My husband and I are Senior Missionaries at the Mexico MTC. We have enjoyed getting to know and love your wonderful missionaries. We are going to miss them!
I thought you would enjoy seeing their
district picture and Departure Power Point tribute. The music in the
Power Point is "Called to Serve". Sometimes the music does not go
Thanks for raising such outstanding sons and daughters. We love them!
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
HELLO!!!!!!!!! So this is going to be my last Email from the CCM. I am seriously SO SAD to leave. My District is like a little disfunctional family and I love them all so much. And my teachers are incredible. We had to say goodbye to them today and I wanted to cry. But don´t worry, I didn't.
I´m also SO EXCITED to get out into the field and teach people about Jesus Christ! I cannot believe that I have already been out for 6 weeks! That's a whole transfer! Only 11 more Mom! But seriously if my whole mission goes this fast I might freak out.
So here's the last of the stories from the CCM:
HERMANO SILVA'S GIRLFRIEND IS HERE AS A MISSIONARY! So funny. I've talked to her a bunch of times. She can't speak English at all, so it takes us forever to tell each other a simple thing, but I really like her a lot! I told Hno Silva that I approve.
I bought a journal from the little store here for people to write in. I had Hno. Silva write in it. He wrote a whole page all in Spanish, which was a huge bummer until I read it and understood everything he said! This language is coming little by little ladies and gents! I can definitely feel the hand of the Lord in this experience.
Hermana Price and I had the coolest thing happen this week! So on Thursdays we do a thing called TRC. I have no idea what it stands for, but people come in from the community and we get to teach them! Usually they are members, but not always. For our last TRC, a guy walked in with shaggy hair and a bro tank, and we could see a tattoo on him. We asked him if he was a member and stuff and we found out that he has been a member of the church for 18 years, but was inactive until 2 months ago. We were suppose to speak about keeping the Sabbath Day Holy, and our main focus was about the Sacrament - how we are suppose to always remember Jesus Christ and promise to take His name upon us. The whole lesson I felt like it wasn´t really what he needed. At the end of the lesson, the thought came to my head to have him read the scripture that says, "By small and simple things are great things brought to pass." After that I related it to the Sacrament and how we remember Him and take His name upon us by doing the small things like reading our scriptures and saying our prayers. It was time to end, and we realized that we didn't plan any commitments, so I just said the first thing that popped into my mind: "Tonight, will you read a chapter out of the Book of Mormon and then pray to God to know if it is true?" He looked down and kind of blushed and said, "I don't have a Book of Mormon." So of course we got all excited and told him we would go get him one! He tried to tell us that he has a friend that works here at the CCM that could give him one, but we didn't want to take that for an answer. So we had our teacher wait with him while we ran to our classroom to grab him a Book of Mormon. Handing that to him and saying, "Okay. Remember to read a chapter AND pray to know it is true." Was the best feeling in the world. THEN we asked if he had any friends that could benefit from our message, and he gave us a name and a number! So we got our first referral, and placed our first Book of Mormon. This is why I'm on a mission. For moments like that.
I know that if he truly reads this book, and thinks about what it says, and then prays to know for himself if it is true - I know if will change his life. And that promise is the same for all of us. God will answer our questions, and he will tell us through the Holy Spirit if something is true. I have done this, and I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. In that small little book contains the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The knowledge that through following Jesus Christ, families can be together forever! That Jesus Christ died for you, and for me. That hope is not lost.
I know this book is true, and I ask each one of you to find out for yourselves if you believe it to be the word of God. We find this out by 1. reading 2. Thinking about it's teachings AND 3. PRAYING to know if it is true.
I love you all so much!! I will talk to you in CALIFORNIA!!!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Say WAT?! That is crazy. I cant believe I am almost done! It does not feel like I've been here for that long. I am so sad to leave. It is so amazing here. However, based off the lessons we've had with our "investigators" and how much joy it brings me to teach them about the gospel, I cant wait to teach people that have never even heard this message before.
So sad part of the email - Another one of our Elders had to leave. Elder James. He was having a hard time with anxiety, and had to go home to find the right medication and everything. He will be such an incredible missionary once he is able to get back out into the field.
I found out last week that my teacher read everything on my blog...awkward! Now he knows what I really think about the CCM. hahaha So shout out to Hermano Romero.
