Monday, December 30, 2013
Monday, December 9, 2013
Well there is not much to tell you this week considering that we had an ice storm and we have been locked inside for 3 days. We received text messages from the Assistants to not go outside. The Elder's power went out, so we were all rescued by the Boyd's. We had to hike out of our apartment complex and they came to pick us up. It was a nice little adventure. Everywhere has been an ice rink and we haven't seen the sun in 5 days. The ice was crazy but the Boyd's took all of us in and we have been playing games and reading scriptures. The Boyd's are great!
Church was cancelled yesterday so we went out and knocked a little bit. We taught one lesson but it was just so cold. We try to talk to everyone. People were nicer to us yesterday because it was so cold, some people must think that we are extremely weird for knocking on doors when it is 15 degrees outside, but I just try to keep a smile on my face.
I have loved this experience so far in my mission. There has been so many up's and down's, everyday but how I measure success is "going from failure to failure without loosing any enthusiasm." I have really grown personally. Sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder who I actually am and I just tell myself, "I am a missionary. I am a representative of Jesus Christ." That just brings a smile to my face. My love and my relationship with the Savior has grown as well. I was never super consistent about personal prayers when I was younger, but being out here in the mission field where you only have you, your companion and the Lord, requires you to use prayers and family a lot more. We pray just as a companionship almost 10-15 times a day. When I was back at home and I had a problem I could usually just put in my music and block out the world or I could go do other things to get my mind off my problems but now being out in the mission field, I have to rely on the Lord. My faith has been strengthened and my love for the scriptures grows every day as I study them. This gospel really is amazing.
At the end of the day, I am thankful for my testimony and my family. I don't know where I would be without these things!
Yo se que el vive mi senor!
Yo se que el vive mi senor!
I hope you all have a wonderful week and are staying warm!
Love you all.
COME WHAT MAY AND LOVE IT
Love you all.
COME WHAT MAY AND LOVE IT
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Okay, this week was amazing AS USUAL (when is it not a good week in el CCM) There are ups and downs everyday, but when I write in my journal at night (yes mom don't worry I am writing in my journal every night :) ) I can't seem to remember the negatives....only the positives. It's great! Life is wonderful! I am so happy to be here!
On Saturday, my companion and I had a hard day. My companion and I were tired and we kinda just wanted space from each other. It was just one of those days. We had to teach though so we went in and the spirit was not present. Our investigator asked me a question and I didn't know the answer at all. I didn't even know how to describe it in English let alone Spanish. I just started to cry. I tried to cover it up but it was not working. After the lesson my teacher, who is the investigator, pulled me aside and asked me what was wrong. I just explained today was just not the best day. He told me that people will ask me questions all the time, and I may not even understand the question but everything will be okay. The spirit, if it is present, will tell you what you need to say in a moment when there are no words in your mind. He told me that I could always tell the investigator that I will come back the next time and answer their question. After my meeting with my teacher (Hermano Park) I was determined to find out the answer to the question. The question was, "What is baptism by fire?" I searched everywhere, scriptures, PMG, even True to the Faith. I wanted to find out how I could explain this to someone. I ended up coming across the phrase, "Refiner's Fire." I have studied that out too. I have gained such a strong testimony about what a refiners fire is.
Being here in the MTC is a "Refiner's Fire." You are becoming a new person and you are maturing, at a really fast rate I might add, and becoming more of a missionary. You are becoming a tool in the Lords hands. In my studies, I came across the scripture 1st Nephi 20:10 which basically says that you will be refined by your trials. Heavenly Father only gives you trials that you can handle and if you come out "on top" you become closer to your Heavenly Father and you become more like him. I have seen myself change and all the other people in my district. It is amazing what even a little time in the MTC will do to you. When you are studying the scriptures all day and you don't have the distraction of social media you really see change in yourself. I am so lucky to be a missionary right now, there is no place I would rather be, even thinking about who I was 4 weeks ago is really strange.
Being here, my testimony of Joseph Smith has grown so much! I have memorized the first vision in Spanish and on Sunday nights we watch films and I always watch Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration. I love that movie, if you haven't seen it, I know that it is on YouTube. Every time I watch it, I cry at the end and just think to myself, "How could anyone not believe that this is true?" This church and the gospel bring me so much joy, I am just so excited to tell the people of Dallas Texas all about it!
