Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 2:12 p.m.
WELL, again, I have almost no time to write this. I just love all of your emails too much. 🙂 Thank you for all of the love that has been sent my way! Family, I got the package with the Trolli sour eggs and the pictures and I DIED and I think I showed everyone in the whole CCM the pictures of you guys. Also, SOMEBODY TELL REBECCA SMILEY THAT SHE IS AN ANGEL. Presidente gave me her gift bag today and I may or may not have cried. Tender mercy. Thank you 🙂
This week has been CRAZY! The nortes in the CCM have survived a plague–some sort of flu that hit almost every single North American here. Luckily I never got it! But my companion and almost everyone else was in bed for two days, so things around here have been strange and a little more lax this week! ALSO, I SURVIVED MY FIRST EARTHQUAKE EVER. GUYS. I was sleeping on the top bunk when we felt it and I coulda sworn it was my last night in the CCM. But don’t worry; I’m still alive. 🙂 We play “Knock Out” every day at deportes and my fourth grade basketball skills are paying off. En serio. Presidente Cox jokes about how competitive I am. (Me, competitive? …. haha.) The best part of this week was proooobably the Smeagol/Gollum impression two of our elders did the other day. One has the perfect Gollum voice, and the other has the perfect Smeagol voice and they go back and forth forever and we all almost wet our pants.
The spiritual highlight of my week was Sunday (as always). The Sundays here are tender mercies from the Lord. I was NOT MAD ABOUT THE SURPRISE UCHTDORF DEVO AT ALL. We also listened to a devotional Elder Holland gave a while back called Missionary Work and the Atonement. I may or may not have cried in both of them. I have learned so much about weaknesses and trials this week. I feel so incredibly weak and imperfect every single day of my LIFE. Even more so on the mission, understandably. But President Uchtdorf’s talk made me think more about the disciples of Christ–they were so imperfect. They were unlearned men, despised by all. Jesus Christ’s “act of love transformed a group of frightened disciples into fearless missionaries who changed the world.” Mom, thank you for sharing D&C 35: 13-14 with me. I read it almost every day! The story of Peter’s denial and later his discipleship has been a favorite of mine for a few years now. But I had never thought about it as in depth as President Uchtdorf spoke about it. When he denied Christ, Peter wept. He begged forgiveness. But then, from that day on, he never denied Christ or feared man ever again. He was “a revitalized, fearless, champion of God.” GUYS! I want to be that! With all of my heart. Peter NEVER denied that He knew His Savior from that day forward. Will I be that kind of witness? I hope that I will, every day of my mission and my life.
Now, really fast, Elder Holland’s devotional. If you have never read or watched this devotional, please find it right now and WATCH it. It is much more powerful when you hear the boldness of his message. I have been struggling with the thought of a life filled with trials! And a mission filled with trials. But I quote Elder Holland when I say that “missionary work is not easy because SALVATION is NOT a cheap experience.” WHY would I ever think it would be easy for us if it was never easy for Him? How could we not expect to have to suffer anything of what He suffered? I MUST be prepared to walk some of the path He walked. “To come to know the Atonement, we must have to pay a token. It will only be a token. But it must be paid.” If I ever ask myself why it isn’t easy, I must remember that I am not the first to ask that. Someone much better and much greater asked that before I. My favorite part–and this may not be an exact quote– but “When I am rejected, spit upon, made a hiss and a byword, I am standing shoulder to shoulder with the greatest missionary who ever lived. The greatest life this world has ever known. I have EVERY reason to stand tall. The only way to Salvation is through Gethsemane.” Remember through your trials that they are the only way by which we can come to know our Savior and His Atonement. I love you all and I miss you!!!!
Con mucho amor,