Last week we had some cool experiences!
On Wednesday morning Elder Morton and I taught our investigator Jose. Well, we at least had the intention of teaching him, but we ended up just talking to him for a while. He even let us play his new accordion! Here's a picture of us and Jose in front of his house:
On Thursday I went on exchanges with the Spanish Elders in their area. It was cool being able to see, hear, and feel the Gospel of Jesus Christ preached and taught to people in Spanish! A few people we taught complemented me on my Spanish pronunciation as we read El Libro de Mormon with them haha.
On Friday evening a member took us out to dinner to a local restaurant in Chino called Flo's Cafe. It was cool; it had that truck stop diner kind of feeling. It reminded me of The Hub Cafe back in Heber City where my family and I would go for breakfast sometimes.
On Saturday we did a lot of service. For two hours in the morning we pulled out weeds (including stinging nettle!) and stacked wood on some property that a ward member, Brother May, lives on. He's a legitimate cowboy! He's from Greybull Wyoming, he's a retired professional bull rider, he lives on some property with his horse and some other animals of his, and his handshake is stronger than steel! Since he is very weak because of his cancer treatments, he can't take care of the property on his own, so several members of the ward including us came and helped clean up the place. We also helped the Castro family move out of their house and transport their furniture and belongings to a storage facility a couple blocks away (we baptized two of their daughters last weekend). The climax was when we had to move their antique upright piano into the moving van...without a ramp. Our backs, legs and shoulders were sore all throughout yesterday.
On Sunday we had a great block; all of the lessons and talks focused on Jesus Christ's Atonement and Resurrection. I could really feel the Spirit there during those lessons. Elder Morton and I had been fasting that whole morning and afternoon, because during ward council last week a member of the bishopric told us that the next Sunday was going to be Fast Sunday (because of General Conference, wards will either fast the Sunday before or after General Conference). So we remembered to fast, but when we went to sacrament and read the program, I noticed that their wasn't going to be time for people to bare their testimonies. Instead, it listed people who were going to give talks! So Elder Morton and I were pretty bummed that we were fasting when it wasn't Fast Sunday, but oh well, extra blessings for us I guess, right?
Some ward members that live in our apartment complex invited us to come to their outdoor barbecue for dinner. But when we got there, it was too windy, so we all just went inside and finished cooking the hotdogs and hamburgers on their stove haha.
As we approach General Conference this weekend, I encourage you all to think about the Atonement, suffering, and Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Think about what life would be like without the Atonement: there would be no way for us, our Heavenly Father's children, to return and live with Him and be in His presence, and it would be impossible to be with Him again without forgiveness of sin. We would always have that load of guilt and shame from our sins, weighing us down and keeping us from being able to progress and become like our loving Heavenly Father. But because of Jesus' infinite sacrifice, we have the ability to have that burden lifted off of our shoulders, to receive comfort and spiritual strength when we need it most. You should never feel like you are unworthy to repent, for that is what the Atonement is for: to help the sinner recover and improve. And are we not all sinners? We all need the Atonement. Church leaders have said that the Atonement was the most transcendent event that has ever occured on Earth, with the second being the Restoration of the Gospel through Joseph Smith. I wholeheartedly agree. Our Heavenly Father's entire Plan of Salvation -His Plan of Happiness- is centered on the Atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ! I believe we will never be able to comprehend the infinite and perfect love that our Heavenly Father has for us. He loves us so much that He sent His Son to die for us. I know these things to be true, and I leave them as my testimony with you.
I love you all and hope you have a great week! Make the most out of General Conference this weekend; I find that taking notes not only keeps you awake, but also helps you get more knowledge, personal revelation, and insight from the leaders of the Church, and can help answer questions or doubts that you may have.