Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Come To Me My Niños And I Will Make You Latinos

Hola Mi Familia y Mi Amigos

I do not have tons of time to respond to every bodys words of love and support I am thankful for them though and am very grateful that I have such a huge support system backing me up. I love you all so much, think of you often and pray that this letter finds all of you well. First things first. We have not recieved dear elders for over a week. Normally we recieve them every week but for whatever reason we did not recieve them last week. Our teachers are just as baffled as we are and I finally understand why my missionary friends always begged for mail. Also, if you are going to send any thing to me now please send it to my mission home address which can be found on Facebook. With only a week left here it would not get to me in time. That includes dearelders and any thing like that. I cannot believe my time here at the CCM is coming to an end. It has felt like a mini life but at the same time it has gone so quickly. I have learned so much and will miss my district and my teacher terribly.

Speaking of teachers the title of this email is some thing my teacher Hermano Solano said. We still laugh about it. He has kind of become a father figure for all of us here at the CCM. Its very obvious that both him and Hermano Chavez care about us deeply and I know I will cry when we have to say goodbye. I cry a lot more now. Its crazy! I think you would laugh at me mom.

This week has been really good. I have seen Alyssa alot. Its been fun. I always make sure to hug her and ask her how shes doing and she seems to be really liking it here. I am excited to have someone around here that reminds me of home.

So we went to the market last... Tuesday I think. It all kind of meshes together. I picked up some thing for you mom as a little Mothers Day gift but will not be able to send it til I get to Panama. I am hoping that you like it and if not I guess you could give it to Megan. While at the market we had the opportunity to go place a Book of Mormon. It might have been a little gutsy but we went over to a park that was right acrross the street from a Cathedral. Hermana Worth suggested we approach a guy who was sitting by himself and so we walked over and introduced ourselves as missionaries. Not thrity seconds in we could tell that he was little out of himself if you know what I mean. He told us (in ridiculously fast Spanish) that the Catholic church had fired him and basically kicked him out onto the street. He todl us that as his parting words to us he wanted us to know that the whole world was Catholic. We assured him that we were not but he insisted. The whole world is Catholic. We asked him if he would like to read more about Jesus Christ and he shrugged and said sure. We left him with a Book of Mormon. Who knows if it will ever be read but we do what we can and let God do the rest
So we have new roommates. They are both going to Panama with Hermana Worth and I next week.One of them is from Guatemala and the other is from Peru. They are really shy and keep to themesleves but I try to talk to them and they humor which is nice of them. My Spanish is going well. Hermana Worth is not speaking Spanish to me like you she used to which makes it really hard to always speak Spanish. I am grateful for my experience in the Hebrew House butecause I have easiar time turning off English in my head then I think other people do. I have seen little reminders from the Lord that He is pleased with my progress in the language. The tender mercy of the week came yesterday when I was talking with some girls going to Panama in another district. I was telling them how at dinner I was talking with a Latina from Gautemala who will be serving in Honduras and she told me that in Panama they speak faster than they do in Guatemala. She says that most of the time she cannot even understand them.There was a teacher standing right there and when I finished my story he out of the blue told that I speak fast, like the Latinas and I have a nice accent. I was flattered. I have to be careful to not let it go to my head though. God will only help me if I am humble and always remember that I need him to help me.
So onto my investigators. Adrian (I mentioned that Adrain is our day teacher right, Hermano Solano and he patterned Adrian after himself because he is a convert to the Church). We taught Adrain about the importance of prayer. He said he was reading but he was not praying and Hermana Worth and I were frustrated. We talked to him about this for awhile, and then, what I now know to have been inspried by the Sp I looked at him and said. Adrian. We are not aksing you to pray or to read. Those are things we would like you to do. What we are asking you to do is to have faith. We know that you are afraid of what you may have to change if these things are true but God knows it too and he is going to be with you always. Will you have the faith to pray and read tonight.

We could see in his eyese that he was moved and we ended in prayer. Hermana Worth left the lesson very frustrated and I was happy with it. I have noticed the Holy Ghost prompting more and more and I pray that He continues to do so. I want to always be worthy of those promptings that will help the people that He has blessed me with the opportuntiy to help, to teach, and to bring closer to Him.
After that lesson we had a coaching study with Hermano Chavez and Hermano Solano. They asked us if it was okay if we have it Spanish, mostly for my benefit, and we said it was fine. So they talked to us about not running faster than we are able and not doing too much. They said we need to be kind to ourselves and I think that was a big tender mercy for me because I am always my toughest critic. They told us that we are exceptional and that even though we say we want to be like them that we need to try to be better. They told us we needed to ping pong in our lessons more and not allow one person to dominate so much. We are still working hard to incorporate that into our lessons. I bet we will figure it out just in time for transfers next week.

Another good lesson that I had this week was with a missionary. Her name is Hermana Squire and she is modeling her investigator after her step dad who was raised Catholic and took a long time to come to the Church. The lesson that I taught her was about the Book of Mormon. We read through parts of the Book of Mormon together and I asked her questions about each part. For me personally it was one of the lessons I have ever had as far as making it feel more like a discussion as opposed to a presentation. Afterwards a teacher approached me and said that my lessons was awesome and too keep it up. Another sweet tender mercy of the Lord to remind me that I am progressing in the right direction.

