This email is kind of a surprise because I didn´t know I would have the opportunity to email you guys until I got to Oklahoma, but since we´re flying on our P Day we have the opportunity to check our emails now. Unfortunately, most of you email me on Tuesday mornings. My P day will probably be on Monday starting this week.
Anyway, Hi! I´m in a very strange mood right now because it feels like the last day of high school and it´s rather hard to focus on studying... But we already taught our lesson today and then Hermana Montoya let us spend the rest of class watching devotionals about the importance of losing yourself in the work of others... So it´s been pretty motivating. Before yesterday, I was scared and not terribly excited to leave Mexico, but now it´s all I can think about. I want to serve the people of Oklahoma, I want to eat sunny side up eggs. I want to meet my new companion and ride my bike. I actually kind of miss the cold, I keep getting sunburned over here (I know, the grass is always greener on the other side).
This week was very interesting. On Tuesday night, our district was feeling rather discouraged. We knew we still had a week left but that we had so much more we wanted to learn. We remembered a devotional we had had about saying specific prayers to the lord, like mini covenants where you make a grand promise and set up the grounds for your blessings. At first, I was a little skeptical... I don´t really like the idea of what felt to me like challenging God, but our district decided that we would make one of these promises to speak only Spanish for 5 days. In the casa, in class, at meals, during gym, and in return, we needed help. We said one grand prayer all together, and then we each prayed individually for what we needed in return. I just asked for comfort in the language the ability to feel closer to the Lord. This was a very effective system because if anyone in our district spoke English, we could all hold them accountable, and we felt like we really wanted to be obedient because it was not just a goal, it was a covenant. What ended up happening is that... it was hard. Surprised? For some reason, we were. It was really hard. But it helped me realize the things I still need to learn more about as it pertains to Spanish. And it actually made it really easy to be obedient to the other rules laid out for us because we were always focused on something the Lord wanted us to do. For example, I had a problem getting songs stuck in my head the first few weeks, and I learned that it was actually distracting me from being able to feel the spirit as strongly as I could be, but when we were forced to speak Spanish, singing songs made me feel guilty, even playing them in my head. So I stopped. And my focus has grown immensely. And my spirit and desire to be here has grown immensely. I´m less distracted by life outside the mission. In this moment, and hopefully permanently, I feel a lot less like Lot´s Wife.
This week was... Not terribly eventful. We did the same things we normally do, go to class, work out, study, go to class, teach investigators, study, eat meat, but something about it really rekindled my faith. It reminded me that I´m here for other people. I´m here because Jesus Christ has done so much for me that it seems sinful to keep this joy from other people. I have gained such a profound respect for my family and all the other people in my life who are strong and willful. I am so blessed to be here. I am so honored to be a part of a gospel I believe with so much of my heart. And for the first time in my whole life, I have my own testimony, a firm testimony in something. Anything. I have never been stable, I have never known for myself what I want in my life or how to obtain it. But I can honestly say that based on no one elses´ testimony but my own, the Book of Mormon and the Bible together contain the fullness of the Gospel; the information we need to make our lives as simple and as happy as possible, and the pathway to greater things. I love this Gospel.
Fun facts and photos:
This week, Hermana Chugg was sick again. :( They made a new rule where companions have to be with their companions when they´re sick, which is terrible because everyone is sick here all the time... Conversations about diarrhea are so common it´s disturbing. But it was actually really nice. We just read our journals to each other from the time we got here until now. And it was kind of nostalgic. I´m lucky she´s coming to my mission though. I´m not quite ready to say goodbye.
Sometimes the latino cooks try to translate what we´re having for dinner and it never really works out quite right. On Saturday, the white board said
DINNER: MEATS COLD WIRE AND PASTES.
Yumm... Buen Provecha.
This morning, I found a scripture that says why we shouldn´t dress our dogs in sweaters. Go read Doctrine and Covenants 41:6. You´re welcome.