Hola Querido Familia,
I hope all is well! I sure do love you and appreciate your love and prayers. I pray for you often and am grateful for your examples and letters and emails.
Wasn't Conference wonderful? I was so excited for it this year and I couldn't figure out why. I finally realized that it is because I have been telling every single person I meet that they could listen to a prophet of God speak this weekend. As I continally bore testimony of that, I think it prepared me to listen with an open heart to the words that God wanted me to hear. I know that President Monson is the prophet of the earth today and that he truly does hold all the Priesthood keys. As we sang the congregation hymn, "We Thank Thee Oh God for a Prophet", the Spirit rushed over me and bore witness that he really is. As Bruse R. McConkie said, "I know of myself, independent of any other source" that he is Thomas S. Monson is a prophet and oh how grateful I am for that knowledge and testimony.
In his talk Sunday morning, I was focusing on things that he said or even just suggested to do. To me a suggestion from a living prophet is akin to Moroni's "exhortation" in the end of the Book of Mormon. What stood out to me most was that he told us to make an inventory of all the blessings we have ever received, large or small, in our lives. I began my list last night but ran out of time. As I wrote and pondered on the hand of the Lord in my life, much of what I wrote were names of people. I was amazed at how blessed I have been. Just like the hymn, "Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will suprise you what the Lord has done."
We listened to one hour of Conference in Spanish. I got to listen to Elder Scott in Spanish which was fun because he translates his own talks. Elder Holland's talk really spoke to me as well. I have spent my time thinking of my answer to his all-important question, "Do you love me?" I want nothing more than to be able to stand before my Savior at the last day and answer firmly, "Yes Lord, you know I love thee because of the life I have led." I loved the sentiment from Conference of King Lamoni's father being willing to give up all his sins to know God. The theme that was most prevailant to me was a mighty change of heart. I loved Elder Bowen's wording when he said that he was given a new heart. That is what we all have to experience and what I strive for each and every day.
We just received an email from President Ashton today informing us that on Saturday we will be meeting with the other Houston Missions. Elder Callister, Elder Ellis (again!), and Elder Echo Hawk are coming. They will talk to us from 8-1. That is going to be a wonderful 5 hour follow up to General Conference! I can't wait!
To explain the picture, I was gluing something and it didn't work out well. I first glued my hands together, then I glued the towell to my hand. It hurt a little fixing that. Elder Barajas was dying of laughter.
Anyways, things are going well. I love this work. We are working hard and trying to do things the Lord's way. I love you all and am so happy to hear that you are doing well.