Last P-day in Mexico. I love love love to hear that you guys are having fun.. that Thomas is being almost as good as me in basketball, that Matthew is skiing with Rachel. Also I miss Jane... and I did make a video but it just didn´t send... it was like 30 seconds I think. Oh well! I´m not sure if we´re supposed to send videos from the mission. Also thanks for the calling card and the chocolates! I got those on Tuesday and it literally made my day.. A girl from Uncle Ned´s Ward is here going to Ecuador as well. Also, Elsie´s good friend from Las Vegas, Elder Tingey is in my zone! We are just all connected... I love it! And one of my friends form Girls´ State was in my zone and she just headed out to Oklahoma City Spanish Speaking on Tuesday. I sent here with a big long letter and a chocolate bar for Elder Powley. I hope he´s already received them! I´m going to try to send some more letters with missionary is going back to the states this Monday so you can guys can get some real letters from me. I got a dear Elder today from Mom... or I guess its pouch mail.. I'm not sure. And that was very nice! I really hope Rachel gets her Birthday Letter I sent like a month ago. Also I get to email again on Monday around 1:45 pm.. so if you want to send me like some emails then it would be great to have something to do! Our flight leaves at 1 am monday night so I can call you guys around 11PM ish Mexico Time. whoever wants to stay up I´d be delighted to talk to them! Now I need to share with you guys what REALLY happened this week.
We had an amazing Sunday devotional on exactly what I needed to hear: doubt. We all have doubt sometimes but the spirit cant teach through us our touch our hearts as strongly when we have doubt in our hearts. We used 2nd Nephi Chapter 4 in Relief Society as a template to solve our feelings of doubt. Even Nephi doubted himself and his potential.. he too felt guilt and anger, and insufficient. But instead of turning inward towards those feelings of doubt. Nephi lets the love of God fill up in side of him and drown out all feelings of doubt and discomfort. He rejoices in the Lord and he knows that he himself is nothing without the Christ. Literally, in the psalm of Nephi we are promised that as long as we recognize and pray and rejoice in God.. there will be no room for doubt. Sometimes I doubt my abilities as a companion, my abilities as a Spanish speaker, an my abilities as a teacher. But I know.. that when I have these doubts, when I´m thinking inwardly.. there is no place for the spirit to teach through me. I am so glad I have learned this now at the CCM, so I can access the depths of this humility as I am out on the field.
Yesterday was probably my most important and influential day on the mission at the CCM so far. I don't know how to explain what I felt when me and my companion did horribly with one of our first lessons for a new investigator (again one of our teachers). But I wanted to cry. We made a beautiful plan... and as we went to teach him after the first couple questions I had the feeling to talk about something completely contrary to the plan. I did not follow this feeling. And I stumbled over my words entirely. We followed the plan however...because I wanted to give my companion the chance to speak more. But when it came for her to speak, she couldn't say anything either. the lesson ended fine.. we met our goals and walked home. But I felt terrible. I didn't talk at all on the way back to the casa-- for those who know me this is like basically really rare.. and it means I´m angry--I just wanted her to talk! I couldn´t understand why I could have let myself be such a bad teacher. Later that day, I played investigator for a set of elders in our district and I realized they had the same problem as me and my companion and their lesson was extremely boring. After the lesson I sat and mused about what I could do to change. Then our teacher Hermano Valdez came over and talked to me about what I was thinking.. I told him how hard it was that my companion couldn´t participate in the lessons. And he told me something I cant believe I never realized. She just lacks confidence. And so I need to help her make goals to gain confidence. This really spoke to me. Earlier in the morning, I was very self centered.. wondering why she couldn't help me.. but really I needed to help her more. After this we began to practice language as a class and we were sharing scriptures and answering questions in the subjunctive.. which is pretty stinking hard. But the entire time, I felt the most peaceful feeling.. And I knew it was the spirit. My companion and I were practicing together and I could tell that she was not getting it.
But I was patient and I really wanted to help her understand. We took a break for dinner and returned to continue practicing. By now, the feeling of peace inside of me was just overflowing and I kept trying to help her. This was kind of weird because she continued to struggle, as I tried to help her figure out how to ask questions in Spanish. Suddenly I noticed their were tears in her eyes. And she told me was going to ask for a priesthood blessing. I nodded and we asked our district leader, Elder Cardon. As she received her blessing, tears came to my eyes. I asked God in my heart why she was struggling so much to learn the language. I wanted more than anything for God to bless her right then and there with the gift of tongues. And suddenly I felt a shift in my mind. A shift from thinking about myself to thinking solely of my companion. Right then during the blessing I learned what it was like to be completely selfless. I wish I could describe it.. but I can´t. We all need to seek after this faithful love I believe. The more we trust in God to help those we love.. the more we are able to love. I don´t know this made a whole lot of sense but what I felt yesterday during that Priesthood blessing for her changed me. And I want to be able to be that selfless when I serve the people of Ecuador and when I serve my companions. If I can just feel part of the love that Christ has for each of us then I know I will be able to teach through the spirit and I know that I will be able to help Christ touch hearts.
I love this gospel and I know without a doubt that it is the only way we can be saved and receive the truest form of happiness. I love where I am and I love what I am doing. I can't wait to share the gospel with the people of Ecuador in 5 days.