This week was a really crazy week and I don’t know if I can fit it all into one email!! First, Elder Sioka from my district has been having some seriously bad health issues, and this week was not good. He is from American Samoa and absolutely hates doctors, and on Monday night he had a miniature seizure and we had to send him to the hospital. He was really scared both about what happened and about going to the hospital so the Zone Leaders and I have spent a lot of time with him this week. He is doing a lot better now though but has doctors appointments next week that will decide whether or not he stays, goes home, or can go to his mission in Texas at the end of 6 weeks.
On Tuesday we were super lucky, and Richard G. Scott spoke at the devotional! We knew that it was going to be somebody big because they told us at choiron Sunday that it was being broadcasted to all the MTCs around the world, and so when he walked in it was super exciting! He talked about prayer, and by far the most powerful thing that he said was that, “with Apostolic authority, I give each of you missionaries that are learning a foreign language, a special blessing in learning that language.” WITH APOSTOLIC AUTHORITY!!! How can I not learn it now?!?!?! And he also said that, “I have the strongest feeling that my wife (who passed away in 1995) was able to be with us today.” It blows my mind how in tune with the spirit an Apostle of Jesus Christ must be. I had a really cool thought as well because that morning before we started personal and companion study, we watched bible videos on lds.org instead of mormon messages like we usually do. And it was really amazing for me thinking that this man who was speaking to us, held the same title as the Apostles of Jesus Christ while he lived on the earth. I loved it when he said, “Only Apostles and Missionaries are addressed as ‘Elder,’ your call as a full-time servant of the Lord is the most important thing you could be doing right now, and ever have done in your short lives.” I’ve found that every scripture I read or thing I do has new meaning as a missionary and that quote hit me really hard! How blessed are we to be servants of the most high God and our Savior Jesus Christ! Crazy stuff!!!
Then on Wednesday I got to fly to Vegas for the day to pick up my visa at the Mexican Consulate! It was actually really boring and did more harm than good, it started to tear down the wall I built against feeling homesick! But everything is better now that I am in the MTC safe zone haha. I had to wake up at 4 and we flew out of Salt Lake at 8:30, and when we got to Vegas it was soooooooo weird. People were waiting there for other missionaries and I couldn’t believe I had only been gone for 3 weeks! It has felt like two years! It will feel even weirder when it has been two years and I am going there for good! haha. When we were picked up, we just hung out at the Institute building on UNLV’s campus until we went to get our visas at the consulate around 1. That took about an hour and a half and all they did was take my finger prints and picture haha. There was a group of 9 missionaries all going to Mexico that I went down with. Then we hung out at the institute building some more before our flight at 6:30! So it was super boring but I picked up Cafe Rio at the airport and brought it back to the MTC to share with everyone which made all of us very happy hahaha.
Today we finallyyyy got to go through the temple. If anybody hasn’t gone through and seen the new video then they need to asap! And if anybody hasn’t gone through the temple at all then they need to be baptized and go! Or get a mission call and go! Anything so that they can enjoy the blessings of the temple for themselves! I am so glad that there is a temple in Mérida and that I will most likely get to go pretty often! The Temple is what testifies to me more than anything that God loves us and desires for us to come back and live with him! He has even allowed us to do the work of those that haven’t had the chance in this life! So amazing!
This week we were teaching a lesson to one of our two investigators haha, and I really wanted to focus on faith, and how necessary and powerful it can be. I try to use the Book of Mormon as much as possible so I can really build my testimony of it but I found some really awesome scriptures in Hebrews.
Hebrews Chapter 11 says:
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.
5 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
The rest of the chapter is really awesome too, but the gist is that faith has real power. It continues to say that it was by faith that Noah, Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph all accomplished the miraculous feats that they did. And I know that I am not going to have to build an ark, or split the Red Sea, but I also know that God is a “rewarder of them that diligently seek him,” which is both what edifies me, and drives me to want to teach this to others!
It is really interesting learning a new language. I feel like I have so many eloquent ways to say something in English, but have to resort to caveman-like-speech in Español. Yet the most amazing thing that I have found is while bearing a testimony. In English I might say something like, “I believe this and that for this or that reason.” But in Spanish I can only say, “I know…” and I think that is so much more powerful. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and the path back to our Heavenly Father. I know that through Faith in him that Atoned for our sins, we can be forgiven and become edified in His work. I fully realize now that I won’t be able to be a successful missionary if I don’t rely on Him, so I plan to!
I love all of you so much!! And hope that all is well!!