Okay so a funny thing that happened in a lesson this week was when Hermana Worth and I were treaching Bryan about fasting and tithing. The word for fast in Spanish is ayuno or ayunar and the word for breakfast in Spanish is desayunar or desayuno. So Hermana Worth was extending the commitment to Bryan to fast with us this Sunday and instead of saying, will you fast with us this Sunday she said, will you breakfast with us this Sunday. She asked him to keep the law of breakfast like four times. It was hillarious and we all laughed about it for a good few minutes. I always thought I would be the one to make a mistake like that but evidently not. It just gave us all a good laugh and reminded me to not be so serious when I am teaching.
We also had a really good lesson at CRE this week. We taught a missionary pretending to be a less active. He was from Panama and he spoke so quiet and fast it was ridiculous. Guess i know what I have to look forward to. He said his reason for not going back to church was because he did not feel that God heard his prayers. We shared some scriptures with him,bore our testimonies and I even shared an experience of when God had answered my prayer. He told us after that he could understand everything we said and that he had even learned some thing that he could apply to himself as a missionary. I definitely think it was the best CRE lesson we have ever had and I am so grateful for all the compensations God made for our weaknesses because we did not have a lot of time to prepare beforehand.

I have been trying really hard to not let the little things get to me. Weather it has to do with my companion or in lessons I am really working to have more patience. God tests me often and too often I dont pass said tests. One of those moments came just yesterday when Hermana Worth and I were planning a lesson for Adrian. Hermana Worth has a hard time focusing when we are planning and some times it is frustrating. We were only able to discuss what scriptures we were going to use before Hermano Solano came in and said it was time for us to teach him. I was inwardly freaking out. We had prayed together but I did not feel at peace about what we had planned because I felt like we had not planned any thing except a few scriptures. It could be felt as we taught. I had worked to study the doctrine we were teaching that morning in personal study and to make sure I knew it but no matter how hard I tried I could not adequeately express what I wanted to say. More than that I did not have many opportunities to speak because when my companion gets nervous or frustrated she just rambles and feels like she has to tell as much as she can about the doctrine we are teaching.There were a lot of mistakes made and as soon as the closing prayer was said I started to cry. Right in front of Hermano Solano! I was so embaressed and frustrated because I knew I could do better. Hermano Solano told me that I had asked good questions and that he had felt the Spirit when I shared my testmiony. Still, I was discouraged. I told him I felt we had not planned very well before hand and he said that he could see that. He need he never criticizes us because there are usually only little things that we needed to work on. He told us again to ping pong it better. To let the other talk and to engage the investigator. it should be 50,50 between your companionship and your investigator. It needs to feel like a conversation. Hermano Solano again asked if I was okay and I told him yes, even though I was still crying.

Afterwards Hermana Worth and I stepped outside and she told me that perhaps this experience was good for me. I needed to realize I was not always going to have perfect lessons. I told her thanks but that did not make me feel better right now. I asked her to just give me a moment and so I sat there and I prayed and I pondered. I told God how hard I was trying to be better. How badly I wanted to be His instrument and I thanked Him for teachign me all these lessons so that I could better serve the people of Panama. I talked with Hermano Solano later and told him that I had been upset because I know that I am capable of doing better. He seemed at peace about that because he hates when we get upset and I just told him thank you for all his help and advice.

On a high note regarding Adrian, he recieved an answer to his prayers and believes that we are teaching him is true. We taught him that lessons about living prophets and he asked us how we knew that President Monson is a prophet of God. We shared our experiences of how we had listened to him speak, pondered on his words and prayed and recieved perosnal witnesses that we know he is a prophet. We challenged him to do the same thing and while Hermana Worth was frustrated that the lesson had not gone the way we had planned exactly I felt good about it because I felt like we had helped Adrian take a step towards our Savior.
The most spiritual experience I had this week was a devotional that Hermano Chavez gave us. He showed a clip from the movie Facing the Giants about when the guy does the death crawl, blindfolded all the way down the football field. It talked about giving our absolute best and doing every thing we can for this work even when we feel like we cannot do anymore. Then he got all choked up as he told us how he has seen his mom pray for his sister who is serving in Panama and he knows that our moms pray for us in the same way. He told us that they think we are the best and we need to always be the missionaries that our moms believe us to be do. They know we can do it. God knows we can do it. And Hermano Chavez told us that he knows we can do it because to him, to God, and to our families we are the best. We need to live up to that. And just like the brother of Jared we need to find our own stones for God to touch so that we can have the light of the Holy Ghost within us as we serve.

I love this work so much. I love the language that I am speaking and now dreaming in also. I am so grateful fro all of you and for this wonderful opportunity. God lives. I know he does because I see Him in the face of all these people that I teach and talk to about His Gospel. I know that this is the true work of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That it has been commanded of us to take it throughout the world because it is the only thing that brings true and lasting happiness. The Chruch is true. The Gospel can bring you peace and joy in your life if you will but have faith and learn of it. If you have been lagging in praying, studying your scriptures, or going to Chruch I invite all of you to renew your efforts. God showed His love by giving us His Son. It is a small thing to show our love by doing the things He has asked us to do. I am so grateful for Him. For my Lord and Savior. I know He is with me always as I try my best to serve and that He will use me and my abilities to serve in the way that His kingdom needs. I love you all. I will not be able to write you  next week because I will be traveling to Panama but I will fill you all in the week after. Know that I am praying for each and everyone of you. Know that I know that God loves you. He believes in you. And He is always ready to help you if you will but call on Him. Talk to you in two weeks.

All My Love,
Hermana Wilson

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