Hello my dear family! How are you? Did you enjoy Conference? I know I sure did!
So this week has had its ups and downs, like any other week. This week was more up and more down though. On Friday, we had the wonderful opportunity to defend the Book of Mormon. We went to go and visit one of our investigators, Vilma. She's 35, lives with her dad because she isn't married (that's Latino culture, I guess. The girls live with their parents until they get married.) She likes to listen to us, but she really is confused about the truth. She wants to know what is true. We've visited her multiple times. I love her so much, and I want her to feel the wonderfulness of the Gospel. She attends an Evanglelist church in Chiclayo with her dad. Anywho, we went to visit her again. We started talking about The Living Christ. One of the things that the Living Christ says is the Christ is the Great Jehovah of the Old Testament and the Messiah of the New Testament. She thinks that Jehovah is God, and that Christ is the son of Jehovah. That was fun trying to explain to her how they were different. While we were doing this, her sister-in-law came in and started telling us that we were saying that God was the son of Christ or something...basically it was confusing, and once she left, we apologized to Vilma if we confused her. It was frustrating...But wait, it gets better!
Soon afterwards, her dad came home. The Book of Mormon was there on the table with us, and he come over, picked it up, and started thumbing through the pages, scowling some. "Oh joy..." I was thinking. He left, but as we were wrapping up our lesson, he came back with his bible in hand. We asked if Vilma had any questions, and her dad said "I have a little small question...Does the Book of Mormon give an account of the creation? Where are Adam and Eve in the Book of Mormon? Where is Noah, Abraham, in the Book of Mormon? (At this point I though 'well, if you really want, I'll show you, but I don't think you want to know.') And where is Joseph Smith in the Bible? The Book of Mormon doesn't say anything about them, so really, what is more valuable?" Hna Lopez asked him if he had read the Book of Mormon cover to cover, to which he responded no, only parts, but then he started go off on The Book of Mormon again. Everytime one of us would try to say something, he would just cut us off and start talking about how the Bible is the word of God and yeah. It was so frustrating. We just left, saying that we KNEW that The Book of Mormon was true. It was hard, because we didn't have the Spirit with us, and he had the spirit of contention. And it was hard too, because I really love Hna Vilma. I want to her to read the Book of Mormon. But with the influence of her dad, it's going to be so hard for her. Anywho, we'll see how things go.
But of course, with everything there is an equal and opposite reaction. General Conference was SO good. Let me tell you about General Conference for me :) They were showing all the sessions of conference in our stake center in Chiclayo, and so Saturday morning, we packed up our stuff and headed into town. We got there, and started to listen to the talks...in Spanish! But it was good. My Spanish is good enough now that I felt okay listening to the talks in Spanish. I was able to understand mostly about what they were talking about. (However, I am currently putting conference in English on my mp3, so now I can listen to them and know exactly what was said!) My notes from conference are in Spanglish. It's a great language :)
After the first session, we went with Hna Choto and her companion, Hna Medal (from Nicaragua) to their pensionista to eat. It was good! Afterwards, we returned to the Stake Center where we continued to watch the afternoon session, which was also so good! We spent the night in Chiclayo with Hna Choto and Hna Medal. We were able to go on splits-I went with Hna Choto and Hna Lopez went with Hna Medal. It was really good for me to watch how other people teach. And Hna Choto is just amazing (and I may or may not have spoken more English this weekend than I have since I got here...) We were really able to connect this weekend, and she helped me learn a lot.
Sunday morning, we went to conference again. The Sunday Morning session is the session that most people attend. There were probably only 30, maybe 40 people at all of the other sessions, but the sunday morning session was like Stake Conference. We didn't have very many investigators come (it's hard when we aren't there to pick them up or remind them in the morning) but we did have some recent converts come, which was so good. We were SO happy to see them there! And I just loved Pres Monson's talk about temples. That's exciting too, that Canada will have another temple! I miss the temple so much. I'm so glad that I was able to go as often as I could before my mission, because I'm pretty sure it will be another 13 months before I go to the temple. One day the people here in Chiclayo will have a temple, but there is a lot of work that needs to be done before then. There are still so many people we need to find.
After the Sunday morning session, we went and had lunch with the Stake President. He's a young man, about 35, with a cute wife and 2 cute kids. They live in the richer part of town, and their house (okay, well, it was more like an apartment) was SO nice! And the lunch was pretty much the best food I've tasted here, I think. I'm not exactly sure what it was, but I loved it :) It was fun to get to know him and his family a little bit better. We asked him if there was anything he needed in Monsefu, and he told us that we need more Priesthood, which is so true. We're doing good to have 10 Melchezidek priesthood holders in Sacrament meeting. It's so hard, because so many people have been baptized here, but there are so many people inactive. So that's going to be our goal for this cambio, is to increase the number of Priesthood holders in the branch. We have a lot of work to do, but we know that the Lord will bless us. We've see miracles here, and we will continue to see miracles, because we are in the service of God. Isn't it awesome!?!
Well, I'm gonna call this a letter. I know that the Gospel is true. I know that we have a living prophet on the earth at this time, and that when we study his words, we really will grow closer to God. I know with all my heart that The Book of Mormon is true. I love it so much!! I know that Jospeh Smith was a prophet of God, called to restore the Church in this time. I know that God lives, that Jesus Christ is my Savior, and that the Atonement is real.
I love you! Stay strong!