April 22, 2009
All of your adventures sound SO fun! I definitely want to do some extreme caving when I get back. Remember when we went to Mammoth Caves and the boys and I had a contest of who could grunt the loudest when climbing through the keyhole? That was fun. There is an elder in my zone that is from Kentucky and I talked to him a little bit about Mammoth Caves. He has a sweet accent especially when he speaks in Spanish and he is related to Johnny Depp.
Ben has been out for 8 months! Crazy! I loved the experience that he shared about Raquel. I can totally imagine how that lesson played out because I have now taught that lesson and taught it in Spanish. Her questions were so amazing and as a missionary questions feed your teaching. It is so important to have good questions to get to know the investigator and then it is so important to listen to the answer. Last night W. Craig Zwick spoke at devotional and his talk was all about becoming better listeners. He gave a talk in conference a few years ago, maybe when I was in high school and it really touched me. It was about loving hands I think.
Yesterday I had a very humbling experience in our teaching appointment. I wrote about it in my journal last night and am just going to copy straight from there so I don't have to take time thinking of the words.
"The TRC was a learning experience today. I was not as prepared as I should have been and I definitely struggled with Spanish more than last week. Hermana Atkin struggles with words to say when we don't have a solid outline to teach from. As a consequence Hermana Weir and I taught two principles without Hermana Atkin saying a word and when I glanced over she had tears in her eyes. It broke my heart to see my companion frustrated at not having the opportunity or words to contribute to the lesson. I didn't know what to do and it was hard to sit there and watch her pain. We were teaching our teacher, Hermano Penaillilo and I kept glancing at him for help. He started asking her specific questions about her family and her father's death. She answered his questions and I prompted her to share her testimony concerning her family. She read her testimony in Spanish and with it came a strong and sweet conviction of a daughter of God who is trying her hardest to learn Spanish so she can help the people in Chile find the comfort she has found in the gospel. Later we started talking about Joseph Smith and Hermano Penailillo asked Hermana Weir to put away her notes and tell him about Joseph Smith. Through tears she shared the first vision and her testimony of its truthfulness. I came out of this lesson feeling like I had failed my companions. I felt like we learned a lot but that I should have worked harder to keep my companions from frustration.
After the lesson was over we had an emotional discussion with our new teacher Hermana Wall. After sharing all of our frustrations and each of us feeling like the lesson not going perfect was our fault, Hermana Wall shared her insights. She returned from her mission last December and still very much has the light of a missionary in her. She said she felt the Spirit in a way that she has not felt it in awhile and that she was very much in need of it today. Her sincerity and tears brought tears to my eyes and I realized that even though we can't express all that we want to in Spanish, the Spirit can. We made goals for the upcoming week so that we can not struggle so much with Spanish next week."
I want Matthew and Jonathan to read the "Miracle of Forgiveness" by Spencer W. Kimball. I wish I could read it now, but I just don't have time. Dad could you tell again about the time you met President Kimball in the family history center. Mostly how you felt. Matthew tell me about Washington D.C.! What will you be doing while you are there? Jonathan thank you for your sweet handwritten letter. You will for sure be getting a reply today.
Dad, thanks for your email. It was full of good advice and really is the way that I am approaching my arrival in Chile. I leave for Chile in two and a half weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been really, really excited for the last five days. I know that my Spanish is no where near ready, but that is ok; I need a good challenge. I can't wait to meet the people and my trainer they are going to change my heart so much. We should be getting our flight plans next Thursday. Are you so excited to talk to me in 19 days?
Yay Andrea!!!! I am so glad that you got accepted and get to be a Ute. I hope you absolutely love it and keep working hard. Thanks for the flowers! I loved the stamp covered envelopes too. I will write you eventually, be patient, there is a long list of other letters I have to write first.
Mom, I really cracked up last night when you asked me to guess what you ordered at 3 amigos and I was wrong. You are surprising me everyday with the new things you are trying. I really miss your healthy cooking-ALOT! I need some sort of calling card, and some really thick socks. Thanks so much for taking care of that health bill. That was the only thing I was stressing about leaving undone when I left. Send me more news about the playoffs. Quinn wrote me a play by play of the Celtics game last Friday, it was awesome!!!
Agradecida por sus oraciones,