll see).
- Mission Tour. We'll be in Munich on Thursday hearing from a member of the 70. And then we will be having another mass-finding day there. Should be fun. Hopefully better than the last one.
- Erin's BDAY! We're all going to celebrate with her on Wednesday. I can't wait... she's going to love our gift :) She is so, so special. (we also did Family History with her. Man was that a cool experience. We got to meet her parents over Skype....[I think that's allowed?] and they are WONDERFUL).
- And today we are having a district shopping P-day. Remember when I said I really loved these missionaries? I really meant it :) We're gonna help Elder Moon buy a new suit, and Elder Escher is going to help us buy shoes. Win, win!

I'll let you know where I'm headed off to next week :)

Until then... pray that I'll go somewhere great, that I'll love the area and my companion :)

I love you all. The Plan is perfect. Everything happens for a very SPECIFIC reason. Never forget that :) You are special and especially made, with special effects and talents ;)

Sister Gilmour

P.S. I got an email from Elder Price asking me if I wanted to train for an Ironman with him for when we are back!! I jumped out of my seat with excitement. My reaction was a little like this: YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW DOWN I AM FOR THAT!!!!!! So... Anyone else down to train for an Ironman when we're both back? WHOO HOO! I love setting goals!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Week 27: Week 21 in Stuttgart: "What were you thinking, Clo? You did this VOLUNTARILY?" I just feel really blessed to be a missionary right now. :)

Hello my wonderful family!!
"Oh how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet that bring good tidings"! And let me tell you, it is gorgeous here! What a wonderful Easter Monday and Easter weekend :)

There were a lot of good things this week :) We did a lot of family history with different members of our ward, we helped A LOT of members, we got to know members that we didn't really know very well a lot better, we had Easter, we took the Sacrament, we had a few really interesting conversations with a few people, visited part- member families, strengthened our companionship, spent time with some of our favorite people in Stuttgart, had a wonderful day at church, and, and, and :)
Life is just really good when you are a missionary :) It's also really hard. Like.. really hard. Somedays I still ask myself "what were you thinking, Clo? You did this VOLUNTARILY?" And then I remember, yeah, I did :) And then things happen that make me remember what I really came here to do. I see the people I get to help and it makes it all worth it. I probably won't see a baptism in Stuttgart, and we don't have a huge pool of investigators. But you know what? We help A LOT of people. Our ward? We have helped them in ways no one except us could see. And I really felt that yesterday.

 We went to the International Relief Society. It's weird being in a ward where almost nobody knows you and you only have a few relationships. But then we went to our ward. We have Relief Society first, and you feel the love of the women. And you see... wow, I really did make a difference here. I really did help "one soul" come unto Christ. Even if they were already a member, we could all be a little more converted. 

Something really cool yesterday (this is my personal miracle story from the week):
We were getting ready to start our investigator class for Sunday School. I was greeting and talking with a few women who were left over from FHV (RS). I looked out the door, and there was a women that we had had a really good relationship with while Sister Smith was still with me. I squeeled, and ran out the door to see her! We haven't seen her in about 6 weeks, which was really sad because she had just started to become active after 23 years of inactivity. But that was because they just spent 5 weeks of holiday in Brazil. Not only was she back, but she brought her none member husband, Thomas! He is way awesome and apparently looks exactly like a big football star here, Antonio something. So that's cool. I was talking to them before the class started, and Thomas says, "Doch, sie hat gut Deutsch!". Haha, he had just told his wife that I actually did have good German and didn't know what she was talking about. 

(You have to remember that she hasn't seen me in 6 weeks. I still scare myself with the progress my German has made in that time. She was surprised, to say the least :))
So that was nice! Then we came in and got ready for the lesson. Valeria, the women, turned to me and said that they, her AND her husband, had watched ALL of Confrence! While they were in Brazil on holiday! Whoo hoo!! I asked them what they thought, and they both LOVED it. Especially Thomas. That was REALLY cool. He said they all had really good things to say and he really felt the spirit. Man, what else more can a missionary ask for?

