First of all....
Thank you SO MUCH Kipps for that AWESOME letter! I cannot tell you the delight and uncontrolable squeal of laughter that your letters provoked. THANK YOU for sending that sunshine and inspiration. I LOVE your family. Laura- NYC!??? SO COOL. So perfect for you! Now... I´m dying to hear about your adventures and halarious stories told in your fashion. Please. :) I am searching for a post office so I can sent you a letter. Thank yoooooou!! :)
Does any one have Kenny Adam´s mailing address?(Not that I can even mail right now... but in the future..) And Marcelus´??
Umm... I had the scarriest Halloween of my life. I had to give a talk in Sacrament meeting! But... you may ask.... how? I don´t speak spanish?- exactly. Mostly. I have never really minded giving talks... often I fancy the opportunity to prepare and testify.... but this..... I struggled not being insecure and prideful. Yet... as I prepared... for the first time since I was probably 12- I wrote out a talk word for word... and was resigned to just read it and just try to get through it... knowing that I would sound silly, and probably no one would understand me.... but hopefully they would be patient and by some miracle... the Spirit would be there. So.... sunday came... and as Hernana Bush was giving her talk... the Spirit flowed into that meeting... and I was washed over with peace. As I looked out into the faces of the ward members....... I was filled with this overwhelming and indescribable love for them- I think the only word for it would be- charity. Finally.... for the next 15 minutes... I was remarkably free from my pride... and I stopped thinking that this was about..me. When I stood up to speak... I felt like I was in a home ward... speaking in english. I started to learn what it truly means when the Lord promised, ¨Open they mouth and it shall be given thee¨- because....... I got up and spoke for a while... and suddenly realized... that I hadn´t even opened my prepared talk yet. I don´t really remember what I said... and I know it wasn´t perfect.... but there were a few seconds during my talking that I had an out of body experience.... almost like my body kept talking... but I was able to step back and listen to myself............. and it did not sound like me....especially my spanish. I glanced at my prepared talk some.... but the message I gave was significantly different from what I prepared... and I know that the only way I could have said anything different than what was on the paper... was through the Spirit... and the gift of tongues. Afterwards... people said that they understood EVERYTHING I said- except 2 words. :) Truly- this is a MIRACLE.
Contrary to my past life..... I think one of the biggest temptations of Satan for me... is the temptation not to speak. My pride gets in the way... and I don`t want to sound dummy, I am led to think that I will just hinder the work and make things awkward... but I have been blessed with humbling experiences that remind me that I am send here to testify, teach, and love- in spanish. I have had a number of such moments of inspiration, clarity, and communication like this last sunday.... but not always. I am learning that this gift is much like the Liahona for the family of Lehi in the Book of Mormon. My ability to speak with the people here is SO closely linked and dependent on the needs of the people, my faith, obedience, and... charity. I am learning that when I truly and wholly love the people that we are teaching....... I am finally able to forget about myself... I stop caring about how silly I sound... and the most important thing is to say what the Spirit gives me. It was said in a devotional in the MTC that, ¨You will get to know Him as He works through you¨¨ and ¨He needs your weakness to show His power through you¨. Welp... I´ve got the weaknesses.... and I am undeniably seeing His power.
A definate bonus of this language test... is that I am a source of great entertainment for everyone around me. I told a women when I first got here that her dog was very very pretty- but she didn´t have a dog. I was talking about her hair. When trying to ask someone if they were hungry... I asked if they had a man. When trying to ask two men if they had wives.... I asked if they were married to each other. When teaching the Plan of Salvation to an investigador... when the Spirit was so strong and things were going so great..... I taught her that God has a body of meat and eggs.
- but I´ve done far worse in english- right? hahahaaaa
Morgan: You would love it here! I think about you all the time when I´m walking down the road- it´d be Morgan heaven! There are dogs, cats, chickens, lizards, geckos, and exotic beautiful birds EVERYWHERE. I have seen the BIGGEST ants EVER- like I thought I´d only see on discovery channel. Lots of people have big beautiful parrots. You´d love it. :)
I am still love our humble little abode. President Lopez wants us to be looking for a new ¨house¨.... so we´ve been trying. I think some of my biggest frustrations have not been the language. My main tests of patience are time. Our area is SO big.... I feel like we´re walking FAR more than talking and teaching. It´s often pretty commical with the three of us- Hermana Bush who is almost 6 foot with wonderfully long legs, me with the innate drive to walk compulsively fast, and dear Hermana Ramirez who is probably 5ft 2¨ has to try to keep up. I´m trying to be patient... but I feel like we´re always late! It´s definately not Hermana Ramirez´s fault though. The beautiful but nonfunctional (for missionary work) aspect of the culture here is the love of shootin´the breeze and talking. I so often hear Dad in my head as I look at my watch and see how time has flown.... but I don´t know how to leave!! It´s such a difficult balance of truly enjoying people, being polite and understanding the culture, and... utilizing the Lórd´s time HIS WAY!!! On a few occasions I´ve gotten my comps to literally RUN house to house to be on time.... but we do look silly and it´s hot.... so it´s not a preferred fashion... for all. :)
After my sandwich nightmare... I am trying SO HARD to be more flexible with the food situation. I tried pupusas the other night- and I am still alive to tell about it. It´s ever so polite to over soda for guests... and so I´m trying ever so sincerely to acclimate to that too. uhh...yup. My companions are so great on so many accounts.... but I could just worship them in the moments that the host turns their back and they give me their vegetables that they don´t want.. and they take what I need taken and they want! :)
Ok... I just wrote too much! I love you all dearly!!! I love being a missionary!! I love El Salvador... life is so great.... woohooo!!!! :)
Family: I NEED JOEL´S EMAILS! ok! tata! I´ll send pictures