(Disclaimer: this photo was not taken by Elder Oldham…he did not post any photos this week so I think this is an open source image from the internet)
I had no idea that Carlos was from Sibiu. It is a beautiful city. I am very glad that I was able to see it, even for a day. I am glad that we were able to help out those guys out there too. They are hard workers, but a missionary now has the Branch President job, and so he is feeling very lonely and inadequate. My companion knows what that is all about because he went through a branch presidency, and it was tough. I only know a little bit about it, but what I know of it is, it was really hard. It was nice though, and the weather was gorgeous as well. We had a BBQ, which was nice. It was fun. Let’s see…
There really isn’t anything else news wise about our week other than what happened today. Wait… We taught a guy, and he is super cool. When we explain everything he feels that it is true and he is an amazing guy. I will try to keep you posted about him.
Anywho…Today we had Zone Conference. I was really happy about that, up until I remembered that I was conducting. I just about had a heart attack. I don’t like standing in front of a lot of missionaries and saying things. However, everything went well and it was fine. No sweat. I got a lot out of Zone Conference though. I have noticed something interesting over the past few conferences. The week previous to the conference I have studied the topic of conference before I even knew what the topic was! For example: This conference had a theme of being “agents unto ourselves,” and that has been a theme of my study this week before conference. That was really weird…and cool, because it allowed me to go into conference and be taught more about the particular topic that I had been studying. It was really interesting. I have learned a lot about being an agent unto myself.
In the talk Healing=Courage+Action+Grace I have learned a lot about being an “agent”. He talked about what it is like to be in the “acted upon” phase of life, and how that is exactly where Satan wants us. Where we are not acting. After I had this study, and really felt the impact of that study, I realized that I need to start fixing a few things. Nothing too serious, but I have seen how my life, and a few of its aspects have been in the “acted upon” section. I am not okay with that. I then had a weird moment in the shower. I know how weird that sounds, but it was really powerful. I was standing there thinking about that subject of being acted upon and acting, when I felt something so interesting. It was a realization that I have been in the acted upon section with some things. Then I felt that I really had the choice laid out before me, to choose, or not to choose. I could see the path pretty clearly. I decided to take the path of acting. I felt instantly different. Not like a ton different, but I felt and knew that I could choose to act. That no one in the whole world was making my choices but me. A lot of times I have felt that my choices have been influenced by this or that, and I have, frankly, made some justifications. However, I have realized this week that I am in so much more control over things in my life than I even realize. I AM the master of my fate, and the captain of my soul. It really hit me, that I can choose where I want to be and what I want to do, and who I can become. It was a powerful moment for me.
I feel very strongly that this change in my thinking and behavior has stemmed from my highly spiritual personal studies that I have been having frequently. I have been reading BYU devotionals, but they have been the best things for me, even scripture. I have felt the confirming power of the Holy Ghost in my life, and the blessings from that have been incredible. I know that my pathway is a challenging one, but that I can choose to avoid almost all of the unnecessary damage. Granted, I will make mistakes, and mess up, but I think that I will be much less likely to just give up and give in to those thoughts about how I can not change, and blah blah blah. It has been a very good week with regards to realization and spiritual things. I hope that I can continue to have good studies. (I can choose that too. 😉 ). I hope that you guys will be able to study now with your new scriptures! 😉 I really hope that you guys do like them. I thought a lot about them. The scriptures are so important, but never forget about the living scriptures we have now! They are equally valuable!
I am grateful that you guys keep me posted with the things the little kids are doing. I miss you guys, but I feel good out here. ;). I really like Abby’s pink Nikes. Those are nice. ;). I love Lilly’s art work. She is getting good! I hope that Oliver is learning more and more. Learning is good, and especially in the job field. I hope that you guys remember that you have the happiest message and lives in the whole world. You have the truth of the Restored Gospel of Christ! What is better than that? Nothing…That is the answer. It should show on your countenances! That means happy faces. 😉 I hope you guys can feel the hope and strength that comes from the Gospel.
I love you guys so much!
Varstnicul Nick Oldham