Firstly! I forgot to comment last week about the Desert Hills Girls Soccer team and their success! BOOOOYAAAAA!! I am so happy for the team and Kim and everyone involved! Such a wonderful thing!!! REPRESENT!!
I am glad to hear that Jeff and his friend Logan had a fun time on Halloween scaring other children.. haha. I told my companion and my roommates and they all laughed haha. Esta bien, Jeff! The extent of our Halloween went as follows.. Hna Van B’s momma sent her a package of glowsticks so we put some on our wrists once it got dark and we took a ‘glow in the dark’ picture. and that’s about it. It was essentially just another normal day in the MTC. It was about 42 degrees the other day and boy oh boy was I grateful for my cardigans! Thanks, Mom, for the cardigans and the exercise clothes! Muchos Gracias! (and I love how you mentioned that dad did the packing haha.. he always does!) oh and Mom.. I am so sorry you are still sick! It’s not like you to be the one sick in bed! I am praying for your health and strength!
Well to get into my week I just want to say that I love Primary music and the sweet simple messages that each song has. My favorite has always been 12: A Child’s Prayer. On Sunday, at our Mission Conference we sang it as Elders and Sisters and oh holy smokes the spirit was BOOMING! I couldn’t help by stop and hold back my tears. I never realized how much I love prayer until later that day when I was writing down scriptures to put up on my desk and I noticed all of them were about prayer. I know that pray is a safe haven for us and I know that the Lord wants to hear from us. He is simply waiting for his ‘phone’ to ring. If you are every wondering who you are or what purpose you have or what you believe… just sing “I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints… I know who I am.. I know God’s plan..” and so on. And when you sing it, really listen to what you are saying and what the full purpose of the words are. This song has brought me countless comforts throughout these past two weeks.
Sunday, on Sunday we went on our temple walk. esta fue muy frio!! (it was so cold)! It actually wasn’t that bad but it was definitely no warm haha. But the view of Provo and the lake was immaculate from the temple grounds! It was mostly overcast but here were some breaks in the clouds just above the lake in the distance. The rays of sunshine were gleaming through and the lake shone like no other thing. I couldn’t help but sing in my head “for the beauty of the earth..” This world is so beautiful and I can’t wait to see the beauty that Neuquen Argentina holds! 🙂
OH MY GOODNESS, GUESS WHAT!? On Tuesday morning we, as an MTC, were invited to a devotional at the Marriot on BYU Campus! What what! We got to step foot off of the MTC campus and see real people! haha There was actually a girl infront of me who saw her brother there and she started crying and there were pictures being taken EVERYWHERE! It was the sweetest thing! But the Devotional was by David F. Evans of the Seventy. He is the guy who, in his pray during one of the recent general conference broadcasts, said “that our strength may be faithened” instead of our faith be strengthened. hahah. He actually brought that up and used it to teach us. It was a very motivating devotional. He spoke on “tenacity”. He told us that tenacity is not ever giving up. It is that person who is stubborn and not giving up. (stubborn being used in a positive form). He was telling me to be that missionary that never gives up and pushes forward with a tenacious mind and fervent purpose. I got up from that talk and felt renewed and rejuvenated! Be tenacious everyone! Work your tails off until you can’t work anymore and then the Lord will do the rest. I testify and promise that. So we got to be ‘free’ and I got a really good message out of it. SCORE!
