Beautiful Guatemala

Beautiful Guatemala
Me with a random field worker. I love the knife!

Friday, October 12, 2012

I am Shocked and Excited About the Missionary Age Change

Hey everyone!

We are doing just great here and I LOVED conference! Whew!

1. Wow the age change!! I’m shocked and so happy! I just couldn't believe it, it was the last thing I expected to hear in conference. I've always said that all the girls should just go even though they have to wait, and now I’m really saying it! Now there are hardly any reasons not to go, because really no one should be getting married at 18. GO! Ha, the first thing I said to the elders watching around me was "who are y'all gonna date when you get home now?!" Ha-ha! Actually one elder here who finishes at the same time as me said that his girlfriend just told him that she’s going now. But I really think it’s just great because I have learned so many things here, I have been able to help a few people, and while my "testimony" is about the same, my "conversion" is sooo much stronger, like in Elder Bednar’s talk I think it was. I loved what I think Russell M Nelson said that the mission would shape the whole destiny of the person. I’m pretty sure just a few family members read this, but if there happens to be anyone reading who is thinking of going, just go. Just fill out your papers and get the heck out of here. It’s the best thing you could do and you will never ever regret it.

I loved all of conference and the themes of repentance, service, missionary work, and how to make it through trials. Something I thought was cool was that they talked a lot about enduring through trials and serving. If we all are about to have a lot of trials, but we are all serving each other, everyone’s trials are going to be made easier by everyone. Isn't that cool? And apart from that, we will all be able to become a little more like Christ. I love that the Gospel works like that.

2. Missionaries love conference for a few reasons. One, because it’s an 8 or 10 hour feast on scripture just for us (and us gringos got to watch in English, the best!), and Two, because is 5 chances to bring people to church in one weekend! We managed to bring 2 families and a few others. I was really happy because that’s the most people I've brought to a conference. We are excited to have 2 families progressing now. We've got a few teenage kids who came and who've been wanting to get baptized, but their parents won’t give them permission yet. We are teaching a few other families here who are kind of progressing...we will see... But this area is so awesome, like I say every week, because there is so much to do, so many people to find and teach. It’s great!!!

3. Familia Martinez Reyes. I think I mentioned them last week, they’re the really poor family who cooked us a delicious meal, are progressing really well and I think they will be getting married and baptized in a few weeks. I have come to love them so much, and I want to help them because I just love them so much. They are so poor. They live in a tiny wooden-metal sheet house and all that can fit in their house are 2 beds. They cook outside on an open fire. And you know how I was complaining about having to take bucket showers? Well I shouldn't be complaining because at least we have a bathroom and a shower - familia Martinez Reyes just bathes out where the pila is, outside. But they are wonderful and I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is what they need to make their lives better. 

4. We had a cool little experience this past week that Id like to share, about my comp listening to the promptings of the spirit. On Friday we of course had a million things planned and were racing all over town going to appointments. I noticed that my comp packed a few copies of "The Family: A proclamation for the world" in her bag and I didn't know why because we hadn't planned to go over that with anyone. We went about our day, and our last appointment was a little meeting we had organized with a member family, familia Vasquez. We had asked them to invite some recent converts who lived a few houses away, and encouraged them to invite a friend or neighbor who wasn't a member. We were pleased to arrive and find that they had invited a friend, Rubenia, an Evangelica. One of the members of familia Vasquez was going to share a short message on, you guessed it, families. He started off by reading part of the proclamation and then we were discussing it as a group, to see what Rubenia thought about it. Most Evangelica churches around here teach that when you die, you go to heaven but you will no longer recognize your family, and you all just live as floaty spirits doing nothing, all together, but without family bonds. Isn't that sad? Why would you even preach that? Lots of people who go to Evangelica churches don’t actually believe that because it’s just ridiculous that that would be Gods big plan for us, but Rubenia is one who believes that when she and her husband die, they won’t know each other anymore. But anyways, it was a great little experience for me because the member had been prompted to talk about eternal families, my comp had brought copies of the Proc, and we were able to talk a bit about the Plan that God has for us. Unfortunately, the lady had to leave all the sudden, so we couldn't finish up what we were explaining, but we were able to send her with the proc and put another appointment. I have no idea if she’s going to progress, but I've just seen countless examples of the Lord arranging everything so that the investigator can have a spiritual experience, whether or not they accept it is up to them, but the Lord is always doing his part. 

My testimony has really been strengthened this past week by the conference. I just know with all my heart that what was spoken in conference is what we all need to hear and apply in our lives. All y'all in America are lucky that you have access already to the conference. I have to wait another month at least for the Liahona. Oh well. I know that this is the true church on the earth. It just has to be. There are so many things that prove that to me. I love the gospel. I’m grateful for the patience the Lord has for us. Have a fantastic week everyone!!

Hermana Gilland

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