Hola Mis Seres Queridos
I hope everyone had a delightful Pascua (Easter, for all you bolillos). I loved watching General Conference this weekend! I don't think I have every been so excited to watch it before, nor have I ever been 100% awake and functioning for all four sessions, haha. For those who don't know, General Conference occurs twice a year, in April and in October, and is when the leaders of the church, the 12 Apostles and the Prophet, prepare important messages through study and pray and those messages are delivered by satellite across the world to all of the members of the church. They also show it on some channel on cable but I am not sure which. Anyways, this conference was soooo good, except for almost every single talk was about the importance of strong families and how to raise your children, which made me a teeeny tiny itsy bitsy little bit trunky, haha, it just made me think a lot about how excited I am to one day start my own family and to rear the amazing children that will be sent to my home. Don't worry, I am not worrying about that business, 100% focused on the mission :). My favorite talk was the one by Elder D. Todd Christofferson about the scriptures. It was so powerful to me and made me realize how lucky I am to have my own personal copies of the scriptures, and in two languages no less, when there have been periods of time when people were martyred in their efforts to obtain the Bible. He mentioned the sacrifice of William Tyndale in translating the Bible to english and I just feel so grateful by the sacrifices made by so many that I may study and learn from the scriptures on a daily basis. If you haven't read from the scriptures lately I would challenge you to do so.The Bible and the Book of Mormon were important enough that many gave their lives for us to be able to have them, so don't let their sacrifice be wasted, read the words of the prophets found in the scriptures, come closer to Christ. All of the General Conference talks may be found here: http://www.lds.org/conference/sessions/display/0,5239,23-1-1207,00.html
The Patino's are getting baptized this upcoming Sunday!!!!! It will surely be one of the happiest moments for me. This last week Adela was diagnosed with cancer and requested a priesthood blessing from the Elders. They came and administered a blessing of healing and in the blessing she was told that Heavenly Father had much planned for her and that she had many years left in this life. All of the Patino's have such great faith, they knew before the blessing was even administered that everything would be okay and showed such confidence in the Lord. It is by their great faith that they will see miracles and I am confident that Adela will be able to overcome this illness and be completely healed.
On a lighter note, we went over to the Patino's for dinner, as usual, and Adela made fried fish. Most of you know that before my mission I hated fish, but I have learned to like almost everything I have eaten in the mission so I figured I would see if it could be possible for me to like fish. I sat down and Adela placed in front of me a whole fish, eyes, fins, the whole shabang. It looked as if it had been plucked from the ocean, into a frying pan, and then onto my plate. Hermana Blanco doesn't eat seafood, so she ate some beans and rice, and watched in disgust as I ate my meal. It actually was REALLY good. I put some lemon on it, and pulled the meat off with my hands and ate it with tortilla. Don't worry Dad, no one uses forks in Hispanic culture, so eating with my hands was not something impolite, everyone eats with a tortilla, I will teach you later. Hermano Patino said he was so proud of me because I ate that fish just like a Mexican :) I consider myself lucky that I haven't had to eat anything too crazy yet and am really trying to be a fearless missionary, even with what I eat. Yesterday at the Araujo's home Hermano dared all of us missionaries to eat a chipotle pepper, no one would do it because they are supposed to be really spicy, so when Hermana Araujo handed me the bowl and asked if I would do it I picked one up and put the whole thing in my bowl. It was kind of weird, like a spicy, slimy barbeque sauce flavored pepper, but wasn't bad. I didn't cry, or complain, just said it tasted like barbeque. The Araujo's were really impressed, woot woot, and the Elders were in shock that this sister missionary just one-uped them in spicy food eating :)
The work is going great, we are teaching a ton of people! We have been so blessed with wonderful people who are willing to listen to our message and who have desires to know for themselves if what we teach is true.