Friday, August 1, 2014

Week 51: What a week!

I feel like I always start out my letters by saying "what a week". But man... What a week! Overall I feel like it flew by, but there are moments that I think back on that seem like an eternity ago, I get brain cramps if I think about it too much because the time just doesn't make sense. 

I've felt somewhat a lot of weight this week. People have a lot of problems in their lives and they all seem to confide all of their problems with the missionaries. Sometimes I find it somewhat crazy that so many people put so much confidence in a 20 year old. But then again, they aren't really putting their confidence in me but in who we represent. But I still feel like me and sometimes I start to feel a bit burdened. After one day this week I especially felt a lot of weight from all the problems that people have in their lives. So many people that I love and want to help, but I can't make everyone that we teach live the gospel. If only they knew... but anyways. We returned home after a particulary hard day and I'll admit.. I was on the verge shedding a few tears. The scripture in Matthew 11 came to my mind that says,

"28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek andlowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

I prayed a lot that night that I would be able to keep pressing forward and more than anything be able to feel his love and then got in bed. The next morning I felt a peaceful relief and was able to work normally all day, and it was actaully a pretty good day! We had 11 investigators come to church! But that night we went to teach one of the investigators that came to church for her first time. She asked why she felt like crying in church and I feel like my prayer was answered in this very moment. I can also say that I really feel like I recieved the promise in D&C 84,

 85 Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man.

I started talking without thinking beforehand of what I was going to say, but I was being taught in the very same moment. I gave an example of how when we don't see a loved one for a long time, but when we finally reunite we feel like crying. It's the same with our Heavenly Father, we feel far from him at times in this life, our spirits long to be in his presence again, when we feel the spirit it's like that reuniting.

I felt the spirit so strong as I bore my testimony, but I feel like that moment was meant more for me than for anyone else. I felt the love of God and it was exactly what I needed. I feel so blessed to be able to be in his service and I'm constantly learning so much every day. 

As for other things in the daily life of a missionary in Chalco. We have little worms growing in the water tank so when we shower we are constantly flicking them off our bodies, well have to get that cleaned. I found another bed bug, who knows how many more there are. The cockroaches have come out to play. That's about it :) Vive la vida en Mexico!!! 

I love you all! Keep up the great work in familysearch! That's awesome that you're all so active in that now! I can't wait to join in the fun when I get back :) 

Elder Twede

Next week I'll be going to Teotihuacan! So I don't know how much time I'll have to write... 

Week 50: The most eventful year of my life

I don't really feel like I have a whole lot to say this week. I think the mission life is just seeming super normal now and it's hard to remember what happened in the week because nothing sticks out in my mind. But that's also a bit of a worry of mine. I don't want the mission to just become a routine that I just live day in and day out. 

I've been thinking back a lot now that I'm nearing the middle of my mission on all the things that I've learned and how much my life has changed in one year, and I still have a whole year ahead of me. I'll admit that it still intimidates me at times, but I'm also super grateful for a whole year more of experiences and memories that I'll have. There has been so much that has happened in this past year I can hardly believe it, definately the most eventful year of my life. 

One thing that I have learned in the mission, and that I still have a load to learn about it, is how the spirit works in our lives. It's a lot more subtle than I always thought it was. I have had very spiritual experiences before the mission where I have felt the influence of the spirit, but I always kind of took for granted the gift of his constant companionship that we receive after we're baptized. In the sacrament prayer it ends with "that they may always have his spirit to be with them." This is the promise we recieve if we partake of the sacrament worthily every week, we will have his constant companionship. 

I've really started to think about that promise and question "how am I recognizing the constant guidance of the spirit in my life?" As I have focused more on this question, I have come to realize how truly the spirit is a still small voiceThe truth is, I can't say that they spirit has ever tried getting my attention by yelling, or hitting me across the head with a 2x4, it has most occasionally come by thought or feeling. Thoughts and feelings can be pretty powerful at times, but never overpowering, the spirit will always respect our agency. Our capacity to act on the promptings of the spirit shows our level of faith. We must learn to pay heed to every prompting no matter how large or small, important or seemingly insignificant it may seem, He will always lead us in a better path. 

If there is one large change that has taken place in me during my mission, it would be that I have come to better understand what the spirit is in my life and how it truly is my constant companion. Not just in moments of need or urgence, but an unfailing friend that guides constantly. 

I love you all! The boating trip looks like it was a blast! Thanks for all the pictures! 

Until next week,
Elder Twede