I have mixed emotions and I'm not really sure what to write about.
As I sat and watched general conference today and yesterday I was amazed by the peace I felt and the renewed hope and strength. Yet on the other hand, part of me was looking at the situation in the world and especially in my home country thinking "where are we heading?"
It aches to watch all the suffering and pain around me. Children who are being robbed of their childhood...I just listened to a child in Gaza who through tears streaming down his eyes said: "We want to live, I turn on the TV and all I see is killings, tanks and bloodshed. I can't even find cartoons to watch. Why is this happening to us?"
People's hearts are filled with anger and hate and they are willing to kill someone without thinking twice (even rejoicing in someone's death-which is what those Israeli settlers did). What has humanity come to?
There is nothing to do except to hold tight to our faith. As president Monson said: "As we make Christ the center of our lives, our fears will be replaced by the courage of our convictions." In a dark world nothing lights the way except the light of the world, even Jesus Christ. Things will get worse everywhere in the world, these are the last days. But, all is well, because Heavenly Father and the Savior are in charge.
My favorite story in the scriptures is when the savior calmed the storm and asked His disciples why they were afraid and why they lacked faith. If the Savior is on board of our ship, no storm, no adversity, no waves, and no disaster can sink it. "No waters can swallow the ship where lies the master of ocean and earth and skies..They all shall sweetly obey His will...peace, peace be still," says the hymn. Here is a video of that story...
Translation for conference has been stressful, but some of the talks I translated sunk deep into my heart. Especially those where the speakers kept changing their talks over and over. I loved all three versions of Sister Stephens talk ;-) When I ran into her on temple square, I told her I am working on translating her talk, and she said: "Oh, I am changing it." But, I didn't do even close to what some of my friends did as far as translation goes. I am impressed at the devotion and service of other Arab members of the church.
I was thrilled to hear the names of the three new apostles that were called. I got to know Elder Rasband well ever since he came with his family to visit our small Bethlehem group years ago. I visited with him in his office just last year. At the conclusion of our meeting, Elder Kacher, of the seventy, leaned towards me and said: "Wow, did you feel that!?" He was right, I had felt it...I felt the magnitude of love and concern Elder Rasband had for me.
I am blessed with many people in my life that love me and care about me, but I had never felt that love as much as I had felt it from an apostle of the Lord. The love that the Savior has for us, and the Love our Heavenly Father has for us is even more. Knowing we are loved and watched over, will help us survive these difficult times that the world is going through.
May we continue to pray for peace and for justice. And may we stand for what is right even if the whole world is confused and thinks we are wrong or insane. God's laws are always right, they are always valid. If I got anything out of conference it would be the importance of keeping God's commandments during these difficult times. Obedience brings us safety and peace no matter what is going on around us in the world.