My church’s general conference (a huge weekend of meetings where all our church leaders are gathered and speak to the entire worldwide congregation) was this weekend, and it was pretty good. I started off really strong, looking forward to it a lot, but lost some steam as I usually do — it’s hard for me to sit through long meetings. I guess two hours isn’t that long, but hey, I find it hard to sit through 7 minute cartoons.
Two (of the five) sessions were really memorable for me. The first one, when President Monson got up and spoke, he mentioned that there were going to be five new temples built. One of them was in Cordoba, in Argentina. I was so excited when I heard that. I served my mission in Argentina (99-01), in Patagonia (Neuquen mission), and while Cordoba isn’t that close to us, it’s really awesome to learn that the country is going to get it’s second temple, after the one in Buenos Aires. I’d love to fly down there for the dedication.
It got me thinking about my mission, though, and the people I worked with, and how the Lord really looks after even the least of us. There is so much poverty and sadness in the areas I served, but the saints try hard to live the gospel.
I imagine the temple is going to be one of the smaller ones, and it reminded me of this small city in my first area. My first city was Esquel in the province of Chubut. Near us, there was a really tiny town called Trevelin which couldn’t have had more than a couple thousand people. I remember walking down this long stretch of barren road, where buildings were dotted across the landscape, sometimes half a mile apart or so, and out in the middle of nowhere, was a little LDS chapel. The Church only had a small branch in Trevelin, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a smaller, prouder little building that they had. Generally speaking, the Church doesn’t build a building unless the membership is either strong or large, and they are paying their tithes, so it really stood as a monument in mind to the faith of these very few members in that little town. I really wish I had a picture of it, I remember it so vividly.
I do have a picture of us going to the falls there once, which the city was actually famous for. I don’t have a scanner at home, so it’ll have to wait for now. I do have a picture of me in my first area, though. This was actually taken the day I was transferring from Esquel to an even smaller town, 25 de Mayo in La Pampa.
Notice the heavy coat. It was freaking cold, there. I remember wearing about five layers of clothes and still feeling like my bones were turned to ice.
Anyway, the rest of conference was good. I’ve caught about half of every session so far, and I’ll catch up watching the rest during the week. I did actually make it to the General Priesthood session on Saturday night, which was really good. In fact, this is the first time in like four years that I actually made it to a church to watch the thing, since something always seems to happen every year, like I’ll get sick, or fall asleep or whatever. I went with my friend Scott though, and it was great.
There was this one guy who got up, I can’t remember his name, that delivered this really powerful direct talk. It was just awesome. He talked about how the way to cast out Satan in our lives is the same things that worked to cast him out of Heaven in the premortal life. Ah, the memory is fading, and the talks aren’t online yet or I’d quote him directly. I remember there were three things, and one of them was the bearing of testimony. Ah, I’m blanking. Ah well, the archives will eventually be here.