This weekend was probably one of the most stressful, but rewarding, weekends. Our mission president told us to move heaven and earth to get our investigators to conference and to experience for themselves the blessings of having a living day prophet who quides and directs this church. We had to have an investigator with us to be on temple square, so we had solid plans for all four sessions of conference . . . but most of them didn't follow through. For the Saturday morning session we had planned to go with Marcelino. Dad would love Marcelino, he's a funny old Mexican man. He is solid, but he has a major addiction to alcohol. He was on date to be baptized, so we committed him to stop drinking for 8 days straight. He drank on the 8th day. So all this week we called him every night to make sure he would still meet us on temple square. We were on temple square that morning and we called him at least 50 times, but he wasn't answering his phone. He never called us back, but that night we saw him driving around town! We called him and asked what happened this morning and why he didn't come, and he said he had gotten called in to work but he was heading to temple square for the priesthood session. Saturday afternoon we had awesome tickets because the President of the Logan temple sent them to my companion (he was the mission president in Dallas where he taught and baptized Sister Adorable's family). We had invited one of our new investigators (Juana) who we just put on date to be baptized last week. But she fell through at the last minute. Then we thought of one of our recent converts, but we had to find a babysitter and a ride for her first. We called every person in our phone book, but nobody was willing to help. Eventually we got a woman and her daughter to come, their family had just gotten sealed in the temple. So we had floor seats, I was within 100 feet of President Thomas S. Monson! I could see him breathing! So Saturday was frustrating, but we had faith that things would work out for the Sunday sessions because they were a lot more solid.
On Sunday we went with Maria and Chris Martinez. Maria is a member, but her husband isn't. He had gotten into a really bad accident at work, his leg and his arm are both broken. But he still came! We got a ride up with them to make sure they'd be there! They got to watch the conference in the conference center. So that was successful, but Chris still is afraid to make a decision. He was baptized in the catholic church when he was 8, so he's afriad to change religions. We're still working with him to build his faith and his wife helps us a ton during our lessons. She always says exactly what he needs to hear. He learns a lot from her example since she was catholic and was baptized two years ago. We tried to commit him to a baptismal date, but he says he needs more time.
On Sunday afternoon Claudia was supposed to come. We called her Saturday and asked if she could come for that afternoon session, but she said she was too busy doing things on Saturday so she could come on Sunday. We called her at least 50 times and we called Ernesto (her boyfriend) at least 50 times, but she never answered.
So conference was pretty stressful, but I loved it! It's like Christmas, especially when we have the opportunity to be on temple square. I especially loved Elder Holland, Elder Anderson, and President Uchtdorf's talks. It's so important that we live this life so that we never have any regrets. We need to spend meaningful time with the people we love. We need to strive everyday to become the person that Heavenly Father needs us to become. We can't do this by dragging our feet, looking at our watches, and complaining all along the way. We need to be living each day to it's fullest. I loved when Elder Anderson was talking about how this gospel can support us during any trial in our lives. The last thing we want to do when we are struggling is turn away from the church. Elder Holland's talks are always so powerful. He starts out in a simple calm manner, but then he puts us all in our place. Heavenly Father needs defenders of this true and restored gospel. We need to show our loyalty and our love for Him for sharing this gospel boldly during any stage of our lives.
So women can serve missions when they're 19 years old! Big news!! This will be such a blessing for the church. We need more missionaries and we need more returned missionaries who will continue to share the gospel. This is such a great opportunity for people who have a true desire to serve. My only concern is that I'll look like an old woman when I'm 23 and I'm training a 19 year old.
We had to eat at La Guadalupana again yesterday. We were walking to our apartment and one of our less active memebers, Alina, was driving to the restaurant. We found out the other day that she owns it. She told us that she wanted to feed us, so we had no other choice! We were eating and my companion was like, "Sister Bragg, don't look at the ground . . ." I looked and I saw a cute little cockroach crawling around.
I did get to run into a lot of people during General Conference, it was great. I saw Dr. Hazel, Brother Strong, and the Desert Hills ward priest quorum. They came all the way from Washington for General Conference!! I love them! I also saw Alyson and Nathan Wallace, Ashley Nelson, and Sarah. I love temple square :) I got letters from my dearest parents, Jentry Friedli, Suzanna Stoddard, and Jenni Budge. I just love people so much :)
I love the opportunity that we had to hear from a living day prophet. We are so blessed to be living during a time where we can receive guidance and direction that is specified for this day. We are blessed to have the restored gospel of Jesus Christ on this earth and to enjoy the blessings that come from making sacred covenants with God, such as baptism by immersion. I'm so grateful for this and I'm so excited to read the messages we heard over and over again.
I love you all and I hope you have a good week!!
Hermana Jenny Bragg