Buenas tardes mi familia y mis amigos!
First off: YOU KNOW YOU ARE A MISSIONARY WHEN moments from this week...
When you listen to the same 20 church songs on repeat...and half of them are Christmas songs.
When you get SUPER excited about general conference (IN ENGLISH!)! 11 days people, we should make an advent calendar or something....oh wait, we have one!
When shadow puppets are entertaining.
When you re-read your journal and can´t believe you thought the CCM (MTC) was hard...because the mission field is harder...and then you wonder if real life is really a lot easier than you thought it was, too.
That's all. We weren´t very creative this week. I blame missionary work for wearing me out.
So, in other news, Christian, HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY! (but, I guess according to Mom you are celebrating today anyways.) I thought about our walks home from Lakeridge Junior High together when we used to sing and harmonize the words ¨Speed Walkers¨. I tried to get my companion to sing with me, but it wasn´t the same.
I live with my companion, another girl who flew on the plane from California with me (hermana schmidt), and a Mexicana, Hermana Resendiz. Hermana Resendiz lived in Utah for a few years, and her English is perfect. We speak more English than we should, so we are trying to fix that. The other night, we all prayed together. Hermana Resendiz was praying, in Spanish, and forgot the word for ¨overcome¨. She said it in English. When we ended, she hurried and said ¨Don´t laugh at me!¨As me and Hermana Schmidt both blurted out ¨superar!¨hahaha. Poor girl, she is going to be gringa by the time we are through with her.
We had Zone Conference this week with Elder Zeballos of the 70 and his wife. He is a convert, and he has a picture of him and the elder that converted him (now an older man) in the conference center when he was called as a 70. Can you even imagine being in the place of the missionary, watching the person who you saw change be sustained by all the members in the world as one worthy of that calling? WOWZA. (haven´t said that one in a while).
They talked about a lot of great things, mostly just to not be afraid to open our mouths. He then told the Latinos to learn English for the rest of his talk...so...ya know, that was applicable.
We had a really rough night last night. Our GOLDEN family, who we contacted my first day here, decided to not want to progress. The dad is the only one still interested. We are on good terms with all of them, but there are just some die hard Catholics. We have a hard time helping people recognize that they need an organized church, and that they can´t just pick and choose doctrine to apply to them. We have the CHURCH, itself, to help us be faithful to the end.
I studied this morning the need for an organized church. When Christ was on the earth, he called prophets and apostles and explained and participated in ordinances such as baptism and the sacrament. The RESTORED church, the SAME church that he established is on earth today, and it IS the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints.
When we have order, we don´t have excuses. Nothing falls through the cracks, nothing is done wrong. Order invites progression. We begin as members of the church understanding the order, it isn´t a secret. We are taught about priesthood keys, about callings, about the symbolism in the ordinances that we participate in. For a ¨permanent and everlasting¨church, as it says in Doctrine & Covenants 78:3, we need to have organization.
I have always taken the actual CHURCH for granted. I thought that people either rejected the gospel, or they accepted it. No, false. People reject order. Satan is the opposite of order, he is chaos. He is pride and confusion.
Anyways, this family broke our hearts. As representatives of Jesus Christ, I can´t even IMAGINE how Heavenly Father must have felt when people rejected His son. We want them to be an eternal family. We know they have felt the Spirit. We aren´t going to give up, but they do have their agency. ahhh. Makes me want to cry.
In other news, we do have 2 kids of Members (less active members, but members nonetheless) that want to be baptized! We are going to be working with them. They need to come to church and get in the habit before we can commit to a date, but hopefully within the next month or so we can witness their first step on the path our Heavenly Father has given us!
Well, I love you all. Thank you for your letters. WRITE ME! I love anything, even if you think it is boring. It is SO nice to just hear from you and about your families and work and school and anything, really!
Be happy, have a great week! Gracie, you can throw away my toothbrush. That´s gross. Also, Grace, I laugh every week when you tell me to ¨Don´t overdose on medication!¨haha. I assure you, I am not popping pills!
Love you all, be good and open your mouths!