But I love how in Preach my Gospel it says (regarding language) don't stop studying the language when people begin to understand you, there is more potential to this ability. And that can be applied to our testimonies. When we begin to understand something that means we have to continue seeking and asking and studying, because the amazing thing about the gospel is that there is always more to learn, more depth to your testimony to gain. And the deeper your understanding of the gospel is, the more precious it will be.
I love the story of Nephi in Helaman, where he's been preaching the gospel to a hard people and is pondering in his heart the gospel and the wickedness of the people as he is walking home. It would have been a long and hard day for him. But he's pondering and praying and God speaks to him through the power of the Holy Ghost and gives him comfort and greater knowledge. And God said "And now behold, I command you, that ye shall go and declare unto this people" and the very next verse "And behold, now it came to pass that when the Lord had spoken these words unto Nephi, he did stop and did not go unto his own house, but did return unto the multitudes who were scattered about upon the face of the land, and began to declare unto them the word of the Lord which had been spoken unto him"
This guy was so committed! I want to be like him. The Lords will is sometimes so far away from our own will, but as we submit our will to His, we will be stretched and changed and become Disciples of Christ instead of just members of His church. I think the most growth comes from when it is the most difficult to sacrifice our own will but we choose to do so anyways. So like an example of this is the rule we have as missionaries to get up at 6:30 every morning and exercise. And some mornings sleep feels like the most precious thing in the world. And the idea of waking up and not being able to go back to sleep until 10:30 that night is absolutely tragic! But the consecrated or committed missionary will sacrifice this desire to sleep longer with joy. And I'm working on that :)
So after that tangent. We had a day this week where we brought a Young Woman from our ward with us tracting! And it was not lacking in interesting experiences haha. We met this older gentleman who, when I told him I was from DC exclaimed, "How can you even have the nerve to tell me you are from that place!! Don't you know who lives there??!" And then he went on a rant about the political status of our country, as seen from his point of view, and seemed legitimately offended that I told him I am from DC. So now I a more careful in my wording, and more often than not I will tell people I'm from Maryland. even if they don't know where that is. Which happens a lot. #westerners
We had interviews with President this week and we talked about things that I feel like I've been waiting to here for a long time. Have you ever had one of those Sunday's where you feel like literally everything that was said was something you've been thirsting to hear for ages but didn't realize it until you heard it? That's how it felt! Actually that happened a lot this week. We had stake conference and I felt like everything they talked about pertained to what I was thinking about. And just some of the lessons we taught and people we met.
It's like God knows us perfectly or something!
So an example because rereading that it sounds super vague. Friday was hard. And I trusted that if I put myself into the work and serving others everything would work out. And we found a family who moved here after being refugees in Kenya for 10 years. And a lady who suffered with depression for 30 years, and who felt unworthy to come to church. And a man who, although he is strong and faithful in the church, has some terrible things happening to his family. And two of our best friends in the ward stopped progressing and were in the middle of a fight during our lesson. And during all of these lessons I felt so much how the Lord was behind my words, how much I believed every one of the words I said, and I felt the love the Savior has for these people. But the last one where they were fighting it was late and I was so tired, emotionally and spiritually and physically, and I opened up my iPad and on the screen of the gospel library app was the video "Jesús perdona los pecados y sana a un paralítico" from the Bible videos. And so we watched it. And the spirit was so strong and these ladies kind of stopped and we testified of the love Jesus Christ has for us. And it was exactly what they needed, and what I needed in that moment.
We are in His constant care :)
So with regards to the title. The bible story that the video portrays, Christ says "take up thy bed and walk". And in Spanish it's something like "tome tu leche y anda" and if you translate that back to modern English it's "take your milk and go" and this morning when sister ferguson pointed that out to me I nearly died.
We also had a fun dinner hour this week. So the family we were going to eat with had an emergency pop up and so they bought us some food so we could eat on our own. And he bought us Mexican soda! And the thing about Mexican soda is that you need a bottle opener to open it. And we don't have a bottle opener. So we spent nearly the whole hour doing an assortment of things, specifically hitting the lid with a seatbelt, bending bobby pins into strategic shapes, trying to figure out the correct angle of leverage to get the best torque, and ultimately we never got the lids off all the way, but just enough to drink a little bit at a time haha.
Oh! And one morning we played indoor soccer as a zone. And! I can report that speaking Spanish does indeed improve ones ability to play soccer. Just in case you were wondering. I, among other nicknames (OG, O town to name a few), am now known as the iron goalie. :D
Next Sunday we have a fireside we've been planning. It's going to be so cool! We are presenting the first lesson in preach my gospel with testimonies from recent converts and musical numbers! I'm playing the piano to accompany a special arrangement of I Believe in Christ. I love playing the piano :) and sister ferguson is doing a neat ukulele version of love at home. I'll send a video next week!
I'm loving the mission and learning so much.