October 7, 2013

Hi, good to here you guys are doing well.

Wow, holy cow talk about a power weekend! General Conference is so amazing on the mission. I am proud to announce that I didn’t even come close to falling asleep. Each session only seemed to last about 10 min. I am grateful for all of the talks on missionary work. Hopeful that will help our ward work with us more. Also seemed a lot of talks focused on the family and protecting it from worldly dangers. Crazy to think we have 15 million members and 80,333 missionaries, and NOW IS THE TIME FOR MEMBERS AND MISSIONARIES TO WORK TOGATHER!

In the very beginning Ulisses Soares’ talk on meekness was very powerful. You must develop meekness, before any other Christlike attribute. Edward Dube had a motivational talk about looking forward, that I really liked. Elder Bednar threw down on tithing! Also pointed out some interesting aspects of tithing. I especially liked S. Gifford Neilson’s talk about missionary work, and work like to echo the three invitations he has extended to all! Those bronze shoes were pretty sweet! As always Elder Holland delivered a powerful talk. Stephany’s story was very touching! Priesthood session was exceptional also! President L. Tom Perry and a nice talk about the 13 Articles of faith. President Uchtdorf’s priesthood session talk was bomb! About getting up after falling and become champions! Right after that was President Eyring’s talk that was just as good. Some interesting stories with his bishop. Then President Monson took it home with a great talk on Home teaching, not to mention some very cool experiences of Home Teaching. Glad I wasn’t President Hinckley’s HT and ended up instructing three apostles. Sunday morning Richard J. Maynes had a very good talk, and not just because he included basketball, but it did help. Dedication, perseverence, and self-discipline can get my testimony into shape! Amazing to think President Monson has been an Apostle for 50 yrs! He is truly a remarkable servant of the Lord. Sunday afternoon David M. McConkie gave a very helpful speech to me on how become a powerful teacher of the word. Last but not least Terence M. Vinson gave a powerful talk on adversity. I don’t know if it is because I’m on a mission, but General Conference seemed so much more inspiring and powerful than ever before! I loved it and it flew by so fast.

We have been working with a less active sister whose faith has grown so much since I first met her! She has now really dug into the Book of Mormon and is feasting on the words of Christ. She has also started to go to institute which is really helping her. The joy she now has, has given me joy also! She has even started talking to her family who are non members about the book of Mormon. At district meeting I got to give my second training. Always a little nervous instructing missionaries who are “older” than me in the mission. Not to mention I was training on how to teach simply. Funny teaching on how to teach. I think I did ok, I prepared way too much though, and was kinda scattered. I ended up evolving it into teaching with the spirit, not using a lot of words (1 Cor. 14:19), and not adding our own interpretations (like our own analogues, I wanted to added a discourse on parable but didn’t have time).

Love you guys, and thank you so much!

Elder Valdez