Friday, March 15, 2013

March 14

Hola Familia!

The biggest item of news in my life this week is on Sunday, I got called as coordinating sister for our zone. The assignment came as a surprise, because we were only going to be here for one more week. Elders Wo., We.and M. are zone leaders for a week, and as coordinating sister, I'm basically the liason between them and the Hermanas. Every night, I get to go visit all of the girls in their rooms and check up on how they are doing. If they have questions, they ask me, and it's weird to realize that they see me the way I saw our first coordinating sister, as a super mature, highly seasoned sister missionary. I definitely don't feel it. I also have responsabilities in connection with our new district. This week, we got another district of 6 elders and 6 hermanas. Last night with the Zone Leaders, I got to welcome them to the zone, explain how things work in the MTC and introduce them to their schedule for the day. One of the hermanas inspired the title for my email this week when she sincerely asked me, "So have you already served your mission?" Haha. Not really. Although, I was thinking about where I have come from where I was on the first day, and I can definitely say that if I came home right now, I would be a very changed person. It's amazing what can happen in six weeks when you're working hard. Tonight, we get to do some training with the new district and take them on a tour of campus, which I'm excited for.

The other big news item for our district this week is a little less lighthearted. I guess it was Thursday night that we had an Elder go home (which is why we have a trio of zone leaders). The Elders were aware of what was going on several days in advance which is why they had been acting so weird, but us hermanas had no idea what was going on until five red, wet faces walked into our room as class was supposed to start. We thought maybe somebody had died. It was really sad for us to lose our Elder, but at the same time, it was a joyful thing because this Elder is choosing to repent. We know that he came to the MTC for the right reasons, and likewise he is leaving for the right reasons, and we have every confidence that he will be back when he is ready. While he was here, he set an example for us of loving other people, and because of his testimony of the Savior. I'm really glad that I had the opportunity to know him. However, I want to say a word to all the young men out there. First, you ALL NEED TO GO ON MISSIONS!!! Don't even question that decision. If there is anything in your life that you need to straighten out so that you can go, DO IT NOW. Do whatever it takes so that when the time comes you can be prepared and worthy to serve. Choosing to repent will be the best decision you've ever made, and coming on a mission will be the best preparation for every part of your future that you can imagine. I'll be the first to say that repentance is hard, but it is so worth it. Changing to become like the Savior is why we are here. Don't let Satan trick you into thinking that repentance is a burden, because it is beautiful. Soapbox over. At least for now.

One of our investigators committed to baptism this week! That was cool. I also made a really big mistake with our other investigator, which just kills me, but it's OK. Antonio is our investigator who has pretty much had all the discussions before, but has had some major doubts about the church. We've been working with him to overcome those doubts, and it's been a long, slow process, but a good experience all things considered. Last Saturday, we had prepared a lesson for Antonio that we felt good about, but we had prepared it assuming that his commitment probably wouldn't have taken him as far is it had the potential to, because that has kind of been our experience with Antonio. In short, we weren't expecting the best of him. About two minutes into our lesson again, Antonio said something and I felt that he had progressed a lot farther than we had expected. I had the prompting then that we should alter our plan a little bit and jump ahead to the assignment we were planning on leaving him that night. However, I didn't explain my feelings to my companion and she moved on with our plan. I kind of tried to steer in the direction I thought we needed to go, but that's hard to do when you're not unified as a companionship. So then, Antonio described to us the feeling he had had while he was reading the scriptures, and it was a distinct description of the Spirit. We didn't think that would have happened, and our plan was to invite him to continue reading that night and pray to receive an answer. I recognized that in what he had said, he had already received his answer that the Book of Mormon is true. But I failed to tell him that. I let Hna. L. continue with what he had planned, and for the first time ever, our teacher paused our role play to explain the mistake we had made. By not explaining to Antonio what it was he had felt, and by asking him to ask again, we would have taught him to look beyond the mark, to look for a grand exhibition of the Spirit in order to receive an answer, and that would have been detrimental in real life. I felt so devastated because I knew what he was going to say before he said it. I had failed to follow the promptings of the Spirit, and in doing so, I felt like I had failed my investigator. I was really very disappointed in myself, but in the end, I'm really glad that this happened now, because I know what I did wrong, and next time I'm in a similar situation, I know what I will do differently. So to recap, I learned two lessons. First, expect the best of your investigators, or in other words, have Faith. Maybe they won't keep their commitments, but if they do, you have to have faith that the gospel is true, the Spirit is real, and that they will work the powerful effects I know that they can have. Second, when the Spirit prompts, obey. If we fail to follow the Spirit when it comes, eventually, it will stop coming.

I have some more pictures for you guys this week. First, Hna. L and I were having a rough day. Second, our Elders. Third, our district. Fourth, The Hermanas. Fifth, the Hermanas being silly.

I love you all! I can't wait to talk to you on Wednesday. My next letter will be from San Antonio!! I can hardly believe it. Have a great one!!

Hermana Em

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