OH MY GOSH. This is the last time I will be writing you on p-day here at the MTC! I don't know if you quite understand how amazing this is.... NEXT TIME I EMAIL I'LL BE IN GUATEMALA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness.
|celebrating last week at MTC!|
Anyways! This week FLEW by. after we got our travel plans last week, its been pretty impossible to focus. mostly we just beg our teachers to tell us mission stories all class time and then we just sit there and get excited for NEXT WEEK!!!!! Ha! I can't get over it! This is real life people, well almost! :)
Soooo, where to begin. I'll start with the title of this email! Somos los soldados means "we are the soldiers." It is also the name of the Spanish version of the hymn, We Are All Enlisted. I adore this song! So we had a devotional this week and it was from an emeritus general authority, Elder Hinckley. He was awesome. I remember him saying at one point that as missionaries, we need to be tough. We need to be able to endure every hardship. We need to be soldiers. So when I heard this I was like, wait... stop. back up. I think of soldier and I think of marines! Like emotionless hard marines! So I had like this inner panic attack because, lets be honest... I'm no soldier! I'm about as soft as you get. Especially at the MTC I have realized just how emotional I am! I swear everyday is a giant rollercoaster of emotions! It's gotta be the spirit, just heightens my emotions and sends them on a wild goose chase! And also, lately people have been telling me all these scary things about Guatemala. I feel like they haven't affected me until this week. I was talking to an elder from Guatemala and he said, "Hace calor, Es humeda, y es pobre. muy pobre." translation: its hot, its humid and it is VERY poor. For some reason when he said that I was like wait... how am I going to relate to these people! How am I going to know how to live? I have never experienced anything like what I'm about to experience, and if I'm being honest, I was suddenly terrified. I started thinking, how can someone like me go teach them and tell them to repent and follow Jesus Christ! How do I have any right to tell them anything, I don't know their life! (no movie reference intended... okay sort of)
After the devotional that I was talking about earlier, we had a devotional review. My branch president told us that even though we think we can't do these things, we think can't be tough and endure everything, the Lord knows we can. It was then that I realized something... I am NOT a soldier. no way am I! I am not tough. BUT, the Lord knows that too. He knows that more than I do... and yet He still called me to be a missionary. I may not be a soldier, but I am HIS soldier. Because HE called me, He chose me. So whenever I start freaking out about the country or not having a right to teach the people... I just remember that heck yeah I have a right! I was called by a PROPHET of God! He gave me the right! When I was set apart I was given the ability, the power to teach these specific people. I was given the ability to know what they need and to teach them how they need to be taught! So I know that whatever comes my way, the Lord and I can handle it, because you know what, I am HIS soldier! (made me think of that song, I've got soul but I'm not a soldier... been in my head all week!)
Oh so if you want to hear an amzing song, just go listen to somos los soldados. :) I am a soldier! I can't say it enough!!!
So yesterday we had in-field orientation all day! I wasn't really looking forward to it, orientation from 9-5:30, but it ended up being such an incredible experience! We learned all about how to work with investigators! And how to contact! And basically what a real deal mission is like! it was amazing! I got to do a few contacts in Spanish with some Spanish speaking missionaries and wow, it is so much easier in Spanish than English! Surprise I'm awkward! I was like, uh... do you love Jesus? good thing I'm speaking Spanish. :) Oh and one part that blew my mind, he said just remember this time next week you are going to be bearing your testimony in your new ward. You are going to be in actual lessons. are you ready? I was like HECK TO THE YES I AM!!!!!!!!!!!! I was basically shaking the entire time! I just feel so ready to get out there and share this message!!!
We have been having the most incredible gym times lately! Ha, that may sound stupid but it is so fun to just let loose and be normal people. We had our last game of sand volleyball... we are basically professional! ha! We had so much fun. I definitely broke the "no diving" rule about 30 times. Whoops! Ha! And then we also played baseball this week! Tim I must have gotten some of your baseball skills because I was the second highest scorer! Everyone wanted me to be their ghost runner! So yeah I may have slid into home a few times. Ha! So so so fun. We played with a bouncy ball and a crutch. :) I wish I had gotten a picture!
Oh I watched a devotional recording this week. Oh my goodness, I wish it was available outside the MTC because it changed my life. It's called "Characters of Christ" by Elder Bednar. He is intense! But basically it talks about what "character" is and what the character of Christ is. Elder Bednar defined character as: moral qualities strongly developed, strikingly displayed and consistently lived! He then said that the character of Christ is TURNING OUT when the natural man in all of us would selfishly turn in. Wow! How true is this? Christ was never, ever, self-centered. He, in every situation, was looking to help others and bring them the truth. even on the cross. He was making sure His mother was taken care of and preaching, literally doing missionary work, to the other two being crucified! What an example! It just baffles me. So he encouraged us to buy a small inexpensive copy of the book of Mormon and find the character of Christ! Well I bought a pocket-sized one and I have been loving doing this! I am already almost done with 2nd nefi and there is literally an example of the character of Christ on every single page!!!!! I'm not kidding people!!! :) I so encourage you to do this! Just read the Book of Mormon, like a book, and look for the character of Christ. It is reminding me every second to be more Christ like and have more charity! :)
So I am STOKED BEYOND STOKED to leave the MTC and enter the campo, but I am devastated to be leaving my sweet district. I LOVE my elders! They are the sweetest and most incredible examples!!! I am constantly baffled by their amazing testimonies!!! Everyday we become even closer! It just amazes me that I didn't even know them 6 weeks ago! I love them like my brothers and they will do incredible incredible things in their respective missions! :)
|a friend from CO - we both dated the same guy!|
Oh last Sunday we sang in Sacrament meeting! The hermanas and I sang "Oh Jesus Thou Who Wearest A Crown" to the tune of "If You Could Hie To Kolob". It's the same song that Hannah and I sang in church at BYU! It was so fun to sing and we had one of our elders accompany! Maestro! He was incredible! This Sunday was literally las hermanas show! We all did something! Sacrament meeting here is a little different, they let you know if you are speaking about 30 seconds before you speak! So I saw the bishop give me this weird look before sacrament meeting started so I was like, help I'm speaking..... here goes nothing. But instead, he called Hermana Pister to speak! I gave the closing prayer! Hermana Webster directed music! She has never done it before so she was terrified! She ended up figuring it out eventually! Luckily none of us look up from our himnos because we don't know the words in Spanish! So it all works out :)
|obviously not in our Sunday clothes|
This Sunday we are singing "Placentero Nos Es Trabajar" as a district in church. We have practiced it a few times and it always makes me cry. Those elders! That song! Power, people! Power!
I filled up my first study journal this week! Ha, people tell me I should write less... but I just love studying the scriptures! I bought a HUGE one for my next one! It's really pretty and it has a picture of two hermanas on the front and it says, "If ye have a desire to serve, you are called to the work!"
I truly believe that! This is the most rewarding work I have ever done! I am trying to work my hardest everyday. I want to be able to say I did everything I could on my mission to invite others to come unto Christ! I am the happiest I have EVER been and I don't regret this decision for a second. Deciding to serve was the best thing I ever did. More like this mission is the biggest blessing ever already, and I'm not even out in the campo yet!
As always, THANK YOU for the letters and packages! All of you, you have no idea how much I appreciate your love and support! It brings tears to my eyes. I'll write you all back today I promise! Love you so much!
Talk to you next time, FROM GUATEMALA!!!!
PS: 2 nefi 2:30. the reason we serve, the same reason He serves.