Things are picking up here in the CCM. I love it here a lot. I´m loving the fact that I´m surrounded by other missionaries who have the same goal -- to further the work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! I´m not sure if I have said this already, but an Elder from our old district told me that English is the language of the prophets, French is the language of love and Spanish is the language of the scriptures! I know this to be undoubtedly true! I am slowly but surely finding it easier to learn and understand the scriptures as I read them in Spanish.
Not a lot took place this week in the way of monumental happenings. However, I did want to share a little something about everyone in my district. Let´s start with the elders. Elder Jordan was born to be our district leader. He has a lighthearted personality, but is also very chivalrous. He looks after us, las hermanas, and he has a strong desire to share the gospel in Spanish.
Elder York is Elder Jordan´s comp. Though a bit travieso, Elder York has a serious side and one of the strongest testimonies of the gospel which shines through when we practice teaching. He has shared with us how he lost his mom when he was 14 and told us how he was able to overcome his sadness through the help of our Savior. I don't know if I could endure what he did and be as successful. His testimony strengthens mine every day. Elder Despain is a jock that likes to joke around with everyone. He is one of the zone leaders and has a very serious side, oftentimes quite intense. He comes from a family where going on a mission is cool, but he doesn't have a whole lot of support. He receives encouragement from his older brothers whom he idolizes, which is really humbling. It constantly reminds me of how I have to appreciate my mission and learn as much as I can every day in order to help my brothers with all the experience that I am gaining. Elder Howell is . . . LEGEN. At least he says so. I previously relayed some of his storytelling – maybe later I’ll share more of his awkward experiences. Most nights after daily planning session we all enjoy what we like to call 'story time with Elder Howell'. It's seriously the best and we laugh so hard!
Now Hermana time! Hermana Bloxham is super cool. She and I share a lot of common experiences and I really enjoy being around her. Hermana Saunders is her comp and is the most adorable person ever! She is an angel with hidden wings, is great to get along with and has a strong testimony of the Atonement. And leaving the best for last, we have the famous trio of Hermanas Christensen, Nicholes and me! We have the most varied backgrounds, but we all get along great and work hard with our investigators. After almost every coaching session we have with our teachers (who have been role playing as investigators), we’re told how hard it is to be in a trio, but somehow we overcome it and are able to give effective lessons! YEAAHH!
We got a new district this week -- 6 new elders and 2 new hermanas! We have been waiting so long for them to finally come so we can show them the ropes and help them adjust to this new journey. We also got to pass down some traditional signs we have been holding onto for them. We spent time with them last night during our family home evening and taught them how to play some games. They will catch on soon, hopefully. But yeah, it's nice not to be the greenies anymore.
Tender Mercy of the week was probably during “Hermana circle.” This is where all the hermanas in our zone get together on Sunday and share spiritual insights, thoughts, feelings, etc. for about an hour between Relief Society and Sacrament meeting. SIDE NOTE: the previous night our district was asked to share brief testimonies with the new district to encourage them about learning Spanish, and although we were running out of time and the meeting was coming to a close, I felt a persistent prompting to share my testimony. So I obeyed the prompting and said something along the lines of, “don’t worry, everything is going to be fine. Learn the doctrine first and the Spanish will come. You may not be perfectly fluent by the time you end your mission, but the Lord has asked you to learn Spanish because there is someone out there waiting for you to enlighten their mind and awake their Spirit in their native tongue, and even if you only use your Spanish to speak to just that one person, you will have accomplished what the Lord needed you to do.” I said all this not knowing who, if anyone, needed to hear these words.
Anyway, back to Hermana Circle, one of the new hermanas (Hermana Perez) spoke up and shared with us how she had a dream about a woman she believes she is supposed to find and teach on her mission, and how because of what I said Hermana Perez received great comfort and she prays for that woman every night! My eyes welled up with tears because I was so glad I followed the prompting of the Holy Ghost to share what was in my heart.
I read a great talk from Elder Eyring called “A Child and a Disciple,” and in it he talks about how we will be lead to say things that we will not have previous knowledge of. I know that as a missionary, we will be lead to say things that only the Lord will know and through the power of discernment, I can use this inspiration to help those I teach. I, along with Hermana Perez, pray every night for our future investigators and for the help and strength we need to touch hearts and change lives. I STRONGLY encourage every prospective missionary to make their own binder of favorite inspirational talks. It has already given me so much hope and light and I love spending spare moments engrossed in the words of our great prophets and apostles. Their wisdom inspires me and I am so glad I brought the binder with me!!!!!!!!
I gave my first talk on Sunday about repentance! I was so excited because I had prepared what I felt was a really good talk! I actually had been praying that I would have the opportunity to speak, if it was the Lord's will, and that if there was someone who needed to hear what I had prepared, that the Lord would give me the chance! And He did! Although I ended up reading most of it, I think I was the one who needed to hear those words more than anyone else. I realized that I am still a baby at learning how to speak Spanish, and how even though I am limited in what I can say, the gospel is truly meant to be taught in simple language, even if one is very fluent and has access to a wide vocabulary.
Sunday was also a great day because I was able to listen to so many devotionals and spiritual messages. The instruction was so plentiful, I hardly have time to write down all that the speakers were saying and all the revelation that I was getting. I heart Sundays!
Welp, I'm almost out of time, but I’ll be able to get back on e-mail in a couple of hours to write some more to everyone else. I wish I could stay on the computer forever and tell y'all everything about my week. I'll end with a short testimony that I KNOW this gospel is true, Jesus is my savior, and I have been blessed with the knowledge that He loves me. Check out Alma 22:15 – this is where Lamoni's father (the king over all the land) expresses his willingness to give up all his possessions for the Kingdom of Heaven – it's truly marvelous!!!
I love y'all!! Moss missionary signing out!