This week was crazy spiritual again. We had a lesson with our morning teacher, Hno Sylva, who is acting as himself when he was investigating the church at 16. He's always SO HARD to teach because we can never figure out what his needs are. However, this last lesson he really opened up to us and I felt so much of the love and empathy and charity of Christ for him. We ended up changing our entire lesson, and the spirit was so strong. We were teaching in the same room where all of the Elders were, but we totally forgot about everyone except him. Hermana Price was about to say the prayer, and I asked him if we could kneel. During the prayer I started tearing up, and when I opened my eyes afterwards I saw that all three of us were crying. I promised him that the Gospel would help and bless his life. We went back to our seats and saw that the Elders all staring at us. So we went to the bathroom and I cleanes the smeared mascara off my face.
Later that same day, I was telling my companion about a weakness I had that I had been trying to fix the whole time I had been here. I told her everything I knew that I couldn't fix on my own, and I decided I needed the help of the priesthood. So we went back inside and I asked my teacher to give me a blessing. I didn't really expound on why I needed one though. In the blessing, he said I would be blessed to do the things I had just told my companion I couldn't do on my own. This made me cry again, because it was such a powerful testament to me of the power of the Priesthood. I know those words were God's and not his. How could they be? He had no knowledge of the conversation I had just had with my companion.
I testify that the Priesthood is the Authority of God given to bless our lives. I know it is how Jesus Christ's church was restored, and it is the power that allows it to continue. I testify of the grace of Jesus Christ - the enabling power of the atonement. It is through this that I, who am weak and unable to do this on my own, am strengthened and given the power to accomplish this mission.
Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things...[I] will praise his name forever."
- Alma 26:12
I am so grateful for all of you and the love and support I have received. Thank you for your emails, your prayers, and every kind of support you have given me!!
To those of you that may be struggling with a testimony,or don't know if God really hears your prayers, or if this is truly Jesus Christ's church, I challenge you to take a few minutes out of your day and ask him. Ask him if he loves you. Or ask him of the Book of Mormon is true. If Jospeh Smith was really a prophet, and if Thomas S Monson is His prophet today. I promise God will answer you. And I promise that if you have faith and open your hearts, and are willing to listen to the answer, that your life will be changed. These questions are too important for Heavenly Father not to answer you. And you are too important to Him for Him not to answer any prayer or question you have. He wants you to know how much he loves you. He wants you to know that this is the true church. He wants you to feel the joy that comes from following Jesus Christ. It is so simple. Just ask. I testify that these things are all true. Now I invite you to go and find out for yourselves.
I am SO grateful that I have chosen to serve a mission. It is seriously the best thing I've ever done. I love teaching, I love the people here, I love talking about the Gospel, and I love feeling the spirit all the time. Thank you for allowing me to do this. I cannot think of anything I would rather be doing with my life right now.
|Picnic during lunch for our final P-Day|
|Elder James leaving|
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
This week was a roller-coaster. All in all, it was probably the best week I have had at the CCM because I have learned so much, but it was also the hardest.
Funny story first: Elder Summers is hilarious. He kept complaining about his head hurting, and three days after of him complaining, we asked him if he had felt like throwing up, if he had had a hard time remembering things, or if he had a hard time focusing. He said, "You know, I really thought it was just a headache, but come to think of it, I probably have a concussion." He went to the doctor and sure enough! He had a concussion from the bunk bed, just like Hma Price. I laughed. So hard. These beds are evil, I'm telling you. I don't know who they'll attack next week, but it will probably be me just cause I laughed so hard about it.
Okay now for all the emotions. We found out Tuesday night that E Wares had to go home. His Doctor said if he didn't have it fixed, it would cause him to go blind in that eye and then spread to the next eye. I literally cried from 7:00 when we found out until I went to bed that night. I didn't really understand why I was so upset until I realized it was because I couldn't imagine being in that situation. I cannot imagine having this taken from me, I can't even explain it in words, but the fact that I cried for 3 and a half hours straight hopefully explains how I feel about this mission. Before E Wares left he said, "I don't know why Heavenly Father is taking me mission from me right now, but I know he has a plan."
