General Conference was great! I was only able to go to Priesthood Session and the Sunday Morning Session... but that´s okay because we were working the rest of the time. :) Not hearing President Monson in English is kind of a bummer, but his talk was incredible. We actually rode there and back with one of the counselors in the branch presidency (he has a car because he´s an electrical engineer). We got home pretty late on Saturday night, but we didn´t really have a choice because we had to get some passes for investigators in the morning to bring them to conference. I also got to see a few of the brethren from San José there in the Priesthood Session, including Obispo Tadeo, and it was awesome to see them.
Oh, and also that´s CRAZY about the mission age change thing! That freakin rocks! The only thing that´s kind of a bummer about that is that there is a chance that I won´t see Adam and Jared again for like 3 years. Which I was not expecting… But that is still AWESOME! I hadn´t mentioned it before, but it was actually already that way in Mexico. I´m not sure how long it´s been that way, but it´s cool that it's like that in the States now too. WAIT A SECOND. If Adam and Jared (with all the various factors involved) decide that they are going to go in this coming summer, that means that they would get their calls in like 4-5 months! ... that is crazy. Crazy awesome. But we´ll see how it all plays out.
Anyway, on to the questions :)
1. Do the people in your branch all have access to computers/the internet? With my experience with Albertina on facebook and Adam on facebook with the boy in your branch--are they on the computer at home or at an internet cafe like you use? If people have them in their homes, how come they can't watch conference on their computers like we do here?
Not that many people have computers/internet in their house, basically only the rich people. The same people who have cars have computers in their houses. That being said, not that many people have cars or computers. Almost everyone goes to the ciber. That´s awesome that Manuel looked up Adam... he didn´t tell me though which is kind of weird. It is Manuel, right? I think his last names are "Garcia Morales".
2. Does your companion have a lot of family support? I want to include some Christmas things for him in the package I send you for Christmas (or for whomever is your companion at Christmas time). Will he get a Christmas package from home? Are there certain things that I should or should not include for him?
Yeah, his family is really supportive, but that would still be really nice of you to put some things in the package for him. I don´t really have any good idea of what to put in or not put in... oh actually he told me he doesn´t like peanut butter that much. But other than that I don´t have any ideas.
3. Conference: Will you have access to a Conference Ensign when it comes out or do you want me to print/send the talks to you and then the Ensign when it comes?
We usually get like a third of the Liahonas that they print... we didn´t get the last conference one. So I would appreciate it immensely if you could send me the talks. Especially since I missed 3/5 of them.
4. And then of course--the most important questions: How is the work? And, how are the people in your branch? And, how are the people in Huixtla?
The work is going well :) we´re finally going to have another baptism the 20th of this month! The people in the branch are doing well I think. And, Huixtla is still just Huixtla. The majority of the people are fairly polite, ("No, gracias. No les puedo atender ahorita. Vengan otro día, porfa."), but not very interested ("Aquí en este hogar ya somos catolicos."), and some of them are not so polite ("Ustedes y su iglesia son puras mentiras, no queremos nada que ver con ustedes." or "Ya sabemos que ustedes sólo predican de falsos profetas, y la Biblia nos enseña claramente que ya no puede haber profetas en nuestro día"). For the record, on the contrary, the Bible teaches very clearly that we are to have prophets, apostles, pastors, teachers, and evangelists (all 5), until we come all come to the unity of the faith (Efesios 4:11-12). Unity of the faith, according to Paul, is that we all speak the SAME thing, and that there are NO disputations among us (1 Corintios 1:10). That unity has obviously not been achieved in our world, and will not be achieved until the Second Coming of our Lord and Savior (at which point there will no longer be a need for prophets, apostles, pastors, teachers, and evangelists). So, until then, we need prophets. Ta-da! So, there´s a bit of doctrine from the Bible for the day. If anyone was wondering why we have a "unbiblically founded believe in prophets" :) But anyway, between all the people who are polite but not interested or not so polite and not interested, we do find people who make it all worth it. Apart from the sister who is preparing to be baptized the 20th (her name is Ana), we found another man whose name is Jaziel (I think that´s a awesome name, by the way--it´s pronounced "Hassiel"), who is a lawyer and a teacher (2 super high-powered jobs here), and on the side is also a carpenter. His house is sweet because he has air conditioning is the WHOLE HOUSE, which is crazy. But he´s super humble, and he told us he´s wanted to talk to us for 30 years, but the missionaries have never knocked on his door. We gave him a Book of Mormon last night, and he was really excited to start reading.
Also, yesterday at conference I added a whole booster engine to my desires to work like crazy during the Sunday Morning Session of conference. Elder Holland's talk hit me really hard, and made me think about the commission that I have to preach the Gospel. And, directly after that, when the choir sang, "If the Savior Stood Beside Me", I was ready to leave in that moment and start talking to every person on the street. I thought, "How would I feel at the end of every day the Savior visited us in our apartment and asked us "Lovest thou me?"?" How would we be able to say, "yes", if we hadn´t worked as hard as we possibly could in that day to bring our brothers and sisters in this area unto Him? With that in mind, we worked like crazy yesterday afternoon, and we´re ready to do the same today, tomorrow, and from here on out. :) We´re happy, animated (doesn´t translate too well, but "ánimo" is different than "excitement"), and ready to work :)
That´s all the spiritual insight I have for this week :) I love you guys so much, and I hope you´re doing well. Adam and Jared, I´ll be praying for you guys specifically in these coming months so that you can make the right decisions about school/mission when the time comes.
I haven´t shared my testimony with you guys for a while, so I´d just like to do so briefly. I know that God lives. I´ve seen and felt the love that He has for His children countless times in these last months. I know that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ atoned for our sins and imperfections, and did so because of the infinite love that He has for each one of us. I know because of the love that He has for His children, through Joseph Smith, a living prophet, God has restored the perfect truth to a lost world, and established once again His church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He lives, and He loves us infinitely. He knows our individual needs, as well as those of the entire world in these our times, and because of that He will never cease to speak to us through His Holy Spirit, and through His holy prophets, for his "words... never cease" (Moses 1:4).
I love you guys so much! Take care!
Elder Andrew Nickerl