How in the world am I already half way through the MTC?? Muy loco. I'm doing so well!! The weeks just keep getting better, and I don't really know how that's possible, but it's true! Being a missionary is seriously the best thing ever. I feel so lucky and so blessed to be trusted at age 19 with this incredible work.
Okay first things first, I forgot to tell you all the funniest story from last week! Dad you'll get a kick out of this one. So in our branch two Sundays ago, this Elder gets up to speak, and the topic was praying always, and his talk was great, but then he said that he thinks the best way to pray is to sing because of that scripture in D&C 25:12 about how songs are prayers, and he says, IN THE MIDDLE OF HIS TALK, that he wants to sing a song for all of us. He proceeds to get down from the stand, walk over to me, ask me to play for him (my face at this point was probably hilariously red), and like I could say no! So I got up and played for him, and he sang all the verses of More Holiness Give Me. Don't get me wrong, his voice is incredible, but oh my gosh it took all of my self control to not bust up laughing! The branch presidency looked a little bewildered and bemused as well. Good stuff good stuff.
Actually though, my Spanish isn't too bad! We are so grateful to be in México because we are completely immersed in Spanish! We very rarely speak English during the day which is really good for us. I also haven't been using my notes during lessons! I know, though, that this is not because I'm just good at languages, because I'm not (there's a reason I stopped at Spanish 3 sophomore year). I have gained such a strong testimony of the concept taught in 1 Nephi 3:7, which is that God does not give us commandments without a way to accomplish them. I know there is no way I could be learning this language so fast if it weren't for the work Heavenly Father needs me to do with His Latino children in Baton Rouge, Louisiana!
We got to watch another amazing devotional this week from Elder Holland! The whole thing was just life-changing as always, but something that really hit me was when he said that we are called to teach people, not baptismal statistics. We can't listen to peoples problems and then say whelp, that's tough. Anyway we have a lesson prepared about blah blah blah. Nope. We have to go to their divorces, their losses, their worries, their concerns, before we can take them to the Sacred Grove, to Gethsemane, and ultimately literally to the temple. This Gospel is very personal to everyone, and while we teach the same doctrines to everyone, every single lesson is tailor-made to the needs of the investigator. Gone are the days of memorized discussions. We have Predicad Mi Evangelio (Preach My Gospel) because it is a tool to help convert us to the point where we can figure out how to help others on that same path. That means our responsibility is not easy, but how exciting is it that we are trusted by the Grand Creator of the universe to go out and find His sheep and bring them back with us to His presence?! I wish I could express the love I already have for the sweet people in Louisiana, and for all of God's children! In Elder Holland's talk he stressed the point that we better not dare to come back from our missions the same as when we left. I know I still have a whole lot of growing to do, but it's crazy how in just three quick weeks my perspective can shift so much from worrying about my Spanish and my teaching and my worries, to completely being about the investigator and bringing them to the light and hope of this miraculously perfect Gospel. Have I mentioned how much I love being a missionary?
This morning we got to go to the temple! It's under construction right now, so we just went to the visitor's center, but it was still amazing! We watched a video about eternal families and everyone in our district was bawling! Probably partially because we miss our families, but I think it hit all of us that the work we're doing is so much bigger than just teaching lessons. We are helping people create eternal families! So many people in this world don't know the potential they have, and I feel so honored to be able to share that happy message with them!
¡Que tenga un magnífico día!