Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Email Cinco - The Missionary Trying Center

September 20, 2016

Hola Y'all!

This week has gone by much faster, haha!  Ever since high school, my concept of time has pretty much been thrown out the window, and I still haven't fully come to terms with the fact that I'm graduated now, so I just kinda roll with things these days.

Tuesday night, Elder Cook came and spoke to us, 3 APOSTLES IN ONE WEEK!  Talking to others here, I've found out that pretty much never happens, so I feel extremely lucky and blessed.

So this was my first remotely hard week. Notice I didn't say bad, just harder. In this past week, I've learned about a bunch of weaknesses that I have, which has been hard. I have never considered myself a super prideful person, but I've learned when I feel I being chastened and corrected, I won't get super defensive, but instead I'll keep those negative feelings inside and hold a grudge. Eventually these grudges turn into prejudices against others that only hinder my ability to be a good servant. So I need to let go of my pride. For a long time I've believed that my way of doing and saying things is the best way, and that needs to stop. The best way is always the Lord's way, which is through following the Spirit. It’s also very hard because I don't like having weaknesses. But Saturday night before bed, I got on my knees and thanked Heavenly Father for blessing me with so many weaknesses. I am learning that weaknesses are not a bad thing, simply opportunities to grow and rely more on Jesus Christ.

As Elder Holland said, missionaries need the Atonement every bit as much as investigators do. Well good, because without the Atonement, there would be no way I could be here right now. For the first time I've learned to truly ask how to change, not simply ask for help overcoming mistakes or challenges.  Well folks, if for some reason you don't see the Atonement as the most important resource in your life, you're dumb (just like I was before I came here).

I also am learning that I am super hard on myself. I want to change now. I need to have more patience in this adjustment period of time. I am not going to be perfect, but I need to be perfect in trying, hence Missionary Trying Center.

It's funny because before I left all these people told me I would be such a great missionary. I am not, nor will I ever be, a great missionary. I can't. Neither can anyone. Without Christ we are nothing. Through Christ I can be enough.

I had an awesome chat about all of this Sunday with President Price. Man I love that guy!  Dad, you choose your friends wisely.  President Price is one of the coolest old guys I've ever met.  Having a Branch President that knows my Dad has been a tender mercy for me.  He's kinda filled in that father role a little bit. Don't worry pops, I'm not forgetting about you, and thanks for the letters.

One other thing I have learned is that I AM NOT A MORNING PERSON. When I wake up, I get SO dang grumpy. Elder Ibarra is a very up and about kinda guy, and I may or may not be low-key verbally abusive when he starts getting ansty to get going. I'm convinced Satan has more power over me in the mornings.

So this Sunday during my temple walk, I saw Christian again, as well as my homie Carp! We got to hang out for a little bit and since Carp is friends with Elder Lundquist it was a good time.

So there's this kid in my district named Elder Villarreal, as you can tell from the name he's half Mexican, but he's not a light-skin like Elder Ibarra, haha. He doesn't speak Spanish very well, but he's one of the goofiest guys I've ever met. To give you a feel of what Elder Villarreal is like; he ate a ghost pepper as a dare, then when the heat got to him, he ran to the toilet and DRANK OUT OF THE TOILET to cool his mouth down. The man is a madman. He also has these super goofy glasses that make him look like he's blind, so sometimes he'll walk around with his glasses on feeling walls and stuff, and I cry from laughing every time. Elder Lundquist, he, and I go crazy together sometimes haha. Also we have had a new Elder in our district for about a week named Elder Saez.  He broke his foot playing bball so he had to stay for another two weeks.  So he'll stick around for another week.  He's awesome though. He's half- Argentine and going to Argentina.

Also Mom, I know you'll be super sad about this, but I won't be able to sing in the General Conference missionary choir.  On the application it asked two things: can you sing well and can you read music? Because you raised me to be honest, I must confess I can do neither of those things, so I didn't even bother filling out an application.  It stinks, but I want to be honest more than I want to sing in General Conference.  Elder Ibarra got in though!  He'll be missing out on a bunch of class and exercise time for practice. I'm excited for him! He's never been to Conference before and his first time he gets to sing!

Our lessons with Viri are going great!  She even went to church on Sunday!  She's been keeping all her commitments and she's progressing well.  Earlier this week I was frustrated because she straight up told us the reason she is meeting with the missionaries is to help her out with her Book of Mormon class at BYU... Not gonna lie, I was not to pleased after that lesson, but things have turned around and I think she wants to know more for the right reasons now.

My challenge for y'all this week is to prove your love for the Lord, what are you willing to give up in your life to come closer to the Lord? Ask yourself that.

Love y'all so much, hang in there folks!

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