Wow what an incredible week it was!! I don't even know where to begin, but I guess I better start with our All-Ireland conference on Saturday with Elder M. Russell Ballard present of course!
So the other Galway Elders drove to Dublin for the conference early Saturday morning with the senior couple, which meant that we bussed to Dublin on Friday night. So it was a pretty uncomfortable night for us on Friday because there was 9 Elders staying the night in a pretty small flat in Dublin. I was fortunate enough to get a tiny couch to sleep on, but a lot of missionaries had to sleep on the floor and we all had to take turns using one shower on Saturday morning. But it was all worth it because we got to hear from an apostle of course! So in the morning we had the normal All-Ireland conference where we received training from the AP's and instruction from President Donaldson, and his wife and a few others. Then we had lunch and bit more training and preparation for Elder Ballard to come. We were fortunate enough to be with Elder Ballard from about 2:30-5 on Saturday. He started out by shaking all of our hands, and I was lucky enough to be one of the first to shake Elder Ballard's hand! And I was in the front row of the chapel, so when he addressed us I was about 10 feet from him the whole time! It was incredible! So Elder Ballard was accompanied by Elder Patrick Kearon of the Seventy who is President of the Europe Area and his wife, Sister Kearon. Elder Ballard had been touring around Europe to speak to different congregations all week long with Elder Kearon so that he can report back to the First Presidency. We were able to hear from Elder and Sister Kearon first before Elder Ballard addressed us, which was wonderful because they were both such great speakers and had wonderful things to say about us. And then we heard from Elder Ballard of course- wow such an incredible opportunity we had! He had such a strong Spirit with him and spoke with such power! He spoke a lot about how we must become master teachers, especially in a day where everyone is distracted by the world around them and consumed by temporal things. He also spoke about how we don't have time to worry about ourselves, but instead urgently administer to those around us. We must speak to everyone around us and always be working hard in order to hasten the work of salvation. There simply isn't enough time to be consumed about our own matters when we are on the Lord's errand. We must completely let our will be the will of the Lord's. He also said that we must have an attitude of success and believe that great things can happen in our areas and in the mission. He promised that we can have more baptisms if we are obedient, talk to more people each day, and are consumed in the Lord's work. It was truly an incredible experience hearing from an Apostle of the Lord. I know for fact that Elder M. Russell Ballard is called of God.
So the rest of the week was also pretty spectacular as well! On Tuesday, we had to bus to Limerick so that I could attend Zone Leadership Council with all the district leaders in our zone, and our zone leaders. We are putting together a great plan so that we can have a tremendously successful December! And then the rest of the day, we stayed in Limerick for exchanges with the Zone Leaders. I was with Elder Ensign all day and we taught a few of their investigators and did a bit of finding as well. It was a lot of fun and we stayed the night in Limerick and drove back to Galway with the Zone leaders Wednesday morning. So with the trip to Dublin and to Limerick, we were out of our area for 2 and 1/2 days... but we still had an incredible week with all the work we were able to get done! So the big news is that we met with Clayton a couple of times and he has a baptismal date of December 5th now! He is doing so well with the reading the Book of Mormon now too! I almost started crying in one of our lessons when he said "I just have to read it everyday because it makes me feel so good." It's just been so incredible because we only started teaching him about six weeks ago. And guess what?! He came to church this week!! And he works on Sunday, so last time he came he left after Sacrament meeting, but this week he stayed for Sunday School and then called his boss to tell him that he would be late for work, so that he could stay for most of Priesthood as well! Ahh wow it was so great!! And he is scheduled to have his baptismal interview this week on Thursday, so perhaps you could pray for him that he will be all prepared for it and all will go well. Also on Sunday, we were able to get another investigator at church! We just started teaching him this week, his name is Raul and is also from Brazil. He stayed for all 3 hours of church and stayed for the YSA pot luck after church as well. We were so thrilled!! Oh and if you want even more exciting news, our branch will soon have a full-time missionary... Alex Christy, who is a convert of 3 years and comes out teaching with us all the time (she is so amazing!) decided to serve a mission and kept it a secret from pretty much everyone. So our branch president asked her to stand up during sacrament meeting and started to get choked up when he announced that Alex would be serving in the England Birmingham mission. Everyone was shocked because we all had no clue! Ahh it was so cool to see... Alex is going to be such an incredible missionary!
So yes, this week was truly amazing and I love working with Elder Carmichael. We work so hard together and have some really high goals set that we know we can attain. We have many new investigators that we are excited about and already working with some great people like Raul and Clayton. Ahh this will be such a great transfer, too bad it is only 5 weeks.