Okay, now for the coolest experience I have had in the MTC, it happened last friday. So I don’t remember if I told you that we are teaching a progressing investigator. He is mine and Hna Van B’s TRC (those who have been in the MTC will know what that is). He name is Marco. He is from Peru and has polio. He uses crutches to walk. He is the sweetest man! He is about 60-65 years old and just has this massive love for his familia. Our first lesson with him, on Tuesday, he brought up how beautiful he thought our temples were, so we took that and ran with it. We told him how temples are important the they can make it so our families can be together forever. This segunda leccion we decided to teach him about the all powerful Book of Mormon, the keystone to our religion. But we didn’t want to just simply go in and say this is what Joseph Smith translated, it is correct, read it.. haha. So as we were preparing we asked the question, “How can the Book of Mormon apply and help Marco?”. We decided to show him how the Book of Mormon can help us answer question that we may have or simply give us solutions to our answers. We got thinking ‘hey, hey loves his family! Let’s ask this question, “How can my family be more happy and more united?” and show Marco how the BoM can apply to him right here and right now. So we studied Mosiah 2, and for any of you who don’t know that chapter, I suggest you go study it. It is my most favorite part of the BoM. The background is that King Benjamin is talking to all his people from his tower. Anywho, so we study this out and we pray and we are feeling pretty good. Still a little shaky because its only our second lesson but we felt good. WE prayed outside the door that the spirit may be with and and then we knocked. When we got in there we simply asked him how he was and answered any questions that he may have thought of since the last lesson. We told him we were going to show him how the Book of Mormon could unite his family. He simply said, “wow” and we began.
We read verses 5-6 which talks about how the families were gathered around the temple to hear King Benjamin speak and how each family pitched their tents facing the temple, that they might here the words of the Prophet. After having Marco read this, We explained that making the temple our goal and pitching our tents face towards the temple, our families can be happy and be united forever through the sealing power used in the temple. He commented that he would like that very much because he wants his family to be together always and that that is the purpose for which he moved here from Peru.
We then read verses 16-17 which talk about serving God by serving others. It is the famous “when you are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God” scripture. I explained how serving others brings blessings from our Father in Heaven and how it can bring happiness. I then asked Marco how he felt about service. Quiet silence filled the room. Hna Van B and I sat and waited. My heart was pounding because of the stongness of the spirit. Marco looked down at the scriptures he had just read and I began to notice.. he was slowly crying. He was trying to hold back tears. He grabbed a tissue and wiped his wet eyes. By this point I knew all there were not only 3 personages in the room but 4, because the spirit was sitting with us. After about 2 minutes, Marco finally told us that he loves his family so much and wants blessings for them. I bore my testimony to him that service brings blessings and that God knows him individually.
We then read him verse 41, which states that we should see the happy state of those who keep the commandments of the Lord. Because they are blessed both temporally and spiritually. And that if they keep the commandments they “may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness”. Marco could not hold back his tears. He said he was feeling good about all these things we had said. Hna Van B and I both testified of the blessings promised in all three of these scriptures shared. The spirit was so strong that I was almost shaking. I was doing my best to keep it together so that I could comfort Marco. I testified to him again and told him that if we pitch our tents facing the temple and make the temple a goal for our families and keep the commandments that God has laid down for us, we will have never-ending happiness. We committed Marco to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it is true. We closed with a soft prayer and let him be. Hna Van B and I left with a glowing spirit. We turned to each other and simply smiled and then we hugged. It was the most spiritual experience I have ever had in my entire life, because I knew that Marco was feeling the spirit and he was feeling the Love of God and he was being lifted up by the spirit because of the things that were being said.
That is what a mission is all about. It is about bringing happiness to your investigators and bringing them closer to their Savior, Redeemer and Brother, Jesus Christ. I know that experience with Marco was just a stepping stone, but for Hna Van B and I it was an experience that made us closer in heart, mind and purpose. We both love Marco beyond words.
I know that if we prepare to teach the people and not lessons, the spirit will guide us and He will speak to the investigator in ways that we will never be able to. I love the Holy Spirit.
I don’t have any more time left so that is all for today. I have a bagillion and ten things to say but time does not permit it. I love all of you and I hope you all have a wonderful and uplifting week. I do have one favor to ask of all of you: I challenge each of you to make a card or small piece of paper that says “You are important” on it. Then, whenever you get the chance, pick someone you don’t know or have never talked to before. Maybe someone who looks down or someone who looks like they may need a pick-me-up. Hand them the card. Flash them a smile and then simply walk away. It seems silly and simple but I know it will change frowns to smiles. Please do this and then write about your experience in your journal. Look for God’s love for the person you gave your card to. You will be surprised at the results. And if you can, let me know how it goes! I would love to hear about it!
It’s all about the people.
I’ll see you soon!
Hermana Janessa Houston 🙂