I loved General Conference this past week! It`s a little sad that I had to wait a week to watch it and enjoy it with the rest of you but it was great none the least.
I was so impressed with all of the talks and the simplicity that almost every speaker contained. The talks were great and it was great to hear everyone testify of the Savior and his Atonement. President Monson`s underlying theme of showing love and kindness so great as well. I don`t think I could pick a favorite talk but I really liked the one about the Olympic Athletes. I can`t remember at the moment who the speaker was but I loved the idea he shared about this being our `Four Minutes`. We prepared for a loooong time to come to this world and we have eternity after this life but this is the time that determines our success and happiness. I couldn`t help but think that if this life is like a four minutes halfpipe run then this time that I have to be a missionary must be like my `switch cab 1080` in the middle of the run. The significance of my mission as it relates to the rest of my life. I know I`ll take experience and knowledge that I`m learning RIGHT NOW and use them for the rest of my life. It`s crazy to think my life as a missionary is already 1/3 done and I`m so motivated to give it everything I possibly can for the next 2/3 in the Land of the Rising Sun.
A lot of what I got out of conference was how we, as individuals, need to strengthen our own testimonies of the gospel and how we can better the lives of those around us. I couldn`t help but think how scary it will be to raise children of my own in this time. Like what Neil A. Anderson said, `The world will not glide easily to the second coming of the Savior.` I have a long time before I will even think about having kids but it was just a great reminder of how we can all prepare ourselves now because the world will get a lot worse, before it gets better.
As I get older as a missionary (and as a man, I guess) I`m more and more motivated to put everything I possibly can into this work. I shared at District Meeting this last week something that my trainer, Elder Shinohara, said to me at the start of our second transfer together. He looked me in the eye and flat out told me, `We`re going to work until we die.` As a second transfer missionary, still in training, this was extremely terrifying. I didn`t understand how someone could work so hard or even have the motivation to work that hard. Now I understand more about what he was really saying. Although for him he probably was talking about working to the point where when you can`t walk anymore so you drag yourself with your hands along the ground, I feel like I understand what he was talking about. This work is about inviting others to come unto Christ. I want to give everything for my Savior because he gave it all for me. He suffered, bled, and died and all he asks is for me to serve him. That should be enough motivation to give your 110% out here. Don`t worry Mom, I won`t kill myself. There are Angels around us out here, remember? But I want to be like my trainer and work until I die. Elder Shinohara was a True Disciple of Jesus Christ, and I find myself more thankful for his amazing example every day.
I love you all and I`m so thankful for the prayers and support that come my way. I know I`m on the other side of the world right now but I can feel of your love and support so well. I love you all and words can`t begin to describe how thankful I am for everyone at home! I love you all!
Elder Jeffrey Maxwell Giles