The search for a new house continues. And boy is it a pain ha.
|Wood, wood & more wood.|
Hermano Santiago...this man is an inspiration to everyone.
I´ve never heard anyone pray so sincerely and
he´s so humble and absolutely powerful.
Was baptized just a month ago.
At the beginning of my mission, I remember in the MTC I wrote home and said that a pay for missionaries is letters from home. While yes, those are nice and always accepted and it´s exciting to hear from loved ones at home...I´ve come to realize that the real pay for missionaries is seeing the changes in people. That is what brings us joy and satisfaction and happiness. As we watch the huge and miraculous changes each day in people we meet. Watch as they are converted to God and His restored Gospel. And when those that want to change don´t, because of selfish motives, or unwilling hearts, we´re saddened, knowing they can be so much more and receive so much more. I guess lots of perspectives change when one serves a mission...I´ve learned to see what really, truly matters in life.
Funny story for the week: (or not so funny?)
A Chihuaha (spelling?) bit my face! Seriously! First off, everyone and their grandma has a Chihuahua here...don´t know why. They are ugly and obnoxious. But that´s another thought for another day. Well we were teaching this sweet girl and she had her Chihuahua sitting in her lap during most of the lesson. It was super calm the whole time, not a big deal. Well we finished and I went to say goodbye to her, so I leaned forward to give her a kiss on the cheek to say bye (cause that´s what we do), and as I bent down the Chihuahua jumped up out of no where and attacked me, and sure enough, bit me right on the chin. Nope, sure didn´t see that one coming. Dogbite count: up to 2 for the mission. There wasn´t blood or anything just a little red, but boy was that a shocker. Good times.
This week we got a new Presidente. On Tuesday we had our final farewell reunion con Presidente Cordon, Hermana Cordon, y su hija Sabrina. It was really great and also sad. They are an amazing family and I´m ever so grateful to have had them as my mission president and family.
|Presidente Cordon, Hermana Cordon, y Sabrina|
On Thursday night Presidente Spjut and Hermana Spjut arrived! We haven´t met them yet, but we have a couple meetings with them this week to get to know them and he´s going to start doing interviews. I´m excited for the chance to have two mission presidents and learn and grow from them both while I´m here. It is an exciting opportunity.
We did interchanges and I had to direct the area. We got a little lost as I was trying to remember where to go...but then I remember what Presidente Cordon says, "a missionary is never lost, he-she is only getting to know the area". So that was an adventure.
I am grateful for Hermana Chiquin...but she sure does try my patience sometimes. In a way that is completely different than my last companion, but still tries it. I think I´ve felt that way with all of my companions...God is trying to teach me something for sure. Prepare me for my future marriage and family I guess. So I´m grateful for that and the chance to learn and grow. But sometimes I´m over it ha. But then I remember my purpose and I don´t worry or stress about it and it works out. I have learned that if I can´t control the situation or the circumstances, worrying about it won´t change anything, it will just make me unhappy and frustrated...so I take a couple deep breaths, and then I let it go and keep moving forward with what I can do and can control. Welcome to the mission I guess ha.
|Green, green & more green all around.|
So...I´ve had multiple family and-or friends write me and tell me that they want more details. Some questions or comments I´ve received include the following: How are you doing? what have been your favorite things or experiences so far? I´d love to hear back from you and hear more about your individual growth and thoughts about your mission. I want to hear the uncensored version you don´t share with the family so they don´t worry. The amazing pieces and the struggles alike.
So here is my attempt to write something about that.
First off, the difficulties and struggles. Hmmm...well, I think the difficulties and struggles change throughout the mission. They change for each person and for each period of the mission. Some of the difficulties and struggles that I have dealt with so far include lots of things. First, health struggles, feeling sick to my stomach, whether that be my normal stomach issues or El Salvador caused issued, or the million bug bites, or feeling exhausted and weak, but having to push forward and keep working and moving. When at home I would lay down and take a nap, knowing that I can´t do that, or I don´t want to do that here in the mission. Knowing that my time is the Lord´s time and I don´t want to waste it. I think that´s a minor struggle that comes and goes and is simply overcome by focusing on others and the work and forgetting myself.
Another struggle or difficulty is hands down companions. It´s the simple fact, you take two complete strangers, different backgrounds, cultures, etc, put them as companions, living, eating, sleeping, talking, teaching and doing literally everything together...they need to work together in order to have success...and no matter their similarities or differences there are bound to be struggles and difficulties. I have had struggles with each one of my companions, and each one is completely different, and trying in different ways and different levels. Struggles of patience, learning to know how to support or deal with emotions or actions of another and to love another. Struggles of humility, taking criticism and correction and taking the good out of it to move forward and improve oneself, rather than get defensive and prideful. The struggle of communication, knowing how or what or when to say something. Learning to work together, and do things in the ways that another may want and not what you want to do. I could make a grand list of struggles and difficulties with companions. But from each one, I am grateful for the things that they taught me and the ways I learned and grew throughout the time together. Be patient and loving with others. No one is perfect, we all make mistakes, and if we could all just love each other a little more, I think that would help the world a whole lot.
Other difficulties include struggles with the work and individual growth. Wanting to see certain results or certain fruits, but not seeing it. Individual growth includes being too critical, or knowing where is the balance in trying to improve and be better, but also having patience with myself. Individual growth such as learning to really depend on the Lord, and not on myself, knowing that He´s the one in charge and He gets it. Knowing that if I can learn to depend on Him and let Him be in charge, that´s when I will have success. Knowing that if I can really follow and be in tune with the Spirit, I´ll be successful in doing His will. But then trying to find that "in tune" and learning how to recognize answers and guidance is the struggle.
Overall, I don´t know how to sum up my "individual growth" in a short email. I don´t know where to begin or where to end. It´s hard to pinpoint every little way that I´ve learned and grown.
Overall, if there are a few things I could sum up, it would be that I have learned more about the purpose of life, and our purpose here on this earth at this time. And while I´ve understood this throughout my entire life...I think now I just get it a little more.
On top of that I´ve learned more about God and His Son Jesus Christ. I´ve learned more about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how much love God has for each one of us. I´ve learned more about how really, we can´t do it. We can never do it all. But we were never meant to do it all. And that´s the beautiful thing. That´s why we needed Christ. We needed a Savior because we´re imperfect, and we fall, everyday. And so only when we can rely on Him, and learn to apply His sacrifice to our lives, only then will we be able to carry the trials and struggles and be happy.
Overall, I´m doing well. I´m happy. I´m tired, and working hard, and trying to do my best to please the Lord. And the more I try to do His will and let Him guide me, and the more I work and focus on others, the more I am amazed at how good God really is.
Overall, this work is great. I love it. Life is great. So enjoy it. Enjoy the little moments. Enjoy the miracles you see each day. And choose to be happy. We´re here to be happy, so be happy. Don´t fret over the little things, or worry too much. Be happy.
Love yáll to pieces! The church is true. Don´t ever forget that.