Thursday, April 10, 2014

Salta, Mitre 1 - April 7, 2014

Hello Family!
Well, it was an awesome general conference week! I love conference so much! The week started off pretty great! We found a family (married, which is super rare here) that had received a Book of Mormon from a friend a long time ago. It was really cool to find that! I love seeing the fruits of member missionary work! Their car broke down on the way to conference, but we'll keep going by!
Right next to them lives a girl that went to church with a friend last Sunday. She liked it, and even though she didn't read much in the Book of Mormon, she went to both sessions Saturday! She wanted to go Sunday as well, but her mom wouldn't let her. She wasn't very happy with her mom. I wouldn't be either. Conference is just so powerful!
I think I've already talked about the really smart Colombian family we're teaching. The mom had to go to the hospital. She had a freak accident and her husband found her behind the house passed out. They're still not sure what happened. When she came to she didn't recognize any of her family members or friends. We did a fast for her, and she's coming home today! The day we started the fast she started recognizing her family. Fasting and prayer works miracles!
We have two investigators that are completely ready to get baptized! The problem is the parents. Both of them went to almost every session of conference and want so badly to make a covenant with God. As we were talking about it, we realized there aren't many reasons that the parents won't let them get baptized - it's just a matter of maturity. Both of the dads don't really care, but we think that one mom is using her permission as leverage, trying to have more control over her daughter, and the other is scared that the Catholic grandma will get mad. Luckily, the gospel helps us get our priorities straight, and I'm sure that as we teach them how they can better follow Christ, they'll let their kids do the same. Even so, I'm so grateful for my parents and how great they are. It's like Elder Scott was saying, my parents never forced me to do anything, but they always lovingly motivated me to do the best. Not to mention they're married. That always helps.
I saw something really cool Tuesday! It was the zone leader meeting and I overheard a zone leader talking to Sister Levrino about a recent medical visit. He said that the doctor wasn't a member, but that they'd started teaching him. She said, "Great! Let's put him on the list of doctors we use. That way even if he loses interest or if you can't find him because he's busy, we can keep sending missionaries to him and he'll maintain contact with the church!" Talk about an eye single to the glory of God! 
We contacted a reference named Whitney! She's from South Carolina! That's just always fun. I'm really glad that Elder Inman served 7 months in California, because my gospel vocabulary in English is terrible.
Ready for an awesome story? My first week here we made a street contact named Elvira. We couldn't find her house at all. Addresses here are not the best. People make up streets and numbers, and some houses don't even lie on streets. We saw her kid in the street last week and he took us to the house. This week we passed by to teach. They committed to go to conference and went! Elvira went from First Nephi 1 to Mosiah 2 from Friday to Sunday. She said that this is the only church where she feels something special - talking to us, reading in the Book of Mormon, and in the conference. Pray for prepared people, and God will send them!
We made waffles Sunday morning. It's funny how great things can be after a year and a half of not having them.
We were listening to EFY 2013 the other day and realizing just how many subliminal general conference messages are hidden in there. It's awesome! The church is really smart.
Now for my thoughts on general conference! My favorite talks were Sister Reeves on protecting the home (I've never heard a sister talk so directly about that kind of stuff - it was amazing! Not to mention I loved the strong and clear emphasis she put on daily family scripture study and prayer, and weekly family home evening), Elder Scott on influencing with love, Elder Zwick on correct communication (who didn't love the story of jumping out of a semi? Every investigator commented on that), Elder Ballard on follow up (get praying for your "one person" for the next quarter!), and Elder Corbridge, where he talked about all the not-quite-as-spiritual evidences that make the church different. True, the ideas such as this is the only church that has the same organization as the old one may not help you as much as a firm spiritual witness in times of heavy trial, but it's still really cool to consider all those fun evidences! There were two more that I absolutely loved. Something Elder Oaks said reminded me of something that Elder Bowen said when he came to Argentina last year - we should watch or read ALL of conference, including the priesthood and women's sessions. Clearly, not live, but we never know if God is going to put our personal revelation that we want and need in one of those sessions. Elder Oaks's talk blew my mind. I had no idea that you could say stuff like that in general conference. My understanding of the priesthood changed completely. I also loved Elder Ridd's talk. He was also so direct and you could tell that he knows exactly what's going on with the youth!
I also felt as I was listening to the talks that there are some big trials coming up and that the second coming's just a little closer than I thought.
Anyway, those are my thoughts for the week. I love you guys a ton! I hope you all got to see all of conference, and that you're excited to go over it again!

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