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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Homecoming Talk


Perfected by Charity
I served in the Hermosillo Mexico Mission, which is located in the state of Sonora, just below Arizona. And for those of you that don't know, Sonora is a desert. Four of my five areas were especially hot (with temperatures reaching up to 130º F in the summer), and I was sunburned in each and every one of them. Fortunately, however, after being home for about a month, all the burns have faded away, although the tan lines are taking a bit longer. I know that with time, all of the physical evidences of the fact that I served a mission shall be gone. But I also know that what I did in my mission, and more importantly what the Lord did to me, shall forever affect me spiritually. I know that a mission, faithfully served with all the might, mind, and strength that a youth can muster, shall also bless his or her life forever.
Two years ago, in the MTC, I heard Jeffrey R. Holland say that he hopes that every returned missionary can say what he has said on numerous occasions, that “[His] mission meant everything to [him].” I can gladly stand before you all today and say the same. My mission meant everything to me, and I would also desire for each and every person that is preparing to serve, that is serving, or that has already served as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to one day be able to say that their mission meant everything to them. I was not a perfect missionary, and was by no means the best, but I do know that serving a mission can help anyone progress farther on their path to become what the Lord would have them be, which is to be “. . . holy, without spot” (Moroni 10:33).
This, the admonition to become perfect, is nothing new. In 3 Nephi 12:48, Jesus Christ extends to each of us an invitation—“Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect. ” This has been described by many as the most difficult commandment, and is surely one of the most challenging. But it should not be much of a surprise for any of us. Our Heavenly Father is surely a God of high expectations, and requires nothing but our best efforts in order to receive all the blessings that He has and to become what He desires us to become. It is because of this that He has given us the mandate to do all that we possibly can in order to become perfect.
Unfortunately, the seemingly impossible nature of this commandment causes some of us to falter, to lose hope in our own abilities and potential, and to even give up completely on ever fully obtaining this goal, becoming a hindrance rather than a help. But despite its difficulty, each and every one of us must strive to obey it—for there is no imperfect person that dwells in the presence of God, and mediocrity does not exist in the celestial kingdom (3 Nephi 27:19). Fortunately, however, we are not alone. The path has been walked before by our Elder Brother Jesus, and He is willing to teach us how to walk it as He once did, and to be there to help every step of the way. And so that we too may be able to enjoy all the blessings that He enjoys and “be perfect with the Lord [our] God” (Deut. 18:13), the Messiah performed the Atonement in order for us to be pure and holy, even as He and our Father in Heaven are pure and holy. Because of this great and eternal sacrifice, we may know that once we have done all that is in our power to meet the Lord's perfect requirements, He shall fill in the rest.
But before we try to perfect ourselves, we must have a clear vision of what we must become, and to know what the end result of all of this is. As Alfred Adler once said, “God, who is eternally complete, who directs the stars, who is the master of fates, who elevates man from his lowliness to Himself, who speaks from the cosmos to every single human soul, is the most brilliant manifestation of the goal of perfection.” Heavenly Father Himself and His Son Jesus Christ have always been our examples. They are one in mind, purpose, and character, although not in personage. We know that They, like all glorified persons, have perfect and incorruptible bodies of flesh and bones (D&C 130:22,) are all-knowing (2 Nephi 9:20), all-powerful (1 Nephi 7:12), all-just (Deut. 32:4), all-merciful (Mosiah 28:4), and all-loving (Romans 8:38-39).
That's quite an intimidating list. It is understandable to think that shall never arrive to that point in this life, and I doubt that any of us have perfected even one of those attributes. But that should never stop us from trying.
Unfortunately, though, we cannot attain complete physical perfection like the Father and His Son, and never will until after the Resurrection (Alma 40:22-23), no matter how much we exercise and how well we eat. But we can, in our desire to reach the finish line, drive ourselves to become excellent in our physical and technical efforts. Olympic athletes continue to set and break world records every four years, some even receiving perfect scores in the process. In a similar manner, those who enjoy activities such as art, poetry, music, and other pursuits are driven to greater and newer heights as they strive to perfect what they do and who they are.
