Hola Familia! This was a really weird week. I feel like it was all such a blur. I can't believe tomorrow is my 2 month mark....QUE EN EL MUNDO.
I am loving it here in Arizona. The members are so kind to me It's amazing. They get all happy when I tell them I'm from California because they think I know Spanish, but then I can't understand anything they say after that and I'm sure they change their mind. haha
On Tuesday we had another exchange, except this time I went with Hermana Knudson who came out the same day I did...so as you can imagine it was a pretty interesting day. We literally spent forever trying to find out were people lived. I felt so bad because it wasn't my area I wasn't that much of a help, and we both don't have ipads yet so we didn't even have the area book. So we made cookies and just tried to see as many people as we could that could speak both Spanish and English hahaha. The best part of this story is that we had to teach a SPANISH CLASS. Yes Spanish. NOT English. A lot of kids here have parents who speak only spanish and since they go to school here and learn english they don't know spanish very well, so that's were I came in. It was actually way fun and we just did simple simple basics! I just thought it was so funny.
Thursday night and Friday morning Hermana Aguilar was sick with the flu :( Entonces, I had a LOT of study and reflection time to myself. Not going to lie, it was very lonely and depressing after awhile. However, I learned so much about how I need to be better. As a missionary I have been finding it hard to distinguish Godly sorrow and shame. Since I am set apart and don't have the normal distractions, Satan likes to tempt missionaries with missionary work....if that makes any sense? Sometimes I get down if I'm not being PERFECT or if I didn't completely fulfill my missionary purpose exactly in one appointment, or if I cant speak fluent spanish and dont contribute much to a lesson. I guess I have been so worried and have been really hard on myself because I know better.
But I am finding out that those have been major thinking errors on my part. I read the talk "Latter Day Saints Keep Trying" and I realized as long as I'm trying my best Heavenly Father is proud of me. Even in those moments when I know I am not doing my best, I know I can repent and change and do better the next time. I think that is what I need to remember. It makes sense that Satan tries to tear down missionaries, I guess I just never thought he would twist missionary work to do it. It was so confusing for me to try and understand at first. "Am I feeling this way because I am bad?" or "Am I feeling this way because Satan wants me to be discouraged?"
Once I have been able to recognize that God never discourages you. He will always calm, comfort, and lead you. Satan rushes, pushes, worries, confuses, and discourages you. That is why reading the scriptures is SO IMPORTANT! Here is when God teaching you. Here is where God will tell you how to be better, how to repent and change to become more like Him. It is simply beautiful.
As a mission we are focusing on the Book of Mormon this Transfer. Everyone that we talk to we MUST share something from the Book of Mormon and spend at least 30min in personal study reading it.
During my interview with president Jenkins, he asked me how reading the Book of Mormon has helped me since I've gotten here. I had to think about it because it didn't even cross my mind that it was helping me, but when I began to express my gratitude I broke down crying (embarrassing) . I realized that the Book of Mormon has given me the most comfort while I have been here. I thought that the mission would be full of feeling the spirit every second of everyday, but its been challenging to feel the spirit at times. Reading the Book of Mormon has been the closest I have felt to God, especially during my first week when I felt so alone.
Mom, I LOVED what you said about the Book of Mormon being the best self help book out there. It's so true! Keep reading! <3
Yesterday Hermana Aguilar and I were asked to give the presentation at a baptism of one of her investigators in her first area. President Jenkins was there and I was so nervous to speak Spanish in front of him for some reason, but I did it! hahaha Also we have been having some pretty amazing rain storms. Many trees have been pulled out of the ground. The temple had three palm trees knocked over. We were able to see Mario the other day! We taught him the Plan of Salvation and his reaction wasn't what I was expecting, but he agreed to meet with us again so that is awesome! He prayed for the first time in front of us and it took us a lot of convincing for him to do it. After his prayer he was SO SO Happy. It was so sweet. Missionary work is the best. THE BEST.
Also we were walking to see Julio and this little girl Nathan's age starting talking to us. We then starting talking to her Dad (who didn't seem too interested) then Lilly (the little girl) popped up and said "Are you the girls that go around talking about God? I REALLY want to come to church. I want to learn more about God." I was so surprised by this little girl and her desire to learn more about Jesus Christ. I think I am starting to truly understand what it means to become as a little child. All the children here adore missionaries. You can really see the innocence and humility in there eyes. They are so sweet. I have gotten so many drawings and pictures and hugs from children who we only see for one visit.
Sorry I feel like this letter is me just talking about random stuff. Know that I'm learning so much about Faith, Repentance, Patience, Humility....pretty much everything I need to work on :)
That is the beauty of this gospel. Try a little harder to be a little better.
Be brave little champions!
Hermana Allen and Hermana Aguilar
The "Argentine" and the "Chilan" getting along just fine :)
Hermana Allen made a digital B-day card for her Mama then asked an investigator send it.