14B left this week (We are 14A) so that was hard. They were all really great guys, and they will be fantastic missionaries. Hma Price's best friend and neighbor growing up was actually one of the Elders in that District, so it was really sad seeing her say goodbye with a handshake.
I got super frustrated with Spanish again. Actually Hma Price got frustrated with it too. Haha during the Grammar part I freaked out one of the Elders cause I was just glaring at the computer and I guess he just hasn't seen the angry part of me yet...haha! Anyways, during Personal Study Hma Price and I both felt the comfort of the Lord. Actually, you might all think I'm crazy, but I had the impression to write a letter to myself, because I knew if it were one of my friends I would have advice for them! So I just wrote what the spirit told me and then I read it afterwards. This is what it said,
"Trystan, you prayed to the Lord that he would allow you to go on a Spanish speaking mission. You will speak Spanish fluently. Did you think it would be easy? The only way you are going to be able to speak this language with the little training you've had is through the mercy of the Lord. If you are humble, he will make this weakness your strength. Spanish will be the most powerful language you can possibly preach the gospel in. It is the language that you are needed for. Look how far you've come. In 4 weeks, you have learned more than you ever did in a year and a half of Spanish. The Lord is on your side. He wants you to succeed. He did not call you to this mission because he thought you MIGHT be able to do it, he called you to it because HE KNOWS you can. Rely on Him. Be humble, and know that He is not only cheering for you, but He is guiding you along, allowing you to stumble only enough to realize where your strength really lies - in His hands." Ether 12:27 is great.
I realized that Spanish is not the most important language to learn on my mission. I need to learn the language of the spirit. And good news!! That has been the greatest accomplishment so far here at the CCM. I am obviously still learning, but I have never understood the promptings of the spirit as clear as I have here on my mission.
Example: One of our teachers, Hno Romero, is acting as one of the investigators he taught on his mission. As Hma Price and I prayerfully planned our lesson, I had the impression to use the story in Alma 36 about the conversion of Alma the younger. Even though our Spanish was VERY broken, the Spirit was crystal clear. Both of us left with our hearts full because we knew that what we said was of God, and not us. Our teacher told us afterwards that Alma 36 was the exact chapter that he shared with this investigator, and it was what gave him the hope to eventually be baptized. This investigator had been involved with gangs, drugs, and murders, and had no hope of God ever forgiving him. But through the mercy of Jesus Christ, he was forgiven. He was baptized and was able to feel the freedom of the forgiveness of God. At the end of this story in Alma, he says how his Joy was now as great as his sorrow had been, because of the mercy of the lord.
If a man like this, or like Alma, can be completely forgiven, and feel the redeption of the Lord, dont you think we can all feel of His love if we will just come unto Him? We can all be made whole, but it is ONLY by acting on faith upon the teachings of Jesus Christ and His Gospel.
Hma. Price blew my mind today. We were talking about a devotional we had from E. Holland. In it he told us how Preach My Gospel took 7 years to write, and the purpose of changing the missionary program was to convert the missionaries before the investigators. He said the original name was suppose to be "Preach my gospel by the Spirit" (Taken from D&C 50:14) but that the name was too long so they shortened it to PMG, however the full name is still the point. This is not my gospel, its not Hma. Price's gospel, its not Joseph Smith's gospel, and its not Thomas S Monson's gospel. It is The Gospel of Jesus Christ. Anyways, we were talking about this, and about the Christlike attributes section in PMG that teaches us how to be converted, and about how they are listed in D&C 4. Then Hma. Price asked, "You know how the prophets say, 'Every member a missionary?'" I knew exactly what she was thinking. It doesn't just mean everyone share the gospel- It means everyone become converted. Everyone gain the attributes of faith, hope. charity and love, virtue, knowledge, diligence, humility, patience, and obedience. Can you imagine of the whole world had these characteristics? Even if every member of the church had these attributes? THAT is why the prophets said every member a missionary. It's not because they need more members of the church, it's because together, we can spread the love of Christ to everyone. President Uchtdorf said, "That language (The language of love and the spirit) is the pure love of Jesus Christ. It is the most powerful language in the world. The love of Christ is not a pretend love. This love rings about real change of character. It can penetrate hatred and dissolve envy. It can heal resentment and quench the fires of bitterness. It can work miracles."
