Where to start?...
So much can happen in a week on a mission! And I'm only at the MTC, I can only imagine what it will be like when I'm out in the field! I have learned some very valuable lessons this week. Things that I will probably being drawing from for the rest of my life. To start, I've been having a really difficult time with the language. For those that know me well, you would know that I don't like to do things in front of other people until I know that I can do it perfectly... It's the same reason I didn't say any words until I was 5 years old, and then one day I came out speaking complete sentences. Well, I've had to teach lessons in Spanish while here at the MTC and I don't know Spanish. You can imagine how I respond to that kind of situation... Lot's of stress... This leads to me getting really sick. On Monday I was getting so bad that my Spanish teacher sent me back to my room to sleep, I slept for 6 hours and had a pretty high fever. I was really worried that it was going to turn into strep throat again and that just made me stress even more. By Tuesday I was feeling a bit better and went to class, but I was still feeling over burdened with stress and was having a hard time focusing. I went in to teach a lesson to a new investigator and I couldn't think of any of the Spanish that I had prepared for the lesson and I came out feeling completely discouraged... I was feeling very hopeless and felt that I wouldn't ever be able to learn the language. Just when I started to hit bottom, and felt that I couldn't go on, the Lord knew I was ready to be taught the lesson that he had been preparing me for the whole week. My teacher started to pull companionships out to talk and see how we were doing. I talked about my struggles just a bit to make them known, but not admitting that really I didn't know if I was strong enough to move forward. My teacher then pulled out a scripture that I have no doubt was meant for me. Ether 12:27... It talks about how the Lord shows us our weaknesses and and if we humble ourselves he makes those weaknesses strong. I realized that I was still relying on my own strength to do this, and I am in no way strong enough to do this work on my own. The Lord had been humbling me so that I would see the need to rely on him throughout these next two years and for the rest of my life.
But that wasn't the end of it.
That evening we had our Tuesday devotional and we had to go two hours early for choir. Now this choir director knows how to teach and he always weaves in an amazing spiritual message while we are practicing the song. In his little lesson he talked about we are here to help the Lord. This is his work, not ours. We are completely incapable of converting others on our own, we must constantly rely on the Lord to enable us with his power to do so. He then talked about the process of refining steel and how when the rocks are heated up and the metal is separated from the extra useless rock. It's the same concept for us. When our life gets heated up, we start to release those things that make life hard such as sins and things that hinder our ability to draw close to God. We in a sense, separate the good metal from the useless metal in our own lives. Again I was taught by the spirit in that moment of what I had been experiencing this past week was all for my benefit, and in the long run will make my experience as a missionary much more successful and enjoyable.
As for now, I'm doing much better! I still get stressed a bit.. but it's at a healthier level that drives me to work harder. I still have a bit of a cough, but that's the extent of my illness at this point. I continue to have a constant prayer in my heart for everyone at home. Your letters are a great support and strength to me and I look forward every day do hopefully receiving something in the mail. I love you all so much and can't thank you enough for your love and support while I'm on my mission! I know that this is where I need to be, no matter how hard it gets, I know that I can always rely on the Lord for strength. Sorry that I don't have many fun stories to tell, as far as things go in the MTC it's pretty much the same thing day in and day out. Hopefully once I get out in the field I'll have some fun stories about the adventures I have in Mexico :)
I love you all,