Wow what an eventful week this has been! Raise your hand if you loved General Conference! I know I did! I have to say that I enjoyed every speaker and therefore don’t have a favorite -- they were all just so good! I have pages worth of notes in my notebook and it seemed like I couldn't write my thoughts down fast enough! This conference seemed much better than others have been, but maybe it's just that I am a missionary now and am spiritually hungry for knowledge! I think a recurring theme of these sessions has been eternal marriage and families. It reminded me of how I have a duty and responsibility to not only help my investigators come to Christ through baptism, but I should also be helping them to progress on their way to the temple. How important my job is! Never in the history of the church has the importance of families and temples been so emphasized!
One cool thing that happened to me this week was the workshop that we had just before the Saturday morning session of General Conference. The teachers wrote some questions on the white board that our future investigators would have, like . . . . where did we come from?, does God love us?, etc. They asked us to pick one question and study it for about 10 minutes, and I chose "does God establish absolute truth?" I picked this one to challenge myself because I’m not as familiar with the scriptures that address this question. After a lot of pondering and scripture searching, I was called up out of the audience to share my thoughts and write them on the board. This kind of worried me because I felt like I could use a little more study time. Nevertheless, I tried to be fearless! I walked right up there and wrote down the following: “absolute truth resides in the hearts of men and women who abide in and obey the doctrine of Christ; and when we do this, we will have absolute truth (John 8: 31-32).
Once all those who wanted to share their input finished writing on the board, one of the teachers called me by name and told me that my thoughts were very insightful! Booyah! He even took a picture of the white board and posted it to his Facebook! I am officially quoted! I’m so grateful for the time we’ve had to study the scriptures here at the CCM and that the Lord has blessed our efforts with increased knowledge and testimony.
Do y'all remember how I said that I was going to study the Libro de Mormon in Spanish as counseled by David A Bednar? Well, my study of the LDM has been absolutely great so far!! I have been noticing a lot of translation differences and marking my copy up a bunch with my thoughts. I have also been studying the Preach My Gospel manual more intensely and have been trying to apply the principles in all of our practice lessons with our role play investigators. One quote that I remember from my study is, “Heaven is a continuation of an ideal home.” As a missionary, we will be asking people to conduct Family Home Evening and participate as a family to strengthen themselves spiritually. I was given a copy of “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” in Spanish and I am reading it during my morning studies. I'm finding every day that there are so many great things to study, and not enough time to do it!
Every week we are assigned to teach our role play investigators (usually CCM teachers) at least twice a day. But on Thursdays we have what is called TRC, which is a chance for outside volunteers to come and help the missionaries on a one-time teaching basis. It’s so awesome! And this week we met with a 15 year old recent convert girl named Gemela. It went wonderfully, as we all shared our favorite scripture. I felt bad afterwards because I was staring at her so intently the whole time! I was just so excited and appreciative to be with a young woman who has the kindness to listen to a bunch of beginner missionaries who struggle with the language but who demonstrated love and patience with us anyways. The light that shone out of her was so real and her faith was so palpable!! I couldn’t believe my eyes! I loved her, even though I barely even knew her, and she didn’t know me either, yet she loved me too! She absolutely reminded me of all the young women back home in the Sienna Plantation ward! I am so glad I had a truly wonderful and spiritually-strengthening experience in the Young Women program, and have a love for all of those young sisters individually. My YW experience definitely helped me during TRC, and I know it will help me in the future. Will someone please tell those SP young women that I am thinking of them, praying for them, and can’t wait to hug all of them when I return? That would be great -- thanks!
Lots of funny moments this week, especially with the language. I’m not going to lie and say that I haven’t learned some Spanish words the hard and embarrassing way, ha-ha! I can’t wait to be that missionary when one day I discover I’m speaking fluently! In fact, I hope it comes soon! The gift of tongues is certainly the most sought after blessing in my prayers. Do yall remember the movie “The Other Side of Heaven,” where Elder John Groberg had a rough experience as a new missionary speaking to the people of Tonga and embarrassed himself in front of the entire church congregation? To solve this language barrier problem, Elder Groberg spent 3 days on a secluded island reading the Book of Mormon in the Tongan language right beside the English version? Well, I’m hoping that my study of the LDM will have a similar impact and that I will have an Elder Groberg moment where a native speaker will come up to me and say, “Kolipoki! You speak!” Just kidding -- but I am anxiously awaiting the day when I will be able to speak Spanish and not even realize it.
Sunday was the end of daylight savings time and I feel cheated out of some study time! But on the bright side, the Easter Bunny came in form of Hermana Christensen! Her mom sent chocolate, as did other moms, and we had a great time eating and visiting! This week is going to be a busy, yet sad too! This last week at the CCM is completely packed and I still have so much to do, like pack and say goodbye to all of my close district friends. I kind of don’t want to, but on the other hand I do because it means that I’ll finally be getting to my assigned mission field! We had to take our district picture for our farewell slideshow that will be shown on Sunday night. It was a very somber experience.
Hope yall also had a Great Easters! (Nacho Libre reference). Love yall bunches!