"In the strength of the Lord, I can do all things" -Alma 20:4
Dear Family and Friends,
Let me first off thank you all for you prayers- I cannot deny the support and power I have felt throughout this week as a result of your faith on my behalf. Thank you Thank you. I am so overwhelmed with joy and gratitude right now... I am not sure how to explain the source and the events that have caused this fountain of emotion.
Since my first district left two weeks ago for the Peru MTC... I have been in a different district in my zone- that are 5 weeks ahead of me in training. I was only supposed to be in it for less than a week- when my plans were to go to Guatamala for the rest of my training. Yet... as previously discussed... tonsilitis changed that... but I remained in this district. Can I testify again of the truth of Doctrine and Covenants 46:30, "He that asketh in the Spirit asketh according to the will of God; wherefore it is done even as he asketh". I still feel that I have been prompted to specifically pray for those things- and I being blessed with exactly what I asked for. I cannot deny that it is not the way I asked it to happen... nor can I deny that these things are the answer to my prayer. I guess I should explain a little more.
I prayed to progress in Spanish- to be challenged- and to have the gift of tongues- to learn to truly rely on the Lord and allow His power to be manifested through me. Tall order, ya? Well... I went from a learning enviroment where some spanish was spoken... and everyone else in my class was in the beginings of learning- some even more behind to that...... and then I changed to a district where EVERYTHING is in spanish... they have "english fasts" - in which they don't speak a word of english all day. I am the only Sister in my whole zone (about 55 elders) and the least able to speak in Spanish in my new district. It has definately shut me up! :) It's been very overwhelming and humbling... certainly a challenge.... but I have learned more in the last 1.5 weeks than I have in the 3 weeks before. There have been moments in class... when I suddenly understand everything the teacher is saying... and I can start to express myself in spanish... even in practice teaching... when I can say things that I have not really studied before... or have certainly never said before- I cannot deny the clear glimpses of the gift of tongues already. It is so humbling and awe inspiring. The Book of Mormon in Spanish is starting to make sense.... I know that the Lord has truly blessed me in great progress.
Yet... I am not humble... and I am even less patient. Despite the miracles that I have experienced... I somehow have moments of frustration, impatience, and lack of gratitude when I remember how little I actually know and how far I still have to go. I fall back into relying on myself and my own abilities... rather than relying and trusting the Spirit to teach me... and especially my future investigators that I will teach. I was having such a period of torment the other night... and as I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth.... pitying myself.... my Sister missionary friend from El Salvador came around the corner and all in spanish said, "I found you!" She proceeded to only speak to me in Spanish... and I understood it. Before I could even tell her what silly things were bothering me... she said, "I want to tell you my story."- she told me about her conversion story- how the Sister missionaries found her- but especially about her favorite missionary from Georgia, USA. She said that she did not speak perfect spanish... hardly any... but when she spoke- the Spirit was SO strong. She said that she expressed her love SO clearly in all that she did and even in her face... that Sister Arriya felt the Lord's love. She told me that I needed to stop worrying about the language... and just keep loving. (Remember- I told her nothing of my "worries") - I know that Sister Arriya was prompted by the Spirit to come find me- and tell me what the Lord wanted me to know. It was SUCH a tender mercy- one out of HUNDREDS that I have experienced here in such a short amount of time. I cannot deny the Lord's mercy and grace on me. It is overwhelming.
So... I have been with Elders ALL day EVERY day... and it's been very humbling and interesting. :) I love them. Yet... they leave today for their mission fields... so I had to find another district. I needed to find a district according to how long I'd be here- but I didn't know how long I'd be here! Today in the temple ( I LOVE LOVE LOVE the temple... It will be difficult to not have the opportunity to go every week when I'm in the field) I had this beautiful peace wash over me as I asked if I should leave here soon. I left the temple this morning with full confidence and trust in whatever was to come. I met with the doctor again today- and we decided that if my throat hasn't exploded by next week... that I'd be good to get on a plane and go to Guatamala!! I thought this was the answer to my prayers... that this was the magical solution. Then...
I just got called to the district presidency's office- they called the Area presidency of Central America and my Mission President and had a "phone conference" about me... and they decided to skip the Guatamala MTC and just send me ASAP because they don't have a mission nurse right now- so they want me NOW. SO... I will be entering in the field September 28th- two weeks earlier than planned. This means that I will have an inconsistent and TWO WEEK SHORTENED language training. The District President asked, "How is your spanish?" - and I tried not to burst into tears. I said... "oh... well.... umm...." and then he asked, " How is your faith?" - and then the emotions flooded in. I knew that THIS was the reason I was delayed... THIS was to be the real test of faith. I am not confident in Spanish. I am not confident of my health, I'm not even that sure of my nursing skills.... but my true confidence does not root in myself.
I am confident in the Lord. I have been praying for faith.... and now I get to exercise the faith that I have to let it grow. I will walk off that plane with fractured Spanish... and abnormally short language training....... but with confidence in The LORD. I am so grateful for a merciful Heavenly Father that truly does hear and answer my prayers for my benefit. I am SO grateful for the opportunity to be on His errand- and I know that as Christ said in
Moroni 7:33, " if ye will have faith in me ye shall have pwoer to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me"
I know that I am called to His work. My abilities are minimal, but His power is great.
I love you all.