This week has been absolutely amazing.
After I wrote last week we went to the bus terminal and waited for my new companion to arrive. Hermana Handley is AWESOME. She is 20 years old, tall, from Orem Utah, goes to BYU, and has 15 months in the mission. She also speaks really great Spanish and has a lot of experience. Also, her Dad is the lighting designer for all of the theatre things at BYU. I met him before the mission and didnt even know it. So how is that for connections right? Haha.
We have been getting along famously. We both have the same motivations for the work, we both want to help as many people as we can, and we both had a really hard last transfer. This transfer, so far, has been an answer to prayers on both sides. And it turns out that I might end up ¨killing her¨in the mission. (That is when your companion leaves, or dies, in the mission. If you are the companion, they say you are the one who ¨killed them¨.) So I could end up staying here in El Salvador for 6 months... That would be an interesting thing to do......
But aside from the fact that I love my companion, this week was amazing for other reasons as well.
On Friday we left El Salvador and went to Chañaral. Had Companion-Exchanges with the Hermanas there for the rest of the day, and then at 12:00AM we left and went to the bus terminal and waited for our bus to Antofagasta, which came TWO HOURS late. So after boarding the bus at around 2:30AM we tried to sleep a little on the journey. Got to Antofagasta at about 7:00AM and took a heart pounding taxi trip to the big chapel. We ate a granola bar for breakfast and then all of the Hermanas from all over the mission arrived! I got to see mi mamita, my trainer, Hermana Sclaise, saw Hermana Borges, and I saw all the people I arrived with from the CCM as well. The WHOLE mission was there. And for a really unique experience we were able to take a photo with everyone who was there (we were still waiting on a few zones).
Then we sat down and began to sing, and prepare spiritually to hear from President Soares of the 70, Elder Gonzalez President of the South America South Area and Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, and of course all of their wives. When they all arrived the Spirit in the room was amazing. Like a concentrated force in the front of the sacrament hall. We were given the privledge to shake all of their hands and look them in the eyes and everything. It was really amazing.
They said a lot of things that applied directly to missionary work and what we are all trying to accomplish as members, And I could transcribe all of my notes directly. But I dont think I will do that. I will say one thing as word for word as I could remember it.
Elder Cook was talking to all of us, and he was closing up his talk. We knew that he was about to bear his testimony, but it suprised us all when he began to tell us that we shouldnt share every single little detail about the spiritual experiences that we have in our lifes. That they are a sacred trust from God, and that we should guard them closely, sharing them only when the spirit directs us. And then he said,
¨I share very simply and without details. That I know the Savior´s Voice. That I know the Savior´s Face. And In know that He Lives. He is the one who is leading this church today.¨
I have never felt the spirit as strongly as I did then. I felt without a single doubt in my mind, that my savior LIVES. I am not here alone. I am here for a purpose. MY SAVIOR LIVES. The spirit in the room was one of the most profound things I have felt, or will feel in my life here on this earth. The divine witness that he bore, will forever be engraved in my heart. Because now I too know these things.
He followed his Apostolic Witness of the Divinity of the Savoir with a Blessing on all of us.
¨I give you an Apostolic Blessing that you will understand spiritually the signifigance of your mission. This will bless you and every single person you love, have loved, or will love...... You will go forward with Strength, and do what you need to do......You will have your own testimony....... I leave you with my witness of the Savior, with this Special Blessing. In the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.¨
My mission, and my life, will be forever blessed because of the spirit that I felt in that room that day. I at this moment am feeling very much like Joseph Smith felt. God has given me this revelation. He knows I know it. I know I know it. And never will I deny it.
In this world today, I have heard a lot of the different sides, the different debates about why the LDS church needs to change to conform to society. But I would like to add my witness, however small that it may be, to that of an Apostle of the Lord. I know my Savior lives. And I know that he is the one guiding the church today.
Let us never forget, or become so caught up in the things of the World, that we forget that it is not our place to create rules of Heaven. It is our place, our calling as memebers of the church around the world, to have enough faith in the Lord to have faith in the men that he has called and ordained to speak for him. As I shook the hand, and later listened to the witness, of an Apostle of my Lord, Savior, and Redeemer, I recieved my own divine witness, that the Savior lives. He loves all of us. And he does indeed direct us in these Latter-Days.
I love you all so very much. Thank you for all of your support and love. If you are having your own doubts about the truth or you dont know where to go or turn right now. I invite you to read the Book of Mormon, Pray to your Savior, and I know that he will answer you. Maybe in his own time. But he will answer. You dont have to meet an Apostle to recieve this witness. Im just happy that I was blessed enough to have that opportunity.
I love you. And I love my Savior. Have a beautiful week wherever you may be.