Monday, October 5, 2015

General Conference!

5 October 2015

Dear family,

I loved General Conference! The best part is that the couple we are teaching went to the Sunday morning session! There was the option to watch the conference in English on the second floor of the stake center and all of the other gringo missionaries did, but I decided I would rather sit with my companion and our investigators. I'm in Chile, after all. Thanks to technology I downloaded all of the talks just now and I will soon be listening to them in English. It really doesn't matter to me because I understand in Spanish now but I miss hearing the actual voices and there were moments when the translators made mistakes, which is frustrating.

The couple that we are teaching had committed to go to the Sunday morning session and when I called in the morning to remind them I told him to bring a notebook to take notes. I asked him if he had questions and he said, "My main question is how to believe." I reminded him what we had taught about the Holy Ghost and told him to pay attention to his feelings and write down what he learned. We traveled with them in their car after starting with a prayer and arrived early enough for Music and the Spoken Word and got good seats in the front of the chapel. I was a little bit annoyed with the lack of reverence in the stake center because as people were entering and taking their seats we couldn't hear a thing. I was praying in my heart for patience and praying that our investigators could have a good experience. I realized that the reverence was not part of what I could control and heard throughout the conference quotes about not focusing on what you can't do but what you can do. The noise diminished when General Conference actually started. We haven't had the chance to talk to our investigators about their experience yet because they had to leave before the last speaker but I hope it was a good thing for them. I was pleased that they were there to hear the prophet and the new apostles speak, especially because President Monson talked about the attributes of believers, which directly relates to the husband’s question. It also occurred to me as Elder Stevenson shared his experience of receiving his calling that our investigators are going to know how these new apostles were called. It is so clear that these men did not run for office or study to become ecclesiastical leaders by profession. They were called by the prophet we had just heard from because he received revelation that it should be done.

I loved so much of the conference and it has helped me to set some goals for my last transfer. I was not transferred, by the way, and will be finishing in Los Mares with Hermana Souza. I haven't learned as much Portuguese as I would have liked to so I'm glad there is still time.

Another investigator we are excited to be teaching a 21 year old girl we contacted but found out later is the little sister of a less active member in our ward. She is studying marine biology and is really intelligent. Thanks to my BYU biology professor I was able to have a conversation with her about quinoa as we walked to the church for an activity this week. She went to the YSA family home evening with us and took her little brother to the ward family home evening, as well. The YSA leader, Estefania, is also one of the ward missionaries and has been very good to include her. I especially admire Estefania, who is my age, because she is the only active member in her family and although she is studying and has a busy schedule she really magnifies her calling and it makes all the difference in our ward.

Today for our P-day we went to the National Library. They have a few interesting exhibits such as old black and white photographs by Armindo Cardoso in the early seventies, a collection of original manuscripts of sheet music (hand written sheet music always reminds me of Grandma Joan), and information about Chilean musicians who became world famous. I took some notes on historic people I will have to look up in my post-mission life.

I love you all! Go listen to General Conference again!
Hermana Eva VanCott

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