man time is just flying by in the CCM! the days are super long but the weeks just seem like a blur! ive already been gone almost a month and it feels like a week!
a down point of this week was that my friend Elder Rodriguez actually did end up going home. he just had a lot of issues and pretty much had his mind made up the first night. it was really sad and i kinda wish i could have done more for him, but i am still emailing him and he said he wants to come back out so fingers crossed.
i freakin love the latinos though! we are such good homies. they all keep saying they are going to call president monson because i have to come to bolivia with them instead of trujillo. they are so funny haha. and we destroy on the soccer field! always in my Cristiano Ronaldo jersey too. on sunday i was playing the piano during our free hour and they slowly just came in and started listening, and eventually somehow we just all started singing hymns together. probably one of the most spiritual experiences ive had and we were all crying and it was just awesome. they have such awesome spirits and i just love the people here.
also i just wanna bear testimony of the reality of the gift of tongues. my spanish was already decent when i got here, so i expected to be able to talk pretty well. but there are people in my district that had zero experience with spanish when they got here, and can already teach a lesson or talk to people walking down the street. its incredible to see how much they can do in such little time and i know its because of the spirit.
okay so alma 32... what an awesome chapter of scripture! like really every single one of you should go read it tonight because its just awesome the way it explains faith and all the things that we can accomplish through faith. my favorite verse is verse 27 where it talks about how all we have to do is exercise a particle of faith, even if we can no more than a desire to believe, then we will be able to gain a testimony. so awesome! like all you have to do is want to believe and put the effort in and youre going to gain that knowledge that you want.
this thought kind of leads in to my next spiritual thought. last night we had a broadcast from the provo mtc and elder holland spoke. man is he awesome! i wish i could just take the whole hour and write his whole talk because it was pretty awesome. but im just going to share the parts that hit me the hardest. he talked about how he cant promise us a single baptism on our mission. he cant promise that if we work hard, are obedient, and do the right things that we will lead a single investigator to the font. its probably likely, but that doesnt mean it will happen. he can, however, promise that if we do the right things that we will have one convert, and its the most important one. its ourselves. my favorite phrase he used was that we are gods investigators. and its up to us to convert ourselves. and he said that once we get off our missions, we cant just go back to the way we were before. a true conversion implies change. you cant go back to what you were before, you have to be better.
im no elder holland... but i want to reitirate the words he said and apply them directly to each of you. i wish i could come in to your homes and sit face to face with you as i said this so you could see how much i believe it. first, I want to talk to those of you that know this gospel is true. youve already had your conversion. i want you now to think back to the day when you felt that truth in your heart. what did you promise you would do? what did you promise you wouldnt do? and how well have you lived up to that? i know if you are like me then there is definitely a lot that could be improved in that area. so i have a challenge for you. tonight, i want you to renew that conversion inside yourself. kneel down and pray about everything you believe again. rekindle that fire. and after youve done that, dont be the same person you were before. be better! true discipleship is a process that we have to strive for every single day. and when we mess up and dont do everything we are supposed to do, thats okay. we try harder tomorrow. but we have to keep the progress. our own self is the one investigator that we will never ever stop teaching.
now, i want to talk to those of you that dont know of the truthfulness of this gospel. or perhaps, those of you that did know at one point and arent sure anymore. i want you to lean on my testimony for a second. because i promise to you that i know that this gospel is true and that the book of mormon is the word of god. i would not be here if i didnt feel that with every fiber of my being. but i dont want you to just trust me. i want you to know for yourself! if you do your part, heavenly father will bless you with an answer. and our part starts on our knees. pray about any questions or doubts you have. and then study what you are praying about. read moroni 10 and take the challenge. read alma 32 and strive to develop faith. and then pray again! and read again. your answer might not come right away, or in the way that you want it, but i promise that if you do these things it will come. but once you have your answer, you cant be the same anymore. you cant go back. in moroni we are told we will receive an answer if we ask with real intent. real intent means that once we know that the church is true that we will live by his teachings! if you arent willing to do this, then you wont get the answer you want. if you have that real intent though, god will not be able to withhold the truthfulness of this from you.
i know this church is true and i love it so much. i feel like my thoughts are kind of everywhere right now but i really just want to tell you all that i love you. and more importantly god loves you. he knows you. and he just wants whats best for you. have a good week everyone
my district with my teacher . shes the most awesome little latina lady that there ever was haha.
Lima Peru Temple