The Lord is blessing us here in Gijòn :)
I am never sure exactly where to start these emails, so much can be packed into one week here, it really surprises me every week! The highlight of the week, definitely General Conference :) I LOVE watching it in English or Spanish. The spirit truly speaks the same language and all of the questions and worries that I have are answered and I feel peaceful :) It sure is nice hearing the speakers' voices in English though, we watched two in English, and two in Spanish! I really felt the need for that spiritual recharge... we are SO BLESSED to have prophets and apostles that know what we need to work on for the next six months. I have so many goals set that I want to start working on. How about you? It amazed me how this conference felt so UNITED with this world, they could speak in their native tongues, we saw little children singing songs in the native languages, etc. We spent all day Sunday in our ward building watching the sessions with ward members and investigators and eating lots of delicious food, it sure was a day to remember, we felt sooooo happy. I still need to see the Sunday Afternoon session though, it was broadcast too late here, I am excited to see the other talks.
The entire time we were watching conference, I just felt an immense amount of gratitude for all that the Lord has blessed me with and permitted me to experience, especially here, serving a mission. At times, we can reach a point in our lives when we seem to be going through the motions, almost as if we feel a bit numb to many things, especially to the Spirit. We are still doing the right things, going to church, etc., and I feel like I have found myself in many situations like that before. But here, yesterday especially as we listened to conference I found myself thinking, “WHY DIDN'T I FEEL THIS WAY BEFORE?" Have you ever thought that too? I have gained a testimony of the importance of personal preparation and always remembering the goodness of God in our lives and letting Him soften our hearts. I pray that we never reach the point of becoming beyond feeling, because it is SUCH a wonderful feeling to be full of purpose and know with a surety that God is aware of us and can speak to our hearts. Even when those feelings and thoughts that we may have are not even very related to what the speaker is saying, I know that is personal revelation coming directly from the Lord! This was my last General Conference as a missionary... and I was reflecting a lot, I began to cry a few times in gratitude for the way I have come to know that Lord by serving Him and how any sacrifice I think I might have made for the Lord has been paid back to me in tenfold. I am grateful to be able to speak Spanish, to be a part of this incredible work, and for feeling full of light and discovering truth. I hope all of this makes at least a little bit of sense. I know this church is true, I know it is Christ's church and I know that God lives!!
Mom and Dad, I thought of you when Elder Tad R. Callister and Elder L. Tom Perry gave their talks. Thank you for making your job as parents your number one priority and not just giving us your leftover energy after work and studies and cleaning was done :) I am so blessed to have you as my parents, I can never thank you enough for all that you have done for me.
In the last session we had in the chapel yesterday afternoon, we had a miracle! We had been doing our best to call people, and stop by their apartments to help them come to conference. There reaches a point when you can only do what is in your power and let them exercise their agency, but from all of those that we had invited, they hadn't showed up! But Carlos, the mustache man from Gijon came to the last session! The talks were perfect for him too, and he really liked it. We had a lesson with him afterwards, and I always enjoy his prayers, they are the most sincere, intimate conversations with God as he has been learning to communicate himself with our Father in Heaven. He consults with God telling him that he will for sure meditate all of these wonderful words that he had heard this day and ask to truly know that these men are called of God (didn't you love those talks about received personal conviction and confirmation of the truth?). And he also said that he was grateful to have made THREE NEW FRIENDS in church that day. I love his little mustachy smile, he sure is happy when he comes to visit with us, and he had a good first time at church.
Oh I neeeeeed to tell you more about Eva (a recent convert from Paraguay) and Rosa Vela (a lady that has been inactive for 10 years and three weeks ago just decided to put her life into order and come back to church!) Both of them are sooo strong and really brighten our lives. We can count on them to help us in lessons. I can't believe they were not a part of our lives three weeks ago. Eva came here about when I did in search of her missing husband and they both come from very different backgrounds, but we will be helping the both of them prepare to go receive their endowments in the temple. It was fun to spend conference with them; they loved it.
I LOVED Elder Jorg Klebingat´s talk and Elder Neil L. Anderson’s. It stood out to me how much they emphasized truth and how to gain truth through personal revelation, they can see the spiritual wars we have ahead. The temple protects and prepares us. Both talks from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf really spoke to me, too.
"Why does the Lord allow opposition? Because it sends seekers of truth to their knees" -Neil A. Anderson