Thursday, August 11, 2011

24 days and counting!

This week was really great. We are officially (drum roll please...............................) 24 days away from ARGENTINA!!! I am so very excited. My Spanish is mas o menos, but I am just really excited to get down and preach the gospel. Please pray for my Spanish. We work really hard, but I am FAR from fluent. All is well though. The gift of tongues is real and we work so hard, so I know that the language will come.
On Sunday, since it was fast Sunday, we had a big mission conference with the whole MTC for 2 hours and it was really nice. There was so much, but I will just go with the thing that stuck out to me the most. One of the Brothers talked about the parable of the talents and a personal experience that he had with it while he was a mission President. He had three missionaries, one was a 1 talenter, one a 2 talenter, and one a 5 talenter. When the end of their missions came, he pulled them all in to interview them and found that the 1 now had 2, the 2 now had 4 and the 5 now had 8. He said that he had an overwhelming impression that the Lord was fully pleased with the 1 to 2 and 2 to 4 but that the 5 to 8, though he had more talents, was not profitable because he had not done all that he could have done in order to redouble what the Lord had given him. Woah. I was a bit floored. I know that I have been blessed of the Lord, and now He expects me to take what He has given me and work super hard, relying on the Atonement, in order to redouble my gifts. I am rededicating myself now. I am so grateful that I have the Atonement to help me. The Lord expects us to redouble our efforts, but the wonderful thing is that He helps us all along the way. I have made some very specific goals in order to become better every day. I love being goal driven. If we don't have goals, we don't accomplish anything. I make daily and weekly personal goals and Hna Hill and I do the same as a companionship. Have I mentioned how much I love her?????
Also on Sunday, our after Fireside video was really great. It was with President Uchtorf. All day, I had been praying to have my Spanish ability magnified so that I can get to the point where I don't feel like I WANT to say something in the lessons but just can't... so that I can teach with the Spirit. Well, as he was talking, I had an overwhelming feeling: President Uchtorf speaks English beautifully and full of the Spirit and the 1 or 2 times where his grammar was incorrect, I didn't even care because the Spirit was so strong. I am going to be more like that. Focus on speaking with the Spirit, knowing that the Spanish will come rather than thinking so hard about grammar and conjugations and things that I can't even listen to the Spirit. The lessons have been better.
Tuesday, we had a devotional with Elder Samuelson of the Seventy and it was very good. He went through 1 Timothy 4 and compared us missionaries to Timothy and the Brethren to Paul. We are like the "under shepherds" and we should be trusted servants. I had a great personal study after, and I would encourage you all to study "Timothy" in the Bible dictionary and then study 1 Tim 4. If you really want something awesome, study godliness from the Topic Guide after that. It's awesome. One of my favorite quotes from that night was "I am not perfect, but I can be perfect in some things. I can be perfect in getting up on time. I can be perfect in keeping my commitments, etc." Really great.
We had a workshop this week about the Atonement and the teacher had us all close our eyes and "go to Gethsemane." I felt so much love from my Savior. To picture Him there suffering for me and to hear His words in my head was touching. To think of all the pains that I have had and to picture Him suffering for me was a powerful experience. Take some time to ponder the Atonement this week.
We went to the TRC again this week and one of our lessons was really good. We had it with Christina and she really opened up and said that she was struggling because she had just broken up with a fiance and had no idea what to do now. We taught about revelation and really connected with her. It was a good lesson for me on how to just go with what you are feeling by the Spirit rather than with what you have planned. We teach people, not lessons.
I do love missionary work. There are so many people out there who don't have the gospel and I am humbled to think that The Lord is going to let me go out and serve Him and teach His children. I love it!

All my love,
Hermana Shelley

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