|The April 1st earthquake was actually centered 1400 miles north of the area where Laney is serving.|
Companion: Hermana Hillary Harris
Companion's blog: (http://hjhmissionabroad.blogspot.com/2014/04/earthquake-scare-i-love-general.html)
Okay, before I start rambling about General Conference and how incredible it was, I'll fill you in about the Chilean earthquake. So,, we went with our District Leader to interview Carolina for her baptism! Yeaaaaaah! It was really incredible, because she is so prepared to live the gospel and to make the sacred covenant of baptism. She really understands why it is so important! Love her! Anyways, this interview was late at night, so we left her house and started to head to our house so that we would be on time.
After we had thirty minutes sagrados (sacred minutes for planning), we got a call ... usually we get a call from our District Leader at this time, so we weren't really all that bothered ... but we looked at the screen and saw that it was our Zone Leaders instead. I don't know if you guys remember my personality at all ... I mean, it has been a little more than three months ... but I get a little nervous when it comes to disasters. Anyways, with that being said, "Hey, have you guys heard what happened?" is probably not the best way to start a conversation by phone. We just looked at each other ... Uh, no, we hadn't heard anything. They told us about the earthquake and I felt my knees go a little weak. Uhm, an earthquake? What the heck? They told us to pack a backpack and bring our waterbottles just in case.
As soon as they hung up the phone, Hermana Harris and I just started running through our house. Okay, we need granola bars and water bottles. We need clothes and we need to change back into our normal clothes. We need to do this and this and this. It was nuts. Everything was packed up and we reached this awkward point in which we didn't really know what to do. So, we did what all anxious missionaries do. We started to eat. Before an earthquake is a perfect time to eat, right? Three pieces of french toast, two cups of hot chocolate, and a box of granola later ... we had pretty much eaten everything in the house. And then nothing actually happened ... yeah, we regretted that. But it was so funny and really a fun experience. :)
Okay, General Conference time!
Man, I love General Conference ... now more than ever (which is kind of incredible because I loved General Conference a lot before). We weren't able to see the Women's session last week which was a bummer, but they had a rebroadcast! When we walked into the chapel and saw the big screen ... ahhhh, I don't know if I have ever felt so excited! I LOVE knowing that prophets speak to us. There were a ton of incredible things that happened this week ... but I think that I will just talk a little bit about the things that I learned from this General Conference.
Probably the biggest lesson that I learned/relearned from conference was WHO I AM. I think that Satan works so hard to get us to forget that we are CHILDREN of A HEAVENLY FATHER. Isn't that the coolest thing in the world? I am a child of God! He loves me and is so willing to help me to do the right thing and to help me to be successful in my life. I think that for this cambio, remembering this and having trust in Heavenly Father's promises has been a difficult thing. Before this Conference, I really had faith in Heavenly Father. I mean, I know that he lives! I know it with all of my heart. But I think that I might have been lacking a little in the knowledge that he loves me like a DAD and can help me with EVERYTHING..
I have been trying so hard to work as a missionary, but I have been doing it kind of solo. (That is weird to type out, because I know that I have never been solo out here ... sometimes it just felt like it). I would try to think of ways to improve and implement the things that I was learning from Preach My Gospel, but I wasn't quite sure that Heavenly Father would help me with these things. How silly is that?? I thought that because I was trying really hard and I was doing all right that Heavenly Father was trusting me to do things on my own ... but I have learned during this transfer that I CANNOT do it alone. I CANNOT. And it has been a hard lesson to learn, especially because I never really felt like I was relying on my own strength. I don't know if that makes any sense ... but I just really needed a reminder that Heavenly Father is my Father. I needed to be reminded that if I have TRUE, DEEP faith and love for Him, He can help me through whatever.
I felt this so much during Conference. I was so humbled as I listened to the talks and I felt the love of Heavenly Father. It lifted my heart and helped me to see that I have been taking missionary work the wrong way for a couple of weeks. I had been having success ... a little bit ... but I haven't been relying on Heavenly Father to carry me through every moment. Now I know. I am going to apply this lesson for the REST OF MY LIFE. I love my Heavenly Father. I LOVE him. I am working to love Him more than any other thing, because I know that He loves His children in that way. It is such an incredible message that I want to share with everyone. Heavenly Father LOVES ME. It's incredible. This knowledge, now that I truly understand it, is changing my life already. I have already noticed the difference. Yes, when we really know who we are, Satan's power is diminished.
Anyways, that was my general rambling about General Conference. I hope that it makes even a little bit of sense. This Conference really was incredible! I was so jealous that you were there, but when they panned out on the audience during the intermediate hymns, I was like, "MAN, MY FAMILY IS THERE!!" It made me so happy to think of that and to think of the awesome time that you are having in good ol' Happy Valley.
Hey, my Spanish is improving! WHOOOOOO. I answer the phone all of the time now, and our District Leader always gets confused because he thinks that I am a Latina hahahahaha. I have been working so diligently with the little grammer book that we have and it is working miracles. I know that I was promised the gift of tongues ... and it is amazing to see how Heavenly Father is really multiplying my abilities.
I love being a missionary. It is so enjoyable to be a soldier in the army of the Lord. We do so many incredible things with His help. Like I said before, I CANNOT do anything without Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ ... but with them, I can do ALL THINGS. I am so grateful for this knowledge. I hope you are doing awesome! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! Thank you for your prayers. I am totally feeling them every day! Have a wonderful week!!