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LDS general conference inspires YSA in Peru

By Emily Johnson

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Oct. 25 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

Some of the Barrio Angamos YSA members after the Sunday session of general conference at the Piura, Peru, Miraflores Stake Center.

Emily Johnson, Deseret News/Mormon Times

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PIURA, Peru — General conference is an important event for Latter-day Saints around the world.

Such is the case for members living in the desert city of Piura, in northwestern Peru. The town is known for its prime location near some of Peru’s most famous northern beaches, such as Mancora and Colan. The city is in the Peru Piura Mission.

During conference time, many members enjoy the sessions by viewing them at their stake center, so they can be with friends and family.

For many of the "jovenes adultos solteros" members, or JAS (what English-speaking members call young single adults or YSA), affiliated with the Barrio Angamos (Angamos ward), Miraflores Stake, in Piura, Peru, October’s semiannual general conference was a spiritual feast.

Karlo Sauceda grew up in the town of Sullana, about 26 miles (46 kilometers) north of Piura. He attends the University of Piura and studies accounting. He felt inspired by the messages of comfort from general conference.

“I loved general conference because there were so many messages of hope to help us to return to the Lord’s path, and to receive a new heart and to become true disciples,” Sauceda said. “It is not easy but we are not alone, not even we as we are now. We just need to hear the gentle voice and to stand in holy places that will take us back to Heavenly Father.”

Piert Nieves is a convert from Sullana who joined the church a year and a half ago. Nieves also is a student at the University of Piura. For him, watching conference was a good experience because everything was based on impressions of the Holy Spirit.

“I decided to watch conference because something deep inside myself was telling me to get up and go listen. After I knew perfectly why, because something happened that really touched my heart, thanks to the Lord, because for me, it was like pushing the restart button,” Nieves said.

Juana Barrientos attends church in Catacaos, a town known for its pottery and silver jewelry. It is roughly seven miles (12 kilometers) south of Piura. She often attends the Angamos ward’s JAS activities, and she felt that the conference provided revelation for her life.

"Through the Atonement, everything is possible," Barrientos said. "(Jesus) asks us, how much do you love me? This question has stayed in my mind. It made me meditate about another question: How much faith do I have in Jesus Christ? The conference, for me, it was so special for my life. I will never forget the rejoicing that I and my family had during the conference. For me it had meaning full of direction and conviction."

Another choice blessing of general conference is learning from church leaders who follow promptings to speak on topics that church members around the world need to hear.

“One of the great blessings that Heavenly Father has given us these days is to have the privilege of listening to inspired leaders," said Daniel Santos, who attends the Angamos ward in Piura. "Listening to the experiences of the prophets increases my testimony that we are in the true church. It makes me happy and makes me think about the people who do not know the gospel that Jesus Christ restored."

For Santos, general conference is also a time to reflect.

“Each message teaches me what God wants me to do in the next six months until the next conference," he said. "I have also pondered the question more: What kind of Christian am I? It makes me think a lot, and to set goals to improve every day."

Piero Mendiburo, who has submitted his mission papers, was comforted by President Thomas S. Monson’s priesthood session talk, “See Others as They May Become.”

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