This week was great!! Time runs past me -- crazy to think that tomorrow I will have been on my mission for a whole month! I only have 17 more months, and next thing you know I will be coming home. It’s a sad realization, really.
This week we got to talk to REAL investigators! It was so fun! My comps and I were all laughing about the fact that they could be aliens for all we know – we tend to be in class pretty much all the time and don’t get to interact much with people outside the gates of the CCM!
Throughout this whole week we had great, great, great lessons. We have a total of three investigators and each of our visits is overflowing with the spirit. I don't know how, but in the first 5 minutes of each lesson they always seem to share a unique struggle, and we are able to follow up immediately with a matching scriptural response and a testimony. It’s magical. I know this is only practice teaching and is not entirely real, but the same situations will happen in the field with real people. I consider the experience we’re gaining nothing less than divine inspiration.
This week our district got some sad news. We found out that Hermana Alonso, one of our morning teachers, has a cancerous tumor in her body. She is a 4´11" ball of fire and has one of the strongest testimonies I have ever encountered. This news broke our hearts. We’ve only known each other a short while, but I have grown to love her more and more every day and the thought of her being in serious danger brings heartache to all of us. One of my comps pointed me to a great scripture, 2 Nephi 4:20-23, which is applicable to this situation:
20 My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.
21 He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh.
22 He hath confounded mine enemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me.
23 Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time.
This Sunday was Fast Sunday and I took the opportunity to fast for Hermana Alonso’s health and that comfort would find its way to her. Bless her heart -- she would never tell us what she struggles with, but she comes faithfully every day to the CCM to help us learn Spanish and teach us how to become better missionaries. She is a true example of the believers; in word, in conversation, in spirit, in faith and charity!
In my scripture study this week I received some great inspiration --- all members, one way or another, are here (in the church) because of the faithfulness and success of a missionary. This goes to show how conversion can take place in the hearts of all different types of people. There are families who embark on a new course of gospel principles every day, all over the world!! This means more wards and branches, more stakes, more meetinghouses and more temples! This work is hard, for SURE, but not impossible. Each one of us has the sacred honor and responsibility of sharing the gospel with others. And if the gospel brings us such great joy, why shouldn’t we share it with others?! We must be BOLD in sharing our testimonies. As it says in Romans 1:16, “. . . I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth . . .”
This past Sunday I bore my testimony, all in Spanish! I wasn't fully aware of what I was doing when my legs carried me to the podium. In my mind I was thinking, "Oh no! I don't know what to say or how to say it. Oh well, here it goes anyway!" But the Spirit did me right. I did pretty good and was happy that I followed through.
I am soooo excited for General Conference!!!!! I keep thinking of a little scene from the Disney movie “Bolt.” Rhino the Hamster’s brave, “can-do” attitude helps illustrate my excitement for General Conference and enthusiasm for getting to the mission field:
Bolt: [Gets down close to Rhino's hamster ball] The road'll be rough.
Rhino: [points to his hamster ball] I have a ball.
Bolt: There's no turnin' back.
Rhino: Guess I'll have to "roll" with the punches!
Bolt: Easy won't be part of the equation...
Bolt: I gotta warn ya, going into the belly of the beast - danger at every turn.
Rhino: [getting closer] I eat danger for breakfast!
Bolt: You hungry?
Rhino: [cracks his neck ferociously] Starving!
HA-HA. But seriously, I kid you not when I say that every missionary here is waiting with pens and notebooks in hand, ready for a spiritual outpouring and in-depth gospel instruction!! You can say that we missionaries are the armies of Helaman with our swords in hand! (I honestly feel like a legit soldier sometimes . . . the CCM is a form of boot camp to me.)
This past Sunday we had a particularly good devotional given by Elder David A Bednar. I believe it originally aired a couple of years ago, but he had some boom-boom-pow things to say that knocked me right out of the park! I especially loved his advice at the end. He suggested that all missionaries who are looking for answers to questions of the soul buy a cheap, paperback copy of the Book of Mormon. He wants us to read it all the way through and mark it up, along with praying for revelation. When we finish, we should write a summary of what we learned and then store the BOM on a bookshelf, so that by the time we are his age, we can have an entire wall of marked BOM´s with all of our inspiration contained within!! How cool! I took this very seriously as an answer to my prayers. Not only can I read the BOM and become more familiar with questions of the soul, but if I do this in Spanish, I am positive it will help me become much more familiar with the language. So, today I bought a copy at the tienda and I am going to start today! I know it´s going to be a bumpy ride and trying to understand everything in Spanish will be difficult, but I know with all of my heart that if I have a sincere, righteous desire to accomplish this goal, the Lord can make my weaknesses become strengths (Ether 12:27).
Welp, I´m just about out of time. I love yall and pray for you constantamente!
Besos y abrazos!