Megan sent me an invite as well with an invitation to go to the sealing, so make sure you tell her I will be thinking about her and wish I could be there for the sealing. And also that I adore her invite. I'll have to write her, probably next pday because today is SO beyond crazy. I don't think I'll get everything done. But guess what?! The provo temple is FINALLY open again, so I'm going to go do a session later today. Bless this day. I've missed the temple so much.
Also thank you so much for the package, the pictures and the camera! I'll have to send you a memory card soon so you can see all the crazy business going on over here. And it made me so happy being able to see all the pictures from Mikayla's wedding. It was bittersweet seeing my best friends all dressed up for it, and knowing I wasn't there. But I'm so happy for her, and she looked so happy. I thought about her all day and the day she went through the temple.
this week tons of funny things have happened like awkward marriage conversations with the Elders and mixing up the wrong words in spanish...what was supposed to be harmless actually meant something completely different (I'll spare you the details) but it's been a good week. It's getting strange because all the people I came in with, are now leaving because it's been 3 weeks and they are english. whereas us language missionaries are 1/3 done. It's really bittersweet, but we all say we will write and catch up when we all get back. We only have 2 elders leaving today for the Guatemala mtc, and two more leaving in a few weeks. Then there will be 7 of us sticking it out until feb 13th.
New Years eve was awesome. We celebrated at 10:15 with all your party supplies. I took the christmas lights and made a giant ball, and that was our ball drop...then we passed around a bottle of bubbly and pretended those prouline's were cigars. Yay for the joys of being a missionary. I'm super glad we didn't stay up, because everyone who did were regretting it big time during fast sunday. which by the way, I have BIG news...which I'll give to you at the end of the email. hopefully I don't forget. but when I say big, I mean MONUMENTAL!
So on Saturday, I had some incredible experiences. I've been really worried and frustrated about the language. This week....this week it was just hard. We had a lesson with our other investigator Antonio and the first lesson was okay, but the way we conveyed ourselves, we were really pushing him towards baptism. More like dragging. The second lesson, was a trainwreck. It started well, as we were talking about the Restoration and Joseph Smith. We had just finished the verse where it says "This is my beloved Son, Hear Him!" and Antonio just started asking questions like mad. And i had NO idea what he was saying. absolutely no idea. He tried so hard to reitterate himself, but nothing. He knew no english. And he got frustrated and I got frustrated. He had to leave, with no resolution and I walked out of that lesson feeling empty. I was so upset because the only thing keeping me from helping him come closer to Christ, and answering his questions...was the fact that I couldn't understand him. I couldn't convey to him the importance of the first vision, and what Joseph saw. It was not a good night.
The next day I went to a workshop, where I was able to teach in english to another Elder who has been her 2 weeks longer than me. He told me after that I have this indescribable thing about me, where he felt he could confide in me. Even though I only met him 10 minutes previously. He told me things in the lesson that he said he has never told anyone. He then gave me some great advice about the language and said basically...that as long as I study the gospel and know of His word...it will be conveyed when I teach, no matter how awful my spanish is. I liked what he said, but it didn't internalize until that night. Antonio, by a miracle, had us come back. Our lesson was so simple. We went in and immediately answered the question he had been asking and we had him read the last part of the first vision. We then said that Joseph was able to go to God with his questions and problems and that God really answered him.
I prayed that we would have love and understanding in this lesson, and that God would hear us. When we asked Antonio if he ever prayed, he said that he has but never received an answer while attending the catholic church. We taught him how to pray, simply by opening with "our dear Heavenly Father" or "Dear God" and ending with "in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen" We said everything else comes from feelings from your heart. Questions, thoughts, gratitude. problems.
Hna Spencer then shared an experience she had where her prayers were answered and recieved comfort about serving a mission. The spirit immediately came in, and even though we had to sometimes talk to each other in english to figure out things to say, it allowed the spirit to speak.
I then felt prompted that he needed to pray with us right then. He was really hesitant, and didn't know what to do. We asked if he wanted help, so we started him out..and he prayed. The spirit completely guided the lesson, and I was on the brink of tears his entire prayer. As soon as we said amen, he stayed hunched over and neither one of us said a word. He seemed confused and in deep thought. I asked "Antonio, what are you feeling?" He said after a moment that he felt good..happy and tranquil.
After a moment of soaking it in I said that that feeling of peace and tranquility was the Spirit. The same spirit that helped Joseph Smith. The spirit that helps know the feelings of our hearts and if the church is true. If Joseph saw God, and if the book of mormon is true. Hna spender than said she knows God speaks to us and helps answer prayers and questions. She knows that He will answer Antonio's questions and concerns. We both looked at each other and knew what we wanted to say.Hna spencer said "Anotonio, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the proper preisthood authority of God?" Antonio looked shocked and started rubbing his knees. He then looked like he was really thinking hard about a million thing. Neither of us said anything. We just let the spirit be there and held our breath. He then said "I believe Joseph smith saw God. I believe God can hear me. I believe NOW in the spirit. Yes. Yes I want to be baptized" as soon as I started saying something he said "after the last lesson, I wanted nothing to do with baptism or the church. But tonight I felt it. I want to be baptized"
so now we are preparing him for January 17th!
I'm getting kicked off. But I've never felt that way before, I was so moved by that experiene. That no matter how awful we have been in our launguage and teaching before, the spirit will ALWAYS prepare them in His time.
love you all! talk to you soon. WRITE LETTERS and dear elders.
p.s. mum will you get kayci stringer's address?