Como estan? So much to say about this week! Okay, so this week seemed to be the longest and one of the hardest ones yet! It seemed to just drag on ha but in both a good and a not so good way! Starting with not so good, I've been sick ALL WEEK! ugh. I woke up with a sore throat and just thought it was the dryness because it went away during the day. Well, that night it started hurting real bad and I could barely swallow! Since the MTC clinic is closed on the weekends, I talked to the doctor-on-call and he told me I could either go to the BYU Medical Center then or wait it out with some ibuprofen until morning. Seeing as it was lateish at night, I decided to wait it out. Morning came around, and it was still pretty bad, if not worse, so Elder Russo and I took a trip to the Instacare after walking down the street to find out the BYU Medical clinic is closed on weekends, too! Note to my Utah friends...if you saw what appeared to be my companion and I escaping the MTC Saturday morning...false alarm! ;) So we were shuttled to the Instacare to find out there was a huge HOPE run going on right outside. Not only were we already awkward because we forgot there was life outside the MTC ha, but what are the chances of that?! As we arrived and made our way through the crow to the Instacare, people were like, "the missionaries are running with us!" ha but we explained and they were legitimately sad :( But! Finally after a quick appointment, I was told I don't have STREP! yay! Instead, I have viral pharyngitis, which I dont know about you, but sounds deadlier to me ha I was prescribed a "Magic Mouthwash" and as we waited for the shuttle to puck us up, we sat on the bench in the parking lot. And there we had our first REAL missionary experience as missionaries! :)
A lady came and sat down next to us and after introductions, randomly started telling us her life story! She was telling us about how she just finished cancer and that she was there to support her daughter that died I think a little over a year ago. :( Then she asked us what we believe about Heaven. SO we seized this opportunity to tell her about God's Plan of Salvation and that we will be resurrected one day and all have perfect bodies and that she will see her daughter again. It was the weirdest thing teaching in English because we have been teaching in Spanish for the past two month! But the Spirit helped us and we could feel it's presence in that discussion. Our shuttle arrived as we were talking to her though, but we told her she could learn more on Mormon.org. We didn't have a pass along card, but she said she would love that and was going to look it up, thanked us, and we were on our way. We felt so good and were so glad we had that wonderful opportunity!
Well, by the time we picked up my "Magic Mouthwash" and got back to the MTC, it was past noon! Crazy long morning, and poor Elder Russo had to stick it out with me, but he's a champ and awesome! :) So I'm slowly, but steadily improving besides Monday when I was feeling the worst and I was told to stay in bed and sleep it out a little, which TOTALLY helped, so I'm getting there! My voice is disappearing though (thanks Mom ;)) which stinks because Elder Russo and I are supposed to sing Come Thou Fount in church this week! Hopefully my voice comes back by then! :/
So other than fighting sickness all week I was super busy! As Zone Leader, I had a bunch of interviews to be done Saturday night, and all is well in the Zone! :) No new Districts this week though, so I wasn't able to do the tour :( Hopefully next week! However, this week our whole District was chosen to be HOST missionaries! that's when we welcome the new missionaries at the curb on Wednesdays and help them get their luggage and books, keys, card, etc. :) The two missionaries I had were English speakers and extremely nice! We get to do it again this week, so I'm looking forward to that!
In other news, I know I JUST wrote about new investigators, but as I also said, the MTC changes a lot! ha So our teachers are no longer investigators. Maria and Daniel both agreed to baptism and those were both wonderful experiences. :) So NOW and for the rest of the stay here, we are investigators for each other. Elder Russo and I now teach Brad (Elder McMahon) and Nate (Elder Shumway). We get to teach so much more beacuse we have so much more time! We are finally going to teach the 3rd lesson to someone! :) We've never gotten that far. The Spirit is still so strong in these lessons and I continue to learn so much! So they are progressing well, and in the words of Elder Russo, "we PONED in lessons this week!" ha well said, Elder. ;) They seem to be very receptive and we're getting more and more comfortable at teaching. Also, I'm an investigator now, too! :) It's so neat to take the opposite view of the lessons. It really helps me learn what's important in the lessons and how to tailor them to fit the investigator's needs. Example...my name is Mark and the day after the missionaries knocked on my door and we had a little conversation and I invited them back, my mother passed away from cancer. When they returned the next day, Elder Shumway and Elder McMahon were not expecting that, but they did an awesome job changing their plans to fit my needs and taught me the Plan of Salvation. The Spirit was SO strong that day and it brought Elder McMahon to tears. I felt bad, but he thanked me for that opportunity. In return, I thanked him for it because he was they were the ones teaching it! I learned so much from that day, it's neat to be able to act out examples of real life instances to practice. :)
This week when I was feeling a little down and selfishly sorry for myself, because of being sick and the dryness here gives me frequent bloody noses, and it's extremely frustrating :( and just Satan getting to me I reread the notes I took last Sunday when I wad the chance to watch President Holland's "Missions are Forever" address. I have never been so moved in a talk. It nearly brought me to tears how amazing it was. I'm running out of time and I would talk forever about it if I could, but it's about the importance of missions and how we are apostalic. "Not the capital A, but the lowercase a," he says. :) SO much was said, and I warn ALL missionaries that when they get to the MTC to watch it. Don't miss it! The part that really stuck out to me was when he said, "and forever, and forever, and forever my life was changed. No one takes their mission more to heart than I do, that is how serious it is to me. You don't leave on your mission for two years from real life, you mission IS real life! Don't you DARE go home!" For those of you that know him, he said that in his Jeffrey R. Holland boomy, soul-shaking voice. I LOVED it! Not that I was ever considering coming home or ever will, but this really boosted my testimony of this work. I love it so much!
I have a little over one more week here at the MTC. I get my travel plans today! :) I'm so excited to get there and do my best in serving the Lord. I'm so happy! I know it won't be easy, but I follow Elder Holland's council when he says, "it can't be easy, the road to salvation goes through Gethsemane. Why should it be easy for us if it wasn't easy for him?" I love this gospel, I love this church. I love you all! I'll be calling you soon, so look out, fam! ;) Love you!
"Go out and astonish someone!" Elder Jeffrey R. Holland