So I beg of you. Study the scriptures. Develope these attributes. Study PMG - it teaches you how to gain these attributes. You can't just obtain them because they are not talents, they are the characteristics of Christ. It is only through Him, and the enabling power of the atonement that we can become like Him.
Lastly, read the Book of Mormon. "We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3–5.)
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Thank you so much for sending TWO packages of Sparkling Cider!!! AND DONUTS We had a White Elephant gift exchange with our district, and we drank two of the bottles and everyone loved it.
Okay so this week has been full of craziness.
Last Wednesday Hma Price hit her head on the bed after Gym in the morning, and it was bugging her all day, so we went and called in the Doctor that night and he came in and did and exam. Turns out she had a concussion...He said it wasn't bad enough to worry about waking her up during the night, but the next morning we had a hard time waking her up and it was the scariest thing ever. She was a trooper though! We still went to class, and she only had to go home once to lay down.
The next day we had a lesson with Hmo Sylva. He is the hardest pretend investigator in our district because he pretends to fall asleep the WHOLE LESSON unless you are really good. So we decided to make a game to teach the Plan of Salvation, so we made up a thing that was like "Shoots and Ladders" except it was "Pecados y Arrepentimientos" (Sins and repentance." It went SO well, and it was the first lesson we taught without any notes. Before that we would seriously read almost the entire lesson because we didnt know Spanish well enough. It was such a tender mercy, a little glimpse of the gift of tongues, because Ive been really frustrated with my Spanish. Not enough to have an emotional breakdown yet though so thats good.
We also had the main water line break all throughout the CCM, so no one could shower or flush the toilet anywhere on campus for 2 days. Gross. I never realized what a blessing running water is...
On Sunday we had a lesson in Relief Society about how there is a Universal Language that is more importnant than Spanish, and that is the languageof Angels. There is a talk by President Uchtdorf about it. I cant remember what its called, but he talks about how it is the language of the Love of Christ that can pierce any heart, heal any hatred, and cure any broken spirit. It says in 2 Nephi 31 and 32 that when we are baptized into Christ's church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost which grants us the potential to speak the Language of Angels. She then related that to President Uchtdorf's talk, and told us how this is the most important language we learn on our missions.
Then on fast Sunday one of our Elders got up to bear his testimony and mentioned that his dad has Alzheimer's and has to be in a care facility. I asked him more about it later and he told me how there are 6 kids in his family, the youngest is 8, and his dad is only 55 years old. I just started crying so hard. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to leave my family, knowing that when I come home my dad wont be able to remember who I am. He has incredible faith, and just kept saying how many blessings he has had throughout his whole life.
THEN last night one of my favorite Elders, E Wares, found out he might have to go home. He has had four different surgeries on his eye because he gets these bubbles in his eye that doesn't allow him to see correctly, and it makes him see doubles and get massive headaches and not be able to read. He spent all night and all day today trying to get ahold of his eye surgeon and find out if they can do anything about it if they are here. I have been fasting for him today that his eye will be healed. He just barely found out that he is okay to take some of the special eye drops they have here, but if his eye isnt completely healed in two dayshe will have to go back home, have surgery (which he said takes four months to recover from) and resubmit for a mission. PLEASE pray with as much faith that you have that the Lord's will be done. Everything happens for a reason... but I want him to stay! We are buddies and we struggle with Spanish in the corner together.
We went to the Mexico City visitor's Center today!!! It was SO cool. I took lots of pictures! If I cannot figure out a good way to send all of my pictures before I leave, I will make sure to have a member in CA set up a dropbox for me. Anyways, the coolest part about the visitor's Center was...I RAN IN TO JACE PACKER'S GRANDPARENTS. WHAT?! Crazy. I was standing there waiting for the little souvenir store to open and this couple walks up to our group saying, "Do any of you know a sister named Trystan Ricks from Idaho Falls?" I was like.. "Umm yeah thats me!" haha they were sooo nice. They are on a mission here as well. It made my entire day.
So I left out some stuff from last weeks E-mail:
1. In one of our "investigator" lessons he was telling us about his family. When he told us he hadnt seen his kids in many years, I totally thought he said he was blind. When I asked him how long he had not been able to see, my companion and him gave me the weirdest look... I sincerely hope that is the worst of my Spanish stories.
