So this week was a doosy. Like, yesterday, I was sitting in Relief Society, trying my hardest not to fall asleep. It was an exhausting week. But it as also incredible.
First off all, I'd like to say that the General Women's Conference was LITERALLY THE MOST AMAZING HOUR AND A HALF OF MY LIFE. It ended way too fast!
Sister Castagnola and I had invited pretty much every woman in our phone to come, and no one showed up. So we were sitting in the chapel, practically empty except for a few other women from the other wards, and all of my cares and worries just melted away. As we were sitting, listening to the organ music play on the broadcast, I opened up my journal and started writing down different questions I had been pondering. I usually spend the week before conference thinking of questions, but my mind was so preoccupied, I hadn't gotten around to it. My companion kept reminding me to do it, so as I sat for the 2 minutes or so before the conference started, I wrote 8 questions in my journal. Questions about my area, my companion, how I could improve, things about my future, etc.
As the conference started, I read through my questions again during the opening song. I knew I would receive answers or at least revelation, even if I hadn't spent nearly as much time praying and pondering. But I had tons of faith.
With the first talk, nearly all of my questions were answered. And not only answered, but like answered PERFECTLY. To a T. I was so overwhelmed, I kept turning to my companion to share my excitement but I couldn't even get the words out due to too many emotions.
How can I help the other Spanish sisters have more confidence in themselves?
"Think of this opportunity to serve as a chance to learn how to love. You can't help others if you are focused solely on yourself. We are the Lord's hands. Learn to show others the love that God has through your actions. This will make the biggest impact."
What is the most important thing I can teach my future family?
"Teach young children how to love and how to serve; this will help set a pattern for the rest of their lives. Always show by your example how to reach out in love. Your family will follow your righteous example."
How can I be more like my Savior?
"Jesus Christ not only taught - He lived what He taught."
How can I prepare now to be a strong, loving wife and mother?
"We need women who know how to help, how to lift and love, and how to serve. Women who know how to call upon the powers of heaven to raise righteous families. Become a woman who follows the Savior; be a defender of the kingdom."
How can I continue pressing forward when we aren't seeing a ton of success?
"Enduring patiently purifies us and makes us gentler. Continually ask for guidance to help His children; He hears and will respond to your pleas for comfort as you do His service."
...if General Conference is anything like last Friday, I'm gonna be dead, on the floor, filled with so much inspiration. I am so excited.
It could not have been more clear to me - God knows me. He knew my sincere desires and questions of my heart, even if I didn't write them down and go to Him in prayer every night. Though we should be doing that anyway, God knew that I would need to hear everything that was said during that Conference. HE KNOWS MY HEART BETTER THAN I EVEN DO.
So amazed. So grateful. I wish you could've seen me, I was so excited in that practically empty little chapel in Sioux City, Iowa. God had touched my heart, and I can't even deny it.
This week we had a huge blizzard - it was apparently #6 in the history of the WORRRLLDDDDD.... haha jk in Sioux City :) Gotcha.
But yeah, it was so crazy, we got caught in the middle of it. It was an absolute miracle we made it home alive. And I was driving! Double miracle we're safe.
So this last Thursday, the cars were grounded due to the snow. So after companionship study, we put on our coats, big boots, and grabbed our shovels. We spent about an hour and a half just shoveling our walkway and around our car! Well, while we were outside, we heard this guy across the street whistling a familiar song. I turned to Sister Yola and asked, "Is that... We Are All Enlisted?" And she's like, "...yeah!"
After a few moments of awkwardly creeping on this guy across the street to see if we recognized him from the other wards, I decided to just ask him what song he was whistling! I walked over towards the sidewalk and as I'm doing so, my leg goes in up to my hip in snow! I'm stuck! With just one leg! Haha so I just yell to the guy across the street, above the cars driving by, and ask, "What song are you whistling!!!!?" Hahah can you just imagine how weird that looked??
Well turned out, he was raised in the church but left as a teenager. He moved here from New York a few years ago with his girlfriend and two daughters. He said he likes to sing hymns because he feels they give him strength and makes him feel better.
...SO DANG COOL.
The elders will now be visiting him! :)
So many other cool things happened this week - they also do - but this email is already long enough! We are doing so good here in Sioux City. We are seeing miracles. The work is slow, but God is still being merciful. We are working with some really cool, solid people who are truly desiring to know God and His will.
Like real fast, we started teaching a former investigator Mina - I love her. She already believes in everything, the only thing holding her back is her fear of commitment. But at the end of the lesson, she threw her Book of Mormon on the table and said, "Here we go buddy! Back at it again!" Hahaha I love humans.
An incredible friend of mine always ends his letters to me with, "Keep on keepin' on..." I feel like God kept saying that to me this week. He kept giving me reassurances along the way, encouraging me to not give up quite yet.
God loves us. He wants us to continue on, to keep on keepin' on, because He knows what lies ahead.
I love you all.
Hermana Brie Gould
pictures: I redecorated my wall! (because we moved!) Also my companion and her dust pan. And Penny & Journy!