Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My heart has definitely been changed thanks to the gospel of Jesus Christ. And it has been a huge change. - 4/7/14

7 de abril 2014

General Conference weekend is always great. And in the mission it is no different.  Being able to watch General Conference is the best. That was for sure the highlight of this last week. But the whole week was pretty good! 

Monday was the official Anniversary of Paita. And Monday night after we got back to our apartment, we planned and then we started to cook our dinner. Outside of our apartment we started to hear music and it kept getting louder and louder. So we went to the window to see what it was and there was a giant parade coming down our street at about 10 pm with music and they were carrying the statue of the Virgen de las Mercedes down the street. That was definitely something that I had never seen before in my entire life. It was pretty cool though. Not something that you're ever going to experience in Kaysville, that's for sure!

Parade outside our apartment

Tuesday was a great day. One of the best things about Tuesday was personal study in the morning. I was reading in Alma about the sons of Mosiah as they were going to preach to the Lamanites. I read the story of Ammon and King Lamoni and tons of memories started flooding my mind--of the little movie that we have about it. All the songs "We are dead. Soon we will be dead....... We´re alive. Don't you know that we're alive!?" "A Mighty Change of Heart." jajajaja Good times. I loved that movie. And honestly, I love that story. How cool is Ammon? And I love thinking about the conversion of King Lamoni. Like the scripture says, he really did have a mighty change of heart. And as I was thinking about that, I realized that that is what the gospel does to us. It helps us have a mighty change in our hearts. Through the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we can change and come closer unto our Savior.  But I don't think it's done yet. It's not something that happens one moment. It's more of a process. Little by little, this change takes place in our hearts.

Tuesday night we were going to have ward counsel, but there was the earthquake in Chile and there was a tsunami warning for all of the coast of Peru. So they didn't want to have it that night. It wasn't really a big warning though. Nothing ever reached Paita. We slept in our apartment that night. Hardly anyone evacuated to the upper part. 

Wednesday morning we went and took out our money for the month. When we take out our money at the beginning of each month, we seem so rich. But then we have to pay for everything. Food, laundry, apartment, pension, and we're not left with anything. That's kind of how it is though in life. Pay for all the expenses, and there is little, if any left over. It's okay though. I think that's a great lesson to learn here on the mission. It's pretty simple. Don't spend more than you have. And only spend it on things that are worth it. 

Wednesday night we went and had a lesson with Hermana B! It was a great lesson! She is doing tons better now! It was a great lesson. We talked about the commandment to follow the prophet and invited her to attend conference on Sunday to hear from the living prophet. How blessed are we as members of the church to have a living prophet to lead and guide us? Can you think of how lost we would be without him? I don't even want to think of where I would be. I'm so grateful for the prophet!

Thursday morning something exciting happened. I got out of the shower and then I finished off a stick of deodorant. Pretty cool, no?? Actually it wasn't very exciting. It's actually kind of sad. I don't like finishing things like that. Because it means that you have to spend money and go buy a new one. jaja

But after that we had a zone conference! I love zone conferences! They're the best. The theme was prayer. How important is prayer. Especially as a missionary. Honestly, we pray all the time. When we get up, alone and with our companion, before and at the end of every study session, before every meal, before we leave the apartment, a prayer at the beginning and end of every lesson. We pray all day long. But it's something that I am extremely grateful for. Because I know that I can pray anywhere, at any time, for anything. And our Heavenly Father is always going to be there listening. ALWAYS! Prayer is huge. I love prayer. During the conference we talked about how we can increase the meaning of our prayers! It was super great! 

So this weekend was General Conference. I love General Conference. It was such a spiritual weekend. I don't even know how to describe it. I was able to watch all 5 sessions in English. Just kidding. It was all in Spanish. But it was okay, because I can understand Spanish. 6 months ago I don't know how much I would have been able to get out of conference, but this time it was great!  Every talk was great! Probably one of the parts I liked most was the talk by Boyd K. Packer. I don't know exactly what he said in English, but in Spanish he said "Yo conozco al señor," which translates to "I know the Lord." That got me thinking pretty deep. Do I really know the Lord? I'm a missionary and I testify of these things every day. But can I testify with the same conviction of President Packer? And yes, he is an apostle. He is a special witness of our Lord and Savior. But I don't think that you have to be an apostle to be able to know the Lord. After listening to that, I set a goal. I am going to do everything I can to get to know the Lord better. I want to strengthen the relationship that I have with Him. And that's not to say that I don't have a testimony of these things already. Because I do. But I want to make that testimony even stronger! 
Going out to eat after the morning session of conference on Saturday.
Inca Kola is the best soda on the planet--too bad it's the most expensive one here...
I love Inca Kola!

It was a great conference!

I love you guys! Thanks so much for everything! I love being a missionary. Yo sé que la iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días es verdadera. Yo sé que Jesucristo es nuestro salvador y redentor. Y que Ël vive.

Elder Baker

Lauren, Those pictures of the Eureka Tower in Melbourne are sweet. There are no such things as big buildings here. The biggest building that I have seen here in Peru is maybe 6 floors. Maybe. And keep on working hard. Congrats on your baptisms! More baptisms in one week than I've had in my entire mission! Jaja! Love you! You are a huge example for me!

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