But physical completeness and technical excellence should not be our primary goal in this life. They are important, to be sure, but unless they help us achieve our goal of spiritual perfection, they are not of great significance, for as Paul once taught Timothy, “. . . bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come” (1 Tim. 4:8). The true perfection of which Christ spoke is that of perfection in spiritual matters, to be “complete, whole, and fully developed; totally righteous [and] without sin or evil” (see The Guide to the Scriptures: Perfection). This divine ambition can include striving to learn and apply all we can of the Gospel of Christ, magnifying our Church callings, loving and serving our neighbor, along with practicing and fostering a Spirit of righteousness within our own homes and families.
As with our physical goals, the desire to be perfect in spiritual matters can serve as a great motivation to do all that we can to become all that the Father would have us be. And of all the divine attributes that we should acquire and perfect in this life is that of charity, the pure love of Christ. The reason for this is simple. As Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” Therefore, as much as knowledge, faith, sacrifice, and covenants prepare us to be with God after this life, so is charity an essential element in helping us to return to live with the Lord and becoming perfected in Him, and without it, we “. . . cannot inherit that place which [Christ] hast prepared in the mansions of [His] Father” (Ether 12:34). Without charity, we can do nothing (D&C 18:19).
So for whom should we have charity? We learn from the Scriptures that we should “. . . love the Lord the [our] God with all [our] heart, and with all [our] soul, and with all [our] mind” (Matthew 22:37, 39), and as 2 Nephi 31:20 states, we should also have a love of ALL men. This means that put simply, we should love absolutely EVERYone—our Father in Heaven being the most important of them all, and that we should always manifest that love by keeping His commandments (John 14:15).
But charity, for the Lord and for others, is not just a requisite to live in the celestial kingdom, but is one of the greatest blessings that we can have in order to live the Gospel. When we have charity, a few interesting things happen. If you truly love the Lord as the Scripture states, you will not have desires to disobey the commandments. You shall stop questioning His counsel and that of His servants, becoming submissive, meek, humble, patient, and willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon you (Mosiah 3:19). And if you truly love others, as PMG states, “You will come to feel a sincere concern for the eternal welfare and happiness of other people. You will see them as children of God with the potential of becoming like our Heavenly Father, and you will labor in their behalf. You will avoid negative feelings such as anger, envy, lust, or covetousness. You will avoid judging others, criticizing them, or saying negative things about them. You will try to understand them and their points of view. You will be patient with them and try to help them when they are struggling or discouraged” (p. 118).
If you have charity, living the commandments will not be a hardship, but a privilege. Doing your home or visiting teaching will no longer be a chore, but a joy. You will not have to fight with yourself to fulfill your responsibilities in the Church or in your own home. If you and your family have perfect charity one for another, there will be no bickering, no fighting, and no contention. Charity, in a sense, makes the entire Gospel “easier,” not because it is something that we do, but because it is something that we are.
But how can we cultivate this type of charity? First, we must understand our need of it, not just in our minds, but also in our hearts, and for that need to be confirmed by the Holy Ghost (2 Nephi 33:1). This spiritual confirmation of the heart, which is felt rather than thought or heard, is key in our efforts to be charitable, for as M. Russell Ballard said in the past General Conference, “Only when our testimony transcends what is in our mind and burrows deep into our heart will our motivation to love and to serve become like unto the Savior's. It is then, and only then, that we become deeply converted disciples of Christ empowered by the Spirit to reach the hearts of our fellowmen” (Anxiously Engaged, p. 30 Ensign Nov. 2012). Second, we may “. . . pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that [we] may be filled with this love . . .” (Moroni 7:48), asking for divine help through prayer. Third, we must try all we can to see the good in others. If we focus on the negative, there will always be some fault or defect in the character of other people. But if we focus on that which is good, we will have a sincere and natural admiration for that person, which fosters an attitude of charity. And fourth, after having done all we can to have this perfect charity, we can let the Lord fill in the rest, and let ourselves feel His love for the people we also want to love.
