Guest Testimonies

Monday, November 10, 2014

"Back to the Basics"

October 27, 2014
So this week has been full! I didn’t get time to type or even a second (okay I didn’t really make time cause p-day snuck up on me) to record a blog post but I did get some time to type out some of my thoughts from conference this week! We got to see it Saturday and Sunday and I absolutely loved it! So I hope you feel the same way as I did with these inspired men and women of God. I loved how conference was so very "back to the basics" and the reminders it contained! Enjoy! I love you all!!
Love, Elder David Spencer "Tony" Smith  
The Nelspruit Branch Building where I watched conference.
Watching conference!  It was great!
General Conference Notes: Back to the Basics

Pres. Monson- hey it’s cool to be a part of over 88,000 missionaries!
Pres. Packer-We will always find His arms of mercy open towards us every time we forsake sin and repent.
Elder Robbins-wasn’t this a great talk!? “Which way do you face?” is what sticks with me most from this conference! And I love how he used the example of Moroni as someone who knew which way he faced and what kind of an impact he has. No time for acquiescence! We always should evaluate which we face at any given time.
Sis. Esplin- I loved these talks on the sacrament! I have truly grown to love the sacrament and ability we have to repent and renew the covenants WEEKLY! It’s the best spiritual recharge we can get! And any time we can reflect on all aspects of the Atonement, we will be better off than we were.
Elder Wong- Now I thought this was super cool how these general authorities were able to deliver their talks in their native languages! We heard the translation on our recordings of the conference instead of subtitles but that was just cool! And what a great way to look at the story in Mark about that man! I liked the way this talked highlighted what pres. Dunn calls “Mesh-inary” work, or members and Full-Time Missionaries working together in the work of salvation!
Elder Christofferson-no excuses talk again! I love the way he explains moral agency as it pertains to personal responsibility. The commandments are the manifestation of God’s love for us! And freedom comes not from resisting but from applying.
Pres. Uchtdorf- basics of prayer! I think we all needed this reminder! And I love the 4th step he adds after praying which is to act! When we are acting is when we can receive that confirmation!
Elder Oaks-kindness is powerful! And as Disciples of Christ, we should be examples of civility
Elder Anderson-“be sure to adjust your own mask before assisting others.” I gained a lot of strength from this talk in courage to stand for what I believe.
Elder Callister-This talk got me thinking about how much I love my parents! The home is the ideal place for learning the gospel. I love the examples of Enos’ and Alma the Younger’s fathers and the quote that “my mother taught me” because I truly love the example my parents are to me!
Elder Klebingal- I think this was my favorite talk all in all. It’s so hard to find peace in this life with all the evil voices around us. I love his 6 steps that he lays out and I really appreciated the boldness of his remarks! It was just direct and really answered the question that I approached conference with!
Elder Gavarrel- never follow a wrong voice. Simple enough eh? It made me think about missionary commitments in that would Jesus ask you to do anything different than what we are asking?
Elder Holland- first off, when you hear the emotion in his voice, it brings a special spirit! And I really love the reference to kind Benjamin’s “are we not all beggars?” as well as Isaiah’s “how beautiful upon the mountains...” What a great talk!
Elder Perry- 1 of 3 references to Helaman 5:12 and I like reminder to never let the noise of the world drown out the still small voice of the spirit.
Pres. Eyring- Personal revelation lifts us beyond our own capacities. I think that if I had to speak about the experiences in which my mother’s (and fathers) personal revelation brought me to where I am today, I would get very emotional just as he did. Was there a stronger spirit? Man I loved it!
Elder Nelson- reminders on what it means to sustain a prophet!
Sis. McConkie- 2 of 3 references to Helaman 5:12. More great words on how sustaining the prophet is how we stay on the gospel path
Elder Hales- 3rd reference to Hel 5:12. What a great talk on the sacred nature of the Godhead!
Elder Hamula- another great talk on the sacrament and how the emblems remind of the things we committed to and the atonement! I loved his reference to 3 Ne 27 and how we truly need to always repent ad the sacrament allows us to do that!
Pres. Monson- I love our prophet! Walking AS Jesus walked is more important than walking WHERE he walked. And that is the goal to our mortal life. We are agents unto ourselves to walk the path of obedience J whether that is mission or life obedience.
Elder Ballard- we really need to “Stay in the boat!” cause the old ship Zion is where we want to be! As tempting as it may be to go for a swim, it’s not worth it to drown.
Elder Scott- this talk touched me as he talked specifically about prayer! I loved all 4 tools but his thoughts on prayer, when applied, make all the difference!!
Elder Godoy- some of the best advice on making correct decisions! And cool enough, the morning we heard this talk, I was also listening to Elder Oaks talk about “good better and best” and he referenced it in this talk!
Elder Packer- let us not be distracted and remove our personal obstruction of hesitation.
Elder Martinez- every soul has great worth! Service reflects the pure love of Christ.
**”celestial glory shall be mine if I can but endure”-I am a Child of God**
Elder Kacher- what a great talk about our examples! This world definitely has too many unseen (and even seen) dangerous currents that we need to avoid!
Elder Bednar- “come and see” our church always has been an always will be a missionary church! As we turn to Christ, we will turn outward
Pres. Monson- at all times and in all things, may we be followers of Christ
*we don’t get priesthood session till next Sunday but if the talks there are anything close to these ones, I can’t wait!

This is an excerpt from Sister Scott's blog, one of the two missionary couples in Elder Smith's district.  It explains some of these photos he sent:

"The staining project is one Sister Jennifer (the RS President) asked for help to do. Elder Scott and the Elders volunteered to help her protect her all wood house. It is a most unusual home built on stilts and completely out of wood. Most houses here are cinder block and concrete. She has indoor plumbing—after a fashion—and wood walls and floors. Most everyone else has tile everything… But because of the rains she needed to protect the wood. They rolled and brushed every nook and cranny of the tall house with 6 liters of the best stain and sealer combo. Elder Scott said they were all covered in stain especially Elder Swan who drew ladder duty. He even had his bald pate covered in red mahogany spots. As it turned out, it was Sister Jennifer’s birthday. Later, in a text, she said it was the best birthday gift she has ever received.  Elder Scott said it was the absolutely most fulfilling service project he has ever participated in." 
Sister Scott's Blog
Service Project: Staining Sister Jennifer's house.
Elder Scott getting the stain off of Elder Swan's head.

"One last spot here..."