A fantastic conference with Elder Clayton of the Seventy and another, mission wide conference with his favorite Apostle, Elder Russell M. Nelson... definitely a highlight of his mission!
Wow, wow, WOW! Yesterday was one of the best days in my entire mission. It was absolutely incredible and totally unforgettable. Instead of having our normal church services yesterday, we went all the way to the temple for a special conference. Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the presidency of the Seventy came to speak with his wife. Both of them spoke wonderful spanish and shared awesome messages. One of the greatest things they shared with us was that there is always safety in obeying the commandments of God. I felt it was the perfect message for the saints here in Mexico as many we've talked to are very unsure and scared of the future in their country and in the world in general. I felt this overwhelming feeling of peace as they gave us this reassurance that the Lord will always bless those who are willing to show their loyalty to Him and His gospel. The Stutznegger´s were also present in this session and shared their testimonies and love. This session began at 9:00 and was specifically for our stake Ixtapaluca and another in the mission, Oriental. We came along with our ward in a bus. Another amazing blessing of the day was that 3 of our investigators were able to come and hear the conference. Each one had to wake up at 5:00 in the morning in order to leave from the church at 7:00. It was an incredible act of faith and I couldn't be more happy. Or could I? Yes, I can and I am. Yep, that was round 1. Round 2 began at 12:00 when we were blessed by the presence of President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. I have had very few encounters with Apostles in my life. Every single time I have been in their presence it has been an unforgettable experience. The spirit of the Lord is so strong and it shakes me to my very core. It is hard to describe sometimes. This is no ordinary man sharing yet another message of Christ. This is a man who has the same authority and priesthood keys as the great Apostle Peter. I know that to be true with all my heart and Lord testified to me of that sacred truth yet again the moment he entered into the room. His message was so simple yet incredibly powerful. One of the greatest moments is when he acknowledged all the kids in attendence. He told them all to stand up, even on their parents´ laps, and to wave their arms in the air. He focused his talk on the importance of teaching and raising these precious souls. They were simple and well-known truths. However, these simple and well-known truths took on a specific and whole new meaning for me. Things I have heard my entire life, things I have been teaching in Mexico for almost 19 months, things I have loved and appreciated for so much time came back into my mind and touched my heart. I just remember a completely overwhelming sense of gratitude and love for my father in heaven. These sacred truths and principles have brought me so much peace and incredible joy. They have lifted me up in my darkest moments and given me the strength to continue. President Nelson spoke with a translator for most of the talk until the very end while bearing his testimony and apostolic witness of Christ. In amazing spanish he testified of the power of the Atonement and love Christ has for each and every one of us. There is not a single doubt in my mind that his words were true for I have felt of that intense enabling power. I know that Christ lives and I know that His church exists on the earth today. I know that He still calls prophets and apostles today and I was blessed enough to see one yesterday. God is good and the gospel is true.
My mind is about to explode because I haven't written in like two weeks and I want to write everything and nothing and....THE LIST! La lista siempre me ayuda!
1.) A LOT of our investigators came to church this Sunday and they all loved it! This has been the greatest challenge so far in this area: getting people to the Casa de Oracion. However, this Sunday helped us see that our patience and diligence is paying off. Well, it is mainly because these people are just incredibly amazing.
2.) Wolford literally helped an old lady walk across the street the other day and it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen...but I still don't like him because he's taller and prettier than me.
3.) Zone Conferences were last week and wonderful as always. Wolford and I gave a training meeting to our zone on finding new people to teach. We focused on how finding = revelation and we need to diligently seek guidance from the Lord in order to find the people who are truly ready to accept the gospel. We used the example of the Brother of Jared in the Book of Mormon on the different types of revelation and our part in receiving it. We felt it went really well. One of the best parts of the conference was when Pres and Hna Stutz showed us a video of the story of Naaman and the prophet Elisha in the Old Testament. They explained how this story reflects our purpose as missionaries and inviting people to act in faith and to be healed. It was a powerful lessons that truly helped me realize the simplicity of our message. Faith requires action and faithful action leads to happiness. Amazing.
4.) I was attacked by an overly friendly dog during a lesson. We were teaching two kids of a new investigator we found and they just watched me suffer as I tried teaching and fending it off. The worst part is when we tried singing 'I am a Child of God' the dog kept throwing itself into me, scratching me, and licking my arm crevices all while I was trying to sing. Wolford was dying watching just how pathetic I looked.
5.) Just before writing this my pen leaked ink all over my shirt and just after I realized what had happened I managed to spill my KFC mashed potatoes and gravy all over me. Wolford again, dying.
6.) This past week we've made no bake cookies, elephant ears (fry bread), and arroz con leche. I have plans to make orange rolls at the church and homemade flatbread.
Well, I could have sworn that there was more to add to the list. Maybe there was but after climbing up the mountain in the hot mexican sun I think my brain did a hard reset. Hopefully you enjoy a wonderful Dia de Amor y Amistad tomorrow and have an awesome week!
To email Elder Foust, his address is: firstname.lastname@example.org