On Tuesday, we had a very special guest for our devotional. They wouldn't tell anyone who it was so my zone got there an hour early to get the best seats possible. Well all that waiting was totally worth it, the special guest was Elder Dallin H. Oaks. When he walked into the room, everyone stood up and it was silent. The peace and the feeling of the spirit was so strong it that room. It was amazing! He gave a fabulous devotional about change in the mission and also about what makes our church different than others. I took a lot of notes in my journal. It was a really cool experience to be in the presence of an apostle.
The new districts are great, but sadly we are all moving to West Campus next week. They want West Campus to be ALL Spanish, so now anyone coming to the Provo MTC that is speaking Spanish will go to West Campus. We are kind of excited for the move, I am just a little mad cause I have to pack up and then unpack and then I leave 5 days after we move...oh well.
Funny moments this week:
Everyone has to mess up really badly at Spanish at least once. So this week we had a few experiences with that. The first one was Elder Tai. He was trying to explain that, "Through Christ we can be clean from our sins." The word for sins is "pecados" and the word for fish "pescado", so he ended up saying, "Through Christ we will be cleaned from our fish." The investigator was very confused. Then Hermana Boyce and I went to teach our lesson. She tried to ask the investigator, "Why have you kept making appointments with us?" The word for appointment is "cita" and the word for AIDS is "cida" so our investigator got really confused (if you insert the word in that sentence, it is just an awkward moment) and then just laughed at us. Well, everyone has to make their grammar mistakes at least once, but it was really funny!
I love the MTC, but I am ready to move on to Texas! I got my travel plans finally and I will be leaving the 28th! I am going to email my mom my new address so if any of you need it (after the 28th) my mom will have it! Love you all and thank you for all the letters and dear elders, they are so fun to get!!
Have a wonderful week,
COME WHAT MAY AND LOVE IT
Saturday, October 12, 2013
nights, we have devotionals! Because we had been listening to conference talks all week, we didn't really want to sit in a devotional and listen to another speaking. To our suprise the guests for the devotional was, Vocal Point. The AMAZING BYU men's singing group. Look them up on YouTube, because they are wonderful. We have a musical devotional where we did hymn shares (sang hymns) and inbetween each song a memeber of the group got up and said an experience that he had had on his mission. It was so cool!!
we also have devotionals. The MTC presidency told us that the speaker was going to be a General Authority so everyone was super excited. There was increased security and people waited in line to get into the devotional an hour early. To our not so pleasant surprise, it was no one we had heard of. Everyone was bummed but it still was a great devotional.
. I was able to host new missionaries and wave to people as they drove into the MTC loop. The thought occurred to me that I came into the MTC almost a month ago. I can't even believe it! Time is seriously warped! It is crazy! What is even more weird is I only have 17 months left of my mission, no longer 18. I JUST WANNA BE IN TEXAS ALREADY!!!
I know I start out every email the same but I am serious when I say that I love the MTC and I love it more everyday. This week was super special because of General Conference.
General Conference was amazing! I tried something new this conference, I went in to the first sessionmorning with 5 questions in my mind that I wanted to get answers for. To my surprise all of them were answered in the first morning session! So I had to come up with more questions! I loved asking questions. I made conference more enjoyable as I was actually listening with intent and not just listening listen. I would challenge you guys that next conference, in April, come up with personal questions and pray that you will get answers to them. It is amazing when you do get answers, I literally jumped out of my seat. In the MTC you watch every single session of conference in an Auditorium. There were over 4,000 missionaries watching it all together. It was amazing when one of the rest hymns was Called to Serve. Being surrounded by the "newest generation" of missionaries and singing that hymn was AWESOME!! Words can't even describe the chills that I had!
My favorite talks were, "Come Join With Us" and "Moral Force of Women" There were some other amazing talks but these ones stood out to me the most and I have already printed them off and I read them daily.
