Hola! WOW wow wow. It's been a crazy week! So many things i want to share. FIRST OF ALL: big shout out to my lil sis HODOE...she turned 16 yesterday, so make sure you take her on a nice little date boys!
Okay Sunday: Sunday was amazing. I think that is my favorite day of the week by far, besides getting to email home like today. For devotional, we sang in the choir WITH the "Nashville Tribute Band"...no clue who they were before but they sing a bunch of church songs in their "country" style. The devotional was basically a musical devotional and they told the story of Joseph Smith through all of their songs. My testimony grew so much from this and the spirit was so so so so strong. At the end they sang a song about a missionary saying goodbye to their family and about his journey and then coming home to his family at the airport. After they sang that, they had everyone sing it with them again and i don't think there was one dry eye in there haha made me miss home a lot BUT also so excited for this adventure ahead of me.
Monday, my companion and I taught a lesson to our "investigator", Antonio, who is actually our teacher haha. It wasn't really a good day for me--the language wasn't coming and I felt very inadequate. I would start to say something and then I got a little lost and would stop mid-sentence and look at my companion to take over haha. HOWEVER, yesterday (Tuesday) we taught 4 lessons and wow. Let me just tell you. El Don de Lenguas es muy real (The gift of tongues very real). I was on a spiritual high yesterday. I just felt like there was so much unity between my companion and i, and we were able to work together. In our lessons, I was able to formulate sentences and felt like I was able to contribute a lot more than I had been able to. My Espanol is still very broken up and probably doesn't make a lot of sense, but the spirit was definitely present. Our teacher showed us a video about the importance of "Opening our Mouths". It's definitely way freaky talking in a foreign language and hoping you say soemthing right...but the promise that is made to us is that when we open our mouths, we are showing our faith in Heavenly Father that he will fill our mouths with the words he wants us to share. We will mess up 1,0000 times before we can get any better, but that is what will help us learn. We also had another devotional last night from Spencer J. Condie of the Seventy and something that i actually really loved that his wife said was "The spirit cannot be restrained when pure testimony of Christ is born". It's SO TRUE. Bear your testimony often, it is one of the most powerful tools we have!!!
In the CCM we have a lot of time to study AKA "CICLO". I love being able to read and study my scriptures and my patriarchal blessing. It is just so amazing how many more new things you can learn when you really study and dig deep. I have found a lot of comfort from reading those things, and we are so lucky to have those amazing tools. LOVE THEM and they are such a blessing.
As I have already said in my last email, I LOVE my district. We get the chance to bear our testimonies often and I learn so much from all of them. We've talked a lot on the topic of our missions and how we can make the best of them. Something I shared with them was a quote from I think Zane Smith's farewell and it goes "Do something your future self will thank you for". We all want to be able to look back on our missions years from now and have no regrets and know we put in everything we had. My teacher shared his motto he had which is "Su actitud determina sus resultados" ("Your attitude determines your results" Jeremiah 17:10). Being on a mission is one of the greatest blessings we have and we need to enjoy it!!!! We are spreading this happy word, so we need to be happy and embrace everything that comes our way. Another motto he gave us was "Esperar Milagros" (Expect Miracles). That's also apart of having a happy attitude. When we are hopeful, hard-working, and positive, others will notice a difference in us. Ahhh there's just so many inspirational things going on here haha sorry this is so long.
My distrcit is all Espana missionaries except two that are going to Texas. We got notified last week that we were getting our visas today and our teacher said that usually when we get it this early it means we will be moved back to the Madrid MTC hahahaha so we took our "last" district pic yesterday with our teachers and we found out today we're still staying here for the rest of the 4 weeks hahahaha BUT we got our visas so that was exciting! BTW our zone had a cereal eat-a-thon thing for dinner last week cuz they wanted to break the record of how many bowls of cereal could be eaten...and the total number of bowls of cereal eaten was 300!!!!! HAHA everyone was not feelin too great after.
hmmm I don't know what else to say... too many things! I love it here!!!! And I'm so excited for my girls Maddy and Haley to get here in the next TWO WEEKS! I know this is where I need to be! The Lord really knows what he's doing and I know he qualifies the called, he doesn't call the qualified. otherwise I'd be soooooo lost here haha. I can definitely see the Lord's hand in my life and this is all his work. Everything I have been able to do so far is only because of him and the spirit. Thank you so much for all of your prayers, I can definitely feel them! I miss you all and I think of you all the time!
