What up what up!?!?
Ok so yeah I know it seems like you guys JUST heard from me, but because of General Conference this weekend our P-Day got moved toThursday night which thank the freaking heavens because this week has been... a struggle. (But in a good way of course.)
So where to begin? I don't even know.....
Like I said this week has been more of a struggle. Maybe I'll start off with the hard things this week and then end off on a positive note with the really good things that happened? Sounds good to me.
The Hard Things:
First of all the other district in our zone left to Mexico last week and so we now only have the 6 of us girls in a zone and no one knows when or if we will be getting new missionaries. Because all of the Elders left to Mexico I got booted up to being Zone leader. Now at first I didn't think it was going to be so bad, other than the unfortunate fact my peaceful Sunday's are now jammed packed with meetings.... but wanna know what happened the week I got made Zone leader? EVERY SINGLE GIRL either had a mental breakdown, companionship problems, or got sick.
After all of the interviewing and consoling and listening....I guess its safe to say I am 100 percent exhausted and pretty much emotionally drained.
BUT.... you know how they always say, "serving others helps you with your own problems" ? Its true. Talking with everyone has either put my problems into perspective, made me SO grateful for the problems I don't have, or have comforted me knowing that others feel and are struggling the same way I am. So yes its been hard, but its definitely also been a huge blessing in my life.
This week was also difficult because there were more moments than usual where I felt dumb, inadequate and just a downright bad missionary. I am realizing that teaching the gospel the right way is hard even in English, although throwing in the Spanish curve ball makes it even harder and more frustrating. I could go on and on about all of the ways I have felt stupid or inadequate but I'll just sum it up and say that I am definitely being humbled and broken down in order to be built stronger and better. It hurts and it is hard but I am thankful for every second of it. The more I understand this gospel the more I am realizing the extent of God's love and mercy towards each and every one of us. I think that one of the biggest things I have learned this week is to accept His daily help and not expect a miracle to cure all. I am realizing that trials and hard times are blessings because we get the chance to walk every single step down that hard path with God and Christ right at our side. This week our lessons were focused on the atonement and how it changes a person. In Alma 22 it talks about how Aaron is teaching King Lamoni's father and at first the king believes every thing Aaron says, but as we learned, that is not true conversion because he is just believing Aarons word. We then learned that the moment Aaron started teaching the doctrine of the gospel the King's desires started to change. True doctrine changes attitudes and behaviors. Once the king heard the true doctrine all of the desires of his heart completely changed and he was even willing to give up his entire kingdom just to receive the "great joy" Aaron was talking about. Reading this chapter made me so excited and thankful to be a missionary because I want more than anything to give people the joy that I feel on a daily basis. However I can't help but have my heart hurt for those that have let that joy go.I can't help but hurt because I want those people to be like that King and give up everything for the one thing that gives you the most joy in this world. I asked my teacher what he does when someone falls away from the church or when someone who knows the church is true still won't accept it. He paused and thought for a moment and then said, "you just cry".
And it true. Understanding the amount of happiness and joy this gospel brings has made me understand a little more of how Heavenly Father feels when his children leave him. It breaks my heart.
On a brighter and completely unrealated note, I always thought that Spanish would be the hardest thing about a mission but so far that is not true. I have never had a testimony of the gift of tongues until I stepped into the MTC and saw it completely take over my life. Yes my spanish is not perfect. Yes at times during lessons I have to speak Spanglish or use hand gestures. BUT THE LANGUAGE IS COMING. There have been more moments that I can even count where during a lesson- a thought, or a word or a phrase in Spanish will just come to me and I'll say it perfectly and get my point across. I am completely amazed with how much Spanish I have learned in 15 days. Now don't get me wrong, I work SO SO hard to learn Spanish. You guys should see the stack of flashcards I have with vocab words and phrases on them. Its insane haha
Another good thing this week:
So its not a secret, I sometimes miss my old life. And I am definitely feeling the absence of music in my life. I know it sounds weird but seriously I was never NOT listening to music. But guess what the Lord blessed me with last Sunday?
The organist from the Tabernacle Choir (Richard Elliot) and DAVID ARCHULETTA came and performed for us.
