This week just screamed by! There is a saying here in the MTC that every day lasts a week and every week lasts a day. Yeah, that's a real thing, they aren't kidding. It really just gets to the point where every day just blends together. Like we wake up on Saturday and say, for all we know this could be a Tuesday, because most days feel the same.
So on Friday we had to practice doing our first contact, which is where we don't know anything about them, just go up to their door and hope to get into their house. It's so much harder than you would think....not to mention when you're attempting to do it in Spanish. So you could say that was pretty rough for Hna. Ridgway and me. However I have come to the point where I don't care how rough it is, because I know that it is just a huge learning experience. If you do it wrong the first time, you will know what NOT to do the next time. So it's really actually a blessing.
So we've started to teach this investigator "Josue" (He's really just one of our teachers) and on the second lesson Hna. Ridgway and I committed him to be baptized! Although it was totally fake, it felt SO great! I mean, I can only imagine what it will feel like when we do that for real! If its this exciting when it's one of our teachers playing a character, it must be pretty spectacular out in the field. So as far as the MTC goes, we've committed one person to baptism so far. Jaja!! :)
As I have been learning Spanish, I have realized that I need to not stress so much about learning the language, and focus more on learning how to strengthen the investigator's relationship with God by helping them realize how His hand has been in their life the entire time. That being said, I know I will be completely lost when I first get down to Argentina, so I've come up with a little goal. My goal is even if the members and investigators can't understand me, I want them to KNOW how much I absolutely love them. Love doesn't need to be portrayed in words. I want them to know that I love them, and then hopefully through me they will be able to know how much MORE their Savior and Heavenly Father loves them. If I can at least do that, I know I can be successful. And honestly, that gives me so much hope. I already love the people of Argentina so much. I can't imagine how much more I will love them when I actually get down there! Ah, SO exciting!! :)
Already in these short two weeks, I have seen how the mission pushes you to do things you would never otherwise do. I am the music coordinator in my branch, which means I choose the music for Sundays. Well the previous music coordinator left for Mexico before I could find out the details. So Saturday morning I was asking what exactly I need to do and I found out we had to have a special musical number for sacrament. Apparently there is one every Sunday. So since no one had prepared anything I had to whip out something on the piano. I decided to skip gym and practice the piano for an our. Thank heavens I had that piano book from Tricia with some beautiful hymns. It was such a blessing! So yeah, I prepared that in an hour.
Then, every Sunday we all have to prepare 3-5 minute talks in Spanish. As I was writing my talk on Saturday I kept thinking, "I think I'm going to have to give this tomorrow." But I kept shrugging it off. So Sunday morning while I was getting ready, I mentioned to the other hermanas that I kept feeling like I was going to have to give the talk, but that I probably wouldn't since I was already doing the special musical number. Well, sure enough, as the meeting begins, the Branch President announces over the pulpit that Hna. Clay and I would be speaking and then after I was done speaking I would go play Abide with Me; Tis Eventide. All I could do is just laugh and smile. I had known it all along jaja. So Sunday I gave my first ever talk in SPANISH and then I played a piano solo with only an HOUR of practice. Two things I would have NEVER done before. And ya know what? Both went quite well if you ask me. That just goes to show you how much the Lord will push you, even in the MTC, but no matter what, He will still be with you the entire time. I know I couldn't have done either without the Lord's help. He requires a lot of His missionaries, but how lucky are we to have Him walk right beside us for 18-24 months and have Him be our perfect teacher. With such a teacher, it's impossible not to grow into something you couldn't ever before imagine. That is if we allow Him to push us and if we will have faith to be willing to do whatever it is He asks of us.
The Lord is so good. Everywhere I look and in everything I do, I see Him. I am so fortunate to be called of God as a missionary to serve in Argentina. I'm not perfect, but I know that doesn't matter. All that matters is that I am willing to be His servant. That is all that is required of us. We must be willing to do whatever He asks. If we do that, He will shape us into something we could have never foreseen. I have a strong testimony of that already. I have seen it start to happen to me in just these short two weeks. I'm so excited for these next 18 months and all He has in store for me. I love you and miss you all more than I could ever adequately express! Thank you for your support and your prayers, I feel them so strongly. Miracles happen when we love others the way Christ does. Remember, stay anxiously engaged!! :)
Hermana Van Wagoner