Well, I feel pretty good right now. But I gotta be honest, this week was rough for me. Probably one of the hardest weeks of my life, TBH. Actually, definitely one of the hardest weeks of my life, who am I kidding? Couldn't really even tell you why, because there wasn´t really a specific reason. Just an untimely combination of my own weaknesses, difficulties w/ my comp, language barrier probz, and lack of proper perspective all tied up and mixed together by the will of God. The good news is that I feel God´s presence consistently, I´m learning a ton, I know this is for my own good, and I´ll never, ever give up. Other good news is that I have some hi-sterical journal entries to laugh about in a few years. But I´m pretty sure Albert Einstein thought of the theory of relativity while he was on his mission, cause I could promise you I´ve lived at least a month in this past week. At least. And although this results in hard days feeling like hard weeks, it also has the very real and very powerful effect of catalyzing spiritual experiences and spiritual growth. So imma focus on the positive (cause that´s what I´m going to take with me ultimately from these experiences) and share with you just a few of the things I´ve been internalizing this past month... I mean this past week (cause really it was just a week, but like I said, it felt like a month).
More reflections on weaknesses: Ok, ok, so I swear I´ll understand and really internalize this lesson one day. But I guess that day is not today, because I´m still thinking a ton about how to turn weaknesses into strengths and how we can discover and develop our talents. But I came across a powerful scripture acerca de esta tema in Exodus 4:10-12, in which the Lord has commanded Moses to speak unto the Pharaoh. "v.10 And Moses said unto the Lord, o my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: But I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. v.11 And the Lord said unto him, who hath made man´s mouth? Or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I the Lord? v.12 Now therefore go, and I will be thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say." Wow. I feel so much like Moses in these verses. It´s like I´m saying to the Lord, "O my Lord, I am not eloquent. My Spanish is hecka broken, I don´t know the doctrines or the scriptures as well as I could, I feel awkward a lot, and I hardly ever feel like I know what to say." And then the Lord says back to me, "Who hath sent you to Paraguay on your mission? Who hath called you to serve in a foreign country with a different language with a different culture? Have not I the Lord? Therefore go, and I will be thy mouth, and teach (not just give) thee what thou shalt say." If me serving a mission wasn´t part of Heavenly Father´s plan for my life, He would have just let me chill happily at BYU living the good life. But He told me I needed to serve a mission, and now he´s teaching me how. It´s harder than heck, but I really, really, really know that God is in charge. And he could take away all my trials right now if it was his will. But since he´s not, I know it´s ultimately for my benefit. (see D y C 122:7. "If the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.") In our district meeting on Tuesday, Elder Muñoz was teaching us about the allegory of the olive trees in Jacob 5. And in vs. 70-72ish, it says "And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard sent his servant (Hermana Ross to Paraguay); and the servant went and did as the Lord had commanded [her]...And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard said unto [Hermana Ross] go to, and labor in the vineyard with your might... And it came to pass that [Hermana Ross] did go and labor with [her] might; and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with [her]." As missionaries, we are not working for the Lord, with are working with the Lord. And when I go to contact, or when I go into a lesson and I don´t feel inspired, or don´t know what to say (aka like always), the Lord is with me. He´s not just watching me like another missionary in zone conference observing and evaluating my teaching skills to give me feedback. He´s literally teaching with me. And there´s limitless power in that, ya know? Anyway, still working on internalizing this lesson 100%, but it´s getting closer.
Refletions on grace: So more great news is that the more I learn about the atonement of Jesus Christ, the more I can understand and internalize his grace. I´ve been thinking about it a lot, especially in terms of where I am now and where I want to be. Elder Neal A. Maxwell said, "Now may I speak to those buffeted by false insecurity, who, through laboring devotedly in the kingdom have recurring feelings of falling forever short... this feeling of inadequacy is normal. There is no way the church can honestly describe where we must yet go and what we must yet do without creating a sense of immense distance. This is a gospel of grand expectations, but God´s grace is sufficient for each of us." Bruce C. Hafen and Brad Wilcox offer more insights: "The Savior´s gift of grace to us is not necessarily limited in time to "after" all we can do. We may receive his grace before, during and after the time when we expend our own efforts. So grace is not a booster engine that kicks in once our fuel supply is exhausted. Rather, it is our constant energy source. It is not the light at the end of the tunnel but the light that moves us through the tunnel. Grace is not achieved somewhere down the road. It is received right here and right now. It is not a finishing touch; it is the finisher´s touch." It´s just truer than true, ya know? #doubletrue. Last night we visited this recent RM from the rama last night who out of nowhere hasn´t been coming to church for like two months. Anyway, he ended up kind of having a breakdown and disclosed to us that he broke the law of chastity and feels miserable. He says he knew better (as an RM and endowed member, ya know), and he doesn´t even know what to do with himself now. Anyway, we ended up having one of the most spiritual lessons I´ve ever had with him, in which I testified with everything I could give that I know God´s love doesn´t change for us based on mistakes we´ve made (or weaknesses we have). And that he´s not alone, that he can change and be forgiven, and that I know Christ´s grace is real. And I meant what I said. I do know those things. God´s love is the realest.
Segue into reflections on God´s love: So I´ll keep this section kind of short, cause if I don´t, I´ll go on forever (look forward to that after the mission #doctrinebyHolly #tranquinottrunky). Mostly I just want to cite a scripture in Romans #Biblelyfe #actuallyidon´tknowthebiblethatwell (Se encuentra in captiulo 8, versiculos 35, 37-39). It says, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword (or a hard companion, or the inability to communicate fluently in Spanish, or missing my family, etc.)? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, (nor the Paraguayan jungle), shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." The love of God doesn´t change depending on where we are, what we are doing, how we feel emotionally, etc. It is simply always there.
Well, sorry I didn´t say like anything about my week. Like I said, mostly it was just really normal, but I didn´t feel normal. But I´m fine, and it´ll be fine. I´m progressing in my teaching skills, learning to minister better to people´s needs, I really like the rama here, etc. And we had a really good comp inventory on Friday (dare I say the best I´ve ever had?) I´m just an open communicator, ya know?
Ok, well I love you a ton! So much. Hope you forgive me for pretty much typing up a talk, lolz.
Hearts and stars,
|Me with my comp and Apple Juice|
|Us at a Family Home Evening|
|The Familia Diana|
|At the Church|