Family and Friends!
Wasn´t conference the BEST!!! my companion and i were looking forward to it for dayzondayzondayz. Luckily, since im still here in the good ol city, we got to watch it in english with a bunch of other missionaries. i was so extremely happy and grateful that they started incorporating talks in other languages. this is such an extremely smart and loving move on the churchs part to help a worldwide membership. I can now say from the personal experience of having to watch with voice-overs (like i watched the Womens session), that it is obviously just not the same. you are worried you are missing meaning that you can only get from cultural cues and you arent actually listening to their real voice. i know that there were people around the world crying tears of gratitude to finally hear a talk at such a high level said in their native language without having to hear it through a voice over. as the church works to accomodate for more peoples languages and cultures we too must try even harder to accept all. this is ultimately how we become like Jesus Christ, a respecter of no one culture, race, language, nationality, etc. It was also exciting to listen and understand in both english and spanish when the spanish speakers spoke. it was only a short few months ago that i would not have had that ability. i can even understand the portugese guy a little! haha.
Anyways, for me personally the Saturday afternoon session was THE BEST. Like i have said before, anyone who thought i would become less sensitive to preventing even small actions or words or even jokes of discrimination against others after being out on a mission and away from my social sciences studies is dead wrong. Talks like that of Elder Oaks and elder Holland only strengthen my resolve to continue being a protector of the minority, even as we wanted to be protected as a minority religion and people. I loved how Oaks called us out in some of our very closed off mentalities in some of the culture pockets of mormonism - the gospel is the leaven, meant to raise the whole mass - we should fully encourage ourselves and our children to associate with all people of differing religious backgrounds, culture backgrounds, racial backgrounds, etc and be a shining example of civility and christlike behavior, avoiding any types of discriminatory action or words against other races or religions, etc, and we can do all this while STILL upholding and defending our own beliefs.
Elder Hollands talk brought tears to brought tears to my eyes. i have been privileged beyond what i deserve to be a first hand observer of some of the most depraved poverty in this world that puts to shame any of us who have thought we have suffered because we didnt have enough to buy the latest update of the iphone. I loved his plee for us to try to see as the saviour does. We do not judge why someone is poor or put conditions on them or on the help we will give based on our poor judgements. How can we even pretend to be in a position to judge people in these conditions, even when they have made poor decisions, when we due to no work on our own part were just born on top of mountains of privilege, resources, connections, and gospel knowledge? I loved his challenge that although we need to uphold values of self sufficiency, each one of us can pray and receive personal revelation of how we can help in our own way.
Anyway, conference is such a testimony booster, i hope everyone watches or reads it again! Love you all, ill talk a little more about investigators next week. Wednesday is cambios. i have mixed feelings because im a little tired of my area, but i dont want to leave some of our investigators and not hermana nelson either, she has become a very best friend. but i trust whatever happens good things will come of it!!
Love, Hermana Bingham