After the class, I asked him if he had any questions. We had just talked about the different offices in the Priesthood, so even I was a little confused ;) He said, "No, any question I have I know can be answered in this book", meaning the Gospel Principles book. I said, awesome! Then I asked him if he was a member, just to make sure I wasn't mixing his story up, and to see what level of interest he had. He said, "noch nicht", or, "not yet". WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!! I calmly kept myself collected, but still showed enough excitement to be happy for that answer. I asked him if he had a Buch Mormon, and he said he does and his wife has been helping him read it. I love less actives. They are the BEST missionaries. Literally.
After that, he told me that he particularily liked one of the women in the class, another less active who has a testimony the size of China, because she really spoke with her heart and he could really tell she loved this Gospel. I love less actives.
The Stake President pulled me aside after Sacrament and talked to me about his man, Thomas. He said that he really liked the services today and he really felt the Spirit. He told us to have fun teaching him :) I was so happy! Talking with the Stake President about our work always hypes me up-- he's the coolest German you'll ever meet.
That, mixed in with the fact that I just really loved my ward, the Sacrament, Easter, and the wonderful relationships that I have with the people here, was exactly what I needed. 

We then had a really, really good eating appointment with the Familie Benitz. I didn't know them too well, but I really like them :) The parents both served missions in Switzerland and that is where they met. We spent a good solid hour talking with Bruder Bentiz about everything. It was awesome- I understood everthing :) And I talked. I really am SO  amazed every week by how much my Heavenly Father has blessed me in learning this language. (BG: At last- she's feeling this way) I know it is NOT me, and it's cool to feel Him working through me :) We shared a great spiritual thought about the story of the Last Supper all the way to the Auferstehung. They had a lot to share and we had a lot of good discussion :) And plus, we had the best brownies I think I have ever had. They were made with applesauce and almonds. Wowie.. so good. So good I had to say no to a second ;)
I just feel really blessed to be a missionary right now. I feel so blessed to be in Stuttgart with all these wonderful people, to have my AMAZING companion to helps me and puts up with me and works WITH me to be by my side through the good and the bad :) To have the support of my family and friends, even though we are miles apart. And especially for the chance I have to grow so much closer to my Father in Heaven and to build a better and lasting relationship with Christ. And to think... I'm only 19 years old. Look at that. I've been through the temple, I have made sacred and BEAUTIFUL covenants, and I'm speaking German to these people and telling them how much God loves them. Wow.

Just an update on my studies:
Pilate. Pilate the Pagan, or the Heathen, a person who doesn't believe in the God of the bible. Man, oh man. I have been reading the story of Christs death, from the Last Supper, to the Resurrection, from Jesus the Christ (my favorite book of all time. Hands down). Today I was at the part where Pilate washes his hands of responsibility. 
But I can't figure him out. He truly didn't want the poeple to crucify Christ. He genuinely didn't want to do it. He found NO fault in Him, and neither did King Herod. He publically announced 3 times, publically, too, that he found no fault in Christ. He was fully aware of the fault that the high priests were at. He couldn't understand why the people would let Barbaras go, and not Christ, a man who was actually guilty of the things Christ was being falsly accused of PLUS the murder of a man. And here was Christ, someone that Pilate could clearly see was a man of Kingship. But he washes his hands of the responsibility of Christ. All because his wife said that she had dreamed of Him, and knew of His works, and she was afraid. Well yeah, of course she's going to be terrified of Him; those who don't know God are terrified of Him. But even after Pilate has given the priests the okay to crucify Christ, in hopes that the Jews will soften their hearts, he shows the pitiful Christ, in robes and being spat upon. But they don't soften their hearts. They say, "crucify Him!"
I think at this point Pilate had had enough. He gave the people Christ once and for all, but not without saying, for the 3rd time, that he found no guilt in this Man.
Pilate knew he wasn't and ordinary man. There is much, much more to this story, but that's all I can recount from memory.

What I can't figure out is why Pilate did it. He had power, he could have stopped these men. But he didn't.

But what would have happened if he had saved Christ? Christ HAD to die or the Atonement wouldn't have been complete. So what would have happened had he saved Him? 

