Tuesday, March 17, 2015


Friends and Family,

After much waiting and anticipation, I was finally able to watch General Conference this past weekend. What a blessing is is to be able to teach the importance of a living prophet so these investigators and then to actually be able to listen to him and receive his council coming directly from our Heavenly Father. Being on a mission brought new meaning and importance of conference. We as missionaries teach these principles and doctrines to all those in whom we come in contact with, but they are the same things we hear from our leaders. It made me recognize the sacred opportunity I have to wear the title "Elder" for these two years. I am teaching just as the apostles teach. The only other title that uses elder is the apostles. 

I had a great opportunity of teaching the priesthood in a family home evening that was brought up in a funny way. We had gone to a sisters house last Monday which would have been after you all had watched conference. Her daughter was on her laptop on Facebook reading some of the posts from conference. She came to a quote from Elder Oaks. I don't remember exactly what it said, but when read in a certain way, if you're fairly new to the church and don't have all the knowledge about priesthood power as she does if sounded like women were now able to receive the priesthood. She jumped up and ran in to the room where we were sitting and said, " Elders! Women now have the priesthood!" Me and Elder Hale both looked at each other a little confused and asked where she heard that form. She said that Elder Oaks said it during General Conference. We both looked at each other even more confused and then ran to find out more about it. The quote stated that women have the AUTHORITY under the direction of someone HOLDING the priesthood. We did our best to explain it and then decided that would be our topic of the lesson. As quoted from Elder Oaks himself" While the sisters have not been given the Priesthood, it has not been conferred upon them, that does not mean that the Lord has not given unto them authority. … A person may have authority given to him, or a sister to her, to do certain things in the Church that are binding and absolutely necessary for our salvation, such as the work that our sisters do in the House of the Lord." It was a good lesson and I was able to learn a lot. 

The Philippines has now hit summer and you can definitely feel it. The past couple nights it has been harder to sleep. I've woken up to look at my alarm clock that has a temperature reading on it as well. On one of the nights I rolled over to read 3:07am 92 degrees! SO hot! Its amazing the different kind of blessings I've recognized while being out here on a mission. One being the heat isn't draining when you are staying focused on the work. Whether it be during studies or sitting in the direct sun teaching a lesson if I remember what my purpose is the weather doesn't seem to have as much of an effect as Satan wants it to have. I now understand what people mean by its pointless to shower haha. As soon as you get out of the shower and start to get dressed you're already sweating just as much if not more that before you showered. But I see the importance of it because if we want to teach people, we cant have them running away because we stink. As crazy as all of it is, I absolutely love it here and don't want to be anywhere else. This a beautiful country and these are amazing people who need the blessings that only the gospel can bring into their lives.

Please pray for the Salsedo family and for Marvin. They need a little help gaining a testimony of the book of Mormon and the importance of reading it. This is the true church here upon the earth today and we have a living prophet who talks directly with Heavenly Father. I know those things to be true of I wouldn't be out here on a mission sharing that with others. 

Elder O'Neil