Thursday, December 19, 2013

First of all...SHOUT OUT TO THE BRO! - December 3rd, 2013

JARED, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU! I was SO stoked when I realized that it is my Pday on your birthday and I get to say...HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND I LOVE YOU! (:

So let´s has officially been over a month that I have been gone.  I have not seen my family for over a month.  I have not seen a boy (that is not an elder) for over a month.  I have not eaten a normal meal for over a month.  I have not waken up after 7 for over a month...and the list continues....Why did I choose to do this? Sometimes I wonder. And then I realize--Duh! It's because I absolutely love it!!!! (:  (:
I cannot even believe how fast this is going! I didn´t know how I would make it through the first week and now I am going to be soooo sad to leave this Garden of Eden and travel off into the lone and dreary world. Haha that analogy was given to us the second week we were here, in Relief Society. Anyways. I cannot believe it! And our district has gotten so close.  The second day that we were here, I talked to some hermanas that had been here for a while.  They were telling me how I would love my district and they would become like my family.  I just thought "pah, well okay..." and guess what! It is totally true.  I love them so much! I couldn´t imagine it any other way here.  If one of them weren´t here, it would be a whole different experience. It´s kind of cool because I don´t even remember becoming friends.  We just were.  We´re all connected in this work; brothers and sisters. I am truly loving this.

This was something I thought was funny: we were all talking one day about where we´re possibly going in the long run and such and all the elders in my district said "yeah, Hermana Hurst will get married first" Pah! what in the world? I am a child. (:

Thanksgiving here was strange. It literally felt like any other day despite the fact that we knew it was a holiday in the states! The cooks in the comedor were very thoughtful, though!  They made us their version of a Thanksgiving dinner.  It was definitely not your average meal for Thanksgiving, but it was better than any other meal we´ve ever had here for sure!  (: 2 holidays in the CCM? CHECK. Thank heavens I will not be here for Christmas.  I think I would cry.

I am definitely not used to a December like this.  When we sang a Christmas hymn the other day, I was so confused.  Then I realized that it is December! What. Crazy...So let´s see, it´s about 73 degrees right now.  Not even kidding.  After I worked out the other day, I decided I deserved a nap! So for the rest of gym time, while everyone else played soccer or something (which I am terrible at), I laid out on the grass and fell asleep!  My point of this story is this: Sunburn in December.  Hello.  It can happen.
So that´s some getting used to.  Don´t get me wrong though, the mornings and evenings are freezing! And it´s actually a little warmer than usual.  We can see our breath in the morning.  Ya know, that´s saying something (; haha

Last night I had a dream that Mom and Dad came and visited me in the CCM.  I woke up crying! hahaha ohh life on the mish. (: 

I guess my Spanish has been picking up! We did TRC yesterday which is where we teach each other lessons.  We got to be taught be the new district in our zone who just came in last week.  It made me feel better about my Spanish (; hee hee just kidding.  That´s not nice to say! But after that, we taught them.  This was pretty cool because we taught an elder who knew some decent Spanish and after we were through, he said that we said words he didn´t understand! That was pretty sweet!!! (:
Spanish is dificil, but I am loving it at the same time and I´m not quite sure how that works to be honest. 

Here is a great story!  Now first let me say that I do understand this scripture: 3Nephi 13:3-4 "But when thou doest alms let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth; that thine alms may be in secret; and thy Father who seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly."  (p.s. great scripture!)
So with that being said, let me tell you of the time I chose to do something nice for my companion. haha I will pretty much write this straight from my journal.
All 3 of the girls were in the different bathrooms and so I had no where to go.  I decided that it would be nice of me to fold my companions clothes that were in her basket.  (side note, a few days earlier, our cleaning lady randomly lined all of our shoes up in a nice, orderly fashion). Entonces, When my companera came out of the shower and wen to her basket she said "no way! the cleaning lady put our shoes away AND folded all my clothes!" hahaha I just smiled.  Then the other girls came in and she said "I can´t believe this" She folded my clothes! She must love us." And they all were talking about how they´re going to write her the nicest note ever and leave her a tip or something! It was just the greatest moment ever.  I just laughed to myself. (: Good deeds, people.  Good deeds. Do them in secret and your Father who sees will reward thee openly.  (That was not the point I was trying to make by telling that story, but I figured that it´s a good thought).

On a more spiritual thought, this week has been my favorite by far.  I tried so much harder than I ever have to have the Spirit with me this week.  For my sake and also for the sake of the investigators.  What I learned was that, yes, you can just have the spirit with you by doing good and being in good places.  BUT, what I truly found, was that if you sincerely strive to have the spirit with you, with the intentions of having Him with you, always praying, and always striving to make decisions according to have the spirit, you will gain His companionship.  But not just gain it; it will work through you.  When my mind started to wander, the Spirit pulled me back into focus. It silently guided me throughout the day.  This is probably one of the most real experiences I have ever had with the Spirit in my life.  The beautiful thing about this is that once you have that, you never want to leave it.  This new perspective has changed the way I view things: it has changed my perspective on the mission.  I know that by continuing to practice this, it will become easier, and more prevalent. (: I suggest to any eyes that read my words, pray for the spirit in your life! Let it work through you, let it work with you.  You will have never known such joy. (:
Also, one other thing I realized this week was what an example we are to people.  One of the elders from the new district bore his testimony on Sunday and said " I just want to say thank you to the district who will be leaving next week.  You guys have really been a great example to us"...I had no idea that anyone was watching and I wished that I would have realized sooner.  It made me want to be so much better! It made me want to give them a reason to look up to me! I challenge us all, myself included, to become someone that others would want to look up to and become.  Become that person that your Father in Heaven has designed you to become.  (: Anything is possible through Him who created you! Do NOT forget. (: 
Learn to love yourself for who you are! And change the things that you do not wish to be any longer.  1Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?...Become a worthy place for the Spirit of the Lord to dwell in.   If you are honest with yourself in every way, you can love yourself more because you will have peace of mind and self respect.  Watch the video ´Stay in the Lines´ by Jeffrey R. Holland (my hero!) It is a good one to watch and reflect on yourself.  No matter what kind of problems you are facing. 

The last thing on this 2.7 mile long email I want to say is to know that everything always works out when you put the Lord first.  As you read the scriptures, ponder what is being said and what you´re learning/what principles apply.  Look for the invitations to act!  And then, most importantly, look for the blessings that the Lord promises us if we do choose to accept these simple invitations.  The Lord blesses us far beyond comprehension.  (:

I love you all!
Paz y bendiciones! 

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