And let me tell you, it was one of the best performances I have ever seen. Richard Elliot is phenomenal hands down. And David Archuletta sings better than before his mission if that is even possible. He also spoke to us about missionary work and then............my favorite part............... he sang come come ye saints in Spanish. Seriously there is a different Spirit present with Spanish hymns and all I can say is that there was not one spanish missionary whose eyes were not dry (including his) after he sang. It was unreal.
Another cool fact: I shook his hand. Yup, I can now finally say I have touched a celebrity.
Ok wanna hear some funny things that happened this week?
Thankfully I did not embarrass myself AS MUCH this week as I did last week. Another tender mercy from the Lord I tell ya haha.
Anyways lets talk about how I am going to Mexico.... It is hot in Mexico......I packed clothes meant for heat......... It definitely snowed this week. (Mom, I'm freezing. hint hint) But its all good! I'm sure now I will be more grateful for the heat when I get to Mexico than I would have been if I wasn't completely freezing every day in Provo.
Lets also talk about the heart attack my companion gave me last night. So I have not been sleeping good at all (more about that later) but last night I awake to her talking and shouting at something. So I sit up really fast (bumping my head on the ceiling as always) and I ask her whats wrong. And then I realize that she is wandering around shouting at random objects in the room. I then realize that she is sleepwalking and talking which if you guys didn't know, completely scares the heck out of me. Anyways I climb down and shake her awake and explain to her what was going on because she was SO CONFUSED as to why she was out of bed and why I was shaking her. Thank goodness I sleep on the top bunk because I think if she was sleepwalking and wanted to kill me or something I would hear her climbing up the ladder in time to get off the bed and save myself. Seriously i thought that plan through after her little episode. I love her but she is crazy. haha
For the no sleeping thing: For some reason my body DOES NOT LIKE sitting in a chair most of the day and so my back decided to form a golf ball sized knot in my muscles. Seriously you can see it through my shirts. Anddddd icy hot is not helping. Even all of the girls have tried to rub it out with essential oils and stuff. And I'm stretching and working out as usual sooooo what do I do about that? Help a sista out, give me some tips people. I'm dying over here.
Ok last funny thing. We have a ton of helper teachers called TRC's along with our real teachers and... they are interesting characters. Most of them are young RM's and so it's funny because when they teach us they are sometimes a little awkward and weird. And so we have given most of our teachers nicknames expect for the teachers and TRC's we really respect. So far we have, Mousy (because he looks like a mouse), Dobby (because its easier to say than his real name) Rudolph (because he has a red nose, duh) Goofy (because he acts like goofy from mickey mouse) and midriff (because he wears REALLY TIGHT shirts). Also you know how people say Red Heads are a dying breed? Well I know where they all are. They are all living in Provo because 3/4 of my teachers are red heads. Its the weirdest thing I have ever seen haha.
So thats pretty much been my week. Lots of ups and downs but I want each and every one of you to know what I wouldn't give up what I am doing for anything in the world right now. Yes I am 20 years old and yes I miss my normal life like dating and watching movies and hanging with friends and SLEEPING IN, but I do not regret for a moment the path I have chosen to go down. I wish I could express even to the slightest degree how much this gospel means to me. The spirit changes people. I can testify of that because I have already begun to see the change in me. Yes I am frustrated at times but Elder Holland said "Missionary work is not easy because salvation is not cheap nor easy. Christ was the ultimate savior and in order to bring salvation he had to take upon him the sins and affirmatives of this world in Gethsemane. If you should ever wonder if theres an easier way remember someone greater than you once asked if there was another way but there isn't. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and we must all pass through our personal Gethsemanes. I know that God hears and answers our prayers. I know that through Christ's atonement we can become cleansed and return back to him and all of the unfairness and trials of this world will be made right. More than anything, I know that God loves every one personally. This gospel makes me so happy and I cannot even fathom the idea of not being a missionary. I love it. And I love each and every one of you!
P.S. Family! I am so thankful Bro. Webber is keeping me updated on all of you because um.........I haven't heard from you guys in forever.
But like its whatever. No big deal.
Seriously write me.
On and enjoy the picture of me freezing to death.
Line of the day:
It was a really good day and a lesson went SUPER well and so my companion said, "On a scale of 1-10 I feel like I could beat up a bear!"
Well said Hermana, well said.
We touched DAVID ARCHULETTAS HAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!