"Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah."

Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 2:8

Monday, April 4, 2011

General Conference and "Finding" Q'eqchi

Dear Family,

Hey! How are all of you doing? I hope you all feel as good and as spiritually uplifted as I do after that amazing General Conference. First of all, thanks for all of the emails and the pictures! I love getting pictures so please send them whenever you can!  So thanks I really appreciate all of your thoughts and insights about the conference and everything you guys are doing to support me. I also got the little package you sent me with my shirt and the letters from Kinzie so thanks a lot for that haha! I love the shirt.

This week has been a great week. I didn't have very much time to work in my area, so nothing really exciting happened there, but the weekend was fantastic. Really, the main thing that we did in my area and all of the time that I was on divisions in Seritkiche and Senahu was talk to people about prophets and about the conference. As we kept talking to people over and over again about this message I felt the Spirit stronger and stronger every time testifying to me that the things we were teaching were true. But some cool things happened when we went to San Antonio Las Puertas in my area and while I was working in Seritkiche. A few times as we were talking to different people, I had people tell me 3 times "you found Q'eqchi' " which probably would be something like "you're pretty fluent in Q'eqchi' " if you translated it normally. Honestly I still have a LONG way to go with Q'eqchi', but it felt reassuring to feel (pretty much for the first time) that I am getting to the point of fluency, or at least "gospel fluency."  I'm not trying to boast of my own strength or anything, but I feel like Ammon. I know that God has helped me an incredible amount with my Q'eqchi' and with Spanish too, and I know that if it weren't for Him, I wouldn't be able to do anything at all in Q'eqchi' or in anything else. So, this isn't really any big milestone for my own accomplishments or anything like that, just a time where I have been able to look back and truly see the hand of the Lord in my life helping me beyond my capabilities. It still felt good though. 

Anyways, I was praying especially hard this past week to be able to feel the Spirit strongly during this conference and to learn all that I needed to learn from the Lord. I pretty much felt like every talk was meant just for me and had a special message to help me. I really loved Elder Bednar's talk about revelation and about the two dfferent classes. I've seen a lot of sunrises here in the mornings as we go to Senahu and it's true that it's hardly even noticeable how the light increases. But every now and then you stop and realize that it's a lot lighter than it was a few minutes ago. By the time the sun is fully out the contrast is so great that it's hard to think about when it all came. That's exactly how it is most of the time for all of us trying to receive revelation and guidance here on the earth. It's something that takes patience and that takes a bigger perspective. It's also just like what Alma talked about when he talked about growing a seed. A lot of time we expect to see the fruits by the next day, but in reality it is a slow process and takes time and effort. I learned a lot from that talk and it was definitely something that I needed to hear. 

I also really like the talk from the first sister that spoke about little children and what we need to learn from them. As I've been around the children here I've realized that that is so true. The kids here are so special. The Lord has blessed me a lot of times to feel a little bit of His love for the children in Yalijux and I too feel like crying. I also really liked Elder Robbins' talk about being and doing (I lauhged as I watched though thinking about the poor Q'eqchi' translaters since there's no word for "to be" in Q'eqchi'. I'm sure that complicated the talk a little bit haha) I also really enjoyed the Elder who was a surgeon who talked about pain and healing. 

Lastly, I really liked Elder Paul V. Johnson's talk about afflictions and how they are neccessary for us to put on our divine nature. I told all of the missionaries my stories of course haha about playing rock band with him, how I went to their house all the time and played basketball with them or ate with them. He's really a great guy and their family is awesome. So I was really excited when he spoke haha. Every talk was really great and so much of it (I would even say all of it) was either about the family or was a principle that when applied to the family brings blessings. I'm so thankful for my wonderful family and for all that you guys do for me :) After conference was over I went on divisions with Elder Larsen (again.) and we both had the Spirit with us really strongly and we were able to put a couple baptismal dates with some people so it was awesome. (Speaking of Elder Larsen, do you talk to his parents very much? Just saying, his mom has red hair and he does have a cute sister...I need to keep the red hair genes alive! haha just kidding. But Elder Larsen is pretty much my best friend in the mission. We're so much alike it's kind of ridiculous. He's just more athletic and good looking that's all.)

Anyways, I'm glad that you guys all liked conference and had a good weekend.

Mom-  thanks for all of you insights on the talks! To answer your question about the box springs- the only cars that can even try to go up in the mountains are trucks because the roads are so bad. For Yalijux pretty much the only cars that go all the way to Yalijux are what we call "camiones" which just means "really big trucks". just like the truck that you saw me pulling up the mountain a couple of emails ago. I'll get a better picture of one and send it to you.  I loved all of the pictures, especially of Dad ripping his pants hahaha. Why does he always do that!! So funny haha.  Love you tons!

Dad- first of all I honestly don't know what you were trying to say in Q'eqchi' there haha. I think you were trying to say endure to the end maybe? I don't know. Q'eqchi' can be pretty varied depending on where you are at and everything so maybe where you found it has Q'eqchi' that is a little different from mine haha. But it's the thought that counts so thanks all the same. Thanks for all of your insights on the Spirit. I'm going to really try hard to hearken and then heed the promptings of the Spirit so I can be more qualified and trustworthy in the eyes of the Lord to receive revelation and to do His work.  Love you Dad, you're the best

Jack- hey bud! I'm really glad that you liked conference and that you had a good time with Dad at priesthood session. I can't wait to go with you guys sometime! As I listened to the talk about the deacon's quorum president and about what he did to try and do his duty as a deacon I thought about you a lot and prayed for you to be able to feel the Spirit. You are such a great young man and you have so much potential to do good. Like President Uchtdorf said, never let yourself live under your privileges. Start now to live as worthily as you can to be able to do what the Lord wants of you in the priesthood. Love you bud!

Kinzie- you freak! haha thanks so much for the letters and the pictures! I love them a lot. I especially liked the pictures from our trip hahaha. I laughed pretty hard. Keep being weird haha and keep sending pictures. I will try to send a letter to the chamber choir but I don't have the school's address. So maybe I'll just write a letter and send it home and you'll just give it to them or something. I don't know. I don't have a ton of time to write though, so we'll see. Love you Kinzie!!

Matt- get on the ball man! You heard what the prophet said! You need to start dating and looking for a wife man! I'll write more next week on that but I expect to hear about some dates this week!

Alright well I love you all tons and I'm thankful for all that you do for me! Write you all next week!!! Love you!

Elder Norton

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