[General] Conference was absolutely amazing. Dad, I agree--it gets better every time. It is amazing to me how I can be one of millions watching, yet I feel as if each speaker were talking directly to me. Honestly, I feel as if they had been reading my journal and eavesdropping on my prayers. I feel wonderful. Conference really did give me exactly what I need.
You know, I think my description of conference also applies to the Atonement. It affects everyone, but it affects each person in a deeply individual, profoundly personal way. What a miracle. As my favorite song says,¨oh, Hallelujah! How I love my Savior!" I am here so that mourners and everyone else in Mexico can love Him too.
I felt close to home watching conference. I was actually able to watch nearly all of it in English. There are some youth in the stake who were born in the states and who feel more comfortable with English, so the American missionaries were able to watch it in a classroom with them. It reminded me of times spend in Grandmother and Grandaddy´s basement, or times spent in our living room playing general conference bingo. It was nice to know that all my loved ones were watching at the same time.
For this week´s cultural update, I´ll talk about food, since Mom has asked me about it. Like I´ve said before, I love the food here, although it isn´t always the healthiest. (My no sugar and no red meat diet has been put on a two year hold.) So far, I haven´t eaten anything really strange. The strangest food they have here is probably menudo, a stew made from a cow´s stomach, but as yet I haven´t had the opportunity to try it. I have eaten a lot of cactus, though. It is delicious! Usually the members give us some kind of soup, although there are many varieties. My favorite is called Pozoli (spelled something like that.) With each meal, no matter what it is, there are three things you can almost always count on. One, tortillas, usually corn. Two, something picante. Picante comes from the verb picar, which means to sting, to chop, or to do both to your tounge (aka to be spicy). I love food that pica, to the surprise of many people here. The third common element of a meal here is limòn. I still haven´t figured out if limòn is a lemon or a lime, I think it can be either. But in soup, on tacos, whatever it may be, limòn is usually there.
There is also quite a bit of American food here. McDonald´s is as common here as it is in the states, although the buildings are a lot fancier here for some reason. I have a goal to not eat at any such american fast-food restaurant for the whole two years I am here.
The Mexicanized american food, though, I love. Most of the time it tastes better than that from the states. For example, here they really dress up their hamburguers. Last week I had one with the regular hamburguer patty, ham (they take the ham-burger part literally), two types of cheese, onions, jalapeños, something that was like an alvocado but different, tomato, catsup (always spelled that way here), and pinapple. It was delicious. The most interesting american food is the Mexicanized-Americanized Chinese food. The drinks here are also delicious. Like I said, coke is big here. The people don´t seem to drink much pure water. Every time that they offer us water it usually ends up being some type of juice. My favoirte "water" by far is horchata.
This past week I was fed physically and spiritually more than I could wish for. Now it is time to convert it into energy, into action. One of my favorite talks was that of Elder Holland. I have had a lot of angels in my life, before and after my mission, from both sides of the veil. Thank you all for being angels to me in times of need. I pray that God continues to send angels to help you.
Speaking of prayer, I hope that we can all do what president Monson asked and pray for the opening of more areas of the world to missionary work.
My most powerful missionary experience this week was a simple lesson one, about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have already taught it more than 100 times, but it hasn´t lost any power. Whenever I hear my companion reciting the first vision I feel the Spirit testify. What an important event that was, for Joseph and for all of us. Because of it we know that God loves us and answers our prayers. We have a correct understanding of God and His son Jesus Christ. We have Their church, with its authority and true doctrine here on the earth. What a miracle!