Well another week down! I have been at the MTC for exactly 36 days today:) and wow has the time flown! I could swear I just got here last wednesday. I'd just like to say thank you, Thank You so much for the wonderful, inspiring and sweet letters I recieved from everyone this week. I got emails, dear elders, letters, pictures, cards and treats from every one! I want you all to know your support, your thoughts, and your time and kind words really lift me up! Mommy especially thank you for the wonderful brownies and the pictures from the little boys. I hung their drawings around the house and ate all the brownies... by myself... okay thats not true, I shared a little. There's a saying here that people love you into obesity, and now I understand why!! but thanks for loving me all the same:)
I feel like I should apologize real quick, especially to my family. I have been SO selfish with my mission! Sorry:) I realized this week that this mission has 100% nothing to do with me. This mission is for my Savior and also, for my family. I am here because The Lord and my Wonderful Earthy family needs me to be. I am here for my brothers and sisters in Costa Rica but I am also here for my brothers and sisters I left home. I am here because it is everything me Heavenly Parents want for me and everything me Earthy parents want and need from me too. How privileged I truly am! To be a servant of the Lord, my family, and my future Costa Rican family. So do forgive me because from now on my heart and mission is dedicated to all of you!
So this week... Wow! First things first, I got my travel plans!!! I am officially going to live in Costa Rica!!! I fly out with my two beautiful companions on Monday morning. We fly from Salt Lake to Dallas and from there straight into San Jose, Costa Rica! Its real:) (Mommy and fam, this means I will be calling you guys in just a few days!!!! I'll either be calling between 5:30 and 8:30 AM or between 1 and 4 PM :):):):):)) So as of Monday night I will be there!
I've had a lot of very exciting and spiritual experiences this last week in the MTC and I'd love to share them with you. The first one happened last THursday in class. We do this exercises where we play the investigator and we pick someone we know who isnt a member and then we practice teaching each other. I was teaching Elder Bradley who was playing "Carlos". Before we began he asked to say a little prayer to be able to play Carlos and feel what he would actually feel if it was him in this situation. I said a little prayer that I would be able to know what to say and how to say it (keep in mind this is all in Spanish...) This is a shortened version and just mainly key points of our lesson. So, he told me that Carlos had been raised believing only in Science and having no belief of God whatsoever. We started talking and as he expressed his beliefs to me about how The Church was so silly because we all believed in things we couldnt see or prove. I answered him with the simplest, most common question I knew.. "well how do you know that sun will rise?" He told me that scientists had proved that the Earth rotates and he could read about it. Then I said but have you personally ever seen the Earth rotate? He told me no, he hadnt, but that he could try the same experiment and see for himself that it did. I told him that was alot like the scriptures. If he could look at the Bible and the Book of Mormon like a scientific Journal filled with experiments and the results of those experiments he could try it himself and get the same answers. I told him he seemed like someone who really was intelligent and searching for truth. He told me he was and I asked him to see if he could find the desire to know truth about all things and not just strictly "scientific truth", he told me he thought he could. And then our lesson time was over. Elder Bradley told me later that Carlos was his best friend from back home and that he thought I had done "surprisingly well" (haha) in teaching him. He told me that if some of the missionaries talked to Carlos the way I had he might listen better. That made me feel so warm and fuzzy inside because I knew those words and ideas were not mine. They came straight from Heavenly Father into my heart, mind and mouth through the power of the spirit. Even though it was just a "practice" the spirit still helped me know what to say because Carlos was a real person, somewhere, and I had asked to teach with the Spirit. It was awesome. Prayer answered!
Another Fun experience this week was Sunday night Devotional! For those of you who remember, the Church used to to what I believe are called "Home Front" commercials. Well the director of Missionary services, who helped produce all those commercials, was the speaker so we spent most of the time watching funny, slightly cheesy commercials with great one liners after them. You really ought to go look some up on youtube or something because they really are quite clever and hilarious. And best of all, they teach us simple truths. Some of my favorite one liners were:
When everything says you cant, believe in the part of you that says you can.
Its not who you arnt its who you are
Being different is being great
Whatever you do in life, just do your Best.
and, The most important thing you can share in life is yourself.
The best part is that at the end it always says "A message from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" or "A message from the Mormons". Haha I remembered a time when we were watching a movie together as a family and it said something about avoiding temptation and my daddy said that slogan. I've realized two things from these experiences, 1 my daddy is actually Hilarious :) and two those messages, and the message I'm sharing in my time as a missionary, aren't from the Church, arent from the brethren, theyre the things our Heavenly Father wanted us to hear, know and believe about our selves and others.
Things have really been winding down here for me and my district.. Were having many of our lasts now and are looking forward to having all kinds of new and exciting firsts. One last thing I want to share is from Devo last night. As I mentioned, I've been thinking alot about how this mission isnt for myself. Well, last night our speaker quoted the scripture in Luke 22:32 "and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brothern". There are so many people I look forward to helping, serving and strengthening in conversion.. But I hope and pray that this mission most of all help my sweet, wonderful, incredible, 7 baby brothers to be converted as I am:) I love you boys!
In everything I do here and in the field, I strive "to do always those things that please him". Thank you for supporting me in this! I love you all and am so thankful for your prayers and thoughts. You will always be in mine! The next time you here from me I'll be in paradise:) Thank you to those who watch over my family and may God watch over and Bless you all!
All my Love,
(A message from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints:))