ok. I am going to apologize in advance for the scatteredness of this update. There is just so much to say!
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE CCM
Out district is known for our barber shop quartet.
The insane amounts of rain
The hats that come in the krispy kreme donut boxes.
The devotionals on sunday nights that pump me up and make me feel like I can do this.
The 3rd and 4th weeks in the CCM, everyone got a stomach virus (except me) and had to be in the bathroom at least every 15 minutes.
The 4th of July
Insanely intense volleyball games
Sing alongs with Elder Hurtado during free time
The spontaneous little plays that Elder Sok and Hurtado put on for us speaking Spanish with Canadian accents.
The time has come! I have no idea what to expect when I go to the mission. But with no expectations, I guess I can't be disappointed, right? In 3.5 days I will be driving down the crazy streets of Mexico City at 3 in the morning on my way to fly to McAllen Texas. My feelings are mixed. I am sad to leave the people in my district, nervous because I feel that my Spanish is less that sub-par, happy to be returning to the US, excited to teach the people the happiest plan on earth, and humbled that God trusts me to do his work.
Last Saturday I woke up and decided to fast. I hadn't eaten a lot for dinner, but I told myself, sacrifice. By the time dinner came I was so hungry, and guess what was there waiting for my chicken salad? Sweet Chili Thai Salsa! My absolute favorite taste in the whole world. It was a little blessing.
Then our service project was to clean the silverware in the comedor. Hermana Rupp and I finished early so we went back to our casa and wrote a song.
TALL (Technology Assisted Language Learning) is the worst hour of the day because I always nod off and fall asleep. However yesterday was so entertaining. We were logging on and Hermana Rupp realized that she left her notebook in the classroom so we ran back to get it. When we got back there was a couple that was looking for me. They said their name was Martinez and that they had seen my Uncle Chad here in Mexico City on a business trip. We talked for a few minutes, took a picture to send to my parents, and then pulled out 2 bags of 6 full size snicker bars. Oh my goodness! American candy! If Hermana Rupp had remembered her notebook the couple would have missed me and left by the time I had gotten back. The little visit brightened my whole day.
Then because we were gone for awhile, and no one was in the computer lab, Elder Sok went to check the mail. What was there? A letter from Miss Abigail Faldmo! Seriously, mail is the greatest thing besides ponytails and pockets in a skirt. I handed out snickers to everyone in my district and sat down to study when all of a sudden this huge moth flew into the lab. Everyone thought it was a bat. False alarm. We ran around the room and got it out the door just in time for the beautiful weather to change into a hailstorm. Random.. Needless to say what was supposed to be a boring hour of listening to a computer talk to me turned out to be quite eventful.
Then this morning I was going to laundry and I ran into Madi Haddock who was one of my favroite classmates at BYU-Idaho( speaking of BYU-I, I just found out that Rexburg flooded. I wish I could be there to help you all!) I knew she had gotten her mission call, but I forgot she was coming to the CCM. It was a big surprise!
And now to my spiritual thoughts this week. (I just said that in my head like the veggietale short where it says ''and now it's time for silly songs with larry, when larry comes out and sings a silly song'')
John 11:35- Every primary child's favorite scripture. "Jesus Wept." The shortest scripture in the bible. But what is the 2nd shortest? Luke 17:32 "Remember Lot's wife."
What is that supposed to mean? Most people would breeze right over it, but last sunday Hermano Cates gave the most inspiring talk on those three words.
In Genesis 19, the story of Lot is told. He is instructed to leave the wicked city of Sodom. The Lord says in 17: "Escape for thy life; look not behind thee."
What a simple instruction, yet in 26, what does his wife do? "But then his wife looked from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt." She had not removed herself from the past. "Her attachment to the past out weighed the confidence in the future."
He mad the comparison that we as missionaries need to focus on the now. The past is to be learned from and not lived in. A mission is hard, but with the help of Christ we can do all things that he ask of us. When situations arise that ask to go beyond our comfort zone, we must trust that the Lord is on our side.
"Man's extremity is God's opportunity." When we stretch ourselves it allows him to teach us. He humbles us because we are nothing with out God. As Hermano Cates said,"we need to stay on target." we need to realize why we are here. "Be a disease" or in other words, never give up.
This is the Lord's time, I am just his servant doing my best to do his work. We have from row seats to the greatest miracle: seeing the conversion and blessings a family can receive by coming to Christ.
And to finish, I just wanted to say how proud I am of my little brother. He is officially in the Provo MTC. Today is the first day (which is the hardest day in the MTC.) But I know that he will be just fine. I am so grateful that we get to be serving at the same time. It's selfish, but I couldn't go more than two years without seeing my best friend. He is the most amazing example and spiritual giant who knows exactly when to say something to brighten my day, and when I need my silence and give me the biggest hug. The people in Sweden are so lucky to have such a special elder come teach them. Although Spencer and I are so far away, we are doing the same thing.
I love you Äldste Hemmingsen! Bueno Suerte! Usted puedelo! Se verá en dos años!
love to all,