Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Monday, April 6, 2015 - La Semana Santa y Conferencia General :) :)

Hey everyone! Hope all is well and that everyone had a great Easter and Conference Weekend!!

In this country, there is no easter, it is called Semana Santa, or Holy Week. And it lasts ALL WEEK LONG. But they celebrate by drinking and partying... not really what you would expect on "Holy Week"... maybe by "holy" they meant it in the way as "Holy cow, you drink a ton" week. I'm not sure. I'll look into that!

The week was of course challenging with all the drunks and crazy people. Our lessons and stuff were hard, and most people weren't home. But we did get a lot of habichuelas con dulces which is a sweet everyone makes this week. Translated it means "beans and sweets" because you know, Dominicans can't not have beans... but suprisingly it does taste really sweet and amazing. I got the recipe, so I'll be making it for sure at home, no worries!

I'm going to jump to the end of the week. This weekend was great! Wow did I love conference! I definitely got a big message out of what the talks were about. I really liked one from Dieter F. Uchtdorf where he said "there are things we count, that don't really count (or matter), but there are things we don't count, that really really do count." It was great!

Francisco had his baptismal interview on Saturday before the first session of conference, and he passed!  Then he came to conference and he loved it! He said he feels really good and on a spiritual high, which is amazing right before his baptism! He will be baptized this Saturday if all goes well this week! He had his interview and passed, so all looks good. His baptism will be at 6:30 due to the ward leaving to the temple and not getting back until late, we set it 30 minutes later than usual. I am so excited and so happy to be a part of this great work and see amazing people like Francisco making big changes in their lives and being baptized! What a big blessing! 

I want to write some quotes down of some of the notes I jotted down during conference. I noticed the big focus was on marriage and family, and also enduring to the end as a family! It was great all together! But here are some of my favorite quotes:

"To 'hang in there' is not a prinicple of the gospel" - Kevin W. Pearson

"Stay close to the tree." - Kevin W. Pearson

"Don't hold off the day of eternal marriage" - Joseph W. Sitati

"Temples help us overcome temptation and trial." - Thomas S. Monson

"Love, and wait," - Brent H. Nielson

"Is our point in life to take a leap of faith and fall slowly, gritting the sand in our fingertips? The answer is NO." - Jeffrey R. Holland

"You can not earn your way to heaven.... salvation is not bought with the currency of obedience, it is bought by the blood of the Son of Man," Dieter F. Uchtdorf

"What sign do I want to give God?" - Russell M. Nelson

"The hope of the Lord is that all married couples are sealed.... marriage is the key to happiness." - Boyd K. Packer

There were many great talks, but what Kevin W. Pearson and Jeffrey R. Holland said really hit me in a different way. I loved all of conference and there were many blessings that came in my personal life from listening to the prophet and apostles and other general authorities of the church. I add my witness and testimony to their's that Christ lives. He was resurrected on that beautiful first easter morning, and he did give us the chance to live with our Father for all eternity as a family. I know that the Atonement is the key to save all of us from the fall, but we must endure, try, and help others to get on the path. That is why the missionary work is so important. I testify that God and Jesus Christ are working amongst us today. God's hand is in all things. These things I know, and I do testify of them in the name of Jesus Christ, my Savior and Redeemer, amen.

Elder Weiss :)

Mother's Note:  I asked Parker what he though about getting a new Temple built in Haiti (they share the Island with Dominican Republic)  Here is his response:

Haiti is getting a temple! I screamed when I heard that! haha that is sooooo cool! It will be a big blessing for this area as well! :)

I then asked if he had heard anything or if Elder Holland mentioned anything about letting missionaries back into I understood it they had pulled all the missionaries out of Haiti for safety reasons. Parker said...

There are missionaries in Haiti, but they are natives. All haitians. They haven't said anything about it....  

Parker also mentioned he is reading Mosiah now and really likes Mosiah 4:9. He mentioned a few other insights he liked from Conference too...And made mention of his new niece Cambria (we sent him pictures)...

Cambria is super cute! I can't wait to play with her and all that stuff. Babies are awesome. I thought it was cool how they focused so much on marriage and the family in conference. The Lord is trying to send a message. Conference was fantastic. Of course one of my favorites was Jeffrey R. Holland, it was just a great talk, but I really liked Kevin W. Pearson's talk about "stay close to the tree" as in the tree of life in Lehi's dream. He talked very well and it hit me strong. Dieter F. Uchtdorf also had two very good talks. Suprisingly, all of them spoke to me in a special way, so they were are good. WOW! All good.

Another view (no I don't need glasses...just stylin-I gave these to a girl in my ward after)

Steak lunch I made-mmm

Watching Conference

All the Missionaries in my mission (Santo Domingo West)

Elder Holland with some other missionaries-proof he was here.

Elder Holland's writing how Jesus in the Keystone