Greetings from Chincha!!! Ohhhh my goodness...I cannot describe right now the great joy that I feel. This past weekend we saw General Conference (a week late because last week it was the voting day in Peru for the new governor, and it's a law to not have any chapels of any religion open that Sunday - there was just no church, nothing), and I have not seen a better conference in all of the days of my life. I've never been so filled to the brim with the Spirit of God - luckily we got to watch it in english, the 6 gringos in our zone, and I felt it was like a mini temple-trip; a spiritual refuge from the world to reenergize, and it was incredible. I filled about twenty seven pages in my study journal the whole conference, but more importantly the spiritual impressions engraved in my soul, heart and mind, will never go away as long as I shall live. I am so, sincerely grateful for living prophets today. I know that they are called of God, and that they speak His words. I am so grateful for their plainness of speaking, like unto Nephi, concerning the Doctrine of Christ, Plan of Salvation, Obedience, Christ-like love, Prophets, and Testimony. So interesting all of the talks and how they were based around similar topics, all closely related to missionary work!!! I know that our Savior is hastening the work, and I love His divine cause with everything in my being - I literally felt that type of love as I watched the conference - it filled all of me, and I am giving every particle of faith I have to do what He would have me do. The Holy Spirit guides each decision and act of faith I make every day and every night. Prayer is such an incredible power to build and demonstrate faith. I testify as a disciple of Christ that if we make daily scripture study and pondering time a part of our very being, daily habits, and if we really rejoice in those divine words, we will never fall - because that is a sure foundation, above which Christ himself has promised we cannot fall.
Last week I learned the great importance it is for each of us to cultivate love towards other people so that we can learn personal revelation from the Holy Ghost during our interactions with them. I experienced that first hand with Elder Cajo on the bus trip back to Chincha after the leaders conference - I'll have to tell you all about it someday, I'm sorry I don't have more time. In short, if we don't open our hearts with love towards those who interact with us, towards leaders who guide and teach us, then it will be much more difficult to receive personal revelation as we listen and observe them - the pure love of Christ brings the Holy Ghost into our very beings who is the ultimate teacher. We must learn all truth for ourselves - we cannot rely on conversion of others in the day of justice. If our heart is not forever firmly open towards our Lord and Master, even Jesus Christ, we will not be able to follow Him not receive personal revelation from His teachings to eventually become even like unto Him some future day, because our hearts have been closed. Let us love and accept all truth, and love all people. ´´Be patient, and kind, and forgiving.´´ -Elder Holland. That's from the talk ´´I Believe´´ from April 2013 Conference; I listen to it every single day various times in our room, and have it memorized practically! I intend to download all the conference talks and do the same from now on. I'm so excited to learn these conference talks!!! SO POWERFUL!!!!!
Let me just say that we are working very diligently with the members of the Chincha Ward. I love this place SOOO much. And yes Mother, Elder Valencia will leave this change and that means I'll stay one more with a different Elder - means I'll be here for Christmas!!!!!! I cannot express my excitement over email. All I want is for you to send a ton of great gifts for the Molina family, our converts, and I will give everything to them, and the other incredible converts, less-actives, and members. Don't get anything for me. I am seriously going to give everything away to these people, poor in heart and loving. My bowels are filled with compassion unto tears. I have never had such a great love in all of my life, and I testify that it comes from my Savior Jesus Christ, for the truth of His everlasting word and for the overwhelming Spirit I feel every day. That great love that has sunk into my very being extends out to the United States, to each personal family member in my gorgeous family. I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH. Never forget that - let it sink into your mind, over and over, and into your own hearts. You're in my prayers, and I can't wait to see you all and spend many hours together, building our own faith in the Savior Jesus Christ.
October 25 Salome and Jaime will get married! (Salome a less-active and Jaime an investigator, they have 2 darling kids) and he'll be baptized! There is an incredible joy and spirit felt working with families, because they have a greater spirit and love given to them because of having their own kids and family. I know the gospel is true and blesses them greatly. The family night every week is helping the members strengthen their faith and other less-active members in a way I have never seen before. Please do every family night with great diligence! And family scripture study, and family prayer. Make family night prayer a different, special experience, and not a routine thing. Plead with our Heavenly Father sincerely for all you need and desire, and show your faith to Him by keeping His commandments - the little things are the only important things to life for me!!!
Please have the best day ever. Every day!!!