Yesterday was our ward conference. It was amazing. The spirit was very very strong. It had a conference atmosphere in our ward meetinghouse. I felt the "burning of the bosom," "enlighting of my mind," "still, small voice," and "peace to my soul" on several occasions yesterday during the 3 hours of church.... I made a mistake to not make a point to write down my impressions... and I can no longer figure out how to describe the atmosphere of the spirit and the things I was inspired to do I cannot remember, except for wanting to memorize D&C 64:33.
One of the things I am learning very fast with Elder Johnson (have I told you he's from Pleasant Grove, Utah yet?) is to be very bold. That kind of boldness that you had mother with that lesson you took part in over a year ago.
I am going to type up two examples of some conversations I had with some people in the last two days:
(outside in an apartment complex in the dark)
There was this guys we met that wasn't actively interested in learning about the gospel and he said, "I come and go, I'm not always around."
I said, "Great! that'll work perfectly, you can come to church and go after it's over." (I thought it was very clever).
(There is a family (of 2 non-members, 2 active members, 2 recent convers (also active), and other active kids) that we eat dinner at almost every sunday after church.)
One of the non-members has never gone to church and has no excuse to not go. I invited him to come to yesterday's church service last Sunday and he gave a without a doubt "no" response in a sarcastic "yes" answer (he's a jokester). Yesterday, as we were having dinner with them after talking for a couple minutes about him not coming to church when he said he would, his response was that he had something to do (which was to sit on the couch). Somehow in the conversation he brought up that he wanted us to make him dinner and I told him something like "I'd love to, but we don't make time to spend with people that don't keep their committments." He further asked us what day this week we wanted to go out to eat with him at 12pm. We told him a day that would work. (That is a big deal by the way, I don't think he's ever done that before.) He asked us how much time we had to eat and I told him, "Usually we keep our meals under an hour" and my companion added "...but we can spend a little more time afterwards if we teach a lesson to somebody". It was really funny, and he very well may accept to be taught the gospel after the lunch he is taking us out on on Thursday. Unfortunately, I may not be in town because of one of the exchanges that I'm going on.
Oh, I have to say something about the weather here. Almost every other day, or every other two days, for the past 2 weeks have flip flopped from about 70 degrees one sunny, no cloud in sight day -- to raining all day at 40 degrees with no sky in sight the next. That's South Carolina for you.
Robert, I am excited to read your talk. I really am. My heart already warms as I think about what you probably said.
Love you all lots,
Elder Benjamin Ray Walker
P.S. We heard an early announcement, because it's affecting out mission, that 48 (I think) new missions are going to be opened up as of July 1st. One of which is the Georgia Macon Mission (it was disolved right before President Holm was the mission president). So there is a possibility that I will be in another mission on July 1st. I don't really want to. But there will probably be a couple missionaries that end up being part of that mission as this one splits. And combines with broken off portions of other missions.