I'm getting all of my final preparations together for my mission.
I gave a talk in my home ward on Sunday. I kept trying to come up with ideas for what I should talk about, and even though I liked some of them, none of them seemed like "the talk." Then, as I was outlining the talk Sunday morning, one thought really caught on, and I could tell that that was the one I was supposed to give. So I scrapped everything I’d written up to that point, and just wrote what the Spirit prompted. I finished shortly before it was time to go to church. I really enjoyed the sacrament meeting. My cousin, Chris, had arranged a piece based on “God Be With You Till We Meet Again” and "The Spirit of God" and it brought tears to my eyes as he played it. Everybody seemed to really enjoy the talk and I had several people ask me for copies of it, which felt good because it helped me to know that I’d allowed myself to be guided by the Spirit.
One thing that surprised me was when people started to hand me checks. Apparently it’s a tradition to give missionaries money. It’s nice, because it’s expensive both to serve and to prepare for a mission, but God has provided so many opportunities to earn money and my dad made a significant financial contribution and my girlfriend is buying my car from me and between all of that I expect to have more than enough to last me through the mission. So it was nice to get this money, in a sense, but it felt kind of weird accepting it. Maybe I’ll use it to buy people chocolates while I’m in France.
Blogger has a feature that lets me update my blog via email, and this is the first posting that uses that feature. We’ll have to see how it works out. I’ll ask my mission president if I can continue updating my blog. That way people can keep tabs on me without me having to email people outside my immediate family.