I had many experiences with this on my mission. It is easy to get along with fun and hard-working companions, and to feel affection for investigators and members that always do what they can to help the work continue to move forward. But then again, there are the companions that aren't so easy to love, and investigators that are very hard to even like. But missionaries, more than anyone else, need to have this love for others, and for others to feel charity radiate through them. Obviously we do not want others to be converted to us, but to Christ, but as I just stated, when the Spirit of the pure love of Christ is present, it is much easier to live the Gospel.
When I was in my fourth area, I arrived in the place of an incredible missionary. He had worked miracles there, and replacing him was no small task. He and my new companion had been teaching a family, who were preparing to be baptized. When we first arrived to their home, they told us, “Honestly, we don't want to become attached to or love either of you. It hurt too much when the other elder left, and we don't want to go through that again.” I sat there, brand new in the area, thinking, “Great. This is going to be awesome. Even the investigators that want to be baptized don't want anything to do with us.” I tried my hardest to see the good in the situation, and to see the good in them, even though it was obvious that they would have preferred that I be the other elder. They still wanted to learn, however, so we continued to teach and prepare them for baptism. In the process, I understood and felt the need to love them, and I prayed for the Lord's help to do so as often as I could. I also tried to see the good in their family, despite their obvious disappointment of who we were. And even after all of this, I came up short. I still did not feel perfect love towards them. That is when I tried the fourth step. I could not bring myself to do it on my own, so I brought in the Lord's help, not just through prayer, but through an active effort. Perhaps I could not love them completely, but I knew that the Lord already did. I tried to think of what He felt for them, and His desire for them to be a happy and complete family.
As a quick side note, I only speak for myself. My companion loved that family, and my personal struggle in doing so is in no way a statement of his love for them.
That is when the true miracle occurred. I had done all I could. And after that, the Lord filled in the rest. We felt love for them, and they felt it. Not only was the family baptized, but they were truly converted. The whole house changed. The small and insignificant problems that they had had no longer mattered as much. There was less contention and more love. They are more unified. They still love the Church, and the two youngest daughters even sang in the Primary program of their ward a few weeks ago. They are still far from perfect, as we all are, but as they continue to do all that they can to have that love for the Lord and for one another, they will become more and more perfected in Christ.
I know that it was not because of me, my love, or my companion and his love, that they were converted, but I know that the Lord had a hand in them feeling His love through us. And with that, they were more prepared to descend into the waters of baptism and to begin a new life in Christ.
I love that family, almost as much as I love my own. I would do anything for them. I love all of my converts. I love the people I taught. I love my companions. I love Mexico, and I love its people, despite all their imperfections. I love my mission. I love the Lord, for what He has done for me and for what He has done for those that I love. But above all, I love Him because He helped me learn what it is to truly love others.
But don't get me wrong. I am not all-loving. I don't have the most charity in the world, and I would be very wrong to say such a thing. I have met people like that, and so far, I am not one of them. But I also know another thing. If I continue this pattern, I can, through that charity, become perfect in it. I know that all the principles of the Gospel are true, and that all Christ-like attributes are important, but in my own personal opinion, charity is the one that purifies us the most. For as Paul once exhorted the Colossians, “And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness” (Colossians 3:14).
If any of you feel you can improve in your desires and efforts to be spiritually perfect, I would invite to try a little harder, and I promise you that charity will help you do so. And if you feel that you are already doing all that you can, I promise that if you ask for God's help, and actively strive to deserve it, He will fill in the rest, for “. . . it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Nephi 25:23).
In closing, I would like to remind all of you of an invitation similar to that which Jesus Christ extended to us in 3 Nephi 12:48. This was given by Moroni, and these words are some of the last that he wrote in the Book of Mormon. It is found in Moroni 10:32-33, and states, “Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God. And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot.”
TESTIMONY
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

