OH MY GOSH BABY GRACELYN IS THE CUTEST!! Congrats Ashley and Jordan! She is beautiful!! I wish I could be there to meet her, but I'll see her in another 16 months or so! Send me more pictures though!! And congrats to Steph on graduating! I'm so excited for you! And Karey Anne you're coming home next week?!? That's crazy! But I'm so excited for you at the same time! Well we watched General Conference with a few families from the Ward. But Sunday we watched it at our WML's house. It was so fun, especially with all of their little ones running around haha and I'm serious it was so fun! And I was so excited to watch my first conference as a missionary! It was awesome! I love Conference :)
Well this week we didn't have many lessons. Most of them cancelled on us again but we did have Zone Conference last week on Wednesday. This was my first Zone Conference, and I LOVED it! And I honestly don't think Zone Conference could've fallen on a more perfect week than the week of General Conference. The messages I heard from all of ZC, District Meeting, and then all the sessions of General Conference were incredible. I know that the Lord was definitely preparing me for Conference because the messages I heard from all of these meetings this week addressed every concern, worry, and fear that I have had the last few weeks. It was truly incredible. I can testify that the Lord knows each and every one of us, and he will answer our prayers in the way that we need them and in the time that we need them.
First of all at ZC the theme was "What Does It Mean To Be A Full Purpose Missionary?" And we had the privilege of watching a video of a talk given by President Uchtdorf from last year when he was addressing the Mission Presidents in Salt Lake City. It's not a talk that's publicly broadcasted that's why it was such a privilege to hear it.
Anyway, it was an AMAZING talk. And I learned more about what it truly means to be a full purpose missionary in that one talk than I have from all the personal study I have been doing lately. He spoke of the stories of Peter walking on water toward the Savior, and about when Peter denied that he knew the Savior. Now, I think we all know the message of both of these stories. But President Uchtdorf explained them in a way that was so much more profound and applicable for me. When he was done explaining the stories he asked "Now what does this have to do with your sacred calling?...it has EVERYTHING to do with it!" Just like when Peter was walking on the water, as long as he was focused on the Savior he didn't sink. But once he looked at the storm approaching with its monstrous winds and waves, Peter became afraid. Fear overtook him and he began to sink, but he cried out "Lord save me." And immediately the Savior stretched out His hand and pulled Peter up.
And when the Savior Prophesied of Peter denying Him, I'm sure that this faithful disciple thought he was confident enough in himself that he would never deny the one person he had come to love most in this world. But nevertheless, the Savior's prophecy came to pass and surely Peter denied that he knew the Savior. I didn't think much about it until then but I started to wonder; what had caused this faithful, confident, and devoted disciple to deny the Savior? And immediately President Uchtdorf gave the answer. Fear. The very thing that had caused him to sink when he took his focus off of the Savior. President Uchtdorf asked, "How could fear make him deny the man he knew was the Savior?" And as the scriptures put it "And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly."(Matthew 26:27)
He wept bitterly. Now I can't imagine just how Peter must have felt. He did the one thing he was confident he would never do. I can't imagine exactly how he felt but I am confident that he probably felt something like incredible grief and regret. He probably felt that he had let down his friends, his family, himself, everyone. But most of all he let down the Savior Himself. And maybe he even felt like he couldn't be forgiven for what he had done. But then President Uchtdorf asked another question that I think can apply to all of us. "Like Peter...Will you allow your fears to get the better of you?" We all have sinned. We've all made mistakes. And we have all done things that we regret or wish we hadn't done. And maybe we've felt like we let down the people we love, and let down the Savior. And maybe we have even felt like we could never be forgiven. But like Peter we can repent. And continue on with a life devoted to the Savior.
I have grown to truly love Peter. Because in so many ways I can apply his experiences to myself. Like we all can. There have been many times where I have felt like I'm not doing enough. Like I'm not working hard enough, I've messed up a lesson, or I'm just not a good enough teacher to be doing this. Or in other words I'm afraid. I fear all of these things about myself. I want SO badly to be what the Lord wants me to be so that I can bring my brothers and sisters to the truth of the Gospel but sometimes I'm afraid no matter how hard I try, my efforts might not be good enough. I don't want to let down my Savior. But as President Uchtdorf said something that helped me SO much. He said "like Peter, you too can overcome your fears and become a powerful instrument in the hands of the Lord." I want so badly to be the Full Purpose Missionary that the Lord wants me to be that I can't keep myself from worrying sometimes. But I got a letter from a very wise man this week who told me to "stop worrying about trying to be a perfect missionary and let the Atonement of Jesus Christ make up for your short comings." And I needed that :) and I have already seen that in my life. I've seen how the Atonement has blessed and changed my life and I only wish to see that in lives of those I love. But it is my testimony that if we give our fears and worries over to the Savior then He will make of us what we are meant to become. I testify that the Savior truly lives. I can honestly say that I have no doubt that He lives and that He loves us more than we can comprehend. And I love Him for what he has done for us. And just after watching Conference I can't tell you how much closer it has brought me to my Savior. I wish I could send you all 22 pages of notes I have written from Conference but I'll spare you haha. But I'm sure you'll hear me refer back to conference through out the year.
Sorry this email is kind of short but I love you all so very much!! And if you haven't watch the new Because He Lives Video then please do so :) look for the miracles this week!
~Sister Amy Callaway~