Hello friends and family!
First of all, I love all of you and can't wait to hear how all of you are doing! Please feel free to write me using DearElder.com while I'm in the MTC. I love getting letters and hearing how everyone is doing and then I don't have to wait until Thursday to read it. If you don't know how to use DearElder, just get a hold of my mom and she'll get you the information you need:) I would also love for my friends to please send me pictures of themselves and their families so I can put them up here.
We are all going to Argentina: Hermanas Hopkins, Downs, Me, and Johnson
So, lot to say:) First of all, the investigator I was teaching, "Oscar", showed up on our last P Day as our teacher! We had kind of heard that that would happen, but then I thought I had heard our other teacher say our new maestro would be Hermana Voss. Apparently I'm deaf, because the teacher is certainly an Hermano. He's a wonderful teacher, although very different from Hermano Roberts, who is actually on vacation until next Thursday or so which is muy triste (very sad)! My teachers served in Honduras and Mexico. Anyways:), Hermana Johnson and I had a wonderful experience while studying our escrituras in Espanol in el parque. We were walking back to the clase when we say a man sitting on a bench. We said hola and were continuing on when he started having a conversation with us. His wife joined us and we sat down at a picnic table and started talking about the scriptures and our beliefs about the trinity. Both Jose and Hely had wonderful spirits and were wonderful to talk to. We ended up scheduling an appointment to teach them again the next week.
My MTC district consisting of 12 missionaries: front row: Elders Wilcox, Hall, and Gardner
Back row: Me, Hermana Johnson, Elders Bohn, Glenn, Laudie, Kelly, Long, Hermanas Hawkins and Downs
As I've been out here my attitude has been shifting from one of a little bit of uncertainty regarding my departure of the outside world to one completely opposite. Now that I am here I would rather die than come back before my time is up. I know that I am where God wants me to be, and that I will be serving the people HE wants me to teach. This is not my work, it is his work. I am blessed beyond understanding to have this opportunity and I will Not give it up.
Also, the more time I spend aqui the better I understand and speak the language. It is still hard, and speaking it as my first attempt at communicating is tough, but I know Hermana Johnson and I are receiving blessings for our commitment to learning this language. When I first started reading my Book of Mormon in Espanol out loud it took me a long time to pronounce the words and I wasn't really understanding the content or the message. As time has gone on, not only am I reading faster, but I am also understanding what I'm reading! It truly is a miracle from God.
Sad moment of this last week: This last Sunday we had to say goodbye to 6 Elders in our Zone as they went down to Salta Argentina, including our Zone Leaders. They are truly brothers and family to me and I wish them all the best on their missions. They Will do great things. May God be with them.
For Sunday, before our Elders left, we did a musical number in church. I played the cello, Hermana Downs played the violin as well as Elder Laudie, and Hermana Hawkins played the piano as the 6 Elders that were leaving sang. It was beautiful.
For our Sunday film we watched "Character of Christ", a talk by Elder Bednar. Mom, if you could find this talk and post the link for it I would be most appreciative, because it was amazing and made be want to be so much better and do so much more to be like our Savior.
Later in the week Hermana Johnson and I had the opportunity to teach Jose again. We met him at the park and ended up going into a room in a classroom to teach him. He was telling us about his family and the problems they're going through right now, especially his daughter. Suddenly the spirit overwhelmed me, and I found myself sharing how I used to not understand why I had to do certain things and got in arguments sometimes. But, I told him, that whenever such happened my parents always came down to my room and made sure that I knew that they loved me. That my Heavenly Father loved me. As I shared there were tears in his eyes. I was crying too (thanks dad;). He told us that we were an answer to prayer. That we had given him peace and hope. He then promised us that we would learn the language. (I did mention that all of the lessons we give are solely in Spanish, right?;). That experience, right there, is the reason I am on a mission. To bring others peace and the comfort of their Father. No matter how messed up our family here on earth is, or what problems they have, we have Perfect parents in heaven, who are Always with us, who Know all, and who want us to find happiness. I want to share this happiness, this love of Christ, with the people of Argentina with my whole soul. I want to feel the power of the spirit when I share the things God wants me to share. He helped me speak the language so I could get HIS point across. He was working through me, and it truly was amazing and beyond description.
For the Tuesday devotional guess who we got to hear from: Elder Groberg! (The movie "Other Side of Heaven" is about Elder Groberg's mission and can be rented for $1 at local video stores or borrowed from the Dicksons.) Some of you won't have any idea about who that is, but I bet my mom can put up a little bit about him on the blog/facebook thing. He had a wonderful message of bearing testimony, which I know is true and which I experienced as we taught Jose.
Last but not least, yesterday I had the opportunity to say hi to my friend Richard Whitworth, who just entered the CCM. And yes mom, I got pictures, don't worry;) Always nice to see a friend:)
( My dad and Richard's dad were good friends growing up in California and then our parents were good friends before they had children while attending college--Now Richard and I are both headed to Argentina but not the same mission!)
My cousin and BYU roommate also left for the Mexico MTC yesterday! You will be GREAT Hermana Temple! Her dad, who is with her in the photo, served in the Argentina Buenos Aires North Mission many years ago. She is headed to Chile Rancagua!
Once again, I love all of you! And as I know you all love me;), feel free to write me! I'd love to hear from All of you!