Monday, September 26, 2016

September 26, 2016

So this week was interesting!  We had Zone Conference and because we have to fly here and back we had some issues with flights and ended up being in Saint Petersburg for 4 days!  Too long, I was wanting to get back to my area the whole time.  Anyway, the title of my email is that because my poor little trainee took after my stomach problems issues, and our whole time in Saint Petersburg he besically couldn't eat anything and was always on the toilet.  Anyway, he lost 15 pounds in about 5 days, sounds about right.  Anyway, he's better now (none of the 12 day nightmare I went through) but he said it's annoying that his pants and collars are already loose.

Anyway, Elder Tribe is awesome, from Bountiful, Utah.  Has 2 siblings and really likes basketball. Which was fun because I really like basketball too, we had a fun time talking basketball for a bit. His best friend growing up was President Eyring's grandson, and so he actually got to meet President Eyring on several occasions and said that that was a big help for him and a real blessing. He also realizes that we're basically just as new at this volunteer thing and that he has stuff to contribute which makes me so happy, because a lot of time trainees don't speak up at all.  We were also staying with other Elders this week in St. Petes, and there was one night I laughed harder than I ever have before, it took me a long time to calm down after that.  

Zone Conferences were definitely the highlight of the week.  We talked about a lot of different things, but the thing that stuck out to me the most was about prayer.  My previous companion Elder Crookshank (now one of the Assistants to President Childs) pointed out the need to pray to know what to pray for.  I honestly hadn't really thought to much about that beforehand, but it really struck at that point the need to rely even more on God, and ask Him, to help us to know what we need.  If he really does know it all then doesn't it just make sense that we should be asking him for what we need to be asking for?  Sorry if that's confusing, it makes sense to me :).  Anyway, I've been applying that a lot as of late and that has been a huge help these last couple days.  The Lord knows what we need better than we know, and the more we rely on him, the more he can help us.  I love the example from Elder Mervyn B. Arnold's talk this last General Conference when he talked about his "angel mother" and that when she was sick and could no longer leave the house, she'd spend her days writing letters to the people she would used to visit, encouraging them, reassuring them, and strengthening them spiritually.  The rest of the day she was entertaining those people that she used to visit by welcoming them into her home when they stopped by.  To many, a little old lady who can't leave the house might not seem to be the ideal prospect for someone to make a lot of change in the world, but to the people that she made a difference for, she made all the change in the world. I love D&C 123:17 and D&C 97:8 which always give me comfort that if we are doing what we are meant to be doing, then the Lord is proud and oh so accepting of us.  

I'm super excited for General Conference this week!  I know I mentioned it 6 months ago, but that's the great thing about it is that there is a new one evey 6 months.  For people who get this that aren't of our faith, General Conference is what we call the worldwide broadcast where the leaders of our church counsel, give guidance, and support.  If you've ever been more curious about what "Mormons" are all about, it's an awesome resource to hear from the leaders of our Church about different things we believe in/try to do in whatever places we might find ourselves.

Love you all!  Have a great week!  Sorry mom, I don't have enough time, I'll answer the question about how much zoo service next week! 

Elder Belnap

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