Querido Mami y Papi,
Thank you for making Mother's Day a special for me as well! (Because without a wonderful mother, I would have no reason to celebrate.) I'm not quite sure how I sound grown up, but thank you. Haha.
10 pounds in a month? That's nearly a whole transfer... But I'll be patient. Haha. I started flossing last night, so it's a start. Haha. Well, what can I mention that wasn't mentioned yesterday? Well, I actually have stuff to report. Haha. So, yesterday morning, we had our stake conference. To be honest, it was probably the best stake conference I've ever been to. The music was wonderful (because we have the wonderful and talented Echeveria choir in the stake), but more importantly, the talks were powerful. I'll highlight two in particular. (Because they repremended me as well. Haha.)
So, first on the list is President Garcia's talk. (BTW, who's the mission president back home? I figure President Ware and his wife have finished by now, so I'm curious to know who is the president now.) He spoke of the need for more members and missionaries (A talk that I'm sure has been given a million times by now, but it was the way he presented it that made it excellent.)
He started off relating a story of when children from various stakes came to the mission offices to learn about what a mission is. He had finished commenting of the number of missionaries currently serving since the age drop and one of the primary children commented the following in regards to the need for more missionaries in these times. The child said the following: "It's because Jesus is coming soon." President (and myself while I listened to the story) was awestruck. He then related the need especially for members and missionaries in this mission.
He spoke of seeing rejection as he's never seen before. He said that Satan has a special hold upon the hearts of the people in Merida right now, as well as the less actives. (I'm a witness to all of this.) But to give hope to all of this, he related the story of how Alma met Amulek. When Alma came to Amulek, he had just left the city of Ammonihah after suffering brutal rejection. He hadn't planned to return, but the Lord told him to do so and that he would come across one who would feed him. He had been fasting a while, so he was in dire need of sustinance. He came upon the home of Amulek and asked if he would be so kind as to feed a servant of the Lord. Amulek agreed because he knew that Alma was a prophet of God because an angel had told him beforehand that he would come in need of food. Alma ate and blessed the home and family of Amulek.
From that point on, they set off preaching repentence to all with such power and authority that "none could detain them". President then spoke of how Alma was the missionary and that Amulek was the member and that through working together, none can detain us. It was a pretty good reminder to all of us that this isn't just the work of the missionaries. All are disciples of Christ. The only difference is is that we're doing this full time.
The other talk of which I will mention comes from... President Garcia, the temple president here. Coincidence? Well, they're brothers, actually, so that's pretty cool. He also brought the fire, but much more than my mission president. He nailed everyone who hadn't gone to the temple that could do so if they wanted to. He spoke of members who were satisfied with simply taking the sacrament every week as being efficient to renewing their covenants. He said that it is essential for exaltation to take upon oneself the temple covenants, that that is the only way where we can take upon ourselves the name of Christ and receive the full blessings of the Atonement. He also nailed everyone who hadn't gone to the temple since they went there for their own ordinances. He said that he is present for every session and knows that there are many who haven't returned. I now know that I need to go to the temple on a weekly basis. Without a doubt. Haha.
In conclusion, it was a really good stake conference and the spirit was there for sure. The only thing now is to help the members remember what was spoken so that they may also act upon these things. Well, that's all for this week. It was absolutely wonderful to speak to the family. I know who I'll be spending time with when I finish my mission. :) (That includes the Millers and Albrechts, even though they live far. I've made mental plans to go and visit them in their respective states 'cause I love'em that much.)
Love, Elder Manuel Antonio Santos
PS, Elder Bednar won't be here till next Friday, but I'll be sure to tell you all about it!