10.29.12 -- Nogales

Hey,

A common street in my area. You can see other pictures later. Patience is a virtue.


I`ll talk to the missionaries when I get home. I`m looking forward to that--I want to see how the work is in the States, and see if I can adjust to teaching in English. Although I`ll have to start looking for a job when I get home too, so I don`t know what`ll be happening. But just remember this: we force NO ONE to live the gospel. No one can live on borrowed light and never will. The only person that was able to vicariously save anyone else (ALONE) was Jesus Christ. WE may be able to do vicarious work for others in the temple, but that is ONLY thanks to the Atonement.

I`ll be looking forward to Skyler´s talk. That´s so cool that he´s going on a mission. THAT. IS. AWESOME.

We´ll keep working all this week. I´ve never stopped working and I have no intention of doing it now. Even if we´re losing two days in the week because of concilio--we leave tomorrow to go to Hermosillo and get back on Wednesday. I´ll be going through the Hermosillo temple for the last time tomorrow night. And on Wednesday I have to present something on how to help people repent in concilio . . . that´ll be interesting. Especially since I had to prepare a talk again last week for Church.

Experiences--

We were able to see E. Barker and E. Martinez baptize a small family this Sunday. The Spirit was strong and we were able to take two investigator families to the service. They loved it. And yes, we were able to find another family this week--just the Dad is a member, and he travels a lot. He got to Nogales and told us to come teach his family. Yet another family I`ll be leaving. That kind of hurts, but at least I`ve got practice.

We visited an old woman this week. She´s been a member for 50 years, but can´t get to Church by herself, she needs help. But when we got there, her whole face just lit up. She´s shorter, wrinkled, and, well, very "mature," but I`m pretty sure some of the Lord´s purest and most precious souls are contained in the smallest and most wizened vessels.

We taught a Christian man this week about the Book of Mormon. His family are members, but he´s not, and really did NOT want to accept the Book of Mormon, he just wanted to continue reading the Old and New Testaments (which are important and great, by the way). "A Bible, a Bible . . ." We tried as hard as we could to keep it peaceful, and we did, but in the end, as all people have to do when confronted with someone that doesn´t want to listen, we testified. E. Hurtado bore his testimony. The already present Spirit increased. I testified. I read to him 2 Nephi 33: 10-11.

10 And now, my beloved brethren, and also aJew, and all ye ends of the earth, hearken unto these words and bbelieve in Christ; and if ye believe not in these words believe in Christ. And if ye shallcbelieve in Christ ye will believe in these dwords, for they are theewords of Christ, and he hath given them unto me; and they fteach all men that they should do good.
 11 And if they are not the words of Christ, judge ye—for Christ will show unto you, with apower and great bglory, that they are his words, at the last day; and you and I shall stand face to face before his bar; and ye shall know that I have been commanded of him to write these things, notwithstanding my weakness.
I testified of the Book of Mormon too him, and told him that these were the words of Christ. As I did so, I remembered an experience I had nearly a year and a half ago.

I was with E. Cancino, I had a few weeks into the mission, and we were teaching a very intelligent older man, with his wife present but not really participating. They were richer than usual, a normal thing for Satélite. I could hardly understand a thing, I was phsyically, mentally, and spritually spent and I hardly understood a thing that they were saying. But I got the gist of it. E. Cancino was defending the Book of Mormon and the man was declining it. The discussion grew more heated and I was . . . hurt . . . to see that he wouldn´t even accept the Book. I slowly raised my hand in the air. They stopped and looked at me. An American that harldy spoke Spanish wanting to teach something to an educated man. I opened my recently received Book of Mormon and read him the same passage of scripture in halting Spanish. I then looked at him straight in the eyes and told him that without that Book, I would have no witness of Christ and no witness of the existence of God, and that without that Book, I was really worth nothing as a missionary. The man just sat there staring at me with his lips parted and his eyes astonished. E. Cancino had the same look on his face. I hung my head and they began to speak again. A few minutes later, someone, I don´t remember who, said the closing prayer, and we left.

I wanted him to accept the truth. I cried that night as I prayed and wondered "Why will ye die?" (Helaman 7:17). I received the answer: agency. All have it. And no one that truly understands and follows the Gospel can manipulate it.

Later in this past week, we taught a less active woman. She was having a few problems and we taught of faith in the Lord and His divine Plan. E. Hurtado and I both testified and she looked at us, saying, "I find it so amazing that I can look you both in the eyes and I can tell that neither of you have any doubt about this."

I know that all this is true. All of it, for me, is thanks to the Book of Mormon. Testimony is not conversion, but I have the first, even if it´s not the strongest, and I`m striving to do all I can to receive the second.

I know that all of this is true. I know that a mission is the best thing that any youth can ever do. It is all worth it. I don`t know exactly what´s going to happen when I get home, but I have no intention to stop working this last week. And I don´t want to be depressed after arriving home either--deep discouragement ends spiritual growth, and is one of Satan´s most effective tools. But neither will I be completely happy, or the mission will not have meant that much to me. Everyone has to find a balance. I hope I can find mine. But like E. Holland says, this has meant everything to me. And I hope I´ll always be able to say that.

I never have been nor will be a perfect missionary, but I`ve done all I can up to this point, this last week. And that´s all the Lord asks--your best.

See you all soon,

Elder Humbert

Monday, October 22, 2012

10.22.12 -- Nogales


Hey,
 
We found this in the house today when we cleaned for almost the ENTIRE morning.
 
