Monday, January 6, 2014

January 6th, 2014 - Letter

Family :)

    So let's just say that this last week has been one of the best in the mission so far!  Ah, it's been so crazy, so here's the breakdown.

   First of all, we had a meeting in Delicias last Tuesday, New Year's Eve, and since it was with the zone, they brought all of the packages, and I literally had just about half of the packages....haha.  The meeting was a really good meeting too, like all of them are!  I got 3 packages from Grandma Barbara, a package from Aunt Denise, one from the fam, and one from Em!!! So yeah, I had like another Christmas over again :) But yeah, so that was a good day, and then later that day we had to come in at 7 because supposedly it was going to get crazy that night, and so yeah, we celebrated our new year by playing chess, and then sleeping! Yeah, sleeping is like the best thing for missionaries.  But yeah, it's super funny. Elder Conklin has a chess set and that is what we use a lot to play.  But yeah.

    So then this last week I also had quite a few special spiritual experiences.  I was able to give my first blessing for the sick, and then a few days later, another one!  This week has been a lot of firsts....and then multiples of the firsts. But these blessings were so special, and it helps my testimony not only grow of the power of priesthood, but of how God works with His servants.  My first blessing was on Tuesday, and the lady was feeling a little sick, but it could worsen she said, and so eventually after asking her who she wanted to say the prayer, she picked me, because I am one of the two that have been in Camargo for some time now.  First time, I hadn't really practiced the blessings or anything, but well, I had to do Elder Norris did the oil part, and then it was my turn, I didn't know what to say, (and on top of that the names in Mexico are SO hard and long)  so Elder Norris whispered the words into my ear, and then I gave the blessing. Once I started saying the blessing the words just Spanish. Something that is interesting is that there are two forms of 'you' in spanish. Usted, which is informal, and Tu, which is formal, and we are required to use the usted form always....except for blessings. We don't really practice tu form, so it's not really perfected with me yet, but the words came.....and now this lady is perfectly fine.

    The next experience was Friday, two days before Sunday.  One of the sisters of the ward called us and told us that she would like a blessing, for health. This lady is a little old and she has had multiple times where her health has almost killed her, but her faith is OH so strong, so this time I practice the blessing in my head before we went.  When we went to her house, Elder Hansgen did the oil, and then I did the blessing again. And not only did the Lord put the words in my mouth, but because of that I said things that I wouldn't have thought of saying. After the prayer I looked up and the sister was crying, and then her daughter who was also there, and very inactive, was crying so much as well......yeah it made me cry a little too. The priesthood is real, and on top of that the Lord really works in our lives, and as servants of Him, we are always helped when we need it as long as we are doing what we should and need to be doing. After the blessing the sister told me, I sincerely have faith, and I know that on Sunday I will be able to go the church and partake of the sacrament......and she did :)

    So yeah, also a little more on the light side, I had menudo for the first time, or cow stomach, and not only once, two days in a row :P ewe........menudo is so gross...the second time wasn't as bad though, because the first time there was a hairy pig foot....HAIRY PIG what is that?!  Like imagine a guy not shaving for a little while, and then a pig foot, and then put that hair on the pig foot, and then stick it in your soup, with cow stomach.....yeah we almost puked. Poor Elder Conklin, I looked over, and I'm pretty sure he almost threw up right there, he was like gagging it down. But yeah, super gross. The menudo is also just so weird, like it's kind of hairy too...oh man, worst thing ever. YUCK!!! And the smell is super weird, like it smells like wet dog or wet horse or I don't even know how to describe it.

    So yeah, and then another cool experience this week to end this letter off. So I went on splits with Elder Conklin in his area, the north part of Camargo, and we went to this guy who is hard core Catholic. Like nothing will change his beliefs like no matter what. When we were in this lesson with him he just bashed on us, and started throwing out this stuff in the Book of Mormon and how it can't be true and all of this stuff, and it was so horrible, I just couldn't stand it, it was messing with my brain. After the lesson I just didn't talk really....and then I went to bed....thinking. This guy rejected our message with stuff that I didn't know the answer to. But it made me think about my testimony, and how simple it is......and this is how my testimony goes:

   I know that this church is the church restored through Joseph Smith.  I know that I don't know the scriptures inside and out, I've only read the Book of Mormon once, and I don't really know the stories very well, but I have received an answer that it is true, and so it is, it is true, the word of God. I don't know a lot of details about the church, like a lot of the things that take a lot of study to learn, but I do know this church is true, because through living these standards I have been blessed in my life, and I wouldn't be here in my life without this gospel.  Testimonies don't have to be complex....just our beliefs, and I believe this church is true because I have been blessed, and that is all the proof I need, along with my faith!

   So yeah, good week and very interesting week! Earlier when I was getting ready I just started to think, wow, the mission is actually a lot funner than I thought. Like it's just an adventure all of the time...and I don't have to go to school ;) haha, but yeah!!! I love you all, and have a good week :)

-Elder Loveless





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