Well, I think I have some kind of repetitive spell on me, because so far, the two General Conferences I've had on my mission, have both been preceded by a mission tour given by someone that speaks in General Conference. I love it! Last time, it was Elder Martinez, and this time it was Elder Clayton. I also got to hear from Elder Holland just weeks before as well. I hope I keep the spell for the rest of my mission!
I have a little story; one that is a confirmation to me that we all go through certain things in this life for reasons unseen until we've passed a particular stage of that trial of our faith. The Lord places people in certain places, with certain people surrounding them, having a plan in mind.
Thursday, after our district meeting, I planned to go down to the capital to watch the funeral over broadcast at the home of my Mission President. As Elder Valdes and I were leaving, we were called back in, and another Elder was on the phone with President. He passed it over to me, and my President informed me that this elder's companion was having some troubles and doubts about staying on his mission due to some troubles back home, and was planning on coming down to see the president. I said that the Lord had presented us with a rare opportunity, so he asked me to do an intercambio and talk with this elder on our way down to his house. Well, we had a great many talks as we traveled, and this guy is really going through some hard things. His two cousins and twin brother had already left the mission because of these, and things seemed to just keep piling up against him in his life. We had some really good talks and the only thing I could do in the end was bare him my testimony, and my own experiences I've had recently.
After the service, he had talked with the President for quite some time, and everything was done. We left, and took a walk around the temple next door as we talked. Before we went to the metro station, we decided to stop for some food. I gave him the choice of fast food restaurants, and he chose Wendy's. So we went to Wendy's... Lo and behold, when we walk in, we are greeted by a group of familiar faces sitting at a table saying "mormones! mormones!" There they were, my old MTC teachers, all of which no longer work there. Hermanos, Nunez, Rodriguez, and Rubio, and Hermanas Escobores and Gutierez. So, we bought some fries and a frosty, and just sat and talked and laughed with them, It was great! At our departure, my good friend that has stayed in contact with me since the MTC, left with us on the metro for his house. He told me he'd call me that night. Well, that was the end of that, and this elder and I went to go buy a cake before we got to our areas; it was the birthday of an Elder in my district, and we planned to surprise him with a cake and candle when he got home that night. After I said good bye, and told this heavy hearted Elder I'd be praying for him and routing for him all the way. My companion and I got to the other house, and hid in their room. Elder Carrera loved it! And it felt good to celebrate that with him.
Later that night, Hermano Nunez did call. We talked for a bit, and he eventually asked me how my family was. I told him about the events that had taken place the last week, and he said "you have to be kidding me." I assured him I wasn't, and he said "you don't understand..." after a small silence he continued. "My father died just the Monday before..." We talked for a while, in disbelief that the same thing had befallen both of us so soon. He said, "I have to see you". So we set up to watch General Conference together.
Saturday we went up to the Santa Cruz chapel to watch it in English in a separate room. He came and brought subway sandwiches and krispykreme donoughts! It was wonderful to watch it with him. We enjoyed our time talking inbetween sessions; sharing laughs and sharing grief. He emailed me today, saying that for conference he was waiting for a specific talk directed to him, and he realized that being there with a friend who understands was the blessing. I felt exactly the same.
Now just think of it... This other elder and I both were meant to go down to the president's together, we talked, and lifted each other up, he chose to eat at Wendy's, we almost magically met Nunez there, which led to him calling me later, which led to the discovery of our mutual dilemma. We watched conference together and supported each other, and it was all due to the perfect planning of our Lord. There are no coinsidences.
It was said several times by several people this general conference, that "God succors us, so we can succor others". I know I've been succored by God in this time, and I was able to do just a bit of that for other people. In return, I received even more comfort and succor from others as well. It's a continuous cycle. It is evidence to me that everything happens for a reason. We are all pieces of a wonderful mosaic, and if we are where we're supposed to be, next to the other pieces, playing our part, the big picture is a beautiful thing, even if we can't always see it from our point of view.
Thank you so much for all your love, prayers, and support.
Until next week,