Sorry to make you all so depressed last week. I am still not perfectly obedient and we are not perfect in teaching or in achieving our goals or anything like that. But we did have TWO investigators at church this week. So there are some small miracles, and I know it is because of your prayers on our behalf.
Can you believe that I have been in the field for nearly a month now? CRAZY! I feel like in a whole month maybe I should have learned more or gotten more done, but at the same time it seems like I really haven´t been here all that long at all and that I shouldn´t worry so much about it.
This cambio (transfer) is only five weeks, because they don´t do cambios the week of Christmas, so there might be some changes in our district or zone after this week. But I´m pretty sure I won´t have to worry about it because I´m only halfway through training and Hermana Bowns goes home after next cambio.
We had a mini-conference this week, where they trained us on how to teach like the Savior. I understood about half of what was said because President speaks pretty slowly in Spanish and Hermana Humphrey doesn´t really speak Spanish at all, so she has someone translate for her. But I couldn´t understand anything the assistants said, they just spoke too quickly for me. We learned a
LOT though and we had a
practice that we got to do in English since Hermana Humphrey was in charge of
our group. They put all the newer gringo missionaries together with her
so that we could all understand what was going on. Hermana Humphrey is a
really great missionary! She helped us so much in our practice to
recognize the needs of the people we were teaching, learn how to ask inspired
questions, and teach the doctrines that will meet their needs and help them to
have a spiritual experience. Of course, in English this is always easier
and though I really want to apply it in my everyday lessons, I haven´t yet
figured out how to do it in Spanish....
I also got to see Hermana Frandsen! She is in the other zone in
and we met with both
zones together that day, so that was awesome. We sang our theme song ( Chillan Loch Lomond) and gave each other
normal hugs instead of saluding. It was so great to see her.
On Sunday, I had to give my very first talk (discurso) in sacrament meeting since my "farewell" talk. It was very stressful, especially when the bishop told us that the other speaker hadn´t come and so we had to fill the whole meeting (when originally I was told to speak for only seven minutes). But I think I took up my fair share of the time and Hermana Bowns left a sweet note in my himnario that said that she thought it was a talk someone eight months, not only one, into the mission would have given. I don´t really believe her, since I really hope I speak better Spanish that I did yesterday seven months from now (I had to keep asking her for translations from the pulpit), but I did feel like it didn´t go too badly.
I had been studying and learning a lot about the connection between faith and obedience (I think I shared some scriptures before about that) and so I decided to talk about that. I shared three stories from the scriptures about people who had to ACT on what they had a belief in.
The first was about the Israelites in the wilderness with Moses, and how they had been murmuring against God, and so the Lord sent fiery serpents among them and many of them were bitten and killed. When they realized that they had been disobedient and asked Moses for help, the Lord told him to make a brass serpent and put it on a rod, and then anyone who had been bitten need only LOOK at the brass serpent and they would be healed. (Numbers 21:5-9) It´s so simple! If you have faith in the Lord and believe that He will heal you, you LOOK. But many of them did not look (1 Nephi ); they did not have real faith and so they perished.
The next story was that of the woman with the issue of blood who is healed because she reaches out and touches the hem of the Savior´s robe. (Matthew 9:20-22) I love what it says in verse 21, "For she said within herself, if I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole." And did she sit around waiting for the Savior to come and heal her? Did she hope that maybe his clothing would brush up against her in the crowded street? NO! She REACHED OUT and touched it herself! She had the faith to ACT!
The last example I shared was that of Nephi. He is always heralded as having had incredible faith. But we wouldn´t say so if he hadn´t ALWAYS done whatever things the Lord had asked him to do. (1 Nephi 3:7, 2 Nephi 33:15)
Fatih is not just believing. It is an assurance, an expectation. If you expect it to rain and you don´t bring your umbrella, you´re going to get wet! By the same token, if you expect the Savior to heal you, if you expèct the Lord to bless you, if you expect to receive the incredible gift of eternal salvation, you have to DO those things which our Heavenly Father and the Savior have asked you to do.
So that is your commitment (and mine) this week. DO SOMETHING! Pray more fervently, study the scriptures more diligently, be more attentive in Church, love and serve those around you, strengthen your family with family prayer or scripture study or family home evening, or make a different personal goal. But do something to demonstrate your faith, your gratitude, and your love to our Heavenly Father. I know that if you do, you WILL receive those promised blessings.
I love you all. Thank you for your support and prayers!