I feel like the days are whizzing by.One day I wake up and it's Sunday, the next think you know it's Thursday and we're weekly planning, then by the time I sit down to write this email, it's all such a blur that I can barely compile thoughts. And when we wake up in the morning, exercise, and study, by the time we head out the day feels like it's halfway over. We can't run fast enough to talk to everybody! Help everybody! Invite everybody to Christ! My trainer just went home, which blows my mind, and she called me the night before she left to vent about her feelings. Everybody, I declare, this is the best thing I have ever done. The people we have met have changed my life. The Lord is sanctifying me, just as he sanctifies each of us as we strive to be better.
I'll briefly relay a few experiences from this week:
We had a bible study with a Jehova's Witness. As we wrapped up, we asked if we could pray with her and she said no because that would be disrespectful to the male leaders of her church. I found myself getting a little bit choked up... I can barely comprehend what it means to feel like you don't have have the right to pray. It reminded me that not everybody believes God is our Heavenly Father, one of loving and nurturing qualities. If you have a chance to bare your testimony to anybody this week, let them know how loved they are. Everybody deserves to know that.
This came up again in a lesson we team-taught with the Spanish Elders on Saturday. He had been expressing doubt in modern-day revelation and prophets, and all of our answers didn't seem to satisfy him. Until finally I just stopped. And said, "Pasqual, su Padre Celestial le ama, y podemos sentir lo. Esta is porque estamos aqui." (Pasqual, your Heavenly Father loves you, and we can feel it. That is why we're here.) He told us he could feel that love for him, he told me that I had the love and light of Christ in my eyes. And it touched me.
As missionaries, we're not here to deliver information. We're not here to answer questions. That's what the scriptures are for. Church, the prophets. personal revelation, all of those are sources of knowledge. We are here to invite and to show our love. It just makes it more convenient that we happen to invite people through facts and stories. As children of God, we all have that same responsibility, to be an example, to love, to make sure people know they matter and that they have purpose. And if you know what that purpose is, you can help ANYBODY in ANY trial that they are facing.
Yesterday we had Spanish Sacrament! We have it every second Sunday of the month at 7 pm. And although the numbers in attendance were few, the spirit was the same. I had the opportunity to translate the meeting into English for those who were in attendance, and it was an interesting gauge of how far I've come. I'm grateful to have been given the gift to learn Spanish quickly. I really don't feel like I have studied enough to know all that I know, which is another manifestation that this is God's work. And if he wants it accomplished, he will prepare a way and provide the means.
The same stands for all of his children. Something I've been studying this week is identity. What defines us. How do we differentiate our nature from our personality? How do we know how to act as a missionary? And I've come to the conclusion. We are first children of God. And as we work to do all that is required of us, our personality will follow. The defining characteristics that differentiate us from others will naturally flow when we stop worrying about them so much. Funny how that works.
I love you all. I know the effect that this Gospel can have on other people's lives is a sure declaration that it is true and ordained of God. If you have it, share it. If you know it, live it.
I love you all!!!!!!