Dear Mom, Dad, and Jonathan,
I did get the package that you sent and I also sent you a letter which should get to you soon, I sent it on Saturday. This weekend I would have to say was a very interesting and spiritual experience. Saturday morning we went to the funeral of Elder Andrew Page. Our stake missionaries where there, plus 2 other stakes, making it almost 100 missionary's! I figured ya'll heard about that since you said be careful while riding my bike. Elder Zwick from the First Quorum of the 70 was there, and the talk he gave was incredible! He got up there with no notes and nothing prepared. He just had his iPad and scriptures with him as a library to refer to when he felt a prompting. During his talk he proclaimed Elder Page to be a man of God and twice mentioned that Elder Page and his dad, who also died, where in the chapel with us. We then went to the grave site and all us missionaries sang "Called to Serve".
Later that night we went to the adult session of stake conference and Elder Call and I where greeting people as they entered the chapel and I got to Shake Elder Zwick's hand! Unfortunately, I did not realize it was him until he had past by. I then also felt bad because Elder call mentioned how he could just feel his spirit when he shook his hand, because I didn't recall feeling anything.
He gave a talk that night and another one at the second session of conference. After it was over, me and Elder Call where helping set up a small lunch for Elder Zwick and a few other local leaders before their meetings, and as we walked out of the High Counsel room I saw him walking toward us and this time I felt the spirit unlike anything I've ever felt before. He came up to me with a smile and shook my hand and my companions hand and put his hand on my shoulder and had a brief conversation with us, and that made my day.
A little later, me and my companion where still there, along with few other missionaries, when a woman walked up and says that Elder Zwick was wondering if we wanted to join all of them for lunch. We quickly replied yes and headed down there. They where waiting for us to show up before they started eating. After everyone got their food we sat at the table and I found myself across the table from Elder Zwick. We where all pretty quite, being in the same room as a General Authority, but he was so friendly and immediately started talking with us, and he started talking with me. As I sat down he asked me where I was from and then we started talking about the Temple. He told me the dates that they are going to have the events for it, such as the dedication, and when the sessions will start. He then showed me pictures on his phone from when they put the Angel Moroni on it, which I told him I was present for. He also showed me the mission home they picked for the Gilbert mission, which has a view of the Temple from the backyard. Towards the end, I told him about the thing you said at my farewell in your talk. About your wife being your translator for the spirit, he said that was good counsel so way to go Dad!
This morning he spoke to the whole mission, and at the beginning we recited D&C 121 like we always do at the start of a meeting, and he was so impressed with it and the spirit he felt from it, that he was going to recount it to a couple of the Twelve Apostles. I can't remember which ones, but I believe Elder Ballard was going to be one of them. One thing he mentioned a lot, and what I have been hearing a lot by others, is the historical significance of this time. Which is said to rank with the first vision and the restoration. He said he was very impressed with this mission, and said that we astounded him, and that we where some of the best in the field.
It was just such a good moment, but I have to tell you that the work the brethren do is incredible! They all can be nothing short of real Men of God. The spirit I felt while being across the table from him during that lunch, was more then enough, to wipe away any doubts of the church, I just wish ya'll could have felt it to. I love ya'll so much!
Elder Matthew Pena