Til next week!!! XOXO
HOLA familia y amigos!
It's official, I'm a missionary!!! The spirit is so strong here. Everyone is so kind and welcoming and so eager to help you with anything. The first couple days, not gonna lie, were THE LONGEST DAYS EVER. haha. Everyone kept saying, "just make it to Sunday", and they were right! Sunday was amazing. Every week for sacrament meeting, we have to prepare talks. right after we take the sacrament, our branch pres will get up and call on random people to come up and give a talk. None of us new-bee missionaries were called on, so we were all relieved haha. My whole zone is amazing. I love them so much and I've gotten to know so many of them. Our zone made it a "thing" that we all go and sing in the choir. Oh my gosh, singing with some-thousand missionaries is the most amazing feeling and the spirit is so strong. Sunday night devotional was crazy amazing. So, we all watched the video of Elder David A. Bednar's talk given in the MTC some years ago called "The Character of Christ"--I think my most favorite talk ever. But that wasn't all......we all thought the meeting was over but nope. Bednar WALKED IN and surprised us all and did a Q&A with everyone. Wow. The spirit was so strong:) My companion is Hermana Christensen! She's from Georgia and I love her. We are very different in every way and we have different ways of doing things, but I am trying my best to just love her and work hard together. She's amazing at Spanish and I'm pretty rusty haha. So she helps me a lot which is nice. We've given 2 lessons so far which went okay. I want to be able to contribute and express myself so bad, but I freeze up and end up reading from my script and i get so frustrated with myself! But I have to remind myself that I have been here only one week and it's crazy to see how far i've come in such little time. Here in the MTC, we are constantly being spiritually fed and uplifted with so many wonderful speakers and teachers. There is so much that I want to share, but something that has stood out to me the most this week is the word: OBEDIENCE. Obedience is the doorway to endless opportunities. When we are EXACTLY obedient, the Lord will bless us and we can have the spirit to be with us to make the right decisions. Also in the Tuesday night devo, i really liked the quote "Diligence is more important than intelligence". I have realized that people are not going to look back and be like "that missionary was really good at Spanish", but they will look back and remember "that missionary had such a great spirit with her". When I am doing the things that I need to be doing and working hard, I can have the spirit to be with me and with my investigators and that's enough. I just love being a missionary. I am growing everyday and learning a lot. I am so happy. Sorry this email is so disorganized haha. So much to say, so little time. I love my district. We have all become so close and we all work hard together. Hermana Christensen and I are the only sisters in our district and the rest are elders and I love them hahaha.
Exercise time is really fun. I usually like to run around the track, or play volleyball or four-square with my district. It gets intense haha.Gym time is very therapeutic. It's been nice to see so many familiar faces here en the CCM! I've also gotten to meet so many new friends...everyone is SO NICE here! The food is okay here haha, I've been living off of PB&J sandwiches and they are muy bueno. P>S Thank you mama for the care package. The girls in my dorm are very grateful and we love you!!!
I love being a missionary. I am so happy here. I miss you all so much. The only time I get homesick is when I am going to sleep because that's the only time I get to take a break and think. but I wake up the next morning and get back to work! It's hard but the feelings and experiences I have here are so worth it. Sorry again for my bad spelling and grammar and disorganized email. I know this church is true and I'm am so grateful for this privilege to be a representative of Christ and be a tool in His hands. This work isn't mine, It's His. I've learned that it's not about what I want my mission to be like or anything about what I want, but it's about what the Lord wants. Ahhh I'm so happy! Miss you all. Be safe and make good choices!