I´m glad I got you good this year. I´ve been dying all week to see how the joke played out. :) The ironic thing is that the same day that I sent that letter, we went to eat at an all you can eat buffet called Delywok. It looks like a giant piece of Chinese caligraphy. I wish I would have taken a picture of the outside, but I took a few inside. Then we went to the gun museum. I took about a million pictures there too. :)
So lets talk about Conference, because I hardly remember anything else that happened this week other than that. The first day rained all morning. Here, they pretty much expect that the whole country is going to shut down if it rains, so people were shocked that we still wanted them to come to Conference with us. I wanted to tell them that we should fear God more than we fear rain, but we just tried to encourage them instead. Nobody came, and my suit got soaked in those lovely flooded villa streets. And the Saturday sessions would have been perfect for our investigators and recent converts. Elder Critchlow and I kept looking at eachother and slapping our foreheads. Especially when President Eyring said ¨some of you may have been invited by the full-time missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints...¨ But Sunday morning, it didn´t rain, and five investigators joined us! It was incredible, and I can´t wait to talk to them about it in later teaching appointments.
We got to watch the whole thing in English this time, so I was extremely grateful. One of my favorite parts was Elder Holland´s talk. When he spoke of the world wanting comfortable gods, ones who ¨not only don´t rock the boat, but don´t even row it,¨ the whole room of missionaries cracked up. YES! His unique perspective reminded me of the real character of Jesus Christ. Yes, He absolutely is infinitely loving, merciful, and deeply desirous to save all mankind. But He is eternally intolerant of sin, and cannot give the least amount of leeway. Those who recieve His blessed mercy are those who are humble enough to forsake sin and follow Him. His atoning sacrifice was a solution, not a loophole. He gave us salvation, not an excuse.
Elder Bednar´s talk was awesome as well. I liked his example of the burdens that were neccessary for us to progress. I was thinking about this, and agree that our load must be full of things of value to us when we get to our destination. Sure, we could get through our trials with a heavy load of whatever type, but when we get to Heavenly Father, at the end of the snowy road, what are we going to show Him that we brought? A bed full of junk that´s been ignored? Or fire wood neatly chopped and ready to be used? Lots of things can get us through trials, but if we don´t let the trials change us, our loads not going to do us a whole lot of good when we get out of the snow.
I could talk about everyone´s talks. Oh man, it was so inspired. I hope and pray that everyone of you take advantage of the incredible opportunity that you have to re-study all of the talks. I´m so disappointed that we have to practically wait six more months to heard the voice of the prophets. But I do want to take the time to testify of them. My companion and I were trying to give another chance to investigators back in the villa and got back from the subway too late to participate in the sustaining vote. But even though I missed the formality of raising my hand in a closed, unsupervised room with a dozen other missionaries, I want to publicly declare my support for the leaders in God´s kingdom, divinely called, rightly ordained by Priesthood Authority, and empowered by the Spirit. As a required characteristic of the restored Church of Christ on the earth, His Church is led by inspired prophets and prophetic apostles in just the way that He established it. I´m grateful for their faithfulness in carrying out the revelation they recieve from Him, and support them in standing up for truth and righteousness in a changeable world of persistent evil.
As President Eyring and others warned, the opposing power that the Adversary has will grow porportionally to God´s Kingdom on the Earth- never overpowering it, but always present until Christ again comes to vanquish his forces. But until that time, I´m so grateful to know that Christ as provided us with these blessed representatives of Him. De este testifico, que la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días es el reino del Señor establecido de nuevo en el mundo hasta la segunda venida del Mesías. En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amén.
Hasta la proxima semana. ¡Hurrah por Israel!
1. The Zone yanquis listening to General Conference in English (except for two hermanas in a deep conversation).
3. Elder Molina was taking the picture
4. Elder Zollinger went to West Point. Needless to say, he loved the gun museum.
5. Elder Critchlow
6. Elder Critchlow and I with General San Martín at the Gun Museum.