The stake in Sevilla is smaller than any ward in Utah.
At first glance you could already tell that every single person in that building had a testimony, you could see it in their eyes, you could feel the Spirit testifying that truth.
I was surprised by the amount of youth that attended. Some were not members but they were happy to be there! I think that is pretty cool, considering the amount of Mormons in Spain is like 1%.
The stake president showed a video for the seminary opening, this year we will be learning about the Book of Mormon! I could feel the spirit even during the video.
After the video we played a game, kind of like scripture mastery. If you knew the answer you had to stand up doing a signal representing either an elephant, bird, tree, or rabbit, and the people on the right and left next to you had to complete the signal in order to answer the question. Everyone got really into it, which was really fun to see the desire to show their scripture knowledge.
The stake presidency expressed their gratitude for the effort the parents and the youth had made to come to the social on a Friday night, some having to travel more than 2 hours away. To me, it was normal seeing everyone there I didn't think of it, but until the president said that it never occurred to me how much effort some youth had to put into being there.
Another talk was given testifying about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. Most of the members in the stake are converts, and they love the gospel very much. It's changed their lives and when I heard one of the presidents talk about the love of the gospel and of The Book of Mormon you could not deny the Holy Ghost was testifying that this was true.
He shared a scripture found in D&C 50:19-25
(It was more meaningful to me in Spanish so that's why I chose Spanish)
19 Y además, el que recibe la palabra de verdad, ¿la recibe por el Espíritu d
e verdad o de alguna otra manera?
21 Por tanto, ¿cómo es que no podéis comprender y saber que el que recibe la palabra por el Espíritu de verdad, la recibe como la predica el Espíritu de verdad?
22 De manera que, el que la predica y el que la recibe se comprenden el uno al otro, y ambos son aedificados y se bregocijan juntamente.
23 Y lo que no edifica no es de Dios, y es atinieblas.
24 Lo que es de Dios es aluz; y el que recibe luz y bpersevera en Dios, recibe cmás luz, y esa luz se hace más y más resplandeciente hasta el día perfecto.
25 Y además, de cierto os digo, y lo digo para que sepáis la averdad, a fin de que desechéis las tinieblas de entre vosotros:
This scripture is saying HOW? How does someone who comes to know the gospel not feel that this church is true? It is impossible because the Holy Ghost testifies so strongly whenever someone opens that Book of Mormon. (the stake president referred it as a magic book from where magic opens when you open it.) The Spirit will testify to all who is willing to open their heart and listen and have the desire to.
I have never felt such a sweet and tender yet bold spirit testify to me that this church is true & it has only been one day. I know my testimony will grow much much more from the example of these saints here in Sevilla. I know the Book of Mormon is true and can't wait to study, understand, and love it even more. I know that seminary does make a difference, and what we learn in there and at church will edify and help us become more like Christ. I know we have a living prophet, Thomas S. Monson. The members light up when I tell them I'm from Utah, "Where the prophet lives?". We take everything for granted in Utah. How blessed we really are to live in such proximity to the center, Salt Lake City, of the true Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Living in a place far away from home is hard, & even more so when you are the only Latter Day Saint within miles. I am blessed to have a host family, Manuel, Isabel, and Jared that love the gospel.
I cannot wait for the rest of the year I will be spending with these members in Sevilla.
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Here's a link to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. http://www.lds.org/?lang=eng
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Carla y yo! Las dos Peruanas! At the stake dance!