Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Week 5

The two other Missionaries from Oregon in my District and Hermano Tinoco, GO DUCKS!!!

It´s so weird to think that it´s spring break back home already. We are still hard at work here at the CCM. Today I´m going to try to work on summarizing my week better because I know once I get out into the field it´ll be extremely hard to get out what I want to say since the time allotted is a lot more strict.

Last Tuesday we had a devotional given by Elder Ernesto Toris of the 70 who oversees Mexico. He gave use advice on how to be an excellent missionary. First we need to be loyal to Heavenly Father, second loyal to our mission presidents, third know how to work with local church leaders, fourth know how to work with your companion and other missionaries, lastly to always, always, ALWAYS work through "Predicad Mi Evangelio" (Preach My Gospel). I very much agree with the last one because I've gained a lot of respect for that book now that I know the background of how it came about and that I've actually studied hard out of it and used it to guide my lessons and study. I'm very grateful to be a missionary during this time when we have this amazing inspired manual. And lastly a quote I loved from his talk was "Don't forget who you are". As long as I remember that I am a representative of Jesus Christ and strive to act as he would, I know I can accomplish all that the Lord has in store for my mission.

Wednesday was a day full of hard work, spending our service time moving furniture and teaching two lessons throughout the day that my companion and I weren't prepared for since service cut out a lot of our study time. I know service is important though and I feel a desire to help the workers here because of how much they do for us without an ounce of hesitation. Thursday was the opposite in terms of study time because my companion and I only had to teach one short lesson the whole day which gave us an extra hour of study time and plus without the service we had another hour and a half on top of that. It's funny how much I cherish the study time I have and I honestly wish I had more time to study because I see the results my hard work puts out. Luckily the time at the CCM is nothing compared to the rest and so I'll have plenty of time to study my guts out in the field.

My District w/ Hermano Tinoco

On Friday I felt like a ton of new information was hurled at me and I hope I was able to retain some of it. Friday is the day for our District to pass off our memorized scriptures which is always stressful for me since I set a pretty high goal of memorizing one scripture a day, and these are all in Spanish. I remember in Seminary when I had a whole school year to pass off 25 scriptures in English and I thought that was hard. Now I am, trying to pass off 30 scriptures in a new language and I have roughly 40 days in total to accomplish that goal. I've discovered that taking things one day at a time really works. I've been trying hard to set and keep my daily goals and it really helps keep me on track. I am really grateful for the many things I have learned here that will help me continue to progress throughout my Mission and the rest of my life.

Party on Saturday watching The Testaments and playing with candies

Saturday was a really fun day. Our District had a party during our Gym time in class with Hermano Tinoco because his last day of teaching us was Yesterday. He brought us Churros which were delicious and we watched a movie called "The Testaments" which we had watched a few Sundays ago but wanted to watch it again. During our afternoon class that day with Hermano Cayetano we played Mormon Mafia during language time which I thought was really funny for missionaries to be playing but we had to speak in Español so I guess it was good practice.

Hermano Tinoco and Me

Now for my favorite day, SUNDAYYYYY!!!! First of all I received a huge compliment/encouragement during our District meeting. We were sharing our thoughts and my companion Elder Clark spoke out and talked about how good of an example I am to him for constantly working so hard and how I'm without a doubt the hardest worker in our District. Also how at the beginning I had barely any knowledge of the language and would always ask him what a word is in Spanish, but now he's the one who asks me for words every once in a while. I had never even noticed this drastic improvement and so I'm really grateful that he said that. I know I'm still not even close to having the highest level of Spanish in my District, but I know I am progressing at my own pace and I just need to keep going at it and never let myself be satisfied with my level no matter how much I improve.

Next we had Class with my favorite member of the CCM Presidency, President Call. He talked on the atonement and answered something I haven't been able to understand about it. The thing I was opened up to is the third aspect of the atonement. The first is how all can and will overcome physical death because of his resurrection, the second is we all can obtain forgiveness for our sins if we repent and are faithful, and the third and new one to me was how we can overcome all our challenges. These challenges include things like pain, suffering, sorrow, sickness, and all other manner of afflictions. I knew Jesus Christ had taken upon himself not only all our sins but all our afflictions as well, but I never understood how we can take advantage of that sacrifice until now and I still have a long ways to go in terms of understanding the extent and depth of it. The way we can use this aspect is by calling upon the Lord in times of peril for strength beyond our own to get through our trials. The important thing he pointed out is how we need to pray for help to press through and that God won't change our circumstances most of the time because he wants us to learn and grow through these experiences. I wish I could have retained more of the amazing things he spoke on and I don't have time to share them all, but I'm just glad to have this aspect of the atonement opened up to me because it has led to an even greater love and appreciation of this ultimate sacrifice Jesus Christ made for everyone.

Cool never-ending mirrors I noticed while waiting to get my hair cut with my Compañero Elder Clark

Lastly on Sunday we watched a Devotional broadcast of Richard G Scott and he spoke on prayer. Amazingly I learned something I had never known about prayer either. He explained how prayers are always answered when we ask in faith, but there are three ways this generally occurs. First is a feeling of peace and comfort telling you the decision or your thoughts are correct, second is an unsettling, stuper of thought telling us we are wrong. Third is the one I didn't know which is we receive no answer. Wait didn't he just tell us how our Heavenly Father will always answer our prayers? And this is something I've always known to be true so how can this happen? Well it turns out that God's answer to our prayers sometimes can be to not give us any feeling or response. When this happens it is because he trusts us to continue forth and make the right decisions and if we end up making a mistake he will let us know through impressions. Elder Scott then explained how we should give thanks to our father in heaven when we don't receive guidance or responses to our prayers because that means he trust us and wants us to work it out on our own because he knows it's what's best for us in order to grow and progress furthest. This concept is hard for me to wrap my head around, but in the end it makes sense to me and these are the inspired words of an Apostle, so I know they are true. 

My District leader and I after a workout today

Wow I can't believe how hard this is, I tried to shorted my week summary but I couldn't help explaining these wonderful experiences and things I've learned this week. The weather has been off and on sunny and cloudy with one other decent storm last night, but not like the last one. Plus overall it has warmed up a lot which has been nice. The language is still hard, but I am understanding more and more every day and I know I will be able to get to where I need to be to effect the lives of many wonderful natives during my mission, I just need to have patience and continue to work hard! 

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