Hola mi familia y amigos!!!
It's been almost 2 weeks since I've been off the antibiotics... and no tonsilitis!! WOOHOOO!!! Hopefully I am cured and it will no longer be a factor. Even if that is not the reason why I stayed.... I can see many possible reasons I was supposed to stay here... and have experienced many blessings. (I'm sorry if my letters are cliche missionary sermons.... I really don't know what else to write! As Alma said, "this is my life, my light, my joy and salvation"- I have nothing else to talk about- and I LOVE it!! )
I have been feeling better and better about leaving in a week. Sometimes the reality of cutting my language study 2.5 weeks shorter than the training that everyone else gets... gives me a jolt of nerves.... but then I am reminded of the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 67:10 that talks about fear and pride. My fear comes from my pride- relying on myself and my own abilities. No- I CANNOT naturally speak spanish right now... but I am gradually learning to trust in the Lord... and have faith that I will be able to be a competent productive missionary in the field as long as I am obedient. ....but too often my pride creeps back in.... and I fear.
Sometimes I feel like I could jump on the plane TODAY... but when I look around as see all the beauties of this little compound... I know that I will miss many things about it. The missionaries here are SO inspiring. I meet people from all over the world- like just yesterday I met an Elder from Ecuador going to serve spanish speaking in Salt Lake Utah, and Elder from Brazil going to serve in Japan, a sister from Honduras going to serve in Arizona, Sisters from Russia going to serve in Russia..... - it is SO fun. Relief Society meetings (the meetings for all the women) are unbelievable. We get to hear from lots of people. Last week Sister Dalton, the president of the Young Women's Organization spoke to us. During her talk, she started saying the young women's theme... and one by one... sisters rose up and joined with her. Pretty soon there were nearly 500 sisters saying " We are daughters of a loving Heavenly Father, who loves us and we love Him. We will stand as witnesses of God at all times, in all things, in all places..." in many languages. I could see and hear the YW theme being said in Portuguese, spanish, english, indonesian, Korean, Japanese, Ukrainian, Russian, tagolog, and bulgarian. The spirit was SO powerful. The prophecy of the gospel being brought to all the corners of the earth was so tangibly manifested in that room at that moment. WOAH.
In relief society, we always have a convert sister share her story of how she found the gospel. This week, a bulgarian sister going to serve in Sweden gave an incredible story. She told of being raised in a good and strong Christian home, and going to school in Germany. She came back to her apartment one day and these elders were meeting with her roommate. She could barely speak German, and the Elders didn't speak that well anyways... and though she had never heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and was VERY skeptical... she could somehow understand everything they said. She said that she had NEVER spoke german that well as she did when she was talking about the gospel with them. She resisted... but the missionaries found her a Bulgarian Book of Mormon... and she started to study. She went to a fireside and the Apostle Elder Jeffrey R. Holland spoke- in english. She hardly knew any english- but she testified that at that meeting she could understand EVERYTHING Elder Holland said. She bore such a powerful witness of the Gift of Tongues and the reality of Holy Ghost in our lives. It was AWESOME.
Of course, I've been thinking a lot about the Gift of Tongues... as that is a huge quest in my life. My old roommate that was going to temple square told me an AWESOME story a while ago that has really stuck with me. The sisters visited Temple Square for a day to practice what they had been learning. My roommate, Sister Moore, was teamed up with a sister from Sweden. The sister had learned english here... and when they had started their day in prayer... This sister prayed for the gift of tongues. At that moment, sister Moore was confused... because this sister seemed totally competent in English now. Later on in the day... they were walking and saw a family from Guatamala... and this Swedish Sister said, "let's go talk to them." - and Sister Moore was like, "well... let's get the spanish speaking sisters..."- but the Swedish sister kept walking. She went right up to them and started speaking to them in...... spanish. This sister was from Sweden... English was her only other language.... but she felt, obeyed, and trusted in the Lord and was able to speak in SPANISH!! WOAH!!!
All insecurities aside... I am anxious to get out of here and get teaching. Even just meeting someone in the airport and being able to testify of Christ... gives me the chills. I am SO anxious to meet the people of El Salvador that I already love. I cannot wait to tell them of their ancestors- that they had prophets in their land... their ancestors knew of Christ... and that He did truly visit them after He was resurrected!!! I can't keep it to myself that our Loving Heavenly Father reveals all things to a living prophet TODAY... and that this joy and happiness can be given to EVERYONE.
I love love love being a missionary. I LOVE the peace and comfort of knowing that the Lord truly has guided me to be here right now and continually sustains me and can, has, and will, make all things possible.
Love you all!!!