Monday, August 29, 2011

My Last Zone Conference

Hello everyone!

Last week was incredible.  I participated in my last zone conference.  Want to know who came?  Elder Arnold, the president of Sudamérica Sur area and his wife, Sister Arnold.  They...were...incredible.  Last Wednesday night, the assistants came and slept in our pension with us (because the conference was held in our chapel).  The 4 of us woke up at 4:45 Thursday morning to go to the church and set up tables and chairs, clean up one more time, and just get everything ready.  Then while our companions were in another room, President Arnold had a meeting with the 4 zone leaders, us 5 district leaders, and us 2 trainers - 9 people in total in a meeting with a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy.  He actually gave a talk either last General Conference or the one before where he told a story about cows in the field and one of them broke through the fence and died, and related it to how the commandments help us to be safe (look it up, it´s a good talk).  Elder Mervyn B. Arnold.  I´m not kidding, this man is inspired.  There were about 4 times just in that first 55 minute meeting where he said that he had something else planned but the Spirit was telling him to go another
direction.  One of the missionaries ended up having a crazy spiritual experience where President Arnold basically told him how his life was going to turn out after the mission.  It was incredible.  And then after that short meeting, we had a meeting with the Arnolds, President and Sister Callan, and all the missionaries from Encarnación and Pilar (about 28 missionaries in total).  It was such a great experience.  What a great conference to go out on.

I really admired a lot of things about Elder Arnold.  The first thing I noticed about him is how he treated his wife.  The very first thing he did in the meeting with all the missionaries was introduce his wife and just thank her so much for all she does for him and tell us a bit about her.  He kissed her when she walked in, when she got up to give her talk, and when she sat back down after it.  He wasn´t some big shot General Authority and way serious and too formal.  No, he sat with his arm around her the whole time.  He´s a really great guy.

I also noticed that every single time without fail, when he began to say something about Christ or about the Atonement, he would pause to find his words, and he would always talk a little quieter, and he would choke up just a little bit.  You could just feel his testimony of the Savior.  At the end, he asked us to close our books, put down our pencils, and just listen.  He gave the most powerful testimony of the Savior in the most simplest of terms, and it was just so powerful.  The Spirit was so strong in there, it was almost tangible.  He simply said "You don´t have to see Jesus Christ to know Him.  And I want you all to know that I know Him.  I know Him.  He is not imaginary or a child´s tale, He is as real and physical and living as you and I, and I know Him.  And He can heal you, if you let Him.  He did not only die for our sins, but for our pains and heartaches and afflictions.  He can heal of you...completely." and it was just an experience that cannot be described in words.  I´m so glad to have had that opportunity to participate in that conference with such an inspired man, a true servant of God.

Next week I´ll be sending home my last email from my mission.  What a sad thought.  I love and miss you all.

-Élder Moore

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