Monday, October 6, 2014

Week 18: Conferencia y milagros‏

Dear Family and Friends,

So, let´s talk about General Conference, and how absolutely wonderful it was!

All this week, we´ve been teaching and testifying about prophets.  We wrote lesson plans and contacting approaches to invite everyone we could to hear the voice of the Lord´s living prophets.  My testimony of the divine role of these chosen servants certainly grew as I bore testimony and opened my mouth to invite and invite and invite people to conference!

So come Saturday morning, and we go to our established meeting place (the church) for all the people who have committed to accompany us to the stake center to see the first session of conference.  And not one of our four ¨for sure¨ investigators was there.  We decided to go look for Jovany in his house, and as we´re walking down the hill we see him coming up, all spiffy in his polo and jeans.  ¨Don´t tell me it was cancelled!¨  We grabbed a bus and made it to the stake center just as the session was starting.  And some lovely members had prepared a room with the conference proceedings in English for all of the ¨cheles¨ (American missionaries).  Those two hours in a quiet, air-conditioned room listening to inspired leaders of the Lord speak in English was a slice of heaven!  I loved all the talks, but Elder Uchtdorf´s message in particular went straight to my missionary heart.  My companion and I were all smiles as we reunited after the session and discussed the talks the whole way home on the bus.  Jovany stayed with a member, who gave him a tour of the stake center.

And now for our miracles this week:

1) During the hours of the Saturday afternoon session, we were feeling a little sad that we couldn´t go because we didn´t have investigators, but also super excited to work because we were on a ¨conference high.¨  The Lord blessed us in this time to get permission from Erwin´s mom to teach him (15-year-old brother of Omar), find a new investigator, and have two people accept our baptismal invitations.  Exact obedience brings miracles!

2) We went to find one of our investigators earlier in the week, but he wasn´t home.  We´re walking to our backup plan when Hermana Estrada stops and yells ¨Buenas¨ at a gate to contact.  A woman opens and lets us into her yard.  We ask a few inspired questions (we´ve been working on that) and the woman (Karla) totally opens up.  She tells us about some issues she´s had in her family and that she feels an emptiness and wants to change.  We testified that the gospel can help her to feel this peace and make the changes, and she starts to cry.  ¨I always tried to avoid the Mormons when they came by because I thought they were just here to bother me, but I know that God sent you here for a reason.¨ Ensign moment!!  We committed her to come to conference and left a pamphlet of the Plan of Salvation.  Which leads to miracle 3...

3) We pass by Karla´s house on Sunday morning to remind her about her commitment for the afternoon session, and she´s worried about leaving her house unattended but says okay.  Then when we come back at 1:00, she opens the gate and is still in her t-shirt and hasn´t bathed.  We´re all ready to pull out our regular ¨how to convince someone to come to church¨ routine that we do every Sunday morning, when she says, ¨You know, when I heard you yell ´Buenas´ I was about to give you the excuse that I wasn´t going to come because I had to finish washing the clothes, but I decided, ´No. I made a commitment to these girls, and I´m going to keep it.´¨ Karla doesn´t have a shower, so she poured a bucket of water over her head right there and started to wash her hair in that very moment.  In the next fifteen minutes, she had bathed and dressed herself and her two young daughters, and off we went to conference!  And she loved the messages, and her daughters were very well behaved, and we introduced her to some members.  WOW.  I am a woman of little faith, but God works miracles!

4)  I watched the Sunday sessions of conference in Spanish, and I understood without any problem.  The Spirit speaks in English and Spanish, so it´s all good!

Ah, as always, there´s more I could say, but as always, my email is already a novel and my time is short.  Just as a last thing, I´ve been studying about accountability this week and have learned a LOT.  Read that section in chapter 8 of Preach My Gospel, and don´t forget to give an account of your day to the Lord in your prayers, as Elder Scott (I think) counseled.  Oh, and did you know he does his own Spanish translation, in his sweet soft voice (¨vocecito¨ as Hermana Aquian calls it)?  Also, Moroni 7... Mormon´s ¨conference talk¨ from long ago.  Ah, he makes me want to be a more eloquent and effective missionary, that Mormon!

Okay, done now.  Keep the commandments, and keep your post-conference goals!  Blessings and happiness are promised!

Love you lots!

-Hermana Hansen

(Lame) photos!

1) Not sure this pic reallly does it justice, but here´s a snapshot of some typical power lines... all 25 or so on that one pole.

2) Happy 22nd birthday to my favorite big brother!  With one of my recent favorite Jake-isms.  I hope your day is full of good food!  ¨I hope it´s my birthday.  It´s my birthday right now actually.¨ Love you!

P.S. Thanks for the shirt, Mom!

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