In the talk, "Come Join with Us", a quote that stood out to me was, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." Oddly enough this was an answer to a question I had. Many times in the MTC, because you are under a lot of pressure to learn all of the missionary lessons and learn them in a new language, I would often question my faith and if it was strong enough to support me on my mission especially when I was going through a rough time. When President Uchtdorf said this quote tears came to my eyes almost instantly. I couldn't believe it. I was in pure shock! My companion and I both looked at each other in awe, as the quote echoed in the auditorium. To any of my fristd that read my emails and are struggling with their faith or actually wondering if they should invesitgate the church, I want you to read this talk. If any of you have ever been offended by someone in this church and that is why you may not go to church anymore, I want you to read this talk. It is amazing. Seriously, "COME JOIN WITH US"
"Moral Force of Women" stood out to me because so often in the MTC many of the teachers tell the Hermanas that the Elders need us in each district because we bring a sense of calmness and maturity to the room. When Hermanas are present, Elders will act more respectful and they will stay more focused. "Hermanas are huge examples to the Elders," said one of my teachers. The quote in this talk that rang true to me is kind of long but part of it is, "We have enough vanity in the world, we need more virtue." This quote made me so happy to be and LDS sister and also a missionary. For the next 18 months I am putting aside everything of the world and thinking solely about serving Heavenly Father and bringing his children the joy and happiness that I have.
This week has been extremely spiritual to me not just because of Conference but also because of our lessons that we teach our investigators. O feel like my purpose as a missionary is becoming more defined and I am way more comfortable with my Spanish. My companion and I are teaching 2 investigators right now. Our lessons are usually about 30-45 minutes. Understanding and being able to speak the lanugage here in the MTC makes me so much more excited to be in Texas where I will meet real investigators and get to share with them the message of the gospel. It makes me so excited to leave! Don't get me wrong I do love the MTC and the people that I have met here are wonderful, I also have a lot more to improve but I am just so excited to be in Texas!
The oldest 2 districts left this week. It was really hard to see them leave. The hermanas left atmorning. Hermana Boyce and I woke up to say goodbye to them. The night before ( night) our zone and our "cousin" zone, has a tradition where we get together and sing "Hasta Ver" all together. (God Be With You Till We Meet Again) All the girls came to our room and we all sang the hymn together in Spanish, it was really cool! These hermanas were like older sisters to me, I miss them so much already. Our room is now silent at night, and there isn't nearly as much laughter and jokes, but we try to still have fun. We said goodbye to our Elders night at the devotional review. They are going to do amazing. One of the Elders, Elder Padgett, who is going to Colombia, is actually staying an extra week because his visa didn't come through. He has been reassigned to the San Diego California mission and he is so excited!! It is actually only an hour away from his house, but he is so ready to leave !
Because we lost 8 Hermanas and Elders this week, we gained 18 NEW MISSIONARIES!! THat is unheard of, especially because 8 of them are Hermanas. Our zone is now huge!! It makes it fun, but it is harder for people to all connect with each other when there are so many people. I do love meeting new people though so these last 2 days have been fun for me.
Funny moment this week:
Each class starts with a little spiritual message given by a member of the class and it has to be in Spanish. When I came into class, I saw that my name was up on the board and I started freaking out, it was the first day that our class had done this. I went outside to get a drink of water and I was nervous. An Elder came up to me from our "cousin" zone and said "CATTISSSHHH, why are you so nervous?" I explained to him my situation and to that he responded, "Well here is what you have to do, stand infront of the class and say this: El libro de Mormon es verdadero por que es verdadero. En el nombre de JesuCristo, Amen." (The Book of Mormon is true because it is true. In the name of Jesus Christ amen.) "And then CATTTISSSSSHHHHH just sit down." I just laughed at him because he gives the worst advice but he is so funny!
Everyday is a new adventure here at the MTC let me tell you! We actually had to explain to Elder Teio this week that he could wash his clothes and wear them again. He had been wearing the same socks for about 2 weeks now. He doesn't understand that you can wash the clothes and they will be cleaned. This was a really humbling lesson even for me. Elder Teio only came with the clothes that he had on his back and a little carry on. Each week the church gives some more clothes that he can use but he doesn't understand that you can clean them. I am guessing he just grew up not having very much. Hermana Boyce and I were crying when we were helping him do his laundry! It was such a cool expereince.
I love the MTC and I would love to hear from all of you! Send me a dearelder, email or even a letter in the mail and I will respond! I love you all and thank you for everything you have done. I am excited for my next big adventure and I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for me in Texas!
Have a great week and I love you all,
COME WHAT MAY AND LOVE IT!