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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Week #18 Nuevo Aurora

Gracias for all of the mail which you sent me. I realized that I failed as a grandchild to give any sort of salutation to Grandpa Tom while he was nearby in Utah. If you could all help me to repent of this, and say "Hi, and I´m sorry" to him, that´d be great. Also, if you could send my love to Grandma Terry, Grandma Sandy, Grandma Val, and Grandma Erekson also, I´d appreciate it. Hopefully you all had a good vacation this weekend, and that the trip home today went well. I love you all!

So, as far as things are going for me, I´m doing pretty well. Although, I did happen to lose my [debit] card from the mission, therefore being unable to draw from my "mensualidad" - that was about a few weeks ago. When it came time to look for my card, it was unfindable. So, we lived off of my companion´s money for a while, until that too ran out. So, last week I withdrew some money with my emergency card. Don´t worry, I´m doing alright, and should hopefully have my "mensualidad" within this week... hopefully. So, no worries.

Let´s see, what else can I write about. I´ve got about 30 minutes to write. I can make up for the letters that have been wimpy in the past few weeks.

I had my first Zone Conference this week. My Zone (Los Ángeles) and another (named Andalucía) combined to have this conference. President and Sister Walker came and taught us, we had some "capacitación" from the Zone Leaders in my Zone, and two missionaries got to speak (not me, they were selected at the conference, although I did prepare a talk). I don´t know if I ever told you, but I thought I was to give a talk a few weeks ago in the ward, but it wasn´t to be so. So, I didn´t have to get up and give a talk either occasion. Bueno, the conference was pretty good. Sister Walker talked to us about how we should always know "quienes somos," that is, "who we are." She talked about how the Savior knew who He was, and was able to fulfill His work as the Savior of the world. If we can know who we are, we can have the confidence to overcome the trials and temptations that come our way - we can live up to the expectations which the Lord has for us. She also spoke of "Pedro" and how he did not know who he was very well, but she also talked about how she loved him and that he became a rock in the gospel, and lived up to who he really was. We are children of God. That is who we are. She also shared with us at an earlier moment a personal sacred experience she and the President had, which I liked hearing.

President Walker talked to us on a quote by Elder Faust which was along the lines of "I don´t want to be remembered as a show horse, but as a work horse." or something along those lines. He also showed us a painting of the horse "Hard Labor." He taught us about "diligencia," or "diligence." The more diligent we are, the better we can have the Spirit, and work. He also spoke about how diligence should not be the end, but the means. Something like that. The Zone Leaders (Elder Brandenburg and Elder Castro) taught about resolving doubts which our investigators have, out of Preach My Gospel.

So, yeah. The first Zone Conference was pretty good.

If you could send my thanks to Grandma Sandy for the mail she´s sent me (I received the letters last week from January 23rd and 29th, with one from you Mom, and the talk about being a missionary from you Dad - thank you), I´d appreciate it. Hopefully things are going well for all of you.

Thank you for sending me the pictures, the addresses, and the stuff about my friends, and the pictures from the trip you all took as well! Yesterday was the completion of 4 MONTHS as a missionary, more or less 1/6th of my missionary service has already come and gone. So, I should apply the teachings of President Uchtdorf about how we should "Enjoy the Journey." How have the past four months been for all of you at home? For me, I´ve had good experiences, good spiritual experiences, and am doing pretty well. Spanish is going pretty well too.

We had a surprise birthday party for Elder Raff last week. I forgot the photos... Next week, sorry! It was pretty good though.

Mom, with your class about adversity:

Adversity is something that we don´t like to face. It is sometimes painful. It makes us put forth more effort, and feel uncomfortable and have to face things sometimes we´d rather not look at, not deal with. But, adversity is something that helps us to grow, become better people, and progress. Adversity is what the Lord allowed happen to the Nephites, to "stir them up to remembrance." Sometimes when things go smoothly, we forget the Lord, we forget to think on Him as much, because things are good. When we have troubles, it helps compel us to turn to Him, and with that we can grow. With adversity we can face hard things, learn about ourselves, and in the end overcome some struggles and be better people. That kind of goal is something I want from my time here as a missionary. I want to have doubts dispelled, and faith strengthened, and be a better person, bettered for my time. Have a stronger testimony.

Hopefully something here can help you Mom, with your lesson.

I read a talk by Elder Bednar (one he gave to students at BYU before he was an Apostle) about the Atonement, and Grace. He spoked on "the enabling power of the Atonement." How it can help us not only to repent and cleanse ourselves, but to also do hard things. If you can find it, I suggest reading it. He speaks of praying for strength in place of praying for a change in circumstances, and cites a few examples. One is in Mosiah 24, with Alma and his people. Here is the reference I´d like to share with you:

Mosiah 24:12 - 16

I love you Mom, and hope things go well for you. I had a scripture to share before, but now I can give it to you. Hopefully you can find comfort in the words you can find there. Thank you for all of the words of comfort and scriptures you have shared with me (Dad and others too). Okay, here it is:

Doctrine and Covenant 123:17

Alright, it´s time to wrap things up here. I hope you´re all doing well, and have enjoyed your time in California, and the trip home. Give Dad a big fat "thank you" for his personal sacrifice in driving all of those hours. Love eachother fully. Take care of eachother. I love you!

Alright, the time has come. I´m going to get off. Hopefully you all are doing well, have a great week, and I´ll hear from you soon! Anyway, thanks. I love you! Take care!

- Elder Izak Thomas Erekson

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