A prolonged trial and even more suffering for Christ, who was already bearing all the sins of the entirety of mankind? Another innocent man hung on a cross? I don't know. I like Pilate, and I hope there is mercy for him in the end. I don't know if that's awful for me to say, but I can see that he really didn't want to let the people have Christ.
He leaves me really confused. I guess I'll learn more about him/ the story tomorrow morning.
Well family. That's what's going on with Sister Gilmour here in Stuttgart :) I get to see Ali and Neil and Nana and the boys today, so I'm really excited :)  ( BG: we are so jealous back here in Utah but looking forward to some personal reports from family as to the welfare of these two great sisters) 
I love you so much. Don't ever forget it. I don't get a ton of time to think about my family, but when I do get the time at night to pray for my family and those I love, I always plead with the Lord to watch over you; to bless you with enough strength to overcome Satan. He is so strong. I really saw that this week. He is a tricky guy and he knows exactly how to win us over. He's doing it. He has always done it. But stay strong! It will be worth it if we stay on the straight and narrow path. We choose what Kingdom we are exalted to. We choose what Judgment Day will look like. We choose how much of the Atonement we are willing to take part in. We choose the mercy the Lord will show us. There is ALWAYS another chance to start over; a second, a third, and a hundredth.

I know that my Savior lives :) I can't wait for the day when He comes again, bathed in His glory and saving us from this awful, yet glorgious place. I imagine it being the sweetest moment... I get emotional just thinking about seeing Him again! Don't you?? 
I love you :)
Until next week,

Sister Chloe Gilmour

Monday, 14 April 2014

Week 26: Week 20 in the field: Stuttgart - Ups and Downs - ALWAYS PRAY FOR THE SAFETY OF OUR MISSIONARIES

Hi :)
Today is a really good day :) It's probably going to rain, but that's okay cause I'm remembering the times I was in Germany almost a year ago and thinking about all the good times and all the good feelings I had there. This day reminds me a lot of it. And we're going to have a very wet and fun picnic day with the District :) And Lucie :) So it will be good! 

This last week was really good! It was... interesting to say the least. But good :) I learned a lot, was built up by the dear friends I've made here, spent lots of time with our investigators, and had some really, really, REALLY good studies :) And we saw lots of small miracles :)

Where to start.

Well. I'll tell you about the main event of the week. I'm still feeling a little slimey- like I did something wrong, but not really sure what. 

It was Wednesday. We were meeting with a YW in our ward at a little cafe in Feuerbach. This man was sitting on the table next to us, really looking at us. He got up and left, and we thought nothing of it. We started to notice, as we were talking with Audrie, that this man kept coming back... and really looking at us. Finally, Sister Winters asked if we could help him. He pointed his keys at her name tag, and said he wanted to read that. 

We set up an appointment to meet for Eis the next day. I thought it was just the Lord working his miracles. Sister Winters, on the other hand, was a little worried. He told us he liked our smiles, but that isn't uncommon from older men. 

Next day, we go to meet him. We brought the Zone Leaders with us, just in case. But when we got there, we decided we didn't need them. So they left. This man bought of hot chocolate and we started to talk about the Gospel.  The moment he got there, he started to compliment how I dressed. He pointed out that Sister Winters and I dressed differently. I didn't understand that's what he said, but it was. It started to click later on.

After talking about the Gospel had failed, he offered to buy us Eis. Luckily, Audrie was riding by when we were walking to the cafe. She joined us. He bought us the most expensive ice cream you can imagine. I was dying. The whole time he was saying things like, "oh, i get to sit by you.. how lucky!", "you're beautiful", "do you think i shine?", etc. He tried to feed me the first bite of his Eis, too. I didn't know what to do! I don't speak perfect German. I kept trying to hold my hands cause they were cold (they're always cold) and kept touching my leg (BG: THIS MAN JUST USED UP ALL HIS 9 LIVES, LUCKY DAD WASN'T THERE). Then he saw the blisters on the back of my feet and INSISTED he buy me new shoes. They don't hurt, they're just scars, I told him. There was a shoe shop just two shops down and he tried with all his might to get us just to go LOOK for shoes. He said all we had to do was look for 2 minutes, slip a pair on, then he would pay. It took nearly an arm and a leg to get this man to not buy me shoes. I think i could have asked him to buy me a house and he would have done it. 

We then had to head to our next appointment, about 40 minutes away. He wasn't having it, though. He offered us a ride just to make us stay so he could buy shoes. We finally left. But.. I felt awful. What had I done to make this man be so.... engrossed in me? Seems silly, but it plays in with a few other things from the week.

