Dear Family and Friends, Another beautiful week has passed in North Little Rock, AR! What a beautiful state, and everything is in full bloom and just about completely leafed out. We found a wonderful trail for our walks, and we try to use it 2-3 times a week. It is .8 mile one way, paved path, creek meandering along side, flowers blooming and fragrant. We always look for someone to give a pass along card to, people are so very kind and gracious! Most everyone here has a deep love for the Savior, and belong to one church or another. We just hope to share the complete truth with them.
Elder Hess enjoying the sunshine and fresh air. When I have to be in the office, he usually comes along, but sets up his own little office in a classroom. He has to have some privacy for most of what he does, and I appreciate him coming with me.
The week before was General Conference, and we LOVED listening, learning, and being inspired. It was so wonderful to see and hear from President Monson! He bore such a powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon with these words. "This morning I speak about the power of the Book of Mormon and the critical need we have as members of this Church to study, ponder, and apply its teachings in our lives. The importance of having a firm and sure testimony of the Book of Mormon cannot be overstated." I had to give the spiritual thought one day last week at prayer meeting, and I used Pres Monson words and some of Elder Stevenson's talk - Look to the Book, Look to the Lord. He says, "stand and bear a witness of the Book of Mormon, you will feel the spirit of confirmation. The Holy Ghost will speak to your heart." I know that this is true, it happened on Wed. The Elders had asked Elder Hess and I to go and teach with them. Elder Hess was not able to go, but I followed the Elders to a older home in a pretty rundown part of town. We met Jamie Shelton, a bubbly young women, maybe 19 years old. She is a caretaker of an older women and had met with the missionaries a couple of times previous. We thankfully sat at the kitchen table, and not the older cloth furniture. (one of the bed bug precautions) The older women Jamie takes care of is a recent convert that attends our ward. Jamie is a jewel! She has such a firm testimony and faith in Jesus Christ. She had not had time to read from the Book of Mormon, so we started at the introduction, reading a paragraph and then discussing it. As you all know, a sentence in the first paragraph says that it: ...contains.. the fulness of the everlasting gospel. It talks about ..."the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ,....the plan of salvation. At one point during the discussion, Jamie stopped us to say that she had such a calm and peaceful feeling at that very moment. We explained to her what she was feeling, the power of the Holy Ghost bearing witness to her that what she was hearing and being taught was truth. We all felt what she was feeling, and like the Conf. talk I referred to, you can have that same witness when you stand and bear testimony of the Book, or when you read, ponder and pray. Elder Stevenson asked that each of us give up some of our social media time and devote that time to the Book of Mormon. "You will pore through the passages of this precious book and encounter your beloved Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ on nearly every page." Within the books pages, you will discover the infinite love and incomprehensible grace of God. As you strive to follow the teachings you find there, your joy will expand, your understanding will increase, and the answers you seek to the many challenges mortality presents will be opened to you. As you look to the book, you look to the Lord." Jamie wants to know the truth, she said that if the Book of Mormon has the complete gospel, that's what she wants to have. She has her challenges, her mother hates Mormons, and has some misconceptions about what and who we are. If Jamie can get her mother to agree, she will call me for a ride on Sunday.
We were eager to attend one of the Zone Conferences this week. It would be the first time we would see President Wakolo since General Conference when he was made a 70, a new General Authority. When Pres. Uchtdorf said his name, Elder Hess and I wondered if we had heard it right. Sure enough, we saw him walk to the front when they were asked to be seated on the stand. He came back to AR a changed man in a way. He has always been a good and devoted Mission President, and a master teacher of the scriptures, but he came back with more humility and a softness that I noticed. When he was meeting with the General Authorities, he asked them this question: "What can I do or not do to help you sleep better at night?" Think of it, he was not thinking of himself with this new calling, and what a burden it must have felt like at first, but he was thinking of the 12, and how he could be an aid to them. I was really impressed with that question. We could all ask it of ourselves when thinking of our leaders, our family, etc. What can I do to help you sleep better at night. So kids, make your parents worry a little less about you by being your best, trying your hardest, and being on the Lord's side.
Our Love and Prayers are with each of you.
Elder and Sister Hess
Luke 24:6 He is not here, but is risen....
Luke 24: 32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the scriptures?