In answer to prayer, the conference was amazing. I get teary eyed just thinking of it, and these beautiful women pictured above (many, but not all who attended).
There were bumps along the way, and i was running around busy the whole time, but
it was a spirit filled weekend (to say the least).
Some of the amazing women from my branch. I love them so much.
You know how in Avatar they say, "I see you" and what it means? That is how I feel
when i look at these women. I truly see them for who they really are.
I think we all had that experience at the conference. The spirit truly bore witness to our souls of our Heavenly Father's reality, and our divine identity.
It was the kind of spiritual experience that was so powerful that it leaves you drained and exhausted.
I could tell you everything that we said and did, but that wouldn't really convey how the conference went. It was how we felt that made it a success.
I really just can't say it enough. There is a power that comes to us as we attend the temple. There is an enlightenment of the heart and mind that gives us the strength and capacity to overcome our weaknesses like nothing else. We can work hard on our own all we want, but the miracles happen when we turn ourselves over to the Lord. His ability to change us is amazing.
Of course, it is not forced upon us. It is our decision to come to Him. Just like that famous painting of Jesus knocking on the door, but the door knob is on the other side of the door. It is up to us to come unto Him. We come to Him through prayer, studying and pondering the scriptures, by striving to keep the commandments, and the icing on cake...attending the temple.
All people on this earth are seeking peace and happiness. The world's way, just doesn't work. Money, power, popularity aren't the answer, and never fully satisfy. The answer is simple, and not as exciting and enticing as the world's answer (hence there are few who follow it). But I would give up all the excitement,power, popularity, and money in the world to feel like I did this past weekend all the time.
So thank you my dear friends, and family for your prayers. I truly felt them. really.
Now let me tell you about an amazing happening. This whole Korea experience just keeps getting better and better. I can't believe it really.
See this gorgeous woman I am with above? A couple of weeks before the conference, I was walking out of the temple. As I walked through the lobby to the front door, I passed this sister missionary, and her husband. I hadn't taken two steps passed her when I froze in my tracks. I know that face, but how could it possibly be who I think it is? I turned back, I could see she had recognized me as well, and we immediately embraced. It was my dear Sorella Longone. She is now Sister Echols, a military relations missionary. But on my mission in Italy she was a single mom of three children in my first city of Bari. We were very close, and I loved her family so much! We had an immediate connection. My first Sunday in Italy was fast Sunday, and I bore my testimony. After the meeting she came directly up to me and invited me and my companion to dinner. Come to find out, she had come to the states when she was young to attend BYU and then worked in LAKE TAHOE of all places during the summer to earn money. When I was leaving my mission, she and her kids drove a few hours to my last city to surprise me and say goodbye. I haven't seen or talked to her since. It has been almost 20 years!
I really can't describe to you my joy at not only seeing her after all these years, but even better, she lives by us and is serving here as a missionary! Every time I see her I am filled with such love, happiness, emotion etc. etc. It is like having family close by. I went to the Humphrey's Branch yesterday for their branch conference, and she was there. She had my counselor Robyn, and I over for lasagna afterwards. HEAVEN! Then, I had them come to our house that night for dinner and dessert. I am going to have her teach an Italian cooking class for our branch. I am so excited!
Are you dying Nancy!!! (Nancy is one of my missionary companions that reads my blog. smile) Can you believe it?
What is going to happen next on this amazing experience of living in Korea? I can't wait!
PS-Sorella Longone told me that her 14 year old son Ermanno was in love with me when I was in Bari. When she called him after she saw me here, she told him that she would give him $80 if he could guess who she just saw here in Korea. She was so mad because he guessed Sorella Reneer right away! She couldn't believe it! Ermanno now is married with two children and living in Provo, Utah. I am definitely going to see him this summer. So cool!