Man the days are long but the weeks fly by. First off Proselitismo. Rozsa and I switched areas. Our old area was like a suburb and now it’s a very busy city. It’s very very intimidating to walk down a very busy city and try and talk to people who have no desire to talk to you. We got like 20 contacts and 3 referrals, but all of our referrals were golden. Two of them were at the same time. We stopped at this lady selling stuff on the road. She had these way cool fanny packs that she makes. (pictures to come) So we told her and another lady who stopped to look at them that we were missionaries. They both spoke English which was actually not that much easier because I guess I am losing my English or maybe never had it to begin with. One of the ladies said her father has cancer and she needs faith. The other said that she loves Mormons and she took a Book of Mormon. it was way way cool. Other than that, proselitismo was kind of a downer. We came home kind of discouraged, it’s hard not to compare with everyone else’s numbers. But I am so proud of everyone, it was the new North Americans first time and they all did so good.
So on to Sunday. Oh man, it was soooo good like always, the highlight was Hermana Willis. *The cool part about a small MTC is we get to know the MTC President and his wife and their councilors so well. They are like our parents. I love them so much! Hermana Willis talked about gratitude. She gave us a talk by President Uchtodorf called “Grateful in any Circumstance”. A quote I really liked was “perhaps focusing on what we are grateful for is the wrong approach. It is difficult to develop a spirit of gratitude if our thankfulness is only proportional to the number of blessings we can count. True, it is important to frequently count our blessings... but I don’t believe that the Lord expects us to be less thankful in times of trial than in times of abundance and ease.” I loved this so so much!!! I hope you can all remember that this week and try to be thankful in the circumstance you are in. You should all reread this talk.
Monday was our group picture. It’s finally settling in that we are leaving the CCM. So I knew about this last week but part of me didn’t believe, it so I didn’t tell you. But they told us that today we would be going to see Elder Russell M Nelson speak, and because of this we would not attend the temple. Wednesday we got a surprise, we got to go to the temple! It was sooo great to be there one last time. I have grown to love the temple workers and this temple so much even with it being in Spanish. I love it so much.
So that gets us to today. Why I didn’t write earlier today is because we got up and loaded into buses at 7:30 to head to a stake to listen to Elder Nelson. He shook each of our hands and looked into our eyes. It was incredible! We met with the missionaries from this mission, the Buenos Aries, Argentina South and listened to the words of an apostle of the Lord. He was also with a member of the Seventy who spoke Spanish so he and his wife’s talks were in Spanish. I got about 50 percent-ok 40, but what I got of it was really good. Then Sister Nelson stood. That woman is so amazing! She talked to us about how we are feeling as missionaries and she told some amazing stories about her experiences. One in particular that was cool - she said she was in Russia at a Women’s Conference and she felt impressed to say, “I want to get to know you all by lineage” she called out each lineage and people would stand. She said 11 of the 12 tribes were present. All but Levi. Maybe this was not news to you, but I kind of thought everyone on the earth but a few special people were from the tribe of Ephraim. I was shocked to hear this. She said that news travels so fast in the church that by that next day when they met at a conference in Romania the first thing the mission president’s wife said when she stepped off the plane was “I got Levi.” She had a missionary who was of that tribe so within the space of two days she met someone from each tribe. It was so cool to hear her stand and say “The gathering of Israel is upon us, Elders and Hermanas, you get to be a part of this amazing work.” She told us that when we teach our children our ancestors and the ancestors of those we teach are there, particularly the ones we teach. They are begging and waiting for their family to receive the gospel. Then she said, “Think of the impact of your missions, not only in this world.” It really made me remember what missionary work is all about. Oh I forgot one other thing she said was her 30 day challenge, which I am challenging all of you to do. Each day grab the scriptures and thank God for them. Tell Him your hardest and deepest questions of your soul and ask that the Holy Ghost will be with you throughout your study. Then open to a random page and feast. Look up words, the foot notes, everything. You won’t have to read far until your question will be answered. I thought “Wow, this is an amazing promise from an Apostle’s wife. She said “there is no asterisk that says unless your problem is learning the language, no anything you need will be provided.” How wonderful is that!
Then Elder Nelson spoke and man, I love him! At the beginning he did the very thing his wife talked about. He had each tribe stand. At our meting we had two tribes present, which was still way cool, Joseph and Judah. When he said Joseph we didn’t know that meant Ephraim, so again I felt way dumb, haha, but he reminded us. He was so informal - he kept saying “I have a surprise, the mission president and his wife are going to share their one tip of advice, it was to “work hard and to be obedient.” Oh, the president of the CCM and his wife, Hermana Willis said “Go and do” and president, who is like a way rough man, he is just really to the point about the gospel, got all teary eyed and said “You are loved by the Lord so immensely.” That struck me so hard. The rest of Elder Nelson’s talk was about how we need to be simple when teaching the gospel. This made me happy because my Spanish vocab is so so so simple. I don’t remember everything he said but it just seemed like direct inspiration that I needed so badly. He left us with an apostolic blessing and it included those we left at home who were sick or needed healing. That made me cry, he told us the Lord will protect our families.
I love you all so much! I think of you so much! I may get to email when I leave Tuesday and when I arrive in Paraguay. If not, next time you hear from me I will be in Paraguay!!!! It seems so unreal to me! The church is true and I love all of you.