21 de Julio 2014
This last week has been a pretty good week. Pretty crazy though. I've now officially been out here for more than a year. To tell you the truth, it's super weird to think about.
This last year has been amazing. I would not trade this last year for anything. It has been the hardest, coolest, hottest, fastest, sweatiest, and best year of my life. This week I had lots of time to reflect on all that has happened. I remember sitting in the CCM exactly 1 year ago sitting through Spanish classes and not understanding a single thing and thinking that I was never going to be able to learn Spanish. But now, here I am a year later and I've finally got a good hang of it. I remember all of the cool days I've had, all of the days I've been able to feel the spirit stronger than ever before. I remember all of the times I just wanted to fall down and cry. I remember countless days sick in the bathroom. I remember watching people be able to be baptized and make a covenant with our Heavenly Father. I remember all of the friends I have made. I remember having to say goodbye to people I may never see again. I remember receiving inspiration during many personal studies. I remember learning about the importance of prayer and learning to trust in the Lord.
That is one of the things that I love most about the gospel of Jesus Christ. That it helps us change for the good. Our purpose as missionaries is to invite others to come unto Christ. And I believe that that includes ourselves as well. Over this year, my testimony of Jesus Christ has been strengthened so much. Before the mission I understood and had a testimony of the importance that Jesus Christ has in OUR lives. But now I have a testimony of not just that, but also about the importance that He has in MY life. I know not only that He is our Savior, but also that He is MY Savior. Over this last year, my testimony has grown to be more personal. I now recognize the need that I have personally for Him and for the Atonement in my life. I'm so grateful for the Atonement in my life. It is only through the Atonement that I can return to the presence of my Heavenly Father. And that is something that I will never be able to repay Him for. I now realize that I must "press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men." I have to do everything that I can do, to really show just how grateful I am for what He did for me. I know He lives and that He loves us. He really is our Savior and Redeemer. He saves us. He redeems us.
This last week went pretty well for Elder S and I. Probably the highlight of the week is the fact that E N is progressing for her baptismal date! Tuesday night we had a super sweet lesson with her. To tell you the truth, it might have been the coolest lesson of my mission.
So anyways. We had planned to teach her about four of the commandments from lesson 4. And the last time we were there we had left 2 Nefi 31 to read that talks a ton about baptism to help her feel excited for her baptism. But when we showed up, she told us that she hadn't read that chapter. Which was super weird, because she always reads what we leave for her to read. But anyways, right then we decided to put the lesson into the hands of the Lord and followed the spirit. We decided to read that chapter with her. And she absolutely loved that chapter. And afterwards she looks at us and says "I know that I need to be baptized. But on August 2nd? I don't think I'm quite ready for that day!" And it made me think really quick. I was sitting there and thinking through the entire Book of Mormon of a scripture that could help her. Because we know she is ready to be baptized. If she isn't ready to be baptized, then no investigator has ever been ready. Because she is super ready. And then the thought came to my mind to read Mosiah 18 with her in verses 8 until 10. And it was super cool. Because we read that scripture with her and then after, she looks up at us and says "I just barely felt something in my heart. I know I'm ready to be baptized." That was one of the most spiritual experiences of the entire mission. You cannot deny the spirit that was felt in that lesson. IT was SSSSSOOOOOOOOOOO sweet! THE CHURCH IS TRUE! It was one of those moments. I went to bed that night pretty much crying tears of joy!
The other big thing that happened this last week was that I hit the year mark on Thursday. That was pretty crazy! Who would have thought that this day would come so soon! CRAZY!
Saturday morning was another thing super cool. I finished reading El Libro de Mormon for the second time in Spanish! I love that book! And guess what. I can pretty much understand every single verse in that entire book in a language that I did not know a year ago! As soon as I finished, I knelt down and said a prayer asking for another witness that the Book of Mormon is true. And guess what. It is! But for real. Every time I read it, my testimony is strengthened so much!
I love you guys tons! I know the church is true! NO DOUBTS! Have a great week!
P.S. Mom, Sounds like girls camp went pretty well! Looking at those pictures, I just laughed. That's not camping. If that's camping, I've been wilderness surviving for the last 12 months. jaja. And I love the stars too. I always look up at the stars for a few seconds every single night before going into our apartment!
Dad, As terrible as it sounds preparing to paint, I feel you. Here, when you paint houses you have to tie a bandana around your face and sand old chipping paint off of cement walls before you can start.