So right after I was dropped off they rushed me through all sorts of intro stuff. Getting my tag, giving me a HUGE load of books (which kind of freaked me out), onto a bus to be shipped to the MTC "West Campus," which is the spanish speaking campus for the Provo-MTC, and finally into my apartment where I met mi compañera, Hermana Bowers-Nuñez. We stayed there for about two seconds and then were rushed to meet our maestro (teacher), Hermano Rasmussen, who SOLAMENTE (only) speaks Español to us!! I am really surprised at how much spanish I am able to understand. I mean five days ago there is no way I would be able to follow any spanish conversation,and as of Wednesday, I spend 4 hours straight conversing in spanish!!
I'm telling you, the gift of tongues is REAL.
I won't lie, these first five days have been...insane. I knew going on a mission would be hard, but I honestly did not expect such an overload of stuff. Spanish, spanish, spanish, spanish, scripture study, spanish....ah more spanish.
PERO (but), I LOVE it! The spirit is really so strong here. It's amazing to see all of these wonderful young men and women focused on something so unique. Our proposito (purpose) is to
"Invitar a las personas a vinir a Cristo al ayudarlas a que reciben el Evangelio Restaurado mediante la fe en Jesucristo, el arrapentimiento, el bautismo, la recepcion del don del Espiritu Santo, y perserverar hasta el fin."
"Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end."
This whole week we have been focusing on our purpose and our reasons for serving a mission. Hno Rasmussen really wants us to know WHY we are here, which I think is awesome, because sometimes it is hard to see past not being able to communicate in the language or not knowing how to teach.
In Doctrine & Covenants 18:10,15 it says:
"Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father."
and Alma 26:26,35,36 says:
"But behold, my beloved brethren (and sisters) we came into the wilderness not with the intent to destroy our brethren (or to make them feel like they aren't good enough), but with the intent that perhaps we might save some few of their souls.
There never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name.
Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting woe....God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in."
I am SO excited for this adventure.
I'm not here to learn how to mimic other teachers. Or even to learn Spanish. I'm here to discover why I'm here. As Elder Bednar says in his talk "The Character of Christ" (I HIGHLY recommend):
"As you lose yourself in the service of others, you will find yourself. But only if you're not looking."
I'm here to help people find their purpose and to come closer to their Creator and to find a lasting source of happiness. Christ suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane so that we would not have to if we would only come unto him.
THAT is where we find joy. THAT is where we find peace.
I love you all and I miss you. (even though you haven't written me yet...). Keep praying. Keep studying the word of God. And "just keep swimming" :)