Hola Familia y Amigos! (03-20-13)
This week has been a bucket full of new challenges. My companions and I went proselyting for the first time. Our days went from being completely scheduled and our teachers playing the part of investigators, to now stepping outside, navigating the suburbs of Buenos Aries and teaching "real" people. The overall experience was really rewarding! We thank the Lord for his help in our efforts. When we came up with a plan so that more people would be put into our paths and we would be able to touch them with our message! Guess what!? We actually gave out 3 book of Mormons! One lady´s whose name is Suzanna held it so tight to her chest and said with a few tears forming in her eyes that she had been waiting for this book for many years. Another boy was speaking to us super RAPIDO in Spanish and finally... since we were not comprehending, he stopped and said, "I´m interested!!!" LOL. We taught him a lot of things. It was really neat to see how some people would seek us and others we would have to seek.
This week the montra of sorts has been-- Its so easy to do things "half-way"--so it is time to STEP UP to the challenge of something greater! I thought of the famous saying, adapted to my situation, "Who am I to be talented, speaking Spanish, gaining intelligence or being courageous? Actually who are you not to be! You are a child of God, your playing small does not benefit anyone". Be a light, become like the Light, Share the light!
Last week I went to the temple, and after writing you today I will be going again. I was praying to my Lord and wondering why certain blessings were not yet coming. I have been diligent. I have and am being dedicated. I care and support my companions. Dear Lord what else, what is holding back thy aid. Then as though a quiet whispering wind I felt the words, "are you being grateful?" I realized I need to give more thanks, To have an attitude of no complaining, no speaking ill of others or giving the glory to myself and not to God. God is in all things! In Romans 12:21 "be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good¨. OVERCOME Evil with Good! Let not Satan tempt you for something less than greatness.
There is this quote from John Bytheway I have been reading. I don’t have it by me so I will just paraphrase it. "Imagine your mission as a stone block in front of you. What do type of creation do you want to carve out? This is the foundation for the making of the rest of your life. Do you want a half-hearted, home sick, mediocre mission? Or do you want a stalwart, courageous, full-throttle mission? You decide what you will give to the Lord."
In our devotional this week, I came to the conclusion that everything belongs to the Lord accept what? Our agency our willingness. Obedience is number one! Yes I am trying to be obedient even in the small things. What else have I to give? My attitude, my time, my will and striving to see things as God sees them. Take my life and let it be always to honor my King.
Music!! I miss my cello a ton. I miss the stress relieving capabilities it has. I miss Beethoven ! LOL I find myself applying what Beethoven has taught me. Control yourself and then you can master what is on the page. Control yourself, so that there is no inner battle occurring and the Lord can have you as His servant. Be able to converse and communicate with God (
7:23 and D&C 18:10). I also feel like what Kayson (my cello teacher)
taught me really can apply with learning a language. MAKE new pathways in your
Also the wonderful cycle of Create, Listen, and Correct-improve! Then start again! Change does not come overnight! It happens through small and simple steps. Making new pathways, Planting seeds of faith and new knowledge so that one day in the near future we can take our harvest and bless the lives of many!
This past Sunday I was asked to put together a musical number for the devotional of Ann Dibbs (yes the daughter of Pres. Thomas S. Monson). We sang "How Great thou Art". It started A'Capella I was a solo for the first few lines, then an alto joined me, and then a group of girls on the chorus!! We sang three verses. The second was with piano and in Spanish The third was triumphant and in English with the chorus in Spanish It was phenomenally done!! I am so proud of the girls here in the C.C.M!
This week has been very humbling. I feel like missions are our own personal honing devices. They strike at our weaknesses. This week I have felt the blows from my companions a lot about me being too self-centered. I have struggled with pride and I have found myself falling to my knees for guidance. Bruised a little I stand and with a new perspective I press onward. It is the beginning of a long journey, yet I know my God is with me!
The picture "Living Water" by Simon Dewey has been sitting on my desk all week. Are we not all beggars? Do we not all look to the same God for aid? (Mosiah 4:19). How do I treat others, what is my purpose, do I kneel at his feet for guidance?
As time goes on I do miss you all so much! I love you my dear family. I do not feel tears come or sadness, I just feel a lot of love. You are my greatest strengths and you know me better than anyone! I cannot help but think of "Little Women". My rebellious Joe side springa through. I don´t want things to change, but I can stand being here.. My beloved marmy comes up and says, "Joe I love you". Or I hear dear Beth... why do things have to change, don´t leave me behind. I see Karina. I miss Karina... I feel so close to the story of "Little Women". The feeling of adventure and the love of Marmy´s home!! I sing Here we come a caroling! And then I transport myself to your feet mother, reading us a beautiful novel, filling our minds with morals and good principles. I hear your tender voice singing me to sleep or the laughter of Kaleb making us all crack up! You are in me, My heart, my thoughts, the way I see and help others. And may we all come together again some day. "Ding-dong merrily on high, the heavenly bells are ringing!"
May God be with you! May each day be filled with happiness. Know that I am well! That the Lord, through my will is allowing me to become His! I am a missionary, I always have been and always will be. (Please listen to Dallyn Vail Bayllas version Savior, Redeemer of My soul) That is a love I have. That is my soul's song.
I know this Church is true. All my love!