Monday, January 20, 2014

Week Doce

I MISS MY FLUTE!!!!! My packet said not to bring instruments, but I could´ve brought my flute. I could´ve used it in the MTC and here. I wish I had brought it with me!! My desire to play my flute is growing day by day. The second thing I´m going to do when I get home, after washing and drying my clothes of course, is play my flute!

If there was a pill for shyness, I´d take it in a heartbeat!

I was reading Spanish this week and it took me a few paragraphs to realize it was in Spanish jaja. I hope that´s good. I´ve actually noticed an improvement in my Spanish this week which gives me hope. Whenever I think of something, without even meaning to, I just translate it into Spanish in my mind. Even stuff I don´t have to say. Like I´ll just be thinking about something that happened--some memory or something--and it will be in Spanish. I think it´s going to be so weird when all I think is Spanish and I won´t have to translate it in my head anymore, it will just be completely automatic. Can that day be here already?! (I know...patience....)

Has anyone heard the Mormon Bear joke? Apparently it´s a classic. I don´t know how funny it is when read (rather than heard) but I´ll tell it anyways. So.... there were two missionaries walking through a forest. They came accross a bear and stopped, knelt down and prayed that they would be delivered from the bear. Then there was silence, the bear had stopped roaring. They opened their eyes to see the bear kneeling and saying ¨I thank thee for this food that thou hast provided for me.¨ Jaja...? Anyone? :)

It is so cold here!! It´s so COLD I´m gonna die (Say like ¨It´s so fluffy I´m gonna die!¨) Apparently this is a really cold winter here. Some members were saying it was getting down to 0 degrees C at night.. which I think translates to 32 degrees F?? Why does the US have to be different in everything?? Jaja. I mean, Farenheit instead of Celcius, yards instead of meters, pounds instead of kilograms. Maybe I should´ve paid more attention in school cause I don´t know the conversions. Apparently I weigh 66 kilograms but I have no idea how many pounds that is and so I don´t know if I´ve lost or gained weight. Jajaja.

I brought two Mormon Tabernacle Choir CDs with me: ¨This is the Christ¨ and ¨Called to Serve¨ both of which are chock-full of great songs. One of the lines from the song ¨This is the Christ¨ goes like this: ¨How many drops of blood were spilt for me?¨ That hit me hard this week. I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and for all He did for me. I know He loves each one of us so much and that He can succor us according to our infirmities. (Alma 7:12)

This morning we went to the Pyramids in Tula. It was pretty cool and I got a cool Mexican blouse (¨Remember that time, when I ripped my blouse? And everyone was cheering my name?¨ Nacho Libre anyone?) that´s orange!

This week was really hard. Yesterday was especially hard but the Lord heard my prayers and blessed me through two other people at two different times. Both are from the ward I´m in here, both know English and both are returned missionaries (one girl and one boy). One of them said to me ¨You have a special spirit. I felt it when you bore your testimony in church. If you had that effect on an RM, imagine the effect you can have on investigators who have never felt that before.¨ The other one said ¨You know, you´re the first American sister to serve here during my lifetime. There´s a reason you´re here. You have something that no one else has to contribute, you just have to find it.¨ And that´s the hard part, finding it. Heavenly Father knew exactly what I needed yesterday: the comfort from two people I could actually understand and who could understand my English and who knew how to comport me because they knew what I was going through. I´m so glad they listened to the prompting they had to talk to me.

I´ve discovered since I´ve been out on the mission that when I´m depressed, I don´t feel the spirit. I take about a 180 degree turn for the worse and that´s one of the things that totally changed. It´s a huge difference on the mission when you can´t feel the spirit. I´ve often taken time to think what was wrong with me, wondering why I couldn´t feel the spìrit. Last night it was a huge relief to me, while talking to my mission president´s wife, who´s gone through some of what I´m experiencing. She said ¨When you´re depressed, it´s IMPOSSIBLE to feel the spirit.¨ While that really stinks, It´s nice to know that it´s not something I´m doing wrong.

Ok, I came up with a cool metaphor this week... at least I think it´s cool. Wearing your retainers every night (like the orthodontist tells you to ) is like reading your scriptures, repenting daily, doing all those things (like God has told us to do). When we don´t wear our retainers daily (like not doing the stuff God has asked us to do) our teeth (our our paths) become crooked. The changes are subtle, even unnoticable sometimes at first, but eventually there is a great difference. It is always possible to get back, hard, but not impossible. Painful sometimes (like how I´m trying to fit back into my retainers after a few months of not wearing them) but worth it. It makes me think of the talk by President Uctdorf  ¨Come Join With Us.¨ Such a good talk!

Our mission president recommended this talk called ¨Preparing for the Second Coming.¨ I love the quote from it: ¨Great men and women in ages past were able to keep going, to keep testifying, to keep trying to do their best, not because they knew that they woudl succeed but because they knew that you would.¨ I´ve often thought to myself why I´m blessed to live in this dispensation where we have the fullness of the gospel and we know it won´t be lost in another apostasy. I think a big reason is that I need to be a missionary right now. I also like the quote in this talk, of what President Woodruff said: ¨The eyes of God and all the holy prophets are watching us. This is the great dispensation that has been spoken of ever since the world began.¨ This just makes me want to be that much better. We are so blessed. SO BLESSED!

Ok, so I´m the type of person that waits to be told to do something, rather than being proactive in doing stuff. I just like to be told what to do. For example, at my old job at the MTC Bookstore, I would wait for someone to tell me to do extra stuff when we weren´t busy, rather than just finding something to do. Here on the mission you aren´t told what to study, who to teach, what things exactly to teach, and so on. It´s hard for me. i just like being told what to do. I love Doctrine and Coenants 58:26-27 ¨For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward. Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause and do many good things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness.¨ Yep...I´m a slothful and not a wise servant...BUT I´m trying to get better!! This reminds me of the children of Isreal (if I remember correctly) who were commanded in every little thing. I want to be better than that.

PRAYER and SCRIPTURE STUDY are so important. I have come to absolutely love both of them to the point where I could be happy praying and studying all day. It is amazing the answers you can receive when you earnestly seek and ask. A lot of times before my mission, I would just search the scriptures or just pray but not do both. But we absolutely need both to receive inspiration. God knows our thoughts, but we still have to pour our hearts out to Him in order for Him to be able to help us. Scripture study is necessary to receive that answer. It´s interesting how much you take these things for granted until they´re the only things you have to help you survive at times. I´ve never prayed so much or so earnestly in my life! My knees almost have permanent bruises on them from praying so much. ;) It is amazing to learn how much we have to really rely on God. Prayer is so necessary and I testify that God is there waiting to answer our prayers. I know he ALWAYS answers our prayers.

I know this church is true and I know that God loves us and wants us to follow Him. We are His children and He loves us so much. That´s why He sent His son, Jesus Christ, so we could become clean again through the atonement and be worthy to live with Him again. I only hope that I will be worthy when my time has come in this

life and be able to say with sureness ¨I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.¨

Hermana Sara Slaughter

My ¨Hermana Slaughter¨ring. All the letters used to be orange, but the only one that remains in the S in Slaughter now. It reminds me of the Batman movie where the joker says ¨You can´t spell Slaughter without Laughter.¨ :)

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