April 7, 2014
This was one of the best week's of my life. Seriously. Not much matches up to it. But numbers wise, this week was pretty low. But the majority of the time numbers do not reflect hard work. A lot of things are out of our hands, like General Conference and Zone Conference. Which took a lot of time out of our week for teaching lessons. But still, best week ever. Honestly, I don't remember much about it until Friday haha. So I will start with Friday.
Friday was our Zone Conference, which was held in Glenwood Springs, and it lasts basically all day. Which is fine because I LOVE Conferences!! First of all, I love to see all of the missionaries and talk with everyone! At times it truly feels like a huge family, there is always an eternal perspective. A lot of these sisters I will stay in touch with for the rest of my life. At times it is super weird to look around and be surrounded by missionaries. It is weird to realize that I am one of them as well. But I love being a missionary!!
Anyway, zone conference, we hear from so many different speakers about how we can be better and help our different areas so much more. It gives me such a boost every time. The Lord is Hastening his work and President Murdock is very eager to assist him. We have set some high goals for our mission which will require a lot of hard work and faith. So a lot of the talks was about having the faith to see miracles in our area. And one of the ways we show our faith is through hard work and diligence. Believing that everything we do is getting us closer to finding those children of God who have been prepared to listen to the gospel of Jesus Christ. And also that through exact obedience we will be able to have the Gift of the Holy Ghost to guide us at all times. Man, I am super grateful that I have no problem being obedient. I loved the quote from Conference, "mature obedience is the Savior's obedience." So true. Sister Flores and I have been praying for the faith to see miracles in our area. Just this week I found our there are only around 3 thousand people in the town of Gypsum. Which means there are maybe 2 thousand in Eagle.......um do you know how many people that is. Like none. Especially for a missionary. No wonder I feel like I know everyone here now. But we both know without a doubt that there are people prepared here. They are so ready for the gospel they just don't know it yet. And we are ready for this area to build up so much. And I have already seen such a hug difference in this valley.
Our little branch will be starting at the end of this month and we are so excited. And the members feel so blessed at this moment. It has been a very humbling thing to witness such strong testimonies of faith and perseverance. In Utah everything about the gospel is handed to us on silver platters. You never have to work to go to church or show your diligence in the gospel. I believe that the youth truly aren't having those moments where they need to rely on their testimonies. Which might be why a lot of them don't have testimonies until later in life. That is how it was with me. Everything was a habit until I was humbled by God enough to look down and see what had been in front of me the entire time. The truth to happiness in this life and the eternities. But I am so thankful for the foundation I was raised on, so I knew where to look and turn to for help. Anyway, I keep getting distracted, a lot of exciting things are happening here!
Now I am onto Saturday!!!!!! First of all, General Conference was AMAZING!! I loved the overall message of helping those around us and just loving them and being grateful for what we have. So simple but so necessary for our salvation. On Sat. Between the sessions of conf. was Yesenia's baptism. That woman was completely ready to be baptized. She has such a strong testimony and knew how important this step was in her life. The only thing she wanted was her family to be there with her. She is divorced and sometimes she doesn't get the support she needs from her kids. But they all showed up, and her 16 year old son brought her flowers. And she had also invited friends to come and the entire ward was there because they love her so much! ah if only I could truly explain how special she is. We went in the changing room with her and she just kept saying she felt so happy in her heart and that she could not wait. When she went into the font she was so nervous, she does not like attention on her haha. Our ward mission leader, Brother Wait, was baptizing her. He is an amazing man and helps us so much. But I love being a missionary. We get the best view of the baptism because we are waiting for the person at the steps of the font with a towel. So we could see Yesenia's face the entire time. first it was nervousness, then during the prayer it was complete peace. When she came up from the water you knew automatically that something was different in her. There was a physical change, a light in her presence. It was a miracle to be able to witness this. Directly after, in the dressing room, as soon as the door closed, Yesenia broke down crying. She was so happy and so overcome with the spirit that she did not know what to do. I sat there and held her while she was crying and dripping wet from the font. It was such a tender moment for me. One that I will never forget.
Once she changed out of her clothes she grabbed both sister Flores and I and hugged us so tight and just said thank you. Then we went back into the chapel for her to be confirmed. Yesenia was confirmed and given the Gift of the Holy Ghost. There was not a dry eye in that room. The spirit was so thick that you could feel it moving around between the benches and touching every person in that room. After her confirmation we sang, Nearer my God to thee. Yesenia sobbed throughout the song and her youngest son just held her.
But the story is not finished yet. Yesenia's wanted her family to be a part of the program so bad. So she begged her daughter to say the closing prayer during her baptism. Her daughter agreed but felt so nervous. So on Thursday we went over to her house to teach her 23 yr old daughter how to pray. Her daughter, Yesenia #2, said her first prayer and cried. Everyone cried in her house. She said it was because she was tired but we all knew what it truly was:) Especially Yesenia, she was so content in that moment. Anyway, so Yesenia's daughter walks up to say the closing prayer. And she says one of the most beautiful and sincere prayers I have ever heard. She begins crying because of the spirit. I don't know if I can explain the strength of the spirit that was felt. I mean, I cried like a baby. and that is definitely saying something. As you can tell, this afternoon was so special. I truly wish that words could do it justice. I am eternally grateful to be apart of her life and expecially through this with her.
Sunday was also a great day. All of the Hispanic members came to the chapel to watch conference with us! I loved seeing them all together in that room and listening to the words of the prophet. Especially with Yesenia and her family :) And between the Sunday sessions they all brought food so we had a huge party! We set up tables and chairs and just ate while talking to everyone. When I leave I will miss these people so much. Thank goodness I only live a few hours away. One of the many blessing of serving in Colorado!!! Conference was amazing this year and I learned so much. I cannot wait for the Ensign to come out so I can reread all of the talks and truly study them. And have I mentioned how much I love my companion, Hermana Flores??? Because she is incredible and has so much love and kindness in her. We work so well together and she is truly another sister to me. Why does God keep blessing me with so many great people in my life???
I love my mission. I could go on and on about all of the things I am learning and all of the joys I have felt, even through the stress, insecurity, and sorrow. It is an amazing experience. and guess what? Yesterday was my 5 month mark!!! What!? I am almost 1/3 of the way done. Time flies by so fast.
Thank you for all of the examples I have had in my life. And for the love and support I feel from everyone!!