We`re teaching a man that is really trying to learn and prepare to be baptized, but he has something that is for some reason keeping him from going to Church . . . it`s kind of annoying to help people when they don`t let themselves be helped. There`s only so much that we can do to help them, unless we want to start interfering with their agency . . . but we don`t really want to do that.
 
We`ve been blessed with the chance to teach a family the last few weeks. The mom is a less active member, but she`s the only one in her family. She got baptized in Huatabampo (haha, I know her home city better than she does now, because it`s been so long that she´s been there), but once she got here to Nogales, she never looked for the Church. But since we found them (member referrals are so AWESOME), she`s slowly been getting more and more anxious to live the Gospel. She told us this last week that she has to start going to Church again, for the sake of her children. The dad is great as well--he constantly is teaching and reminding everyone else in his family to say their prayers. They have a few kids, and we`re happy to teach the entire family.
 
Yet another family that I`ve found. But seeing as how things have turned out so far in my mission, I`ll be very blessed and fortunate to see them baptized before I leave. I want to help families . . . but it`s okay. We just have to keep doing our part--we can`t do anything else.
 
We fasted as a zone this past week. Everyone did it, and even if it didn`t bring ALL the desired results, the missionaries of the zone saw miracles.
 
We found a less active family a few weeks ago and we started teaching them. Well, actually, it`s the grandma, the daughter, and the 12 year old grandkid. Since we got there, the grandma loved us and wanted us to teach everyone there. Her husband wasn´t too receptive, but her grandson wanted to learn. We started to teach them, and they started learning it all again. The youth read everything, and they went to District and General Conference. He wanted me to baptize him, and the best part of all was the Sunday of his confirmation. We had fast and testimony meeting the last week (8 days ago), and the grandma got up to testify. She expressed her thanks to be able to come back to Church and for her grandson being the catalyst of the whole thing. It was great.
 
I also had to talk this last week. I broke my record. The latest I had found out that I would be talking is 5 minutes before sacrament meeting, but this time I found out after the Sacrament. Cool. I had to get a talk ready in about 7 minutes. I did alright though. 13 minutes with almost no preparation. And I felt the Spirit while doing it, so I guess it was alright.
 
Love you all,
 
Elder Humbert
 
"Slow down, everyone, you´re moving too fast . . . frames can´t catch ya when you´re movin´ like that . . ."

10.15.12 -- Nogales


You know you´re a missionary when you get psyched by a bunch of old guys in suits and ties that are talking about the gospel.

I loved nearly all the talks--the only weird thing is that E. Holland already gave that talk a year and a half ago in the MTC. And he was much more open with his feelings in the MTC. I´ve got a DVD with the entire talk. You can all see that later if you want. "Do you love me? DO YOU LOVE ME?!"

Also, E. Bednar´s was great, but he kind of robbed it from E. Oaks´ "The Challenge to Become" from October 2000.

I read a lot of talks.

In other news, I found out that I´ll be getting home to Sacramento at 7:00 p.m. after a 5 hour layover in LAX. That´s not going to be too fun, but whatever, I don´t have to worry about it just yet. Also, please thank Bishop Weight for the letter again--we have a lot of experiences like that in Mexico. 

Thug Smurf.

And here´s a house that we found after looking for a referral we got. Both houses have the same number, and they´re both abandoned and/or destroyed. Nice. That´s what happens with the referrals we get sometimes.

E. Hurtado in zone meeting. Awesome comp. I also taught--more on that later.

We had concilio this week. It was . . . different. Instead of hearing the APs and President teach, we all had an open discussion about the rules. I personally had the idea that E. Christofferson talked about a few years ago when he gave the talk "Moral Discipline." It doesn´t matter how many rules and laws you have in society (or in a mission) if the people involved are bent on disobeying. All that happens is that they get more creative in the art of sin. The real thing we must do is change the people/missionaries so that THEY can make their OWN changes.

So what happened was that the "open discussion" pretty much turned into a "tumult of opinions," but with a few rays of light poking through. It was interesting, different, and charged with an air of pride--I was glad to get out.

It was strange teaching about all that in Zone Meeting. What we did was just talk about our own personal conversion and how we help others to do that as well--what it really means to be a missionary. If we are truly missionaries, and not just "in the mission," all obedience problems will no longer exist. Also, we all have good and bad desires--how we choose between them decides who we are. Good desires (finding, teaching, and baptizing) can be satisfied only in the mission--once it ends, that´s it. The mantle of missionary is taken away and that´s it. Other desires, that aren´t necessarily bad in and of themselves but not good in the mission, cannot be fully satisfied unless that missionary goes home early. And all those desires can be satisfied after the mission anyway. I talk about missonary disobedience, not sinful disobedience.

