Dearest Family and Friends,
It is almost April!! :) Happy Spring!!! :)
I hope you all have a very sunny very smiley week!
I have been awaiting this week for SO LONG, and it is finally here!!
GENERAL CONFERENCE WEEK!! :D
Oh my goodness... I am so excited! I look forward to General Conference like I look forward to Christmas day. It is such a special time. Two days of listening to the inspired words of our prophet and his apostoles - there is nothing better. :)
As I was thinking this morning about what I wanted to tell you all this week, all I could think about was General Conference. I thought back to the past years conferences, and the wonderful experiences I have had because of the inspired words spoken in them, and there is just too much to tell! It's almost impossible for me to sum up through the internet how I feel about this special time of year - but if you can imagine me smiling from ear to ear and jumping up and down yelling "Yayyyy!", that might give you an idea of 1/100 of the excitement I feel! :)
Yesterday in Relief Society, we were reading a talk from last October's general conference called, "Am I good enough? Will I make it?" and it had such an impact on me. There have been so many times throughout my life that I have found myself asking those questions - and as the end of this wonderful mission I've been on creeps around the corner, now is no exception. I have often found myself wondering the same things that are in the title of this talk, "Am I good enough?" "Am I the missionary and the person my Hevaenly Father wants me to have become?" "Will I make the difference I was called her to make when all is said and done?" It is scary sometimes - nearing the end and realizing there is still so much more you have to do, and wondering if you will really be able to do it. But there was a quote in that talk from our beloved President Hinckley that was very powerful to me. He said, "All God expects of us, is that we try. But we have to really try." One of the sisters in our class asked us the question, what does it mean to really try? And another replied, "To do all you can, and not give up. But even when you fall short, to try again." As I heard that, a little memory of my sister came into my head - a memory that I had not thought of or even remembered for years.
My little sister was probably about two years old. I was just sitting at my kitchen table trying to do my homework, and she was trying to get into the juice on the top shelf of the fridge. :) My mom and I smiled as we watched her stretch her arm as high as she could to reach the bottle, but she was still about two feet too short. She stretched as high as she could for as long as she could and she tried and tried and tried some more... But it was no use. She was just too small. She stepped back from the fridge a little bit and looked at my mom and I like she was about to cry. But just as my mom started to get up to go help her, she stepped back and ran into a stool that was sitting behind her. She turned around and looked at it, and with big eyes and her little smile she pulled the stool over to the fridge. My mom and I couldn't help but smile as she climbed up on the stool and was finally able to reach her juice.
It's a simple story, and I don't know why I thought of it - but it taught me a lot yesterday. :) She could've given up after she so sadly realized that no matter how hard she stretched she just couldn't reach it. But she didn't. She REALLY TRIED. :) I'm sure she really tried when she stretched as far as she could, but when that didn't work out, she didn't give up. She tried another way. :) That is what it means to really try.
Who would've ever guessed a two year old could teach me such a valuable lesson? :) I love her.
I testify of the truthfulness of what President Hinckley said to us. "All God expects of us, is that we try. But we have to really try." There are so many wonderful things about that though... Maybe it's the fact that He expects our best effort, but He does not require us to do it alone. Or maybe it's the fact that when we stumble and fall, through the atoning sacrifice of His Son we always have a second chance. It's a lot of things... But no matter what way we look at it - it is wonderful.
I am grateful to my Saviour Jesus Christ, more than I will even be able to say, for all He has done for us. I'm grateful for second, and third, and fiftieth chances... all because of Him. I know sometimes in life we may be stuck in those moments that no matter how hard we try to stretch, that juice bottle is just a little too far out of reach - but I also know that He will always be there to help us. There is no place so dark or deep that the eternal light of His love does not reach. It is a beautiful promise, and it is ours forever. :)
I hope you all take the time this weekend to listen to the messages that have been prepared for us. I promise you that if you have a question, or concern, or even just a desire to know something, and you pray to the Lord about it - He will answer you, He will comfort you, and you will know He hears you - all through the inspired words of our leaders.
I love you all, and wish you an amazing week!!
The painting crew.
Elder Barlow having too much fun in the Tiger store!
Everyone likes to make fun of me for being such a "farmer", but all the teasing was put to rest when they realized they had no idea how to blow out eggs, and only "Sister Kamp the farm girl" knew how... HA. I haven't heard a teasing word from them since ;)
Painting eggs at FamilyHome Evening!