It’s always good to hear that a convert you taught stays in the church. It’s even better to hear that they got married in the temple. But it’s quite something when they go and marry the bishop’s daughter! But that’s apparently what recently happened with David Eduardo Chica Castillos (literally David Edward Girl Castle), my one truly miraculous baptism on the mission, in good ol’ Cartagena.
‘Twas a story of exact obedience and the blessings it can bring. You see, every day in Spain the whole place shuts down for mediodía, which is basically a thee or four hour break in the middle of the workday when everything closes down and everyone goes home to have a big meal and take a siesta. This usually lasts from about 1:00 to 5:00 or so. We missionaries had a break, too, but it was only from 2:00 to 4:00. At 4:00 we were required to leave and begin proselyting again, even though there was nobody on the street or anywhere (and knocking doors during siesta time is normally a very bad idea). Consequently, the 4:00-5:00 hour was dubbed the least effective hour of the day to proselyte, and sometimes it was tempting to stay in the apartment for an extra bit of time, eating or studying or working on an area book or something rather than hitting the street. Well, Elder Joey Larsen and I sometimes had problems getting out the door on time in the afternoon, but this day we were determined to be 100% obedient, so we got out the door at exactly 4:00. Naturally, the streets were deserted, except for one kid, around our age, that we contacted at around 4:01. He actually accepted our invitation to teach him (which threw us a little off guard), and then showed up to our appointment later (which really threw us off guard) and ended up getting baptized less than a month later (does that even happen in Spain?). In fact, the only issue he had during the entire teaching process was that he used to drink tea, but he gave it up without a second thought. The kid was perfectly primed and ready to hear the gospel, and was the only real golden contact I ever encountered in my entire two years out there. Elder Larsen and I concluded that somebody out there must’ve been fasting for us or something. The point is, get out there at 4:00, ’cause the golden contacts will be passing by on the sidewalk at 4:01!
We were a little worried that he got baptized because he thought Hermana Nations, a sister serving in our district, was pretty, but fortunately, we were proven wrong. And now he married the bishop’s daughter! What an awesome success story! And how do I know this? This morning I received a phone call from José Gabriel Nadal (yes, that one) informing me of this fact. He’s still trying to get a hold of Elder Joey Larsen, and I used to have his contact information but recently he must’ve moved or something because the number I had for him doesn’t work anymore. C’mon, Joeyman, where are you?
Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah for Israel!
Note: I spent most of this conference being sick, and as such only took notes during the first Saturday Morning Session. When the Ensign comes out I will read through the talks and make some more notes, probably posting them here too, but for now, enjoy the few notes I did take!
- My old mission president gave the opening prayer!
- New temples: Calgary, Alberta; Cordoba, Argentina; Kansas City. MO; Philadelphia, PA; Rome, Italy
- Simplify your life!
- Casual dress invites casual attitudes. Fashion-conscious mockers are at least partly responsible for driving people away from the Tree of Life.
- Do missionary work! It’s the way to bring people to Christ, which means blessings for all!
- Fear and faith cannot coexist. The gospel gives us no reason to be afraid, but to believe.
- We repeat the same spiritual steps over and over again to receive more light and quell our doubts. In this way our faith becomes simple, and pure.
- Jesus makes everything right again. That may sound naive, but it’s still true.
- The Book of Mormon is a spiritual banquet. To ignore it would be like receiving a letter from a far-away parent, but not opening the envelope.
- Sacrament meeting a time for worship, and to focus on the Savior. Not texting!
- Hope sustains us during trials. Don’t lose it, lest you be lost!
- If you ever head for Cedar City and end up in Nevada, laugh! Bwah ha ha!
- Even when life is hard, it’s still funny! Look for the hilarity!
- Come what may, and love it!
- Angels will be sent forth to warn and comfort, as long as men have faith.
- The gospel is simple and easy to understand. Look not beyond the mark.
- Zion = pure in heart, united together
And the mantra I will most remember:
- Find joy in the journey.
See y’all soon, and hopefully I will have some thoughts on the rest of conference!