Man. Gotta love missionary work! HAHA, weird men who would do anything for you.  (BG, GLAD SHE COULD SEE THE FUNNY SIDE OF THINGS BUT HOPEFULLY A LOT WISER)

On a more happy note, this week was really good :)

I am currently study a lot about mercy and grace.

Do you understand the beauty and function of grace? Cause when someone fully understands it, they see why we have the rules we do, and why we don't have to be perfect right now. It almost helps us love ourselves better. I read this all from Brad Wilcox. I had heard the speech in Seminary, but it had been condensed down into an Ensign talk. 


We also had a great dinner and lesson with Jason and Sherri Kelly and Erin. It was really, really good. I learn so much when we go there, and I'm the one supposed to be teaching! It is definitely a "safe place". We have a "no shame zone" there. And they always make us feel really special and that it's okay to be  introverts and stuff :) 

We also have to most amazing Bastlen ladies, EVER! That means "crafts", btw. They LOVE us. We always sing when we go, and they cry. The instructors, Innes and Ushi, are the best! They love us so much, too! Every time we leave, the women always make sure that it isn't for good :) "Nope", we tell them, "We'll be back next week!" How did I get so luck as to serve here?! I NEVER want to leave! 

We also had a fabulous day in Church yesterday. We went to both the American ward and our ward because we brought Erin with us to the English one. Let's just say... wow. Major difference in the cultures. I can't decide what it is, either. They are just different. We can't remember if every ward is like that in America, or just this one. We felt more at home in the German ward, though, so that shows you how German we are becoming ;)

That brings me to the next point:

I LOVE GERMANY. So much. Everything about it! The people, the LANGUAGE, the scarves that everyone wears, the weather, the doorbells and that you always know who lives where, that all the Germans know every street in what seems all of Germany. I love the food and how fresh everything is. I love that you can't turn a corner without seeing 3 backeries right there. I love that there are more Eis cafe's than people and that there is always pistachio flavor :) I love that everyone rides bikes and public transportation. I love the sound of hearing the "U6 nach Gerlingen" sound. I love their obsession with napkins and nachtisch. I love how small everything is. I love how friendly the people are. I love the cobblestone paths, and nobody here does their hair or wears makeup. It's fabulous.

I just feel really, really blessed to be serving here :) I know this is exactly where I'm supposed to be an I see that daily. 

On that note, the church is true everyone. We have been given the Atonement to get us back home, but it's so much more than that. So much more. Our debts have been paid in full by Our Debtor and he doesn't REQUIRE anything from. He lets us choose what kind of heavenly life we will choose for ourselves based on what things we do here on earth. We are not being tested for heaven; we are LEARNING for heaven. What we decide to do here, and how much we decide to follow Christ and our Heavenly Father will show by what kind of body we will receive when we are resurrected, how comfortable we will feel in the presence of the Lord, and how long we will want to stay with him. This is grace. 

Repentance is a pattern... that means you are to repeat it 1000X! You've never done it too many times, if you are TRULY striving to become better. He is going to plead your case, but only if you really "practice" here on earth. He took a risk on us.. He invested in us. Are we going to make His sacrifice worth it?

"I Promise" to never forget that I don't have to do anything to see the sunrise tomorrow. I just have to accept it, and be better. I will never quit when I've done something bad... because REPENTANCE IS A PATTERN :)

Just... read that talk. Then you'll understand :)

Just remember, God loves you. And you, and you and you and you :) 

Sister Gilmour

Monday, 7 April 2014

Week 25: Week 19 in the Field: Stuttgart for General Conference - ' I Promise ' Statements

General Conference. It was fabulous, wasn't it? I don't really remember what else happened this week cause the only thing on my mind is Conference. 

Sis Gilmour and Winters with Daniela Fingerle Freimann - A Missionary Mom who was visiting the area:)
We got to watch every session except Sunday Afternoon. We all gathered as a zone here in Stuttgart and watched 6 hours of Conference. Life does not get better than that. 

I found the Women's session the be so touching. We watched that on Saturday at 4. I cried from the moment that little girl prayed to the very end. I don't know what came over me... but I do know combining that meeting was inspired. I loved it. I love being a women. I love convenants.

