So the other night, the mtc decided to get a bit creative and shake things up (which I was super grateful for, I was on the brink of sleeping through an entire devotional) and they had us sing called to serve. But instead, they did a different piano arrangement, and had us sing really quietly like we were marching. They put up a picture of Helaman's army and they said "there are 2000 of you. There were 2000 strippling warriors. YOU ARE THEM" and when it came to singing "Called to serve our King" we all stood up and sang the last verse again, just singing louder than I have ever heard in our life. Sounds cheesy... but, I didn't cry at my farewell...and tears came to my eyes when we did that. So so so cool.
Well, good news on this end Julio AND Georgina were both baptized this week! Glory hallelujah. I was a little nervous about Julio during our last lesson, because he had slipped up with the word of wisdom, but we talked to him about it and how nobody has perfect days, but through Jesus Christ we can be forgiven, and we can committ again to obey with exactness. I'm so glad it worked out. We are now teaching a woman named Andriana, our first lesson was last night so I'm still trying to get to know her. She is very proud of being catholic though, and she's been dropped by like 4 sets of Hermanas...so somehow we have to figure out a way for her to trust us. Who knows.
Also, NEWSFLASH the gift of tongues is real. On Saturday I tought 4 members in the TRC, and one of them, who was from peru, asked if Hermana Spencer and I were in the intermediate class. And then the two guys after that, were my age and reminded me so much of Erik and Kirk so I was just joking around with them a lot during the lesson. Just not even worrying about my spanish. When we came out Hermana Spencer was like "Hna, your spanish was incredible in there! Look at her go". Don't get too excited though, The Lord knows how to keep people humble, because the next day I had to take a speaking assessment test and I forgot everything.... mehr.
Also, our district was getting a bit of "cabin fever" aka, too much time staring at white cinderblock walls in our classroom...so we took a little field trip during our down time. (we usually walk to the temple, but some missionary slipped on the ice and so we weren't allowed to go) Instead we walked around the mtc, found a piece of ply wood (there is tons of construction here) and played snowball baseball. Then there was a mini snowball fight and then more baseball. We were in the way back of the mtc, where people's backyards meet up so a few people came by and said hi. It's weird to know the outside world is just right there. It would be so easy to get away. But I love it here, so we decided to stay :)
Also, two of our elders are leaving today for guatemala. It was super sad last night saying goodbye. As Elder morrow was praying for how grateful he was that we've all been able to learn and grow together and rely more on Christ everyone was on the brink of tears. It's crazy how close you get to people here. KaLee Mortenson also left today, Hailey Wankier leaves next week, Rachael Garner the week after that and then it's my turn. Can you even believe that? I have less than 3 weeks left...a normal missionary stay. It's bittersweet..but I'm so beyond ready for Arizona. I watched a mormon message the other day (which by the way, watch it...because then you can see why I am so excited) but go tolds.org and watch the mormon message of the El Salvador temple dedication. Just listening to the youth speak spanish and their entire culture gets be so excited. Arizona here I come!
Also another thing I encourage you to read (if you can find it) is Elder Bednar's mtc address on June 9, 2009 called "recognizing the spirit". It's all about how you can tell if it's just your thoughts or the spirit. And it's incredible. If I have time I might write down a few quotes at the end
But I've had this thought this week, which I thought I would share.
I have grown to absolutely love personal study. The other day I spent over an hour just studying my Patriarchal Blessing, and yesterday an hour on 2 chapters in 2 Nephi. It's not normally like this, but I have learned so much from it already. But I wish I would have realized this earlier. For people who struggle with studying scriptures- don't force yourself to read. You will get bored with reading, the words on the page will all blend together, and you will lose motivation to ever do it. Take a step back. Go to another source of scripture. Listen to talks by General Authorities. Even if you can't get yourself to do that, go small. Watch Mormon messages. Then listen to Authorities. Take notes on what impacts YOU. It wont be graded, it wont be seen. Only by you. It is your own source of personal revelation. Then with that revelation and personal revelance, you can study the scriptures they mentioned in their talk. Even if it is just one verse or one chapter. Apply EVERYTHING they said that applied to you in the scriptures. If you don't think it applies, try and find a way it can. Scripture are for our profit and learning. We must liken them unto ourselves. And by doing these things you will recieve personal individualized answers to you.
It is so cool. So will you commit to do it (I hope everybody is nodding their head). I know that you will find a better understanding of yourself and the Savior if you do that. No longer will you always turn to worldly temporary answers, but you have your own personal guide on how to survive life with your good buddies the scriptures, the apostles and your patriarchal blessing. Your own personal D&C. I know it's impacted me on my mission, and has made me realize how individually God loves me. I am his daughter, and He wants nothing more than to give me every happiness...and the reason I am on this mission is to find my brothers and sisters, and let them know they can have that too. It's already there, they just don't know it yet.
I love you all and hope you have an incredible week. I would love to hear from all of you, especially if you try this and have experiences with it. I draw from your strenght and love.