Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hola (again)

Two more weeks from yesterday! And I know that they are going to go by really fast, because in a week our elders will have left and we will start our Visitors' Center training. That consists of lots of class, lots of tour memorizing, and a secret VC room with pictures where we practice giving tours. It is going to be a ton of fun. Oh, and plus the afternoon up in Salt Lake! I think that we have met all of the sister's going to the Mesa Visitors' Center with us. There is Hna. Cochran and I, Hna. Guzman, who is from Washington but her parents are Mexican so she already speaks Spanish, Sis. Fonbuena, who is from Cedar Hills Utah, and Sis. Collier, who is from the Cartersville stake in Atlanta (I think that is her name, so if anyone knows any Colliers in the Cartersville stake). We get our flight plans tomorrow so we will know exactly when we leave, but the estimated date is the 25th.

A lot of fun stuff happened this last week. First of all, I forgot to mention a few weeks ago that I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting. Every week we are given a topic for a talk and then they call on 2 missionaries to speak at the beginning of Sacrament meeting. All in Spanish of course (but that really isn't a problem since I got my first Spanish talk out of the way before I left). Anyway, the week I spoke it was on the Great Apostasy. I wrote about half of the talk and then decided that if I was called on I would just testify for the rest. As soon as I decided not to finish writing my talk I knew for the rest of the morning that I would be called on. At least it was no suprise when they did call on me. It went really well and I am starting to get to the point where I don't have to write everything that I say down, and can improvise in Spanish, which is going to be a super important skill in about 2 weeks!

The other cool thing that happened last week is that we did Spanish calls in the Referral Center for the first time. It was awesome! I was terrified, but I think I talked to more people in Spanish in 1.5 hours than in all my weeks of calling English speakers. And 2 of the people that I spoke with accepted a visit from the missionaries with a Book of Mormon! Most of the people were extremely patient with my Spanish. It is so much harder to understand on the phone than it is in person. But all accept one were really kind. Our teachers tell us that that really is characteristic of almost all hispanics. I can't wait to teach them! One thing that I have learned in the Referral Center is how hard it is to have your personal testimony rejected. It is definitely a faith-trying experience. But I have learned that in missionary work (which is the Lord's work 100%) as long as the missionaries are obedient and share their testimony, than if it is rejected it is only because of the agency of the other person. Still, everytime it happens, it is really difficult, because as a missionary I learn more and more everyday how vital this message is to the world and it makes me sad when they don't want to accept it. I think that this will be something that is especially difficult my whole mission, not taking every rejection and every insult personally.

However, on a much brighter side, the Lord provides so much help and support for us. While I was in the temple today and every Wednesday, I am always reminded of how many prayers there are for the missionaries. Everyday multiple times a day in every temple people are praying for us. All of the General Authorities pray for us, everyday. Mission presidents, everyday. Families, everyday. Friends, everyday. As a missionary I pray for all the other missionaries, everyday. And even when we are in the TRC, teaching volunteers, they always pray for us as well. There are more prayers for missionaries around the world (and I'm sure in heaven too) everyday than could possibly be counted. Everytime I hear someone pray for the missionaries I remember that I am included in that and it gives me so much comfort. Every prayer is appreciated, and more important, every prayer is needed. So the point is thank you all so much for your prayers. I know what it means now when people say "we can feel your prayers for us" because I certainly can. And just know that I am praying for all of you too!

De Provo con amor,

Hermana Ladd

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