2. The next night we were having a devotional, and we sang a hymn. Naturally, I bowed my head for the opening prayer (which is always given in Spanish.) About 30 seconds in I heard my companion say, "Its not the prayer yet..." We died. Right there. Laughing until the actual prayer was over.
3. Last week we had the dumb idea to share our first names with everyone. I cannot describe how weird it was, or explain why it was so uncomfortable, but afterwards everyone agreed that it was the worst idea ever. Also, one of the Elders found it weird that my first name is Trystan, because he is "used to it being a guys name." So he took it upon himself to re-name me "Trish" and now they all call me that. I tried saying, "Ummmmm thats Hermana to you" (With my finger in sassy mode) but it didnt work. Now every morning, E Wares and E Beagley run past our house on their way to gym, and E Wares says (in a super femmy voice) "Oh hey Trish!"
Anyways, I wish I had the time and the words to explain how much I am learning. I learn so many little things constantly, and my testimony has grown so much because of it. I just want to explain to the world that Jesus is the Christ, and that through Him every morsel of guilt that they have ever felt, and any weakness that they have can be swallowed up in His glory. He sacrificed His life for each one of us. Through showing faith in Him, repenting of our sins (not following the commandments of God), being baptized by His authority (the authority of the priesthood that is ONLY found in His church - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), and continually following Him until the very end of our lives, we will find the greatest happiness of all - Eternal Life with our God. We can live with our families for FOREVER. How incredible is that message?? Why would anyone that knows this want to keep it hidden? "If you are not a full time missionary with a badge pinned on your chest, now is the time to pin one on your heart." This gospel is true, and it is necessary that every soul hear about it. Joseph Smith truly saw God the Father, and His son, Jesus Christ, and through their guidence, Joseph Smith restored this incredible message to the world. PLEASE SHARE IT IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE. It is too important not to.
I love you all so much!
Thursday, January 1, 2015
This week was great. I literally cant remember what I told you last week...hopefully I dont repeat myself too much. Time is nonexistent here and Im having a hard time remembering everything that happened...
So at the end of P-day last week I got sick, but thought my throat was just dry. When I woke up I realized I was actually sick. Hma Price made me go to the infirmia...WAT. Ive never gone to the doctor. But I obeyed her anyways. They gave me some medicine...I dont even know what it was or if it helped, but I took it. I then slept all morning of Christmas Eve! We went to our afternoon classes and I had to tell the Elders to stop goofing off because we had been in there for two and a half hours and only like one of them was studying. I said it in a nice way though...good thing cause I have to be with these people 16 hours a day for 6 weeks.
We then had a Christmas Eve devotional. Each zone was suppose to sing two songs. I played the piano for one of them. Super embarrassing... so the piano is like in the corner of the stage and I got up there and realized I COULD NOT SEE OVER THE ELDERS HEADS TO SEE THE CONDUCTOR. Then when they started singing I couldnt hear anyone because all I could hear was the piano. After the first verse I realized I had been playing like a measure ahead the whole verse... E Vanmaren (One of our ZLs who was conducting) said he was having a hard time leading the choir because he was laughing so hard. Whoops.
After the devo, I went and found Elder Howell and asked him to give me a blessing because I didnt want to be sick on Christmas. He had all of his district join in. He did a great job. Even though there was like 50 pounds of pressure on my head from all the Elder´s placing their hands on it, it was SO COOL to have so many worthy men my own age giving me a blessing through the Priesthood authority of the Lord.
When we got back to our house we made a Christmas tree out of post it notes! I will try to send pictures of it. We wrote "He is the Gift" over the top, placed all of the presents that had been packed in our suitcases under the tree, and put out cookies for santa. But four in case he didnt eat them, so we could each have one in the morning. We then turned off the lights and read Luke 2 - the story of the birth of our Savior, and sang Silent Night. The spirit was exceptionally strong as four little naive girls without their families sang and worshiped the true meaning of Christmas. I have never experienced such a powerful Christmas Eve. I knew at that moment that we are doing the Lord's work.
Christmas was great! I SAW BRAIDEN CASPERSON SINGING IN THE CHRISTMAS DEVO FROM PROVO! That was really fun. Everyone around me knew it too cause I got a little excited. We basically had a million devotionals on Christmas...but it was still really good. IT WAS SO FUN TALKING TO YOU ALL. Mom, I apologize for lying about only being able to email you, but your reaction was perfection. I love you so much.
