First I must say, Happy Birthday Mom! Yeah! I am so grateful for you, Mom! I am so grateful for my family. I am grateful for the example of my little brother, Ben, who is serving a full-time mission. He has always taught me and helped me learn and live and love the gospel. Today is also Elder Fetzer's birthday. Party. He will celebrate it today with the baptism of Jorge, an amazing man they have been teaching.
General Conference last weekend was amazing, wasn't it? I loved it! Hearing living prophets and apostles strengthens my testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel and of the restoration of the true church of Jesus Christ. We watched the Saturday Morning Session on Saturday night, and then we watched the Priesthood Session and the Saturday Afternoon Session on Sunday morning, and the Sunday Morning Session on Sunday night. We visited Carlos and Alexandra on Sunday night and they kept going on and on and on about all of the things they learned from the different speakers and how much they loved all of the messages that were shared. For literally an hour straight they shared their thoughts and feelings with us. I feel so grateful for the blessings we receive from our Heavenly Father.
This week we had a lot of meetings at the mission home. On Monday and Tuesday we had Zone Leader Council, which we attended, and then we also had District Leader Training, which we also attended because Elder Taylor (my companion) is our District Leader. President Clegg talked to us about hearing the voice of the Lord. He taught us about the importance of learning how to discern that voice, to understand it, and then to hearken to it, or obey the direction and guidance it gives us. He repeatedly told us, "Don't confuse simple with easy." The gospel isn't always easy to live, it's not always easy to make decisions, it's not always easy to hear that voice, but it's simple. The Lord is not the author of confusion. He wants us to clearly understand what He requires of us in order to return to His presence. He has revealed those truths to the prophets through the ages. We have the scriptures, which contain their words, and the words of living prophets. He also communicates to us personally through the Holy Ghost, and that is how we gain a testimony of the words of the prophets and come to know God.
I am grateful for the opportunity that our Heavenly Father gives us to know Him. It is what Jesus prayed for, that we would have eternal life, which is to "know...the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom [He] has sent" (John 17:3). We have this opportunity because of the atonement of Jesus Christ. He lives and loves us.
Elder Joe Fagersten