This week was a little rough, but it ended so great! I don't know what happened this week. Tuesday was so so hard and so hot and my comp and I were a little down in the dumps but we helped each other keep going. Wednesday came around and things went even worse. The 3 times that members came out with us, no one was home. We were pretty much depressed. Thursday during comp study we were not so excited to go out and preach so I suggested we take time to pray. So we prayed. I haven't prayed for so long in about 8 months now. I was on my knees for a while and finally an impression came to my head. We needed to fast! So Thursday to Friday we fasted. Having done that, Thursday was still awful, but we were okay. We had goals to talk to every woman on the street, because I WILL NOT talk to peruvian men, and there weren't any women. We asked ourselves what we did wrong. We have been so obedient and worked so hard and I just came to the conclusion that it was a trial of our faith. Even though it was a HARD WEEK, Friday and Saturday were fantastic.
First of all, it is true that my spanish has improved being with a latina and I have forgotten some english. I love spanish so much!
Secondly, I sweat a lot. It was a really really hot week again.
Third, well ya you know it was awful all week and we really struggled, but we fasted right before the conference and that was cool. I think this experience is what finally gave me my firm testimony of the power of fasting.
Friday morning we had our weekly planning session then packed up and at 1:00 the bus left and we were on the road! I feel like it's normal to travel to Chiclayo but really I won't do it for a long time now. It's just a pretty drive but, being on the top level of the bus everything moves a lot and I still feel like I am swaying with the twists and turns of the Andes mountains. We got to Chiclayo at 7:30 ish and my comp and I stayed in Remigio Silva, an area in my first zone and we drove right passed my pension and my room and everything in 9 de octubre. It was so sad. Saturday morning we studied for an hour and then we had to go back to the office to drop off our stuff (because we are travellers) and then head to the institute building for the conference. Hermana Wood is training a cute girl from Utah, Hermana Kelly. And Hermana Monson, from my group, is training Hermana Smith (the friend of Whitney Pogue). I finally got to meet her and she is so cute. We were all able to chat for like.... 15 minutes then we all went out as a mission to take a picture. It is the ONLY time we will all be together as a mission. It was pretty cool. Then we had a little meeting before the conference. We sang about 4 hymns, an elder sang a gorgeous song in spanish, Hermana Hebdona and Hermana Waite sang "Sweet Hour of Prayer" in spanish and 3 missionaries shared their testimonies. Then Elder Bednar walked in, but not just Elder Bednar. Elder Bednar and his wife, Elder Soarres and his wife, Elder Godoy and his wife, Brother Stevenson, the presiding bishop, and his wife, and their translators. We literally had a little general conference in Peru. It was sweet. Each couple shared the #1 piece of advice they had for missionaries and then Elder and Sister Bednar took over. He first asked us to share what we learned from the 3 talks we had been studying, then he asked us what we had learned so far in the conference and then we had question and answer time.
This is what I learned in THE FASTEST 3 hours of my life:
- The 3rd companion in my companionship HAS to be the spirit. I need to use this special time as a missionary to really learn how to recognize the spirit because I need to follow Him my whole entire life.
- I will have a special respect, a special relationship, with my mission president my whole entire life.
- I got baptized and made a covenant to stand as a witness of Christ at all times and in all things and in all places. I was set apart June 30 to be a representative of Jesus Christ. I need to take EVERY opportunity to testify of Him and in doing so I will be more converted.
- Faith is everything. It has to do with the past, the present and the future (see Seek Learning By Faith by Elder Bednar).
- Conversion and testimony are different but they go together. They go hand in hand and are both necessary for the storms of life in these latter days.
What does it mean that God did not give Adam and Eve contradictory commandments? (I asked him that) (the answer is in Moses 3:17 in the Pearl of Great Price). He answered my question so clearly then he said, "Do you understand?" I said, "Yes I do thank you." Then he said, "Are you sure?" I said "Yes." He said, "Okay, I love you and want to make sure you aren't left with the slightest bit of confusion." So ya. Elder Bednar loves me. hahaha
Then Elder Bednar gave an apostolic promise. He said we need to continue as we commenced and we CANNOT stand still. If we do so the Lord will strengthen us and accompany us along the way.
as Elder Bednar testified at the end I felt the spirit so strong. He didn't just say I testify the Lord lives, he testified of every part of the gospel and I will NEVER forget the feeling I had.
I am so blessed to have been here in Peru Chiclayo for this special conference and I am so so grateful for the answers I received. I know that each Apostle and the Prophet are called of God. Christ leads and guides this church.
Love you all!