The ex drug addict I was teaching in Obregón is still progressing, but he still has to work out a few things before he can get baptized. And the family E. Cirne and I reactivated and helped so that the youngest son could be baptized by his dad is also doing great. The dad is the 2nd counselor in the Young Men´s Presidency, and the mom told E. Cirne the other day that this is the first time in their lives that they´ve been able to get along together, everyone, with the Gospel. AWESOME

We´ve got to go to an appointment now, adios, I love you all,

Elder Humbert

Monday, October 8, 2012

10.1.12 -- Nogales


Hey,

The internet place I`m in is still horrible, so all I can send when it comes pictures are more ones from the Mexican Independence Day thing. E. Herron and a few other elders left the zone this last week, and I`ll miss a few of them, but the zone is doing great. We`ve got great missionaries and I really enjoyed the DL meeting we had last Sunday. I`m psyched for this month--the zone didn`t do too well in September and we just need to keep on working to forget about it and keep moving on.

E. Hurtado is great. I met him when I was in Navojoa and Huatabampo, since he was in Villa Juarez for about 7.5 months, a few of which he was branch president. He knows how to WORK. I`m not lazy, but I`m not the best at finding people, but things really picked up this week. We found a bunch of new investigators and we`re working great with the members. I`m really glad we were able to do that this week--honestly, I love missionary work, but as far the work goes, finding is the part that is the least fun. At least we`re not in Hermosillo though--walking through the streets when it`s 53 degrees Celsius outside is not a very pleasant experience.

But anyway, we continue working. I have no desire to slow down. Just gotta keeeep goin´. . . 

Oh, and by the way, E. Hurtado is from Pachuca, Hidalgo. It`s about an hour north of Mexico City. He`s got 20 months in the mission and I respect him a lot.

And when it comes to my time to go home, I`ll be going to Hermosillo on the 5th of November and I`ll be flying home the 6th. I should be arriving in the Sacramento Airport, if what E. Stewart from the offices is correct. 

We´re psyched for General Conference and we`re going to trying to get as many people as we can to go--listening to a prophet`s voice is definitely something that helps in the conversion process. Even if it`s really a translator that`s saying everything.

We had an FHE this week with a family that has about 3 years in the Church--we went over and the sister told us that she had accidentally mixed up an appointment with some community type meeting in her house with our appointment with her, and started apologizing. We told her that it was alright, and that we would teach anyway. There was a woman in the doorway that was waiting for the community thing (I honestly have no idea what they were doing, but it`s alright), and the sister asked her if she`d like to hear a message about Jesus Christ. She said, "Sure, I need it anyway." We sat down and started teaching about the 5 basic principles of the gospel (faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, enduring to the end), and she just opened right up. She started talking about a lot of stuff that was happening in her life and she told us, "I haven`t told this to anybody before, but I don`t know, I just feel that I need to talk to you two." The Spirit was very strong and E. Hurtado and I felt great. Along with everyone else there. Sometimes we just need to be humbled a bit, before we can be helped out by the Lord and lifted up (Ether 12:27), but in the end, we always end up at a higher spiritual level than we would have otherwise been able to get to.

I know the Atonement is true. It`s just that simple.

In Moroni 7, it talks in the first few verses that if we give a gift, but not really meaning to, it benefits us for nothing. Maybe it might help the person we have given it to, but we are not edified or changed by it.

That`s the difference in real prayer and the average prayer. At times we just say things. Other time, we talk to the Lord. If you`re used to it, you can easily discern between the two. The Spirit is present in one and absent in the other. The Lord always answers one and might ignore the other, because we might not be completely ready to receive that blessing that we think we so desperately need. I know Bro. Newey knows the difference. And he not only knows, he does. If the Lord is willing and the prayers continue, "everything will work out."

We`re going to Concilio in Hermosillo in an hour. Take care everyone, don´t forget to think of questions you want answered in Conference.

Adios

Elder Humbert

P.S. Elder Rivas is training again and Elder Hustis, Elder Rivas´ first trainee, is training as well. According to mission slang, I`ve got one son, two grandsons, and one great-grandkid. My seed continues to multiply and replenish the mission!