New Cycle down. New Area. I thought I was close to the temple in my last area. Now we can walk to the temple. Now I am in the area called Casas Alemán. (literally translated: German Houses) My new Companion is Elder Paz. He is from Mexico City. Literally just outside the mission limits. I'm excited to be in this new area and we will see how it goes. The good news is: our apartment is nicely sized. Now I can cook without being in the bathroom. And we have a gas stove, so I will enjoy this house.
This week we had the marvelous experience of having Elder Dallin H. Oaks speak to us in a special conference. It was simple, but powerful what he said. He said he would talk about three things: 1. Testify of Christ 2. share some phrases of things we should do in the mission, and 3. Answer questions.
Things that I really liked from what he said was about the Gifts of the Spirit. Talking about the scripture, he said, " ´To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the son of God´, I have that Gift. But... ´To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful´." That is his work. He is called to be a special witness of Christ. It is not necessary that we have a knowledge that our Redeemer lives. But by the act of faith, we can believe in the words of the Prophets and Apostles, and in so doing, gain eternal life. He talked about how even being an apostle, he does not have all the gifts of the spirit. But that does not mean he is not completing his role. Likewise, each of us has a gift. It is not our purpose to see angels, if we do not have that gift. In response to the question, "when will I know my mission is complete?" Elder Oaks responded, "when you are in the office of your stake president, being released. And by that I don't mean for it to be a dumb answer. When you have finished your time, be it two years, 18 months, or less time for medical reasons, if you worked your best, you completed your mission. It doesn't matter if you baptized 2 or 200, if you worked your best, that is your mission."
I hope everyone is OK in Japan and Ecuador. Prayers will be heard all over the world for those who are suffering.