What is up world! Hope all is well on the home front, and that everybody had an amazing conference weekend like I did. I enjoyed it more as a missionary than I did as a civilian. The impact that it had on me was amazing. Walking away from conference, three things were pounded into my head over and over again. Number one is missionary work. The thought of "Every member a missionary" kept running through my head, as General Authority after General Authority stood up and pounded that over and over again. Next was the importance of the family. Every day I see the important role that my awesome family played in my life. I also see what can happen if the family is not a unit on a daily basis. How is it possible to tell though that family is important? Look around, and see what Satan is trying to attack the hardest. He will always go after what is most important with all that he has, and the family is under his hell fire right now. We must fight back. Family Home Evening must be implemented in each home, in order for Satan's attacks to not be felt. Through making FHE a necessity, we circle the wagons so to speak, and keep all hostilities out. The third thing emphasised at conference I felt was the idea of Priesthood Responsibility. It was made very clear that we must not place anything in the way of our Responsibility. No more can we allow work, money, "our busy schedules", friends, or people to get in the way of fulfilling the Responsibility given to us from on high. We simply must put the Lord first, and take whatever earthly consequences follow. It is easier said than done. While yes, it is sometimes easier to put off our Home Teaching, or other callings, if we can manage to make the progression of God's earthly kingdom our top priority, everything else will seemingly fall into place. I have seen it time and time again in the last six months, that when the Lord is first, we can not fail. It is as easy as that. No complication. Other than that I think the only other thing I heard was some small announcement about the missionary age or something!!! Holy cow! Could a bigger bomb shell have been dropped?! I doubt it! I can't wait! In just one year there will be 7, yes 7! missionaries out from the Maddox family! What an amazing blessing this will be for both our church, and our family! This announcement will likely add 25000 missionaries to the field over the coarse of the next two years, and I look forward to meeting these new younger missionaries. To everyone back home who's mission time was suddenly cut in half, prepair. While yes, your farewell will be sooner, keep in mind that the Lord will make up for all you can't do on your own. I have seen it over and over again. Pray for blessing and they will come, I promise you. Take care y'all!
So for those of you who may be a little lost as to what Steven was referring to in his last letter, let me explain... Every 6 months our church has a world wide General Conference. Our church leaders give gospel based talks over a 2 day period on varying topics. They also made an announcement that all worthy young men may now serve a 2 year mission as early as 18 years old and all worthy young women may serve an 18 month mission as early as 19 years old. The minimum age for young men use to be 19 and women was 21. So not only is this a big change within our church but within our own family. Steven has a younger brother Travis that will turn 18 in 8 months so will being preparing now. He also has two other cousins that will now leave in less than a year! So before Steven and his cousins return from their missions, their younger brothers will be heading out on their own missions! Yes, I cried hard for just a minute, not quite ready to have my house empty yet...well relatively empty I guess there will still be 4 more at home with me...by the way Steven's cousin Zack finally left the MTC in Provo today! He has spent the last 2 months there learning Spanish and leaves today for Paraguay! Now there are 4 first cousins in the mission field with 3 more on their way in the next year!!!