The Monte Grande Zone!....Zone CONFERENCE that is.
I love, love, love zone conferences. President Stapley taught us how to be more Christlike. And FINALLY we watched a clip of Lion King. I KNEW that someday on my mission that HAD to happen. Hermana Norby laughed at me when the video clip came on, because I used to insist to her that that movie was doctrine. Haha. I feel somewhat justified. :)
One major theme of the conference (and the reason we watched the clip of the Lion King) was remembering who we are: children of a King, and more powerful than we realize. We read from Elder Richard G. Scott´s talk, ¨The Transforming Power of Faith and Character.¨ Elder Scott taught:
¨Righteous character is a precious manifestation of what you are becoming.
Righteous character is more valuable than any material object you own, any knowledge you have gained through study, or any goals you have attained no matter how well lauded by mankind...
The bedrock of character is integrity. Worthy character will strengthen your capacity to recognize the direction of the Spirit and to be obedient to it. Your consistent exercise of faith builds strong character.
A secure foundation for your growing character is laid by making Jesus Christ and His teachings the center of your life.
Your happiness on earth as well as your eternal salvation require many correct decisions, none of which is difficult to make.
Together those decsions forge a character resistant to the eroding influnces of sin and transgression.¨
Matías got baptized! He was so happy! He prepared himself very well for the special day of his spiritual rebirth. He reads the scriptures, prays to his Heavenly Father, attends church every Sunday and activities throughout the week, and even wakes up for early morning seminary, which he loves. There are so many good young people like him who we must bring into the safety of the true gospel and church of Jesus Christ.
President Stapley had asked me to prepare a talk for Zone Conference, to teach what I think it means to be a good missionary. I actually used the story of how Randy and Katie met to teach this principle. Short form: He took the challenge, approached with diligence and even though he didn´t meet the goal of getting the number in 7 (?) minutes, he kept going til he got the number. On the other side, Katie surely wouldn´t give her number to any ol´ person; she must have recognized some good behind the surfer-dude appearance. Thanks to diligence and love, their story leads to the temple.
Then, on Sunday, the Bishop asked me to share a talk last minute, so I shared the same story and applied it to sharing the gospel as members. Right now, I don´t have time to explain the story as I explained it in the talks, or how it proves that he really was and is a good missionary, but remind me to tell you. Part of the point was that I know that my brother was a good missionary in Brazil, because he continues to be a good missionary and apply good, true principles to bless others after his mission. (Kudos, Randy!) So now, a large group o South Americans will all be going surfing in hopes of finding their eternal companion.
Love to all! Smiles and rainbows and happy days!
p.s. All of my (ex-)companions who are still on the mission (Hermanas Hill, Norby, Petrick, and Bushman) are in the same stake as me now! in the Zone Conference, we all were there seated on the same bench. Even Hermana Hill, who left this stake a few months ago, came back but to a different ward. So of the 6 sisters that are in our zone, there´s only one who hasn´t been my companion, and that one´s being trained by one of the sisters I trained! I love these sisters. It was so good to sit with them all. They are super missionaries.