Monday, October 7, 2013

I Know My Redeemer Lives!

What a very mind blowing General Conference weekend!!!!!!!! Its no surprise I am sure to anyone but I LOVE General Conference!!!! I get so excited over the anticipation of the topics that will be covered and of who the speakers will be. I love them all but I just get so excited over it all! As I was sitting listening to President Monson talk the first time in conference I had another experience. My testimony was strengthened once again. I know that my Redeemer Lives!!!! This was my experience. My testimony burned within my heart as I thought of this phrase over and over again. It might have been such a powerful thing to me at the time because I have been so focused on this song. This week I was asked to accompany a vocalist in our mission for the english zone conference. Lets get the facts straight for a moment. I am a violinist not a pianist. Although I can play very few select hymns and this is what everyone hears when I play for meetings. Now the Lord has been blessing me with the ability to learn more hymns however I feel that there is a big difference between hymns and vocal solo music. But I trust the Lord and so I agreed to look over the music. At first glance the music was terrifying but the more I played it the more simple I was able to make it to fit the skills that I possess. So I am officially playing the piano for the musical number on Thursday. However your prayers would be appreciated. ;D Because I was also asked to play the other songs for the day. Now you may ask why is this such a big deal? It is simply because Elder Kopischke of the quorum of the Seventy's will be presiding at the conference!!!!!!!!!! HELLO! my nerves are through the roof hahahahaha
So.....back to conference. I loved the talks they are so inspiring. I found myself in awe several times when the sanctity of women was brought up. It saddens me that our society has gotten to the point when this has become necessary. I have discovered myself during several points of my mission with the longing of wanting to have my own family. Before the mission one of my co-workers asked me if I was going to be the kind of returned missionary that is obsessed with getting married. I answered no at the time but then later decided that I should consider it. After this weekend I have made the decision that marriage is something that will be a focus for me not an obsession. With the many talks on women's roles in the home this decision has been made stronger. I love that they talked about the fact its okay for women to stay at home and that they should! I have seen the effects of single moms and working moms on families. Its devastating to me because these children are definitely left wanting for more. I want to be the mother that my children can turn to in times of need. The mother that will be there to nurture them. I want to rear my children in the gospel and help them strengthen their testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ. I desire motherhood far more than any career that could be mine because it is the career I have been designed and destined to have.
I am also very impressed with Elder Bednar's talk regarding tithing. Many times I have found myself thinking of the blessings received by paying my tithing. While I was in high school tithing to me was something I understood that I needed to do but didn't really truly understand the effects of. I didn't understand that it was a commandment which came from God. It wasn't until a tithing settlement some years ago. I wasn't prepared to assign myself as a full tithe payer. When the Bishop informed me that I was no longer worthy to enter the temple I felt a very really void in my heart very deep within. I was desperate to fill that void and I knew very clearly that the only way to do so was to repent and pay my tithing. Within the week everything was squared away and I felt the sweet presence of the Holy Ghost witness to me that I was once again worthy to enter the temple. I was promised in my patriarchal blessing that the temple would be a strength a joy to me. Knowing that this blessing in general was very precious I wanted to make sure that this specific blessing would remain mine. A few years my purse stolen from a church building. My wallet had my tithing money in it and quite a lot of it since I hadn't remember to turn it in the couple weeks before. I felt the sadness enter into my heart knowing that my tithing money was lost over someones else's agency. I felt desperate because I did not want to consider myself once again unworthy to enter the temple. Dad explained to me that the Lord would consider it paid since it was set aside for the specific use of tithing. Since then I have made sure to pay my tithing each and every paycheck. The blessings have become too precious to me to not have. I have spoken a lot of the blessings of temple attendance but the blessings are far more reaching. As a college student trying to make ends meet while living in Nebraska it was sometimes hard to pay that tithing. But for every month that I paid it in faith of the blessings to come, the blessings came flowing. I remember one particular time: It was getting to the end of the month and I had had an unexpected tire replacement to pay for earlier that month. I was terrified because I knew that the money in my account wasn't enough to make sure all the bills were paid on time. But as I looked at my computer screen to view my account I thought I was going crazy. I had much more in my account than I thought I had. The amount was the perfect amount to get me through my bills and to my next paycheck. As I review the History there was nothing to signify over spending or under spending. It was all the same amounts of money as before. Not knowing what else could have lead to this wonderful discovery I remembered the experiences I had had before and knelt down in prayer and thanked my Heavenly Father for the blessings due to my tithing being paid. I know that by paying our tithing the Lord will indeed "open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing." So if any of you do not have a testimony of tithing dont wait for the hard experiences of learning about tithing. Rather lean on my testimony and look for the blessings in your life of the tithing you pay. The Lord wants us to have faith in His commandments and obey them but first we must have a belief. To gain the faith we must act on our belief.
Another thing I loved from conference was the line "doubt your doubt before you doubt your faith." It is so true for all of us regardless of how strong our testimonies are. For those we love who are doubting please follow this counsel. Satan is the only one who wants us to be miserable. He will do everything in his power to get us to leave behind the thing that can and will give us the most peace and happiness. Also it was really funny during Elder Nelsons talk. We all brought our little snacks (i.e chocolate and crackers etc) and as he was talking about how our bodies are temples and how we need to treat them we all ended up putting away or down the goodies and taking more strict notes. hahahahaha I think we even have a treaty being signed sometime today to not eat sweets. Very motivating.
I just loved conference and to top of the week Sugar has a set baptismal date for November 9th!!!!!!! It has just been a great week and with Elder Kopischke coming its bound to be better. Oh and Sister Kemp and I are getting a brand new car from the lot tomorrow! I am so excited! It will be the only time in my life I am sure that I will drive a brand new car. heeheehee
Well I love you all! I hope you have a wonderful week and that you rely on the words of our prophets.
Hurrah for Israel!
Sister Cottrell

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