Thursday, October 13, 2011

LDS Church News: Hispanic conference in Oklahoma City

200 Hispanic members of the Church recently gathered in Oklahoma City for a conference, according a story in the LDS Church News.  What started out as proposal for a volleyball and basketball challenge between the Oklahoma City 6th Branch (Spanish) and the Norman 3rd Branch (Spanish) morphed and expanded into a three-day activity, with sports events, leadership training meetings, a temple day, a day of service, three devotionals, and lots of food and activities.

The featured speaker at the conference was Elder Romeo Villarreal, an Area Seventy.
Elder Villarreal spoke at devotionals for the youth and the young single adults and then spoke in Spanish specifically to the Latino people in a third devotional. He admonished them to progress and refine their lives like silver is refined until it is pure and shiny and reflects an image, like we are to reflect the image of our Savior. He also addressed concerns specific to Latino culture and urged them to diligently keep a budget, to buy life insurance and sacrifice to keep savings. He also urged them to pay tithes and learn to control their appetites through fasting and explained that Fast offerings are the Lord’s way of providing for the poor as opposed to lending each other money.
I do not believe Elliot was able to attend the conference since he was in Wichita Falls.  But there is a direct Elliot connection, beyond the fact that the conference occurred in OKC.  One of the organizers of the event was President Espinoza of the Oklahoma City 6th Branch.  President Espinoza has been featured on Elliot's blog before.  Way back in December 2010, Elliot's mom and I were grocery shopping when we got a text message from President Espinoza.  It turns out that Elliot was eating dinner with the Espinoza family, so President Espinoza took a picture of Elliot and texted is to us, with a very nice message.  You can see the blog story here, with the picture.  President Espinoza was quoted in the LDS Church News story:
President David Espinoza, of the 6th Branch, said, “This kind of activity helps the Spanish-speaking members in our area get to know each other. They find a place where they don’t feel alone. They feel more like a team. It is important for them to feel a part of something. In the Church we are no more strangers but we are a family in the Kingdom of Heavenly Father.”
And there was a picture of President Espinoza and others (left to right: President Carlos Arturo Barboza, President David Espinoza, President Bean, Elder Romeo Villareal, and President Porfirio Ochoa):

The Church News story has additional pictures.

This must have been a tremendous event.  It's great to see members of the church gather and share these kinds of experiences.

No comments:

Post a Comment