ONE WORD THIS WEEK YALL... EXHAUSTED. HOLY COW. So all week we have had the incredible privilege of listening to Elder Uceda - apostle of the Lord and the President of the Northwest South America Area in the first Quorom of the 70. SO INCREDIBLE PEOPLE, SO INCREDIBLE. But seriously I am dead. From feeling the Spirit so strong every single day I think I might just spend this p-day sleeping... #missionaryprobs.
So Wednesday we traveled from Puerto to Cusco! It was horrible to say the least. So it is about an 11 hour drive and it is SUPER windy. Plus you go up in elevation to about 11,000 feet. I was fine, but one of the Elders right behind us was throwing up the whole time, my companion threw up, and the sisters across from us were sick as well. Not fun yall, not fun. But we finally made it! Thursday we had conference in Cusco with Elder Uceda with all the missionaries in the mission with the exception of two zones who didnt come. It was awesome because usually big conferences like this in the mission only happen around Christmas time. It was THE BEST! I wish I could tell you all everything he talked about and what his wife talked about and the powerful, powerful Spirit that was present. In the beginning for a good 30 minutes he talked about repentance - he told us that while he had not planned at all to talk about repentance he felt that it was what we needed here. In fact, most of what he ended up sharing was not what he had planned but was exactly what we needed to hear as missionaries. Elder Uceda said many many times "El arrepentimiento es un principio de perfeccion." Repentance is a principle of perfection. It is the most beautiful and perfect gift that we have from our Heavenly Father to be able to repent EVERYDAY and become better. Incredible. Only when we have come to see sin differently, with a changed heart and no more desire to sin, only then have we fully repented! Suffering is not repentance. Confession is not repentance. Asking for forgiveness is not repentance. A CHANGE OF HEART IS REPENTANCE. Repentance is a process and all of the steps are important, but until we have had this change we have not repented.
The Friday we came back to Puerto from Cusco and the drive was better! On Saturday Elder Uceda came here to Puerto and we got to listen to him again! He did a training with us missionaries and with our leaders. He talked a lot about unity and that the Spirit of Contention is never from the Lord! It is Satans most powerful tool he uses among us to drive away the Spirit of the Lord and ruin our success. He also talked a lot about "renewing our spirit of sacrifice." In this church we do not ask for a release from our callings - that just doesnt exist. We work until we love our calling, and if we ask to be let go it is because we do not understand the eternal law of sacrifice. IT WAS SO GOOD.
THEN (even more I know I am blessed) on Sunday we had District conference with Elder Uceda!!! Him and his wife both talked about modesty and how our bodies are temples for the Spirit. "We are not better than anyone as members of the church, BUT WE ARE DIFFERENT." We have to be! We are not of the world, and until we learn this we cannot become fully converted to the Gospel. Me, my comp, and two other members had the chance to sing "I Believe in Christ" (in Spanish of course) and it was the best.
A seriously incredible week. I feel so blessed to have learned what I learned and to have felt the Spirit so strongly all week long. I encourage you all to "renew your sense of sacrifice" like Elder Uceda said. If you dont like your calling or feel inadequate first know that I promise you you are not the only one and then get on your knees and pray for strength from the Lord to change your heart! This Gospel is marvelous and perfect. The Lord works through his servants - each one of us play an important role in building up the Kingdom of God in this time on the Earth.
I love you all!
Hermana Miceli :)