Wednesday, February 22, 2017

"My yoke is easy, and my burden is light"

Hola friends and family!

Being a missionary is the best!! The days are really flying by and I can't believe it's already P-day again. 

Mi companiera and I have been doing yoga every night for the past week before we go to bed, and at first the rest of the Hermanas in our district thought we were being crazy, but now we all have nightly yoga practice before we go to bed, and it's part weird, part amazing. We also have Bible story of the day, that we go over at night because apparently not everyone spent their whole childhood watching Veggietales and Animated Stories from the Old and New Testament, so we've already learned about Abigail and Ruth and memorized the ten commandments, and we're able to actually apply this stuff in our lessons, so it's great!

Our district theme song is "Tengo gozo en mi alma hoy" (there is sunshine in my soul today) but it actually translate to 'joy' not 'sunshine' because apparently if we said we had sunshine in our soul that would literally mean that there was sunshine in our souls, and that would be a bit too extreme so we just have joy. We only know the first line in Spanish, so we just keeping singing the same words over and over again to the same tune, and all of our teachers have officially banned us from singing Hymn 146 in class. 

I also won the contest for best injury of the week, for our 'day of service', Hermana Fuimaono and had to brush and vacuum all the entrance carpets to the main building, yes brush, still not sure exactly why or what we were doing, and we were wearing gloves and I got a huge blister on one of my knuckles from brushing the carpet with too much enthusiasm. The reason why it wins though is because one of our investigators asked what happened to my hand in our one of our lessons, and we spent 10 minutes trying to figure out how to say in Spanish that I was brushing the carpet and got a blister. They ended up thinking I ran over my hand with a vacuum, but I guess that close enough.
Oh and I got called this week as the music director for our branch, haha, I'm excited, I get to arrange the musical numbers and put together the music for sacrament meetings, and it'll be a fun calling. 

Quotes of the week:
"I was too busy looking for dinner, I'm a hunter-gatherer" - Hermana Meredith
"Hermana Meredith I'm not talking to you about Hamlet" - Elder Harris
"If I don't say 'sorry' at least a hundred times a day I'm dishonoring my country" - Hermana Maynes (she's from Canada and she has a pet moose named George)

So many incredible spiritual experiences this week. The choir director at the MTC is amazing, and I learn more in our 60 minute practices about missionary work than I do the rest of the day. He shared an analogy yesterday I know my family will appreciate. We were singing a really nice arrangement of "Precious Savior, Dear Redeemer" same words, different tune. Brother Eggett told us that this should be the least stressful time of our lives. We all laughed, but it's actually kind of true. The gospel we're sharing has already been written, you get an automatic best friend who goes everywhere with you, the words your sharing have already been written, and it's not your job to convert people, it's the Spirits. He likened it to if we were pulling an yoke with the Savior, he is like Paul Bunyon's gigantic blue ox, and we're just a little cow whose feet don't even touch the ground, but we're moving our legs as fast as we can, and talking to as many people about the gospel as we can. If we do it with Him, it's easy. He pulls. And that's true for our whole lives. The path of discipleship is hard, and it's an uphill climb, because that's how it should be, but when we put in all our effort to have the Savior be with is, it doesn't have to be quite so hard. 

This week, Hermana McCracken and I set a goal to read the entire Book of Mormon again before we leave the MTC. I got a new paperback copy of just the Book of Mormon, and we're just pushing through, trying to get the overall story. I've been marking all the references to blessings that come from keeping the commandments of God, and references to Christ. Reading the Book of Mormon with a specific purpose and question in mind is so helpful, you can read 40 pages in a day and it doesn't feel overwhelming. I would challenge any of you who aren't feeling very motivated to study the scriptures, pick a question or topic, get a new copy of the Book of Mormon, and look for every mention and mark it up as much as you want. 

The gift of tongues is so real everyone. We taught our first lesson in Spanish to a native speaker yesterday, and we could understand her, and she could understand us, and we got to know her and were able to share a message, and the 45 minutes flew by. When we walked in, she had her copy of the Bible that is all marked up, and told us right off the bat how much she loves the Bible and doesn't want to hear about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon because she has the Bible, so we just said ok, let's talk about the Bible, and we did manage to shift into talking about the Book of Mormon by the end. There is no way any of that would be possible without the Spirit. 
In class I'm still mixing up Spanish and French all the time, and one of my teachers actually asked me if I had studied French before I came here because she could tell from the way I was saying my r's and using a weird accent. But every day I forget a little more French and replace it with a little more Spanish, so it's getting there. 

It's a hard schedule to get used to, and we're trying really hard to be super obedient and go to bed at exactly the right time and be in class and time. Obedience is a really big deal because suddenly there's a whole new set of rules of things you wouldn't necessarily assume are bad. Bedtime is now officially a commandment, so that's taking a little getting used to, but we're getting better at it. It is hard being a missionary, and when a lesson doesn't go well or you're feeling frustrated about not getting a concept it's really easy to get down on yourself. But when you get to teach, and the Spirit is there, and you get to truly bear testimony of what you know and you can feel how much you want this person to know what you do, you would move mountains if you could to help them gain a witness of the truthfulness of the restored gospel. And those moments fill you with so much joy and happiness the rest of it is worth it. 

The church is true! Go read the Book of Mormon and keep being the best you can be!

Hermana Meredith

Matthew 11:28-30 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you​​ rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

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