7-10-13 Week 3! Halfway done… (with MTC training)

Buenos tardes, familia y amigos!

I can’t believe it’s been 3 WEEKS already since getting here at the MTC! It has gone by SO FAST!

Fourth of July here was pretty cool. We stopped our study/class time early and went to the chapel to watch a short devotional/fireside thing. THEN WE WATCHED AN ACTUAL MOVIE. Not a missionary video, like the Testaments (which I LOVE by the way and we haven’t even watched it yet), but a REAL-LIFE MOVIE called 17 Miracles. I cried a lot because it’s a crying movie but IT WAS A MOVIE.
Afterwards we went outside for ice cream and tried to find a gap in the trees to watch the fireworks that were going off at the BYU stadium. We could kind of hear Kelly Clarkson singing some words, but we couldn’t tell what they were. The fireworks were great, but I didn’t manage to get a decent picture of them.

A terrible thing happened yesterday at our “gym time” (which here at the West campus means “go play outside.”) Poor Hermana V______, mi compañera, was playing volleyball and hit the ball wrong. We were worried that she broke her wrist. So she and I went on an adventure to the BYU urgent care in the “real world” to get it x-rayed. Luckily they didn’t see anything terrribly wrong. We find out for sure this evening. For now she just has it wrapped in a brace and tries not to move it. Pobrecita.

SO our “investigators” are doing great! (Don’t laugh. These fake investigators are wonderful!) We taught Carlos about the Restoration and he just DEVOURED IT. He liked the idea of modern prophets and was interested by our Libro de Mormon. Unfortunately, we forgot to bring a copy to give him… oops. BUT we left him a pamphlet and he said he’d read it and pray about it to know for himself if La Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias was truly the restored Church of Jesus Christ. I pray that he follows through!
Ryleigh, our other investigator, is SO WONDERFUL! I just love her so much. She already knows that it’s all true, she just needs to come to peace with some of our “weird little rules,” like no coffee, tattoos, piercings, et cetera. I can see her progressing SO MUCH every time we speak with her. We’ve been trying to help her come to trust the Lord and His servants more, and last time we invited her to pray to know if baptism was the right choice for her.

That is my favorite thing about sharing this Gospel. It’s ALL about the investigators personally receiving the answers for themselves. Personal revelation is SUCH a powerful gift that God has PROMISED us! All we have to do is ask in sincerity, believing we will receive, and God will SPEAK TO US. Whether it’s through our thoughts and feelings, por medio de the Holy Ghost, or through a scripture that JUMPS off the page at you, or in something someone says in a talk at a devotional or sacrament meeting or a lesson, or even through just the people around us! It is so wonderful. I have found SEVERAL scriptures this week that I felt like the Lord was speaking right to me! My favorite instance of this happening this week is in Doctrine and Covenants section 106. I’ve never even noticed this section before- it’s only 8 verses long!
I prayed before beginning my personal scripture study to know what I needed to change in order to be a better missionary and servant of the Lord. Part of a scripture I remembered from my high school seminary class popped into my head, about “seek ye first the kingdom of God” and I decided to try to find it. So I turned to the Topical Guide at the back of the Bible in my triple-combination and looked up “kingdom.” As I was skimming through, I saw a reference to D&C 106:3. I felt impressed to check it out. That verse was just “BANG. Get your act together- focus on your calling as my servant!” (To sum it up.) I felt so chastised and so determined to do better!
Later I reread the whole section and there were so many phrases that jumped out at me, especially if I placed myself in them, a practice I learned from many great seminary teachers.
Of course, verse 3: “And devote [your] WHOLE TIME to this high and holy calling, which I now give unto [you], seeking DILIGENTLY the kingdom of heaven… for the laborer is WORTHY OF HIS HIRE.” (I did some research on that last phrase- it means we’ll be blessed according to our efforts.)
and verse 6, “… there was joy in heaven when my servant [Deryk] bowed to my scepter, and separated [herself] from the crafts of men;”
and verse 7 “…I will lift [her] up inasmuch as [she] will humble [herself] before me.”
and finally verse 8. “… if [she] continue to be a faithful witness and a light to the church I have prepared a crown for [her] in the mansions of my Father.”
THE SCRIPTURES ARE SO POWERFUL! I definitely didn’t take advantage at all of the blessing they can be, before coming out here. I invite EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU, even you random blog-hoppers who stumbled upon this post by accident, to step up your personal scripture study! And NEVER start studying without praying first to receive an answer, or guidance, or whatever it is that you need- THAT is how miracles happen. You have to ask for them first.

WELL I’m out of time now.

I love you all SO MUCH! I look forward to receiving the letters that I am sure you’re spending all your time writing. You just had to take a break to read my email.

Hermana Howell

Photos- For one of the lessons in our class, we talked about how we need to know the doctrine in order to teach it.
So Hno Serrato (the teacher) had me teach the Elders how to tie a tie. This is the result.

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All the Hermanas from our zone! We’re super cute, right?

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My district and the departing district- they left for their actual missions on Monday/Tuesday.

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By the way, Trevin- one of the Elders in my district has a friend who’s going to the same mission as you ON THE SAME DAY! I forgot what he said his last name was, but his first name was D_____ and he’s from Alaska. You’ll probably be in the same district! You might even be companions!

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