Thursday, October 23, 2014

Week 5: Last Week in the CCM! On to HONDURAS!

It´s hard to know where to begin and what to include, but I can just say that everyday I've found things to be grateful for. 

       I know that Heavenly Father hears our prayers and through prayer we can receive power and strength, even if it´s just asking Him to help me to be patient with others and myself. 

       I guess I can start with last Saturday, with our special devotional with Elder Maynes and Elder Anderson and Elder Pieper. Elder Anderson, Elder Maynes, and Eldder Pieper shook the hands of all 450 of us. There was such a calm feeling when they walked in. We were singing the hymn before the devotional, so we all stood and just kept singing. I wouldn't´t stop smiling the whole time! Elder Anderson included us and joked with us in his talk (which was a bit surprising and very funny) but it was also very powerful. He talked a bit about the process of how they send missionaries to their missions. He said that for most people, they could probably go to several different missions and have similar experiences, but if you approach your mission for what it is (your mission) then you will find in many occasions a feeling that will tell you - this is one of the reasons you were sent here. 

       I'm so excited to find out those reasons. 

       Elder Anderson´s message was centered on the Atonement and the powerful messages found in the Book of Mormon about the Atonement and Jesus Christ. There is nothing that is more important. His Witness of the Savior and His Gospel was powerful.

Elder Maynes taught me that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ were the first missionary companions in this dispensation, and appeared to Joseph Smith. I hadn´t really thought of it that way before and I like it a lot. 

       I also had a cool experience with one of our teachers. We've been working with her as a "progressing investigator" named Nina. But her character is actually based on a friend that she has. So after our lesson with her on Saturday, we prayed with her for her friend. He didn't go to church this last Sunday but I hope he will this week!

       We had a special devotional on Tuesday this week, with people from the missionary department. We got to hear the testimonies of a few people, but the main speakers were Brother Jarmin and Brother Mills. From Brother Jarmin and from class, I've learned so much more about reading the Book of Mormon with the investigator and helping them understand it. It´s very important to help them receive their own revelation. 

       Brother Mills was really funny - one of the things he shared with us was the life of an investigator from The District (for those who do not know, it´s basically a documentary about missionaries) It was so great to see the change in his face, in his eyes, in his countenance. Brother Mills helped us to know one great simple truth that I am learning better here, something that President Packer said (not a direct quote but here we go) that Ins´t this true Christianity? It is by giving away (love) freely that it truly becomes ours.

       I know from even my own limited experience that if I don´t focus on the investigator and my companion, it´s really hard to teach. Last night we had a great opportunity to teach some volunteers (they come every week, this is when I teach investigators on Wednesdays, if you remember) and our lesson last night went well. The Spirit was there and I could feel a piece of Heavenly Father´s love for her and I think she felt it too.  Even though we learned after that some of the volunteers were members (our teachers lied to us) it's still been very real, and I'm sure they are blessed for the service they do.

       Yesterday I had a fun experience - I got to welcome the new missionaries and help them email their families! It was really fun, I liked it a lot. It's hard to think that that was me five weeks ago, and that this is my last letter from the CCM. It's beautiful here, but I´m excited to get going. Even in this last week alone I have learned a lot. 

       Even funnier experience - I usually get to sleep after the other girls but I've learned there are benefits. Specifically, listening to the others talk in their sleep. The other day one of the Hermanas was quoting the first vision in Spanish, it was quite impressive. I guess that tells you a little about the memorization and the studying that goes on here :) 

       In all seriousness, though. I´ve learned a lot here and I hope that the people I will be teaching will be touched by the Spirit in ways that will help them to be open to our message. 
       I want you all to know that I know that My Redeemer Lives. I´d like to share my testimony in Spanish (and English). 
       Mi testimonio: Yo se que Nuestro Padre Celestial nos ama mucho y tiene un plan por cada persona. Dios respete nuestro albedrio, pero El y Su Hijo Jesucristo nos invitan a venir a Ellos siempre. Yo se que el Libro de Mormon es la palabra de Dios, y testifica del Jesucristo. Yo se que este Iglesia es Su Iglesia.  Yo se con todo mi corazon que El es mi Salvador. Yo se que el profeta es llamado de Dios, y habla las palabras de Dios. En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen. 

       My testimony: I know that Heavenly Father loves us very much and has a plan for each person. God respects our agency, but He and His Son, Jesus Christ, always invite us to come to Them. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and testifies of Jesus Christ. I know that this Church is His Church. I know with all my heart that He is my Savior. I know that the prophet is called of God and speaks the words of God. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

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