It's great to here that you guys had fun on Jane´s birthday.. I devoted a journal entry to how much I loved her and I tried to send a video of me singing happy birthday to here but it tragically would not send. I just love her a whole lot. And I can´t believe she´s so old... 3... that's like 18 in Jane years. And way to go Thomas for working hard, and Matthew on his science project.. I hope he wins 1st place at state. Rachel you´ll always be better at me in soccer so I guess that means your probably the best in the world. I sent you a letter for your birthday coming up in a couple weeks but I have no idea if it will ever get to you. Also for letters to the MTC: Its not dear elder that you send packages its My Dear Missionary... If you send a package from my dear missionary... for example a box of chocolate bars.. to the Mexico MTC, it will only take like 2 days to arrive here. So I highly recommend that. Winky Face. Also if you send any letters through the pouch or dear elder now, it probably wont get here before I leave, and they do not forward letters on to the mission from the MTC in Mexico fun fact. SO send everything to Ecuador.. except a package of chocolates if you want ;) Also we won't be flying back to America before Ecuador. So my calling card won't work. If you want you can buy an international calling card at home, and send me all the info like the number and instructions I can write it down and call you guys on the 10th late late late at night. Entonces...... keep on having fun and studying those scriptures and singing songs that make you feel good. Slowly yet surely I´m starting to have church songs stuck in my head instead of secular ones. That's a good thing, but I probably will still be singing the reprise of When will my life begin from Tangled when I get off the plane in Ecuador. Anyways this week was great and it all started with an amazing talk by Elder Scott on prayer (This was a recording too)
Last Sunday we had a devotional on prayer and receiving answers. I really liked how Elder Scott told us there were 3 ways we can receive affirmation or revelation.
1. That warm, peaceful, overflow of spiritual assurance that is the answer "yes"
2. That unassuring, confusing, constant change of thought that is the answer "no"
3. Nothing at all.
Nothing? Sometimes God doesn´t give us answers? Of course he doesn´t! This is how He shows us that he trusts us. HE lets us make the decision for ourselves using our own discernment. If we are living righteously we´re probably choosing the right thing anyway and if by happenstance we choose wrong, God won´t let us travel too far down the road before warning us to turn around. This is the beauty of prayer --as long as we stay worthy for the Holy Ghost, God cab and will guide us back to live with him. We need to pray to God with all our might, not with droopy eyelids after homework or studying. I can affirm that when we pray earnestly, the difference is knowing God is real and loves us because we feel it, versus just believing God is real because that's how we´ve been raised. God wants us to tell him everything that's on our minds-- this is how we can repent, this is how we can feel peace, and receive answers. I know that because we have the gift of the holy ghost we can receive constant revelation-- and I have as I´ve been praying to Him day in and day out. I prayed Sunday night for Humility and experienced the most humbling day on Monday --I won´t go into details, but basically one of the Elders in my district told me I didn´t teach him the way I should have when we were practicing--I was really mad, and I felt like unqualified and I certainly wasn´t depending on the spirit to help me feel better. Later that day in the evening, we were studying language, and I just wanted the day to be over, when some of the elders from our district came in with the Latino class from next door. The Latino´s wanted to share their testimonies for us. This was the most amazing thing. And it was exactly what I needed. I stood up to bear my testimony after a few of them had, and I felt so much love inside of me. I couldn´t say things perfectly but I could say what I simply felt. That I knew that Jesus Christ was my Savior. And I know that even though I wasn´t saying anything super elaborate, I felt the indescribable. I realized suddenly that there´s really only one person I can boast in and that´s my God.. just as Ammon tells his brothers in Alma after they teach the Lamanites. I need to have this special humility in order to teach with the spirit.
Anyway! This week has been great! We made a sandcastle last P-day from the volleyball court sand, and it was the funniest thing ever! On Monday we said goodbye to our father district, which was really hard because they have become some of our best friends, but it was also so exciting, because it made the reality of our departure that much more exciting! We only have 1 more week ...and I feel like the time has gone by some fast. But I also have learned and studied and worked so hard that I might as well have been here for months, so time is a vortex at the CCM. Our teachers are amazing and one of them, Hermano Lopez, is a ring designer and he´s making our district Haz la Justo rings as a goodbye present! (CTR) Except we´re paying him. Also on Tuesday, me and Hermana Nethercott were the first missionaries ever at the Mexico MTC to skype an "investigator!" We were the guinea pigs and I guess more missionaries are going to skype now. You could say me and my companion are famous.
Furthermore, we had and All Español day on miracles and that was super helpful--I think I´m going to start only speaking Español every other day now. It´s not as hard as it seems because more than half of the people here only speak Spanish, and they are all willing help.
Entonces! I´m over and out! Here at the CCM! Also fun fact: we´ve been getting fresh passion fruit at the Comedor for the past couple days and I´m in love (with their deliciousness)
Con Mucho Amor...