Friday, July 31, 2009

3... no, 4 weeks left...

So first things first, we found out on Monday that we didn't have three weeks left, but four. We talked to scheduling to find out about our visitor's center training and found out that it is a week added on to the end, not the last week of the 9. So we should be leaving 4 weeks from yesterday. I don't mind staying here 10 weeks, it's just that one day we had 3 weeks left and the next we had 4, so when we are back down to 3 next week it will be good. I'm really excited about our visitor's center training, especially about the afternoon up in Salt Lake. Plus, this gives us an extra week to work on our Spanish. Hna. Cochran and I are trying to speak only in Spanish for the next 4 weeks, because when we do it improves like crazy. The biggest problem is that I forget to speak Spanish, especially first thing in the morning. Once I get in the habit, though, it will get much easier.

This week has been really awesome, as usual. Yesterday in the TRC (which I think I explained last week...) We taught a catracha, a woman from Honduras. It was so hard! I could barely understand her. She spoke slowly which most Hispanics don't do, but she slurred her words and mumble really quietly. But she was really patient with us and helped us out with words and grammar. It got me really excited to teach more and more Hispanics though. I am so grateful for my specific mission! It really makes the Book of Mormon so much more meaningful when I read it. There are numerous promises that God gave to the Book of Mormon prophets and that the prophets gave to the people about the time when the word of God (the Book of Mormon) would be brought to the descendents of the people in it. Everytime I read one of those promises and prophecies (which is often) I feel so blessed to be a part of the fulfillment of God's word. It really makes my mission a lot more meaningful.

The devotional yesterday was about the Book of Mormon and how essential it is to missionary work. Elder Dellenbach said that the Book of Mormon is the power of conversion, which means as missionaries we carry the power to convert everywhere we go. Isn't that an awesome thought? And even better is that anyone, even if they aren't members, if they have a Book of Mormon with them, they have the power to convert. And then take it one more step, even if you don't carry the physical book, if you have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, and maybe a verse or a principle from it in your heart, then you always carry the power of conversion! And people will begin to see that and want it for themselves. I think from the devotional last week, the speaker said that since we all knew the plan before we came to earth, it is not something entirely new. We also all knew our brother Jesus Christ. When we as members of the church strive to become like Christ, then when people see our works manifesting our testimony of him, it will spark a rememberance in their spirit, and they will want to know why. The Holy Spirit testifies to our spirit, and that is how we gain testimonies. However, most of the world doesn't realize that they have a spirit body and a physical body, so they don't know how to interpret the promptings and feelings that they receive. Lucky for them, that is where missionaries come in! I am so excited to help people relearn what they knew and accepted before coming to this earth. One more thing on the Book of Mormon. In 2 Nephi chapter 29(which is a lot about the Book of Mormon) verse 2 it says that [the Book of Mormon] will hiss forth as a standard to all nations. When you cross reference that to the verse in Isaiah(can't remember exactly but it is in the footnote of 2 Ne 29:2) and then look in the footnote of the verse in Isaiah it defines hiss as a whistle or signal for gathering. Cool, huh? I had always thought that restoration of the priesthood, or the organization of the Church, or the building of the first temples or the visions in the Kirtland temple, or some other thing in early Church history was the signal for the gathering of Israel, but really, the miracle of the translation of the Book of Mormon was the signal, and the minute Joseph Smith was given the plates to start translating, the gathering of Israel in the last dispensation began.

I have really gained a great love of the scriptures in just the short time I have been here, and I could really study them all day. I was really glad to hear that Erin finished the Book of Mormon, and I hope that you followed the promise in Moroni 10:3-5 (especially verse 4). It is not enough that we just read it once, but we need to continue our "daily feasting." The Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ and contains the fulness of His gospel, which is to have faith in Him, repent, be baptized for a remission of sins, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure faithfully to the end. If you haven't done so in a while, I encourage you to pick it up and read from it again. And even if you have, we can always learn new principles and gain more blessings from reading it everyday. Especially encourage the youth to continue reading it, because they are vital to this church and their testimonies will bless so many people. I know an elder here who still hasn't finished reading the Book of Mormon for the first time, so especially you young men, it will be such a great blessing to you if you gain a testimony of it now while you are young! I love you all and am so grateful for your examples to me!

De Provo con amor!
Hermana Ladd

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