Holy cow it’s been 6 months? It seems like it’s only been a few weeks but yet again it seems like I’ve been here forever. I think time just kinda stopped for me as soon as I arrived and the world’s been spinning without me. I have a hard time believing that this time next year I won’t be wearing a nametag anymore. It gives me just that much more motivation to make this next 12 months really count. I was telling Mama in my other e-mail that it’s crazy to think I’ve been here for so long and I still don’t feel like I’ve made a difference yet. I think I came here wanting to have a lasting impact on the people here, although I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting to have happen. I look back on the past 6 months and don’t feel like I’ve actually made all that much of a difference. That’s not to say it hasn’t been worth it or I can’t see a change, because I certainly see everything differently now. My view of the world, the people in it, including myself, and of my Savior has changed a lot. I’ve witnessed many miracles while here and I feel like a different person because of it. So I know that at least I will have converted myself. I guess that’s what happens when you do the Lord’s work. It’s a great blessing to be here. I’m a part of something much bigger that I can even comprehend. I see that every day when I take a moment to think about the magnitude of my calling as a representative of Jesus Christ. The amount that I don’t yet understand by far outweights what my mind does have somewhat of a hold on, but what I can testify to, is that this church is true. Jesus Christ has restored his Gospel and Priesthood authority on the earth once more through a prophet, and we have the Lord’s guidance because of it. He knows who we are, and what challenges we have. I recieved a confirmation of this earlier this week as I was talking to a former companion of mine, who now lives with us as a result of some other events (don’t ask). I was impressed by the love the Savior must feel for her, and as I was talking to her, I realized that I everything I was saying applies directly to each and every one of us. YOU (insert pointing finger here) are a child of Heavenly Father. He loves you. He knows your name. He knows what’s in your heart, so you can be sure that when no one else understands, He does. He gets it. He gets you. And He reaches out to you every day if you let Him. As we share this truth with people every day, it’s easy to forget to apply it to myself and really internalize how amazing that is. I am a daughter of God! How cool is that?? I wish I could make everyone just grasp that concept. If people really understood their divine nature, every other principle of the Gospel would just fall in line. They wouldn’t have a problem with the Word of Wisdom, because they wouldn’t dare defile their bodies with harmful things. They would easily accept the Plan of Salvation, because it makes perfect sense that Heavenly Father would have sent us here with a sure way to return to Him again. There would be peace and love in the world, because it would be clearly understood that the worth of every soul is precious in the sight of God. Every once in a while I get a glimpse of the eternal nature of these truths, and it just blows my mind. We had an experience this week like that. We were in a lesson with a man who’s been confined to a wheelchair because of a work-related accident. In the middle of the lesson, I had a prompting to sing “I am a child of God” to him. So my companions and I sang all three verses. Most of those that know me also know that I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to music, choirs, harmony, etc., but I can honestly say that I’ve never heard anything more beautiful and in-tune than that song. And I’m sure it has nothing to do with our talent. My companions and I all agreed that that was the strongest we’d felt the Spirit in any lesson we’d had so far. I know that it was witnessing to me the truthfulness of the message those verses contained.
Not everyone is ready to hear that message though, because soon after, the same investigator moved to “Guatemala.” I put it in quotation marks because he didn’t actually go to the country Guatemala. We’re not sure exactly what went on, but we have an idea that “Guatemala” may have just been code for “the other bedroom.” We were having a conversation with him and his sister about how they were leaving the next morning at 3am to catch a flight, when his brother, who was also going, walked in. We asked if he was excited to go, and he replied “donde?” His sister then elbowed him and said, “Guatemala, remember?” I think there may have been a wink in there too. He quickly looked back at us and insisted he was kidding and said yes, he was indeed excited. This week we had another companionship take over this particular area, so we asked them to go visit this house. They reported back that the brothers were indeed still there. We still have no solid ideas of why they lied about this, but either way, the missionaries are still going to visit them! Haha…
Anyway, this week was pretty uneventful. I caught strep throat and spent a couple days inside and in and out of the doctor/pharmacies/walmart buying orange juice, but I’m finally back on my feet and we’re ready to work again! One of my companions complained of a little sore throat this morning though, so fingers crossed we won’t be starting the process over again. I thank you all for your prayers and thoughts! I’m grateful for all the support and I feel it every day!
A special thought and prayer goes out to all those who will have a hard week as the anniversary of 9/11 comes up. We will never forget.
I love all of you!