Monday, October 6, 2014

General Conference is My Life

Has anyone noticed that I have been gone for 8 whole months?!?! I got to celebrate it by watching conference. Pretty great.

This week went well! On Friday we had divisions with the Sister Training Leaders and I stayed in my area with Hna. Resendiz and Hna. Ward went to their area with Hna. Obregon. It was the first time I had divisions and totally felt comfortable in my area. Can we say improvement?! Hna. Resendiz is a powerful missionary and I learned a lot from being with her. We contacted a ton of people and taught some great lessons. Also, we ate with my dear friend Lucy (the mom of our investigator who signed up to feed us 3 times this month) and we FINALLY were able to teach her the first lesson about the Restoration. It was such a good lesson. I taught about the first vision and after I gave Joseph Smith's account of what happened, we asked her if she thought it could be true and she said 'YES! Definitely!' and told us that she had shivers when I was telling his account. I almost cried. She accepted a date to be baptized and everything. She is a beautiful soul. And her food was delicious, too!

While we were eating with Lucy, she said 'It is so weird that you have only been in Mexico for 8 months and you can speak so well! I don't get how you do it.' I explained to her that it is through the gift of tongues that I have been able to learn the language so quickly and that she is able to understand me. She said that she has been to other churches who claim to have the gift of tongues but they just start talking in giberish and no one can understand anything. I explained to her that the Lord wants all of His children to understand and hear the message of the gospel in their other language. He wants us to understand. Why would he inspire someone to start speaking in a different language just for the heck of it? I explained that I have help beyond my own on the mission and that there is no way I could have learned the language this fast if it wasn't for the help from the Lord. She  said that it makes so much sense! And after I realized how much I have improves, I gave thanks to my Heavenly Father for the divine help that I receive every day. I am definitely not perfect in Spanish, but everyone can understand me and I can understand them. I am able to teach the gospel in a way that they can understand, maybe in simple terms, but isn't that how the Lord intended it? The gospel is simple. I struggled a lot with the language in the beginning, and of course I still have days that I can't speak as fluidly as I would like, but I can communicate and it is awesome. This is the real gift of tongues. And I only have it to help bless the lives of the people here.

Of course, this week's highlight was conference. On saturday, we went to the Stake Center and watched both sessions in English. We actually watched them in the mission offices because it wasn't set up in the stake center when we got I got to watch conference on a couch, just like at home! I also got to watch it with my good friend, Hna. Hellstern. I was so happy to see her again. She got transferred a few weeks ago and before she left she told me that it somehow we would watch conference together...and we did!

I LOVED the saturday sessions of conference. I had written down a few questions that I had and they were answered. I loved the talk from Sister Esplin about the sacrament. I definitely want to study that talk more and apply her counsel to my life. I also loved Elder Christofferson's talk, and the one about how to gain spiritual confidence. Obviously, Elder Holland's talk was super powerful and his testimony of the prophet was...well, amazing. I shouldn't even try to say which talk was my favorite since I loved them all. What was your favorite talk?

Sunday was a little sad. My bishop told us that we would be able to watch conference in our church building in English in the office. I was super excited but then...we got there and they told us that the internet wouldn't be able to support both the one in Spanish and the one in English. We started out watching it in English but it was stopping and buffering so much that we ended up just watching it in Spanish. I could understand pretty much everything, but I had to pay such close attention to the words that I missed out a little on feeling the spirit (I did feel it, obviously, it's just different). Also, it is just NOT the same listening to the voice of the man translating. I was so looking forward to hearing the voice of the prophet. But there is always next time, I guess. But Richard G. Scott translated his own talks, so that was cool to hear. Also, I love the new element that the 70 can give their talks in their native tongue! That is super cool.

We had a few investigators come to conference, including Lucy! But she had to leave RIGHT before Elder Bednar's talk! NOOOOOO!!!! hahaha...His talk was so good. I always love his talks. And I hope that if you missed it, you go back and watch it and then post it on our social media page so that your non-member friends watch it because it was written for them!

We had a Noche de Hogar (FHE) with the Pintor Family after conference and it was so fun. Also, Tomas got a calling! But I can't tell anyone until after he is sustained! You'll just have to wait until next week!! All I can say is that it isn't a small calling and he is super excited to have a responsibility in the church. That family is the best. They came to both sessions of conference on Sunday and Tomas and Edgar went to Priesthood session.

I can't believe there is only 1 week left in the change. I have no idea what will happen next change, but I am ready for anything. I am grateful to be here in this ward and in this area. Oh and mom...I am wearing sweaters because it is actually cold here. It's probably one of the coldest areas in the mission, especially during the rainy season and the winter!

I am grateful for a living prophet and apostles who lead this church through continuing revelation. I am grateful to be able to receive confirming revelation, like Elder Nielson talked about. I know that these men and the other leaders of the church are men of God. They have been called to lead the gospel in these last days and I am beyond grateful for their counsel and advice. Something that impressed me a lot during the sunday session was the theme of Prophets and the restored priesthood authority that they hold. God speaks through prophets...He always has and He always will! And we, ask members of the church and people in general, should head their counsel and advice because the Lord has said 'What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same' ENTONCES...the words that we heard this last weekend are literally the words of the Lord. How cool is that?!

I love you all so much. Thank you for your constant support and prayers. These last 8 months have flown by and I can't believe I'm almost half way done! But I am not going to focus on that...only on the face that I still have work to do and I am grateful to be here doing it!

¡Que tengan una bonita semana!

Les amo muchooooo!!!

Con amor, 

Hermana Durham

Some awesome and kind of creepy grafiti in Ahuatepec

Hna. Resendiz, Hna Lucy y Yo

Conference pancakes! I made the Salt Lake Temple because President Monson's face would have just been too hard. 

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