September 15, 2010
It's amazing how time flies by when you are busy with a good cause. The mission is blowing by and I'm again at that point of being super nervous about the future part of my mission, but I know that everything is going to turn out great. It has so far. I'm glad to hear that Utah State won, even if it was against a pretty week school like Idaho State. This year should be pretty interesting for them. Its great the soccer is going well for Alex, Adam and Trent. Im going to have to say though, that when I get back and Alex is a superstar on the High School soccer team that I'll have to give him a run for his money. We play a lot of soccer here in the CCM in Peru. It's actually making it pretty hard on my shoes. After only 8 weeks they are already falling apart, but I will make them last my whole mission, even if I am holding them together with scotch tape by the end. (I would say duct tape, but they may not have that here. They don't have super glue, which is really disappointing.) Sounds like Clarksburg is doing pretty well this year so far in sports as well. Im glad the ward is doing well right now too.
This last week was actually pretty uneventful overall in the CCM. A lot of classes. A lot of practicing. My journal entries are all like 3 lines long. Its been one of those weeks for the most part. There were a few interesting things though. On Thursday I read in Alma about the 2000 sons of Helaman. I was amazed by their incredible obedience to the Lord and their incredible trust in the Lord. In Alma 57:25-27 it talks about their faith, and in 27 it sums it up. I really like this verse. It says:
"Now this was the faith of those of whom I have spoken; they are young, and their minds are firm, and they do put their trust in god continually."
This is a ton of power and I really felt the spirit reading it. I also like Alma 48:17 when it talks about the amazing power of Captain Moroni.
Friday I had a pretty humbling experience... Elder Purvis and I had a TRC lesson and it went horribly. Elder Purvis was feeling really sick, and I was having a really hard time understanding the Spanish. The teacher pretending to be an investigator was bored, and frustrated because we weren't answering her questions. It was really difficult. I learned a lot from the experience though and it changed how I am going to study now.
Saturday was the day that we got to go proselyting again. Elder Purvis and I went out to an area in the Peru Lima North mission which was pretty cool because it was Elder Purvis' mission. The area was called Las Flores and it was ok housing, but not great. Definitely better than the people living Callao though. This one was tough because we were two North Americans without a Latin companion to help us with the lessons. We were paired up with the Elder's Quorum president of the ward and sent to some inactive members homes. I think we frustrated him a little because at the beginning he kept knocking on the door and stepping back to make us do all the talking, and I think it was kind of rough at the beginning. elder Purvis was trying to talk, and I was going through shock. I think I spent the entire first 4 houses with my jaw on the ground because I was so intimidated. We wound up only getting to teach one person on the entire trip because the others either were at work, weren't at home, or gave their children excuses for why they wouldn't come to the door. The one inactive member we taught had a little shop he was running out of his house, and his house was pretty nice considering the surroundings. We talked to him about the Priesthood and the power of the Priesthood. I learned something from this lesson as well. I learned that I need to follow the Spirit more.
I thought he was an active member and we were talking to him because we had extra time and he was preparing for a trip to the temple, but it turns out he was inactive. I had a feeling to bring up that he needed to go to church to allow his Priesthood to help those in his home, but I just pushed it aside because I thought he was a member. Even though this happened, the spirit was incredibly strong and I we left him with the Spirit in his home. I felt it and I know that he felt it. He gave the closing prayer and I think he understood the importance of the church.
It's really tough to gain a real understanding of Spanish here in the MTC even though I'm in Peru. The teachers and the Latin missionaries all talk slower to us to help us understand and because of the amount of North Americans in the CCM, I have a class and a companion of all North Americans which means I can speak English a lot and get away with it. I think that's why the opportunity to proselyte is so good here. It allows us to go into the real world and experience the people with really quiet voices, the people who slur because they are missing most of their teeth and the people who just talk really fast. This allows me to train my brain a little more in Spanish. We get tons of encouragement about the language though. Elder Slingerland is the Area medical advisor and he also acts as a member of the Branch Presidency at the CCM. He has used a few times the idea that in 6 months we will be fluent, 8-10 we will be super fluent and by a year or a little more we will be thinking in Spanish. Its tough to believe that now, but I know it will happen with the Lord's help. I love how the prophets talk about this in the scriptures. Nephi says it in 2 Nephi 4:20 when he says: "My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness: and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep."
I also like when Ammon says this as well in Alma 26:12.
"Yea, I know that i am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."
This has been so helpful to me over these past 9 weeks. When I have felt an sort of inadequacy, I have been able to lean on Christ as my strength. My Savior has guided me so much. I think this is why I have been so engrossed in the scriptures. I told you last week that I have been reading a lot in the scriptures lately. Well now I am in Ether and I plan on finishing tomorrow or Friday. The power of the scriptures, even when I have been reading them in English, have helped me in my lessons as I use them more and more.
I am glad that everything is going well at home, and I hope that you are all doing well. For the boys, continue to prepare for your missions. It can be the greatest experience of your life if you put the effort in to it. Mine has already been incredible and I am still in the MTC. For Megan, keep being awesome and studying in the gospel. It will bless you life so much, even if you don't serve a mission when you are 21. I love you all.