Thursday, April 25, 2013

April 25, 2013-The final weeks en el CCM

Hello there everyone!
I can't believe it's already time for another p-day! This last week went by so fast!!
As always, things here en el CCM are crazy and hectic, but I'm learning to love every minute, and little things are becoming big things.
This week has been unique in that our schedule changes by the minute. All the teachers and helpers have finals this week and next, and it makes for interesting lessons. We've had a lot of opportunities to teach "new" investigators this week, and it's actually been really awesome. It's fun to get a lot of different advice, because even though the lessons are the same, each teacher and missionary has a different approach. We learned a lot about contacting, door approaches, and the importance of getting your direct message across in just a couple short minutes. We did a bunch of drills where we had to teach the whole first lesson (8 main ideas) in 30 seconds. In Spanish! It was seriously so hard, we got it down after a while, and it was fun to realize how far we've come with the language. That's not to say that it's perfect by any means, but it's definitely coming along!
With one of our subs this week, we did a principle exercise, and so to focus more on the technique instead of the language, he had us teach a lesson in English. It was SO HARD! Praying in English feels so weird, and talking about the first lesson, and inviting people to read the Book of Mormon and baptism in English was almost comical. We were stuttering, and ended up just talking way too much! It was a good feeling to realize that our brains really are starting to work with the language!
 This last week was jam-packed of spiritual experiences! We had two more super great devotionals. First was on Sunday, during Relief Society. Cheryl Esplin from the Primary General Presidency came and spoke to us. She talked to us about missionary work, and realizing the importance of knowing who we are and what our role is.
She started out by having us sing a primary song. She said "I'm going to start humming, and as soon as you recognize the song, I want you to stand up and sing loudly!" She started humming the first three notes of "I belong to the Church..." and we all stood up and sand "of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I know who I am, I know God's plan, I'll follow him in faith!...." It was amazing the power, conviction, and spirit in the room. We finished singing "His truth I will proclaim!" it was an awesome moment. This work is amazing. She talked about how important it is to never lose sight of who we are, and what we've agreed to do. This simple, primary truth is one of the greatest things a missionary can remember. She quoted D&C 84:88 : "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." This is the Lord's work. He is with us always, there to help us, to guide us, to "bear us up". I've definitely realized the truth of that this past week.
The next devotional was from Elder David F. Evans from the Missionary Department. He talked about the same principle. The spirit of non-distraction. He and his wife, Mary, spoke about the role missionaries have and how it's so crucial that we "Leave all feelings of ME at the door." This is our Heavenly Father's work, it's not about us! This has been a recurring theme since we've gotten here. We are merely instruments in the Lord's hands. He quoted my favorite, and missionary plaque scripture, Alma 26:12 : "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but i will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things...."
Then, he went on to talk about how our purpose as missionaries is, yes, to help others to come unto Christ, but through repentance. He said "some times the repentance process is hindered by our limited understanding of what it actually means to repent. He took us through the scriptures in Mosiah, where King Benjamin is speaking to the people. The importance of really utilizing the atonement, and being completely submissive to the will of the Lord.
We must YIELD to the spirit, allow it to work within us, and to really shape and mold us into what the Lord wants, not what we want. Everyone deserves that chance for a complete change of heart. We, as members, need it daily, and we, as missionaries, have the responsibility to help investigators understand their ability to receive those same blessings.
It was a really powerful talk. The atonement is amazing. I am so humbled and grateful every time we talk about it, there is so much to learn, and I know that we'll never be able to fully comprehend it's far-reaching effects.
I had another cool opportunity this week. I got called as the Sister Training Leader. It's a new program, and I get the opportunity to go to all of the leadership meetings, and trainings that the zone leaders go to. We've had several meetings already this week, and I'm so excited. With the new wave of sisters, they realized how important it is to make sure that the new girls coming in receive the necessary help, guidance, and training that they need. I've gotten to spend a lot of time with each of the girls and get to know them and serve them better. It's can be time-consuming and hectic at times, but I've loved it so far. I just have to say, I'm so amazed at the strength of some of the missionaries in my district and zone. The little 18 year old district and zone leaders really step up to the plate, and have so much to contribute in meetings and planning. I love to sit back and observe as they share their ideas. I honestly feel so inadequate at times, I still have so much to learn, but I know that that's a part of it. Sometimes the Lord gives us responsibilities to make us stretch and grow. I'm learning tons every day. More than I ever thought was possible. And at the same time, I can feel my capacities to love and learn and serve becoming stronger each day.
I love missionary work. It's hard, and busy, and fun, and so rewarding.
Here's to hoping our visas come tonight!!
Love you all so very much!
xoxoxo your Hermana C

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