Feelin' green? THANKS for the St. Patty's package, with all the green candy and such - Thin Mints are amazing, mmmm... my little green hat was also a hit. (I didnt wear it for long, but it is truly amazing).
Well, what a week... Joey, you are right, the phenomenon holds true, Days are like weeks and the weeks are like days. So strange. We all feel like we were just writing emails yesterday... yet every day drags... WEIRD.
Missionary life is definitely unique. I'm again here in the laundry room, watching people as my like gazillion loads of white shirts get dry. In one corner, there are some elders stomping on top of dryers to Battle Hymn of the Republic while others rock out. In another corner, some Elders are trying to sing a 4-part cacophony- I mean harmony - to all the hymns in the hymnbook. My companion who has perfect pitch and can sing any note on command is trying to help out the tenor line... spirit that counts, right? A sign on the wall talking about how you can use half the soap for just as clean laundry has "graffiti" in every laungage that is taught here (like 150 different ones) scribbled on it. The graffiti says:
We also are supposed to be speaking solo en espanol. Cough cough. Yes. Yes we are. Our "English-fast" is somewhat broken, over and over. You just really can't have conversations in Spanish about the deep significance of people gaining weight, fattening up on MTC food to feed the world like gospel ham. You CAN'T, i PROMISE. Spanish also makes all this teaching stuff harder. We are now teaching only in Spanish, even if the in between speech is a little Gringo still... we found out you can practice teaching people and the class can watch you from a one-way mirror room kinda deal. Way cool. While one group was "teaching" our teacher, Hermano Johnson, they mixed up two awesome scriptures. Mormon 8:3 doesn't quite say the same thing as Moroni 8:3, EVEN in Spanish.... but for the most part, we're learning pretty well. We've been doing something cool - practicing teaching other missionaries, but NOT using "scenarios" - not telling them to be pretend to be from a certain denomination, or have a problem with smoking or drinking - but to just be missionaries, and WE go and TEACH them as missionaries, to them FOR REAL, doing what we can to bring a fellow missionary closer to Christ. It's interesting. I'm finding I care a lot more about the people I'm teaching, because I'm actually helping a real person come unto Christ a little more. That's how every appointment in the field will be. Sweet!
Kimmy: THANKS for the cookies, muy delicioso, galletas are awesome!
Family: SANDY'S SANDBOX????????? Fred and the other dude look pretty sweet, I laughed really hard at that blog...
Joey: you speak the truth. I take comfort in your district's lack of resolve to speak Spanish too. Hopefully we do better...
SO last week we had the most amazing devotional, like always. Way cool. Elder Hamula of the 70. Best speaker ever. He clearly showed us why this Gospel needs to be preached. I'm not sure I've ever understood like that night. Everyone in this world has two "deaths," so to speak, because of Adam and Eve. We all shall physically die, and we all spiritually die, or are separated from the presence of Heavenly Father for a time. Jesus Christ is our Savior - He overcame these deaths. Physical death is overcome for ALL, ALL are resurrected, the righteous and the wicked. We all receive an immortal body. EVERYONE overcomes this separation and returns to the Father--to be judged. The thing is, NOT everyone can STAY. This is so powerful. It is only those who have been cleansed through Jesus Christ, baptized by His authority, and made perfect through Him that come home to Father and can stay. All else must leave, forever. How awful that is to think about - and how important is our work - to prepare all men to be able to stay and live with our Heavenly Father and our family forever in joy! This is what I am doing. It's intimidating, but it's so exciting too.
On Sunday, our Devotional was about music. At the begininng we sang "We Are As the Army of Helaman" like we all used to at EFY and stuff. It was so cool, because as the words came up on the screen, the words were changed from "we will be the Lord's missionaries" to "we ARE NOW the Lord's missionaries." And it was cool, because we were 2000 strong, an army like Helaman's army of young righteous men in the cause of the Lord, now finally His missionaries, fulfilling the dream we sang about as kids. Way cool.
Yup. Good week. It's been rough. But I know that when we choose faith and move forward, God will be on our side. He lives. He is our Father. I challenge everyone to read Isaiah 54 in the Bible (or also, 3 Nephi:22 in the Book of Mormon, where Isaiah's words are read to the Nephite people of Ancient America). It's beautiful - these are the Savior's words to all of us. After it's all over, the Lord will gather us with everlasting mercies, and His kindness shall not depart from us. Beautiful. This is His work. Christ lives. He is our Savior, our Friend. I'm grateful to be here.
LOVE YOU ALL,
ElDER CHRISTOPHER THELIN