I can't even believe another week has passed! That means I only have ONE more P-day! Craziness! As always, I've learned so much this week and have had so much fun :) It's sad to think I have to leave soon. I still haven't heard anything at all about my visa. I don't even know how to go about getting a reassignment. Hopefully my Branch President just takes care of it, and I can know by next week where in the world I'm going. It feels like I've submitted my papers all over again! The anticipation is killing me! Ahhhh!
Okay. You're going to laugh your head off. I, Hermana Roper, got randomly called on to give a talk in sacrament. Ask me how I feel about that. Not very good. Haha scariest thing ever! What's even scarier is that our new President doesn't allow notes. He said stories are better, and doesn't allow us to read scriptures. (Not like I can read scriptures in Spanish anyway?) But this week's talk was on Faith. The story I shared was of our family going through the temple :) It took so much faith on everyone's part for us to get there. It's crazy to think that we tried for so long to get there, but we never gave up and we were so blessed :) That's easy to say in English….Yeah try it in Spanish.
I thought for sure it wouldn't be me. Nobody in our district has even gotten called on and I was like, "Oh President Lindahl knows I am the worst at Spanish. He'd never pick on me." Wrong. VERY wrong. He told me he's so inspired at how much I've learned that he wanted to show the other missionaries in the new districts that it's okay to come in here with zero Spanish. I was really surprised with myself. I didn't even have to break out in English! I spoke the entire time in Spanish with no notes. The Gift of Tongues is REAL, even if at times I don't feel it.
Speaking of President Lindahl.. He told me I need to go to BYU lol. I had an interview with him Sunday and he said, "Have you ever thought of attending BYU? You do realize there will be many RM's waiting for the Sisters to get home, right? Just keep that long, blonde hair, stay in the shape that you're in, and you'll compete with the best of 'em." Ummm... Thanks? Hahaha!
Him and his wife are SO inspirational. His wife also talked this week. Here's some things I learned from her. The Lord doesn't ask for half of a sacrifice. He takes the offering that we have and makes it more. He could've fed the thousands without any food to start out with, but that's not how the Lord works. He wants all we have to offer. He will make more out of us than we could ever imagine. He gives us the strength to make it through. We will doubt, but if we give Him a chance he will make so much out of us. How can we expect to return to Him without going through grief and the same experiences? Christ went through more than anyone and look how perfect He is. How can we become like him without experiencing trials? We can't. It was really an amazing talk!
Tuesday we had Robert P. Swenson talk. He's the director of missionary services here. It was great, as usual :) The thing I got out of it was "Every day is a wonderful day in the mission field... You decide!" That's something I've really come to learn. It would be so easy to have a horrible day every day, but that's definitely a personal decision. I know that our attitude towards our missions though is a direct reflection of our love for Heavenly Father, and that really puts it in perspective. I try to always make everyday the best that I can!
One of the biggest lessons I learned this week didn't come from a devotional or a teacher; it came from my companion. We were given three different investigators with different problems. One of them had a problem with tithing. Our purpose was to make our lessons personal so we started brainstorming stories. Hermana Petersen doesn't like to open up. She hates feeling vulnerable, but she did. She bore the strongest testimony of tithing. There was a time in her life where her dad didn't have a job for several years. Her mom had a side job sewing, but she said they really had no money. Although they lacked so much, her mom ALWAYS paid tithing first. She said they still to this day have no idea how rent got paid some months, and how they made it through. People would drop of clothes and food to them. One Christmas someone even doorbell ditched them and dropped off a Christmas tree and presents. People amaze me! I was in tears by the time she got done telling the story. She was in tears too! I felt the spirit so strong. There's no denying tithing is a blessing. She said that as soon as her dad got a job everything started breaking. She said she felt that while her dad didn't have a job they were in this protective bubble of the Lord and he was taking care of them. How awesome is that? I was definitely inspired. What amazing people! That's one of our goals though as a companionship is to open up more to our investigators. We can't expect them to open up if we don't. It's going great so far :)
Another speaker from the week was Mattew O. Richardson (Gen. Sunday School). He talked about how important each of our parts is. There's a certain part we need to be. "Whate'er thou art, act well thy part." I don't know if you've ever heard of the stone that says this, but it has a cool story with it. The symbols on the stone actually represent numbers like this
5 10 3
4 6 8
9 2 7
No matter which way you add the numbers it equals 18. He compared this to our individual parts. He said, "What if you don't want to be an 8? You want to be a 5. What happens to the rest of the mathematical square? It doesn't work." Each of our parts is important. It's okay to be a 5! We are what we're supposed to be. Someone's part might be being the best at Spanish, while someone else's part might be bearing powerful testimonies. If I don't act well my part, the whole picture won't work.
“Something great happens when we act well our part. All things will work together for your good if you act well your part." Look up the story about this with David O. Mckay. That's where it comes from. It would probably make more sense that way :)
Anyway he then told a story about a little girl seeing him at the MTC and asking her grandma, "Is that a REAL missionary?" He said since then he has asked himself similar questions. Throughout life we can always ask ourselves similar questions. What would a real missionary do? What would a real mother do? What would a real wife do? What would a real sister do? What would a real friend do? And finally, what will I do? I learned so much!
This week Hermano Sagers had a great lesson as well. We talked about our weaknesses a.k.a something nobody likes to talk about. My favorite quote from his lesson: "We need to enjoy being ourselves despite our weaknesses. We are all amazing, immortal children of God. Everyone we come in contact with is an amazing human being... Even the check out lady at the grocery store that we usually ignore." He's a great teacher! Weaknesses are really for our benefit.
This week I have been more confused than ever about Spanish! Verbs are going to kill me over, and that's that. I have made too many verb trees this week to even count. Irregular verbs can die and I wouldn't even be sad. My study journal is FULL of verbs! Some days I want to scream! But it will come :) That's another thing Hermano Sagers said! It was something like "Was Spanish one of the requirements to serve a mission? Last time I checked it was love, charity, faith, desire, etc. Plus, I've never met a return missionary that didn't learn the language." Thank you Hermano Sagers!
And yep. That reminds me of my embarrassing Spanish stories from this week. I called Hermano Sagers a girl, because of one itsy bitsy letter. He goes around the room and has us translate English sentences into Spanish. My question I had to translate was "What did my teacher teach?" Well, I said maestra instead of maestro, which implies my teacher is a girl. Oooops.
Hermana Petersen and I also taught Carlos and thought we were asking him about his summer the whole time, when really we were saying winter. Look up the words! They're so alike lol. We finally realized our mistake when he said he hates summer because of the snow. In that very same lesson he was trying to tell us his favorite summer food and said something with the word frito and we were stumped. Frio means cold so we were like umm ice cream? popsicle? He finally was like KENTUCKY! and that's when we had the light bulb moment of oooooh fried chicken! Haha who would've guessed frito meant fried?? Stinkin Spanish!
Well I better get going now :) Thank you SO much for everything! I loved the 4th of July packages from everybody! It's so comforting to know I have such great support. I couldn't ask for more. I'll talk to you next week! :) I LOVE YOU!!