As for what stood out the most to me, it was probably just the re-emphasis on what was taught in the January broadcast - Teach Repentance, Baptize Converts. He talked a lot about the power of the Book of Mormon in conversion, as well as making sure our investigators are ready before they are baptized. It also impressed me how important modern revelation is in the church. When he opened things up for questions, we had time for maybe half a dozen or so, he answered almost all of them with scriptures from the Doctrine and Covenants.
Overall it was an amazing conference, even if it was only 2 or 3 hours of actual instruction. It was also great because before, and a little bit after the conference, we were able to mingle with the other missionaries. If we showed up early, they didn't make us just sit there and study, they let us go in the gym and talk with the other missionaries for a while until it was time for us to get ready for the meeting. I was able to see many of the missionaries that I have served with at different times on my mission.
Now to the rest of the week, the Dotson's are doing great! We met with them twice this week again, plus they attended church. The first time was on Wednesday and they fed us dinner. Dinner was great, but we weren't really prepared for it. (So I guess I should explain the timeline for that day. So Wednesday was P-Day/Temple day. So we went to the temple for the 12:00 session, which normally gets out around 2 or 2:30. Then we were all mingling and trying to get organized enough to take a picture, so we get to Cafe Rio around 3:30. Cafe Rio always serves you too much food, but I always eat it all anyway. So we leave Cafe Rio around 4, but because of traffic, we didn't get back to Moreno Valley until like 4:45. And we all decided that we wanted to eat some Cold Stone, so we stopped at Cold Stone, even though we were already stuffed. And so by the time we left Cold Stone we were full to the brim. Elder Andrew couldn't even finish all of his ice cream.) So we pull up to the Dotson's home at 5:35, and surprise!, they had made pasta and garlic bread as well as a dessert. So we were beyond stuffed after dinner with them. Elder Andrew couldn't quite finish his dinner, or his dessert, but the kids were running around messing with stuff so he was able to feed a little bit of it to their son. After dinner we had a lesson which we had planned to have on the Plan of Salvation, but she had some questions about things and it turned into us talking a little bit about tithing, and trying to convince her that we were not the IRS and going to audit her every year, but that tithing was paid voluntarily. Eventually we were able to calm her down and get it all figured out, but we are going to teach tithing again another night just to be sure she understands the principle.
The second time we met, it was just with Brohter Dotson. She was at a Lula Roe conference (kind of like Mary Kay but for clothes, it's a Mormon owned company), and he had dropped off the oldest daughter with some cousins down in Hemet. So we took the opportunity to teach him about the Priesthood, as well as the Law of Chastity so that he can handle that with his daughter however he feels appropriate. We took Ken over there that night and the kids really loved him.
I think they liked church much better this week. She had driven back from her conference at like 1 in the morning on Sunday, so she was dead tired, but the kids were good and people were nice. Jenny stayed in Nursery the whole time with no problem, and Elliot fell asleep halfway through Gospel Principles. At first I was kind of concerned about the lessons because this week was "The Lord's Covenant People" in Gospel Principles, which could have gone pretty deep but instead turned into some pizza analogies, and in Priesthood, one of the first things that got brought up was exaltation, but they redirected it to enduring to the end pretty quick so it wasn't anything they hadn't heard about yet. Overall I think they decided it was okay, 3 hours on a Sunday morning isn't so bad and their kids were pretty good during sacrament, though it was kind of distracting for me because I was watching them.
Overall things are going well, it's nice to be working with the Dotson's. They are super solid and committed, and it makes it easier the rest of the week to push through cancelled appointments or phone calls that aren't returned.
I want to thank everyone for the birthday cards and letters and packages. I'm still working on replying to everything, but they should get in the mail this week. I just haven't had the time or energy to respond. We've gotten home pretty late a couple different times in the past week and most every night I feel pretty tired.
See you soon,
"Get on your knees and pray, then get on your feet and work." - Gordon B. Hinckley