We had Xiaoyu with us on Sunday! She said she got a lot of answers, but now she has a lot more questions. She's finally back from China, so we can meet with her regularly again. Whoo hoo! 

We also had a big meal in between session yesterday. I just love the missionaries here in Stuttgart. They really are the best. Do I have to leave them? I really think they are the best people I know. There mothers and fathers should be proud... they raised them well :)

During Conference, I made a bunch of "I Promise" statements. These are things I have promised to do for the remainder of my life; personally and with my future family. (Which I though A LOT about. I cannot wait to be a mother and a wife! Oh the divine calling of a women... there is nothing more special :))

I, Chloe Gilmour, promise...
  • To have daily personal and family prayer and scripture study as well as have weekly Family Home -Evening. I will do this with my husband and with my family.
  • To always cleave to my covenants
  • To be bold in the things I believe
  • To take the short AND long view when looking at things
  • To always bear testimony to my children
  • Let Him be the leader of my family
  • To always remember the basic things
  • I will NOT marry anyone unless they are a returned missionary. We will be sealed together in the temple
  • I promise to do the these things to the point that they require no prodding... until they are habit.
  • I promise not to lose my way. I will not be lost in the whirlwinds of life. 
  • I will always TRY to keep my head when speaking to my spouse (family members, friends, ward members, etc.)- always ask: what are YOU thinking?
  • I promise to do Family History
  • I will think on the eternities in gratitude when the seams of my life are tearing apart
  • I promise to be the example to my children, that my mother and the mothers I associate with are, to my children
  • I promise to always serve the Lord with all my heart, might, mind and strength. I will set my sights on Him. I will try desperately hard not to forget these things when the winds blow. The strongest tree's are those with the strongest roots, after all. They are the ones that can withstand the harshest of winds. I will try to remember that my trials and difficult times were hand picked just for me. I learned how to deal with them. 

Wore jeans twice in 5 days - very excited!!

Life is Good!!

More Rain, No Snow:)

Just so you know, here are the things that I felt were reoccurring themes during Conference:

1.Family History/Genealogy- it can heal the brokenness we find so much in homes these days. I LOVED that they talked about this in a talk about Pronography. I thought that was brilliant. It really can heal. And it can show our investigators the importance of baptism. We can do temple work in our kitchens! How cool is that?!

2. Being a member is HARD- okay people. How angry did you feel when you heard that talk by Holland about the man that threw potatoes at that Sister? We get ridiculed simply for wearing a tag. Even when we aren't missionaries people hate us for no reason. We get a lot of really hard stuff. And we go against what basically the entire world now believes to be okay and tollerable. It's rough. I even see it on a mission. But.. we keep going. We know the reward will be great. And we will be rewarded with things unimaginable to us. 

3.Man vs. God- "50 million people CAN be wrong"- Nelson. Where are our ties? Are we tied to religion? Are we tied to God? Would we be wearing our YW medallions if we had just won a gold medal? THINGS DO NOT CHANGE. God is never changing. The family is CENTRAL to God's plan. "Thou shalt not kill" also means when a child is still in the womb. I LOVED HOW BOLD these men were! Guess what? We don't "get with the times". The times are wrong. Don't get caught up in the philosophies of man... it is not right. Let us always stay true to the laws of God and not the laws of man. I loved that. I see it so much with faithful members of the Church. Don't be "selectively obedient". Stand up for what you believe, even when it's hard. It is CRUCIAL in this time. 

4. Covenants- I just really love covenants. I felt it massively in Womens conference. I love it. Everything we do is a covenant. We have promised to do these things. Do you get that? When we don't keep our covenants... we cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. I loved the film they showed with all the women of different ages signing temple recommends. That was powerful. I want to be just like the covenant keeping women that I know. I think of my mother, of course, my nana, the women in my ward at home, and the women in my ward here. They would give up anything to help someone in need. I hope I can be as willing as they. 

As I've said in the past, so much happens during the entire week, but I forget everything. Especially with Conference. I'll just let you read my journal when I get home. That has my whole life in it ;) (BG: She better not lose it!)

I love you all and I love serving the Lord! Don't be too worried when I send a discouraging email home... The work just goes in waves, just like every day life :)

Do good this week. Love, and speak kindly. Think back on the things we heard our Prophet and Apostles teach us. 

All my love,
Sister Gilmour