Wow, what a week!
We spent most of this week inviting people to conference it seemed. We knew that it would strengthen their testimonies and we wanted as many people as possible to go. We committed as many as we could.
Then conference actually came. For us it meant getting out the door to invite people, and then walking the 40 minutes to conference. At least ours is close enough we didn´t have to take a bus like some other Elders in our zone. Because the ´´gringo room´´ hadn't been set up yet, I got to watch the first sessionin spanish.
Depending on the translator doing the talk, I could under stand a lot, or nothing. One of the seventy spoke really fast, and the poor translator was just spitting out the words. I got notes from that talk, but I didn´t understand a lot!
After Conference, it was back to work for us, but it was good with the spirit of conference!
I fasted this weekend because I wanted to follow the example of Alma in Alma 5. I don´t know why this didn´t really sink in before my mission, but I respect Alma a lot more. I admit that in my life I´ve had my moments where I want to know, and I ask for an ´Alma Experience´, I want an angel, I want something big. In Alma 5 Alma is talking about how he gained his testimony, and he says roughly (in my translation to modern English):
I know this is true, and you want to know how I know?
(at this point there was probably someone who didn´t make the cut into the book of Mormon that said)
Well, duh, you saw an angel, were knocked unconcious for three days and woke up talking about how you were made clean and wanted to share the gospel!
But then I can imagine Alma getting really quiet and powerful, like any prophet that wants to share something deep (have you ever noticed that President Monson might raise his voice a little, but never yells?), and says:
I fasted and prayed for many days so that I could know this.
This has really hit me hard in my mission because I have been having the doubt (like probably every missionary), Do I know enouph? Because I haven´t seen an angel, I havn´t seen Christ and God like Joseph Smith, I haven´t miraculously healed someone, etc etc. But reading this, I realized something that I´ve been taught all my life, but never quite clicked to my own life...Angels do not bring testimony.
Sure Joseph Smith saw Dios y Jesuchristo! It was a marvelous experience that ended the apostasy. But he wasn´t ready to organize the church until 10 years later! Even after Moroni directed him to the plates, he told him you are going to have to wait 4 years or so to mature and prepare before you translate these.
I have been stressing this with investigators this week and I know I will do it through all my mission. God does not expect us to know everything. He gave us the veil so we would forget. It is only here on earth, as we make our decisions blind to the knowledge we had, that our true character can be refined, and strengthened.
I know that I don´t know everything, and I have been learning to take comfort in that. If I knew everything, it would mean I have nothing to learn, and if I have nothing to learn, then my life would be kind of boring.
I liked in conference when ¨ (Can´t Remember Who) ¨ talked about how God chose our trials for us because he knew what things we need to learn. This is part of the reason our eventual deaths can be viewed as peace. It means that person has learned everything they need too. They passed, and now they get to go enjoy the peace and happiness of God.
I love you all, I think of you often, have a good week, and remember that God Loves you!
Note from Mom: I found out that Graig didn't have a pillow so I told him to go and buy one. He sent this picture to show me his new pillow. I'm not sure why his companions' beds don't have sheets on them. Apparently he is sleeping on some kind of mattress on the floor.