Congrats Maddy! I know she’ll be great there, she’ll be with just as many friends from home as I had. Meagan + Chris, Kailee, Jess + Stephen, Laura, Jena (?), and all the awesome people that are there already. I’m really so excited for her, she’s gonna love college as much as I did I think. It’s the bomb.
I think the talk from Elder Bednar was given at the MTC, so maybe it’s not available anywhere else. It’s about how to be truly converted (and how that’s different than merely having a testimony) and how having a character of Christ is always looking and reaching outward instead of inward. Putting off the natural man and becoming more converted everyday through the Atonement. So eloquent and powerful though, I wish you all could listen to the real thing.
Yes, having a breakdown is a normal thing. It’s a combination of frustration from learning (or not learning) the language, stress from teaching our investigators (especially when they don’t keep their commitments!), and the rigorous study schedule we have. The pressure to do well is big too. That’s why I feel so particularly blessed with peace and confidence because I haven’t felt that way. This might be weird to say, but my spirit just feels so prepared for this kind of stress. It’s not getting me down like others and I can be there to help them through their moments of “I can’t do this!!”. We’ve had some “Sister inventories” at our residence at night where we’ve had to talk through why we shouldn’t go home, but at the same time it’s okay to think about our families and home without it getting in the way of fulfilling our purpose. I haven’t had a moment where I wanted to go home or when I didn’t feel the strengthening and assurance from the Spirit that I’m going to be fine. I do have lessons where I just can’t get the Spanish out and that’s frustrating, but I usually always feel the Spirit in our lessons no matter how bad the Spanish and that’s really all that matters. My companion this last week has been on an emotional roller coaster though 🙂 One hour she is freaking out because she can’t Spanish then the next she’s hugging me and telling me how appreciative she is. I’m definitely learning how to comfort and help others when I can’t exactly relate to their feelings.
I got a haircut today! They have a barbershop here where we get them for free. I got it about shoulder length so I can still pull it up. Not sure how I like it yet because she didn’t “do” it afterward, it was still kinda wet and weirdly wavy but it’ll be good for a hot climate. I’ve never cared less about my hair anyway.
Haha, I was afraid of the facebook moms being crazy. No, that’s not bad 🙂 I wouldn’t want to either. Was that the general one or the one just for my mission?
I do remember Aunt Inabo. I definitely remember Aunt Rita; Uncle Dan has told me more funny stories about her. It must be weird to have almost everyone you know for so long pass away.
Geez, it never ends. I sometimes just don’t get why people make their lives so much harder for themselves.
Last Tuesday night Elder Rasband and his wife came and spoke to us! I never realized how similar the jobs of missionaries and apostles are; they feel a real kinship with us. It was pretty much a big question and answer session. He talked about how the apostles assign missionaries to missions. He said it’s like a picture of a globe and a section of it is lit up in neon. They just look into our eyes and it’s like we’re there. He says assigning missionaries is the most spiritually exhausting and demanding thing he does as an apostle. Cool stuff. In the choir that night we sang an arrangement of “Nearer, My God, To Thee” and I learned the background of the song. It was originally a poem about Jacob, being in the desert after getting the birthright from Esau and Esau wanting to kill him and being warned by Rebekah. He was just wandering, trying to find the family of his mother and thinking that his life was pretty rough when he laid his head on a stone and went to sleep. He then had a dream about a ladder, which modern prophets have identified as his endowment. He woke up praising God instead of pitying himself. He built an alter of stone and named the place “Bethel”. “Beth” means “house of” and “El” is short for the name of Heavenly Father = “House of the Lord”. Go read that hymn with that context and it takes on whole new meanings. Love it!
We had a couple of really spiritual moments during our lessons this week. We have been teaching Andrea and she wants to be baptized but she lives with her boyfriend who is a member but in-active and their daughter. I felt prompted to ask her to share her testimony to him and her simple, new faith brought so much into the lesson! She wants an eternal family so her support won’t only help Sebastian but it will cement it into her own faith too.
Have I told you guys about Elder Steimle? It’s so hard to describe him without actually meeting him. This week he said so many hilarious things. He mentioned that when he was around dogs he starts behaving like one. We obviously asked for a demonstration, so he showed us his pant, bark, and growl. Frighteningly accurate. He also says that female animals are attracted to him. He shampoos his leg hairs (is that normal?). He also said, “I could never enjoy a woman who was so fat that she couldn’t run.” Keep in mind that these comments had very little to do with the context of the conversation. Oh Steimtime.
My next story will demonstrate how the MTC has brought us to the brink of desperation in our forms of entertainment. We decided to start telling people that Adam Sandler had died, that we’d heard it from people at the temple. We very quickly saw the fruits of our labor. We’d exclaim the news and the missionaries in front of us would turn around and say, “Oh ya, from a heart attack, right?” Haha score.
Elder Nasilai says, “hello, you’re amazing. P.S. Go Michigan P.S.S your cookies are even more amazing”. We’re gonna have fun in El Salvador. We were talking about how dangerous our area is and he was joking about how he’s gonna buy guns when he’s down there and eventually become one of the leaders of MS13 (a really scary gang down there). He goes, “Down there it becomes kill or be killed, and I ain’t dyin’!”. Then he goes, “No, I’m gonna come around a corner someplace and I’m gonna see Hermana Morse just curb-stomping someone. I’m gonna go see if she needs help and I’ll just stand there and watch. She’ll leave a Book of Mormon on the guy with a note saying ‘Read this book, it’s about repentance. P.S. I’m sorry’ and she’ll just walk away”. Haha I’m actually worried about him getting into trouble down there though. He’s gonna be with a little white companion and when someone tries something he’s gonna defend him. Honestly though, if I was in a situation and I saw him coming I’d breathe a sigh of relief. Not that any of that is going to happen or that we’ll even see each other there. We also decided that we’re getting donkeys to ride around. Much more of an entrance that way.
Anyway, long email this week but it was a good one. I’ll be forwarding more emails with pictures of everyone. The pictures in this email are of the record board and me with my certificate the MTC gave me for breaking it. Love you all so much!