April 16, 2014
Ah! Puede creer esta carta es mi última carta del CCM? It is seriously so crazy!! It’s weird to think in just a short 5 days I will be outta here and on my way to Argentina!! Yep, that's right I got my travel plans last Thursday and I will be on my way to the marvelous Argentina!! :) I'm so beyond thrilled! So I will be leaving the MTC at 6:00 am fly out of Salt Lake at 11:09, get into Georgia at 4:45, leave for Buenos Aires at 9:10 pm, and arrive in Buenos Aires at 8:00 am on the 22nd. I still can't even believe this is happening. For the longest time it's been, "Oh, where are you going on your mission?" and I would always reply that I'm GOING to Argentina. Well in 5 days, I will no longer be telling people that I'm going to Argentina on my mission, I will actually be there! Thrilling stuff if ya ask me! :)
So let's just jump into the Stars of this week's devotionals. Sunday devo was the BYU Men's choir. They are the biggest collegiate men's chorus in the United States. I had never heard them before, but man are they good!! Oh how I love men's choirs. It was easily one of the best choir concert performances I have ever been to. I seriously cannot believe we have been so blessed to have so many musical devotionals! It has been so incredible. I seriously love music so much! So Tuesday's devo was the one with the real star. The speaker was....drum roll please....Elder Neil L. Andersen! Yep, that's right, of the Quorum of the 12! Mind blown?? Yeah, mine too. I mean we've all been expecting a big speaker to come on Easter, but no one had been saying anything about having a member of the 12 come on a Tuesday devotional! It was so amazing! He talked about the Doctrine of Christ, but more specifically the Atonement. It was very interactive with the audience. What I loved the most was that he used the Book of Mormon to teach us the doctrine. As missionaries our purpose is to teach the Doctrine of Christ. It is truly what every single lesson is based and focused on. The Book of Mormon is one of our absolute greatest tools to do so. Thus, he truly gave a talk that was perfectly catered to us missionaries and our needs. It was just amazing! :)
Monday morning we did a really neat activity. A couple of our teachers gave a lesson about the importance of prayer and how we can receive so much revelation from it if we allow it to be more than a simple check list of things to say and ask for. I had never really thought about the fact that often times we just go through the list of what we need to be thankful for and what we are asking for and just checking them off. After the lesson, we went outside and got to spread out and not be by our companions (still within sight and sound though...of course jaja) and we just sat and prayed and meditated for like 20 minutes. It was one of the greatest experiences I have had yet at the MTC. I literally had a real conversation with Heavenly Father and just told Him all my concerns. I told Him exactly how concerned I was with my own abilities and how I was so excited to do this work, but I was so scared that I was leaving to go to Argentina so soon. It was a very long, heartfelt prayer. Despues, I just sat their and listened to His answer. I can't tell you how key it is to sit there after a prayer a LISTEN to the answer Heavenly Father is trying to give you. I immediately just started writing down my thoughts, and as I did my mind was filled with thoughts that weren't my own. The word fear kept coming to my head. I realized that Heavenly Father was telling me all my concerns were based on fear. He knows I can't do this on my own and He hasn't asked me to. He has simply asked me to give it my all and TRUST in Him. He is the one that will help me through it and lead me to those who need to hear my testimony of this gospel. He is asking me to do a very hard thing, and He will ask me to do some very hard things while on my mission, but He knows what I am capable of and He only asks that I have FAITH in Him, rather than FEAR. Go forward in faith and there is no way He will fail you. I encourage you all to set aside 15-20 minutes of your day and pray sincerely to Heavenly Father. Tell Him your greatest concerns, desires, and triumphs. Then, take a few minutes and just write about your experience. I know, He will answer your prayers. Sometimes though, we forget to listen. Make sure you listen for those answers He is yearning to give you.
Today was my last day going to the temple for quite some time. If you know me, you know how heart broken I am about that. I LOVE the temple! It is such a beautiful place. It is the House of the Lord and the Spirit it contains is incredible! I am fortunate, though, that I will be able to visit the Buenos Aires Temple at least once on my mission! I couldn't be happier, though, to go and teach people about the Gospel and the blessings that come from it!
Funny story of the week.-- it's quite simple really and not much to it. So I am known to talk in my sleep...pretty much cada noche. Well peeps, I have reached a new level. I SANG in SPANISH while I was sleeping. Yeah, that's right, Spanish must really be getting to me...YAY! I have yet to dream in Spanish, but the fact that I slept sang in Spanish is giving me hope that the dreaming is right around the corner. Cross your fingers.
Another quick story. We have to do Spanish tests on the computer where we basically teach lessons and then people grade us on how well we did and how well our grammar was and what not. Well, last Saturday I took my last one and it asked me to talk about Joseph Smith and the Restoration. I thought "Psh, I got this, I'll just recite the First Vision and that'll take up most of my talking time." Oh how wrong I was. I started talking about the Joseph Smith and led my way into the First Vision, but at this point in the day my mind was so far gone with Spanish that I ended up skipping half of the first vision. So I notice my mistake in the middle of reciting it and say "oh crap, that was wrong" into the mic, and proceed to say nothing and laugh for the remaining time. Also, you can't rerecord so whatever you say you're stuck with. Yeah, the graders are going to be like "This missionary is leaving in a week? Oh heaven help her!" Jaja, it's cool, hopefully I can get it right when it really matters. I mean I only recite it like 5 times a day. Jaja, anyways, those are my stories for this week.
Well, todos, this is it. This is my last email from the MTC. The next time y'all hear from me I will be in Argentina!! I know, it's crazy how fast the time has gone. I never thought I'd reach this point and here I am! Well, I hope you all have a fantastic week!! I love you all so much! Wish me luck as I embark on this new stage of the mission. Remember, when we love the way Christ does miracles happen! And of course, Stay Anxiously Engaged!
Hermana Van Wagoner