Not going to lie, a little rough of a week. Between difficult investigator, minor District conflict, and homesickness, i was super stressed. As of today, i believe, this is the longest i have been away from home. Big milestone for me, so it was hard not to think of you all, but dont worry, conflicts are resolved, I feel a lot better, and I am still focused on the work! :) Another big milestone I hit was my first MTC haircut! She totally butchered it, but I figure it's free and I can get one whenever...so can't complain. It's not noticeable if i comb my hair down missionary-style, but needless to say i missed my haircutters, Chelsea Moores and London Heywood, this week! ;) Tomorrow is going to a bit of a downer, we are getting new teachers. It's time for BYU to start here, schedules are changing, and new teachers are comin in, so Hosquito/Carlos and Hermana Ruiz/Jennifer/Mario are leaving! :( The whole District is really upsset about this, but it is what it is, we're sure the new teachers will be fun and we'll und up loving them, too. That'll be 6 people leaving now this week along with Elder Burgon and Hermana Butler to the Guatemala MTC, Elder Jarvis to Honduras, and Elder Contreras to my mission, but I'm sure I'll be seeing him again! Sad to see them go, but they're serving the Lord and they'll do great!
On the bright side, Carlos is getting baptized (not really, obviously, but we got him to commit) and he and his whole family love the Church and are super excited! I feel successful. :) Mario is another story, though, it's been a struggle to get through to him, and even though I think we're starting to get somewhere, we won't be able to finish before we are "transferred" again, and we get new investigators. :( Yesterday was our last day with Mario and tomorrow is our last day with Carlos, so we are going to finish strong! :)
Another WAY exciting event this week was a visit by none other than President Thomas S. Monson at the Tuesday Night Devotional! Not really ;) ha, even though that would be amazing, and we're were all convinced that was the case, we were still equally blessed to hear from Elder Neil L. Anderson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles! After we sang Happy Birthday to President Monson's picture because it was his 85th birthday on Tuesday, Elder Anderson shared a wonderful message about what President Monson would say if here were here. 9 points:
1. Follow the Prophet
2. Do Your Duty
3. Trust in the Lord: You Will Be an Instrument in His Hands
4. Let the Lord Shape Your Back
5. Smile, Enjoy Yourself
6. Love the People You Serve
7. Never Ignore a Prompting
8. Testify of the Prophet Joseph Smith
9. Witness the Power of the Savior
I wish i had time to go into depth on those, but all around the Spirit was so strong it was a blessing to hear from an Apostle of the Lord! Elder McMahon was super excited when we found out an Apostle was coming, because he had only seen one Apostle before. He still has only seen on Apostle, Elder Anderson spoke at his Stake Conference! ha :) We laughed, but he was still excited to see him and hear from him again.
Repentance was the topic of many of the lessons this week and I want to share what I learned through yet another wonderful story from Brother Caywood:
"There was a team practicing barefoot on a football field one summer. A play is called and one of the players goes for a pass, catches it, and bolts for the touchdown. The last ten meters are known to be full of thorns, but he isn't thinking about that, so for the ten meteres, he runs right through the thorns, scores, and spends some time pulling all the thorns out of his feet...
Fast forward, they are in a game, still barefoot and this same play is called. Just as before, the boy goes for the throw, catches it, and heads for what could be the final touchdown of the game. Remembering he is on his home field, he approaches the last ten meters and immediately jerks right, dodging the safety that he didn't even know was there, and scores the game-winning touchdown. His mind was strictly on avoiding the thorns and that is what he did."
Brother Caywood used this story to the moral that we need to remember that although the Savior will forgive and forget our sins, He won't let us forget our sins. Just as the boy learned and remembered the thorns, we need to learn from our sins, so we don't do them again. If you ever feel there is a time you are alone in your sins, I PROMISE you, the Lord can help you. You are never alone and if you need to repend of anything, don't hesitate, just do it. Just as it says in Isaiah 1:18, no matter how bad you may think it is, Jesus has felt your pain and through the repentance process you can be forgiven. We cannot just keep living in sin, repentance is a must. I have an interesting perspective changing activity we did in workshop. Write a letter to an investigator that is having trouble talking with God about repentance this week and hold onto it, and I'll tell you what to do with it next week. I guess you can take this as a sort of assignment, but i promise it is totally worth it. :)
I love you all, thank you for the letters, prayers, and for reading these. :) Miss you and hope you're all doing well!