So you know how I was sick? Well, on Friday I had to blow my nose ALL DAY. I used two and a half packages of travel tissues, AND went to the bathroom three times with my comp to get wads of toilet paper. MY NOSE WAS RUBBED RAW. So you know the super awkward Elder in our district? He comes up to me at the end of the day and says, " So I've noticed that your nose is like super red and its been super red all day. Are you feeling okay?" UMM IM FINE THANKS JUST NEED SOME PLUSHIER TISSUES.
THEN last night I was making fun of this one Elder because he always walks with his hips moving a little too much. So I was like, "Were you a ballroom dancer or something?" and he said, "Yeah!...actually no I wasnt." and the same Elder that basically called me Rudolf said, "He only said yeah because hes trying to impress you. Hes going to ask you out after our missions." OKAY AWKWARD I DIDNT NEED TO KNOW THAT. Then he was like, "What would you do if one of us tried to ask you out after our missions?" And I just put my head back down on my desk as he said "Oh awkward question? Okay..." And I said, "I dont wanna talk about it." Seriously? STAAAAAAAAAAAHP talking.
I love the Elders in my district though. They remind me of some of my friends at home. Even though I have to get after them for being idiots sometimes... I still love them.
So other random facts:
OUR ZONE LEADER GETS TO STAY!!!!!!!!!!! :D However, his talk last week inspired one of the other Elders in his district to not be afraid of man...He left the next morning. I think I forgot to tell you what our branch president said after the ZLs talk... he said, "When a missionary realizes that they are not worthy, it is a hard thing. Everyone might think about all of the money that was "wasted" or the embarrassment of going home, but to see these young people realize and embrace the atonement of Jesus Christ is actually a very sweet thing." I admire my zone leader and the other boy for being courageous enough to humble themselves to the lord.
Im also getting really sick of salad and cereal. I wouldn't mind the salads as much if they had more than just nasty ranch and thousand island... and the milk for the cereal is always warm.
Spanish is really hard. Because of Christmas and everything, we didnt study as much last week. I feel like I´m at a stand still and haven't learned much since the fourth day here... I got really frustrated with myself yesterday, but only for like an hour. Then I got over it. This is the lords time and he called me. He will qualify me. I am excited to actually be able to speak spanish though.
My companion and I get along really well still! Havent had any problems. We laugh really hard every night about the bizarre things the elders do.
The elder in my district that was homesick is doing great now!
Sorry this letter is so spastic... so many random things happened this week!!! But it was a great week. I love the CMM so so sooooo much and I already have anxiety about leaving hahaa. OUR TIME IS HALF OVER! Weird.
LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!!
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that through Him the world might be saved."
HAVE A GREAT NEW YEARS!!!!! HAPPY 2015! This will be the year that I am completely consecrated to the Lord. I cant wait.
The zone leader told me that we had more time than I thought, so I will be able to finish the letter!
A little more about Mexico... The houses are so colorful. There are palm trees EVERYWHERE! It doesn't feel humid, but my hair definitely won't stay curled today. The food isn't actually that bad! It hasn't made me sick yet...but I make sure to eat lots of salad for lunch and dinner. There is also like an endless supply of Nutella which makes me super happy. However, their donuts could use a little American assistance. Also, one of our teachers told us that is was "Mucho safer than the rest of Mexico and Guatemala or Hondoras. So you can sleep better at night, mom. ;)
So my companion and I get along super well. We havea lotof different views, but we don´t clash. We work out every day together! Are you proud?? :) We play basketball afterwards too. Its super fun. She has had a lot of health issues, and family issues. I don't know specifically, but she isn't treated very well at home. Her brother passed away when she was 8 years old, and there has been a lot of contention ever since. She is going to Ventura with me!! So that will be really fun. Please pray for her.
