Sunday, January 26, 2014

Columbia West Stake Conference - "It's like eating a cookie! It's GOOD! And you just want to share it!"

Saturday night session of Stake Conference was marvelous!  A counselor in the Stake Presidency, a young, returned missionary from the stake, President and Sister Holm and our Stake President all spoke.

President Barfield talked about compasses, or Liahonas in our lives...Scriptures, prayer and our patriarchal blessings were three of them that I got written down.  We all need compasses to help us find the way back to God and His Son, Jesus Christ.  God has provided us with many compasses - and we need to use them!

President Holm told of an experience some of our missionaries had this past week.  They were helping a bishop with a job in his ward, and the truck they were in stopped in the middle of the country.  They got out and opened up the hood and went through the process of trying to find out the problem so they could fix it and get on their way.  I guess they worked on the engine for quite some time and were about to give up, when the bishop's 7-year-old son hollered to his dad from inside the cab of the truck, "Try it now, Dad!"  (as if he had done something to help).  His dad decided to humor his boy, and climbed into the cab and try again.  This time the engine started right up.  He said to his son, "What did you do?"  The 7-year-old replied, "I said a prayer that the truck would start."  Ah!  The faith of a child!!!  Love children!!!

President Shurtleff is an institute teacher at USC and Clemson, and he is a stellar speaker!  He started off by asking people in the congregation to share missionary experiences with everyone.  It was a little slow getting started, but in the end quite a few people shared their stories.  It is interesting that almost all of them were young people - one young girl who couldn't have been more than 12!  It is so amazing to see how prepared some people are to receive the gospel.  Heavenly Father is certainly working on the hearts of the people of this state.  He wants all of His children to return to Him, and the only way that is possible is for them to receive the ordinance of baptism by the proper priesthood authority.  Missionary work in the south will be exploding in the next few years!

One young black boy, about 16 or 17 years of age, shared his story.  He had friends at school who kept inviting him to church, and finally he took them up on their offer.  He went and he loved it.  He said he felt like he was home.  (We heard that from a lot of people, actually.)  After he was baptized, he was relentless in asking his other friends to come to church and to join him in church activities.  He told us, "It's like eating a cookie!  It's GOOD and you just want other people to try it too."  He was SO cute!  Beautiful big, white smile!!!

There were more stories - but I'm done for tonight.  Been talking to the family and it's LATE!  Time for this old Sister to go to bed!

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