Wasn't conference amazing! We were lucky enough to have all of our goals met by Friday so that we could attend all of the sessions (it was especially nice because Saturday it rained ALL day like crazy and we were safe and sort of dry and warm in the church) including the General Women's Meeting Saturday before the first session. It was absolutely beautiful! I loved all the sweet primary girls and the awesome video. Hermana Castellanos and I were both a little trunky as we saw all the moms and daughters and thought about our families watching conference at the same time we were.
I saw a big theme this year in defending the truth and having the faith to be obedient to the commandments, even when it is not popular or easy. The world is becoming increasingly wicked and we have to become more truly converted disciples. I loved hearing all the talks addressed to the youth, especially after hearing of the experiences of Nicole in the past few weeks and months. Nicole you are such a wonderful example to me, to your friends and to the world. I am so grateful to have such an amazing sister to look up to. You are the kind of youth our Heavenly Father needs. He is so proud of you for your courage and conviction to do what is right. Thank you for being so truly converted to our Savior and for serving as an example to those around you. Stay strong sister! I'm praying for you and I love you so much!
|Forgetmenots. It reminded me of President's Uchtdorf's talk.|
I received an answer, personally, that I need to develop more charity and love for every single one of God's children. Some of our contacts or investigators are a little more difficult for me to love with all my heart. I plan on focusing this month on seeing every single one of the people I come across as a child of God and doing all I can to help them come closer to Christ in their own way. As I develop this level of charity I know I will be able to serve them more fully and lose myself more in the work of the Lord.
One of our greatest miracles this conference weekend began with a small family. The dad, Marcelo, is a brother of Gabriela Fernandez (one of our investigators). Marcelo was present in a lesson last week and we set up a CPB. We couldn't find his house the first time we tried but this week we finally found him and his children. He and his wife are separated and right now he is living with his sister and is without work. He has three adorable children (Jorge 11, Rosana 9, Sonya 7) who all sat and listened to our first lesson.
We taught the gospel and learned that his process of repentance is with his children, to spend more time with them and make them a higher priority in his life. The first night the children read the pamphlet and prayed but he did not do it with them. We applied what we learned about verification in zone conference and commited him to read and pray with his children. The next day he found us in the street and stopped to tell us excitedly that he had followed through.
On Saturday he came to conference in the rain on his own and we told him that is was important that he bring his children on Sunday. Sunday afternoon they didn't show up. As we left conference we checked our cell phone (which had been on vibrate during conference) and found a text message we hadn't seen. Marcelo and his children had waited for a colectivo but it never came so he was asking if we could come with a car to take them to conference. As we were walking away from the church kicking ourselves for not seeing the message sooner we saw Marcelo and his children walking towards us. They had walked from Ameghino to Lujan 1 (probably at least an hour with the kids) to attend conference and arrived just as it was ending.
We were so sad that they couldn't see the session but were so incredibly amazed at his faith. He brought his children walking at least 2 or 3 miles to hear the words of the prophets and to be obedient to the commandments. While his children were not able to see conference I hope they will remember that experience forever and the faith of their father. I hope we can all develop testimonies as strong as this man who is completely new to the gospel of Jesus Christ and is already willing to sacrifice so much for the blessings of the gospel.
We have really stepped up our teaching skills and are seeing miracles as the Lord is blessing us for our efforts with great families that are progressing. We hope to achieve or exceed our goal of 3 baptisms this month with families that are truly converted. We are working with some other wonderful families that are progressing toward baptism this month and a few who will be making appointments to get married in the coming month. Our area is flourishing but I know there are more chosen people who are just waiting for us to find them.
Here are a few of the other highlights of the week:
This week we found a man named Gustavo. He was a reference from a family in the rama. He is 20 years old and has a 2 year old son, but is separated from the mom. He has a lot of tattoos and is a little rough around the edges but in the first lessons we taught about repentance and the gospel of Jesus Christ. He told us he would quit smoking completely by Sunday and when we gave him a few choices for baptismal dates he chose the closest date. When we talked to him two days later he told us he had already quit smoking and had been clean for two days!
We went to Open Door again. Do you know what that means? Miracles! We found a man who had fixed our bikes once and gave us his address in Open Door. One of his friends told him there was no way we would be able to find his house and he was amazed that we had found him. His wife was a little hesitant at first but after teaching them about forever families and the blessings of the temple they agreed to get married!
Juana got married! It's probably been a little hard for you all to catch up on the drama with Juana. (It's a little difficult for us as well) She's amazing, however, and has the faith that if she follows the commandments and is baptized Miguel will begin to change. Their wedding was on Friday and she is counting down the days for her baptism this Saturday.
|Juana and her husband at their wedding.|
We taught Dionicio and Gabriela about priesthood authority and the difference in our church and the rest of the churches in the world. It was a little hard for Gabriela to grasp but Dionicio totally understood and began telling Gabriela that the Catholic Church isn't true lol! (She didn't like that very much) He committed more firmly to actually read and pray to know if the church is true.
Transfers are this week and the desires of our hearts are to stay together and continue working and growing. I know there is more we can continue to learn together. I know, however, that the Lord knows us and our needs better than we do and I will accept His plan as He needs.
|We made matching planners this week because after this transfer we probably won't be together.|
I love you all soooo much! Thank you for your wonderful examples and the things you have taught me all my life. I am continuing to pray for you each day. I love you!!!!
PS Nicole! Congratulations! 29!!!! Holy cow! You are amazing! Now go take it again and beat both your brother and sister lol!
PPS. I don't know if it is possible to send CD's in the regular mail but if so I would greatly appreciate the conference talks (in English) and or a Mormon Tabernacle Choir CD (from iTunes, don't buy one) and or another normal church CD (again, a collection from iTunes, don't buy anything). If not, that's totally fine. Oh, and an Ensign of conference in English.