I love my District. We are the only Hermanas in our district, and all the Elders are going to Lubbock Texas! Which is where Brooke Raymond is. We have one of those guys that answers every single thing and interrupts the teacher, but doesn't ever really make sense. He's in a three-some and you can tell the other Elders get really frustrated with him. I think he's really nice though, just lacking a little in the social department. There is another Elder that is superrrr home sick. On Friday night he mentioned how he was really excited to email home because he was a little bit homesick, and the next day him and his companion kept disappearing from class. We later found out he had been going to see Hermana Brown, the psychiatrist. The next day was Sunday and he seemed to be doing a lot better, but then Monday we never even saw him until dinner. We were walking back to our casa's with them and I asked him if he was okay. He said that he was doing a lot better, but that he had a lot of anxiety issues, and they gave him some more medicine for it. I told him I had a friend that was really homesick that I sent some conference talks to and that I brought the same ones with me if he wanted them. He said he really wanted to read them so I will give them to him when I find him. He is such a sweet Elder... He is from Pleasant Grove Utah. He wants to major in Special Education, and worked with a 3rd grader with special needs before he came out on his mission. He beams with the light of Christ.Please pray for him. He will change lives.
So another sad story... on Sunday's they randomly call about 6 missionaries to give talks completely in spanish, and they don't say who is speaking until after the Sacrament. (I played the piano, so I'm hoping if I do that every week I won't have to talk.;)) Anyways, one of our zone leaders was called to speak. He gave his talk in Spanish and then said, "Okay the rest if what I say is going to have to be in English because it's really important." He told us that he wasn't worthy to come on a mission, and he was in limbo of finding out whether or not he had to return home. He said that he had feared man more than God, but since he was at the CCM, he learned that it doesn't matter what people think, only what God thinks. It was such a powerful testimony. He still doesn't know if he gets to stay or not, but I really hope he can stay because he is also an incredible Elder. Please pray for him as well. After his talk, the Elder that was homesick from our district went up to talk to him, and the ZL told him that his homesickness is of the Devil. That fear is not of God, but of Satan. I also testify of that. Fear and faith do not coincide.
I mentioned in the last email that I could understand a lot of Spanish already! Did I also mention that our lesson with our investigator, José Alberto Romero was all in Spanish? He speaks absolutely no English. I got really frustrated on my second lesson that I was preparing. But once we were actually giving it, I could feel God's help. Hermono Romero asked us what la Expiación was (The Atonement) and I was able to explain it to him. It was extremely broken spanish, but I could feel the spirit testifying of my words.
Our teacher is seriously SO FUNNY!!!!! All the Elders say, "He's the fruitiest guy I know!" I think he is hilarious. He has such a great personality. He told us that we are not here to learn Spanish. Learning Spanish in six weeks is impossible. We are here to receive the gift of tongues.
Hermana Price and I fasted Saturday night through Sunday that we would receive the gift of tongues. I don´t know exactly how this gift works, but I have faith that the lord will help me with the language when I need it.
Dad: remember when you told me that it would be a weird thing the first time I had a dream in Spanish? Well, I did the second night. Except I was in the classroom and everyone was talking at the same time in Spanish, and I had absolutely no idea what they were saying to me. I woke up really confused haha.One day I will have a legitimate dream in Spanish, and it'll be great.
Our teacher, Hermano Sylva, also said, "Your families are praying for you, your bishops and stake presidents are praying for you, your companions are praying for you, your friends are praying for you, the first presidency of the church is praying for you." Our Branch presidency said the same thing on Sunday, but added, "We are praying for you - I wish I was a missionary so I could have all those blessings!" haha I love the Branch Presidency. They are so hilarious.
Actually, I think I love all Mexicans... They are seriously the nicest people. So friendly and happy. I am going to love working with them!!!!
I will add one more to the list for all those reading this email. In 3 Nephi ch 17 it talks about Jesus Christ visiting people in ancient America. I LOVE in verses 16-18 where it talks about Christ praying for all the people there. It is so powerful. I know that if He prayed for people then, He is praying for each of you right now. He wants you to be happy, He wants you to succeed, and He wants you to come unto Him. We do this through showing faith in Him, by repenting of our sins, by being baptized into His church through proper Priesthood Authority, and by enduring to the end. I am so grateful to wear His name upon my chest every where I go. I am so grateful to declare this message to everyone I can. JESUS IS THE CHRIST. THIS is His church. It was restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith, and it will never be taken away again. Come unto Him. ASK THE MISSIONARIES! They can help you. :) LOVE YOU ALL AND MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!! Think of Christ as you celebrate this powerful Holiday. He is the gift. Share the Gift.