|Sunday pics with some of my most favorite friends (have I mentioned how much I love Hna. Wells? |
Because she is beauty and grace and basically perfect).
hola mi familia amorosa,
This last week here at the MTC has been absolutely filled with the best seven days yet. Our last few days together have been the greatest gift, and I will cherish them always because of these few things:
1) since our District has now been here for five weeks, the elders have come up with ways to better entertain themselves during gym time — which means they have taken to holding horseshoe competitions on the field. As boring as that may sound, these competitions can become quite heated (trash talking included), and have become the highlight of most of our days here.
2) I don't know if I mentioned this before, but Hna. Cook is literally a professional violinist, and so this week our District talked her into giving us a private concert. We all gathered together in our small classroom as she played songs upon request (from hymns to movie soundtracks, which included a favorite LOTR rendition). This moment has become one of my most favorite memories here, made even better when missionaries from other classrooms began congregating into our room after hearing her music fill the hallways. She ended her awe-inspiring with "Nearer My God to Thee," while all the elders softly sang along. It made me cry, made me cry.
3) Yesterday during our weekly time set apart to clean our classroom, our beloved Esperanza took a tumble off the window shelf. I may or may not have been the cause of her death. But let it be known that this was all accidental and not intentional.
4) Elder Calmes has a gigantic bag of Peanut Butter M&Ms, which I might have stolen and taken for myself because I'm trying to eat all the peanut butter I can before Mexico.
5) We have a new District of elders, and one of them looks like he could either be a member of the Beatles or the Jonas Brothers (also his name is Elder Jonas. How perfect is that?).
The best and greatest memory from this week, however, was from this Tuesday during TRC. TRC is usually a time for us to practice teaching members of the Church, and this week we were looking forward to our long-awaited and never fulfilled Skype lesson. With five minutes notice, we learned that we would be teaching a brother and sister from Columbia — the sister is a member, and her brother is taking discussions with the elders there. With no time to have fear or really even plan, we began teaching these real people living in a real far-off place about Jesus Christ and His Atonement. Oh my, it was my most favorite experience yet. Even though we couldn't understand everything, we were able to bear testimony of Jesus Christ as our Redeemer and Healer. Testifying of Jesus Christ has come to be what I look forward to saying every single lesson, every day. How lucky I am to be able to testify of His goodness and grace every single day here, every single day in Mexico, and every single day in my heart ever after. Alejandra and David (the brother and sister we taught), reminded me why every hard day or hard feeling as a missionary will always be worth it — because people will always be worth it, and their hearts and souls will always be worth it. If every lesson and moment could be like this one, then I'm embarking on the happiest seventeen months of my life.
During my personal study yesterday, I read a scripture in Alma that I think perfectly describes what has happened to me during these past (almost) forty days as a missionary, and what I hope will happen to the people of Merida who have believing blood and honest hearts. It says:
"Behold, he changed their hearts; yea, he awakened them out of a deep sleep, and they awoke unto God. Behold, they were in the midst of darkness; nevertheless, their souls were illuminated by the light of the everlasting word..." —ALMA 5:7
I love the concept of awakening to God, and have come to think that one of the most important things I will be doing in Mexico is bringing people to a remembrance of their Father and His Son--because everyone has known God and can know Him again. I cannot wait to illuminate their hearts to the truth through the everlasting word of this good Gospel, because FOUR DAYS MORE and I will have the privilege of doing just that.
I love you I love you and can't wait to talk to you soon! Thank you for all the emails that build me up and fill my soul with happiness, because you are all my foundation and my joy.
with all my love,