June 6, 2016

Dear Familia,

This week has been amazing and I hope I have time and the skill to tell you about it in the time I have.
First, I am so glad that you had a good time at the family reunion and that it was fun. It can be a long drive but you made it so I guess just don”t plan on another one for awhile. That is super neat that you rented a home. I didn’t know that was possible but that must have been fun being all together. The pictures that Cassandra sent make much more sense now.
That is really funny, after the fact, that you got locked in a parking garage at the library. Adventures like those keep life interesting and awesome. The Lord has to shake it up for us sometimes. Sweet Home still is in school for part of this week so it is kind of weird that you are already out but it will be really weird to walk around here and run into many more kids because they will no longer be in school.
The work is going awesome! We found 4 new investigators last week and one of them was a referral from a member that we then had a lesson in their home. He was really open to learning about the gospel because he has felt like he needed to start and strengthen his relationship with God lately. The other one that I was here for was a woman that we tracted into in the heat of the day yesterday. Poor planning on our part but the people were super kind to us and one lady even gave us water bottles that were cold. The other two Sister Bennion and Sister Shumway found while we were on exchanges. Which I guess leads to that I went on exchanges this week and I went to Oak Creek (in Albany) with Sister Munford and it was awesome. I got to see two of the people that I met last time I was there on exchanges and it was really awesome to see how far they had progressed. It was a really awesome exchange and I learned a lot. One of the things I learned was how powerful simple teaching can be.
One thing that I also learned from my zone conference two weeks ago is that because I love the Lord I can do hard things. That is kind of random but it is true.
So, to get to the really awesome and really special event of the week I will start off by saying that I will probably not say much because the experience would be too hard to describe. We had a stake conference this weekend and the Adult session was actually held on Friday evening. The reason being because there would be a mission wide special meeting and priesthood training meeting on that Saturday. Why this explanation? This weekend, President Nelson, the president of the quorum of the twelve apostles, came to our stake. The friday we were told to remain in our areas and not go to the meeting. I heard from the members that it was really awesome and spirit filled. That Saturday we drove to Monmouth and all of the Oregon Salem missionaries were gathered to have a special conference with President Nelson. Our mission president got special permission and all of us were there. It was amazing. And the really special part was that President Nelson made time so that each of us could shake his hand. I shook hands with an apostle of the Lord this weekend and I can tell you right now, it is still hard to believe that. President Nelson is an apostle called of God, of that I know to be true with all my heart. He taught us about the scriptures and about life and he is a funny man too. I am so grateful for his kindness in allowing us all to be there. I guess one thing I can tell you about is that President Nelson just got a new quad two weeks ago and in 14 days, he read the whole thing. Old testament through the Pearl of Great Price. He is 91 years old and it was a tiny quad. He is supported by the Lord and I can testify to you that the apostles, regardless of age, are able to do the work that is needed. There is no doubt in my mind.
Afterwards, we got to take a mission wide photo as this would be a prime opportunity before President Samuelian leaves.
I will say that Elder Daniel L. Johnson of the seventy spoke at our stake conference and that was wonderful. I can’t say much more than that. It was just something that I thought I would share.
I am so grateful for the gospel and the joy it has brought into my life. I know that President Monson is the prophet today that the Lord gave to us. He is a gift, just like the scriptures. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and that this church has all of the truth and that is the only one that does.
Anyways, I have to go but I hope you are all having a wonderful week. I love you lots and I just want you to know that the Lord is there for you, he will never leave us alone.
Sister Elizondo
Oregon Salem Mission

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