I guess the saying "time flies when you're having fun" still applies on a mission. I wake up every day so excited to aprender mas sobre espanol y el evangelio de Jesucristo. But holy cow, I spiritually feasted this week. I think my testimony gained like fifteen pounds. Even though I had enjoyed watching conference in the past, this session was really, really special. The spirit came over me so strongly and I learned so much. Saturday morning during president Monson's sustaining the spirit came over me so strongly. I have always taken for granted that we have a living prophet today. When I really thought about it I was overcome with love for President Monson. He's a living Ammon, Captain Moroni, Nephi etc...that's freaking awesome. So basically on Saturday and Sunday was personal study and conference all day. I'm sure that sounds like it would get boring but I love it. Other than General Conference this week has been very boring and I don't have much to report on. I'm ready to hit the field at this point. Simon and a few other people have told me that you can really only learn and practice in the CCM so much. I've drilled grammar and mock lessons 24/7 for the past month and I am ready to go up the big leagues! Hey patience is a virtue and I'll get called up two weeks from today.
Alright lemme give you some of my highlights:
I was reading in 1st Nephi 2:16 through 1st Nephi 4:31 which is basically the story of Nephi going and getting the plates from Laban. Even though I've read these chapters probably 20 times I was struck by something I had never noticed before. In 2:16, before he gets the plates Nephi describes himself as someone who is young and large in stature. In 4:31 after he has killed Laban and received the plates describes himself as a man who's large in stature. Pretty cool stuff. I think this is how we all change on our missions. Before we go, we are young and inexperienced. But as our faith is stretched and as we trust in the Lord we grow we become men. Right now I am young but also not very large in stature. I can't wait to grow and stretch doing the Lord's work.
On Friday we went contacting for the second time at the university. The campus is about as big as BYU but has a 1984, Dis-Utopian feel to it. There are trash, garbage and feral dogs everywhere. In some of the alley ways it smells strongly of gasoline and poop. Just trying to set the scene for ya'll. As Elder Oldroyd and I are walking and old man wearing a construction hat yells "Ay! Gringos" at us and waves at us to come over. He is surrounded by like six people and I could tell that he was calling us over to make fun of us. I have no idea what he was saying but he yelled at us for about five minutes and all the other people were laughing at what he was saying. I could hear him say "Soy el presidente de la republica" and "enseñar el diablo" or something like that. Basically I think this guy was claiming that we teach satanic principles. We really didn't know what to say to him so we just told him to have a good day with a smile and walked away. In that moment I wish I had the vocab to tell that man the truth about our message, and that our Heavenly Father loves him...I think I'll go looking for him in two years right before I leave. But what's crazy is that this was the first negative experience I've had with a Dominican. Every other person has either been so polite or interested in the gospel. Meastro Rameriz told us that people in Santiago will seriously came up to us and asked us what the Book of Mormon is and if they can have one. So basically the moral of this story is that for every crazy person I meet, there will be ten more open and loving people ready to hear the gospel.
Dang! I don't really have much else to write about! Spanish is coming along really well. I can read the Book of Mormon in Spanish now and really understand what is is saying. I don't know every single word or phrase but I can understand the message. I can give lessons without any notes and can take promptings from the Spirit to meet the needs of my "investigators" Keep praying for me though!
Also, Bummer to hear that Taysom pulled an Adam Farina and Brigham Blake. Elder Hutchins (savage) woke up early to get a few extra minutes of emailing time and announced the news at breakfast. Half of the Elders were pumped and the other half were devastated. I'm sure BYU will bounce back, and I know God has a plan for Taysom. Find the silver linings in every situation, right Isaac?
Shout out to Earthworm Dean, "Celeste" and Gabby Heroux for the unexpected emails this week. Also shout out to Zach Cox for the mission call. Guatemala is gonna be dope. Emily Mullin, Nick Peretti and Noah Blake I'm calling you guys out. I expect an email next week!