Thursday, January 21, 2016

Real People, Real Stories, Real Experiences, Real SPIRIT

P days seem to be coming faster and faster these days! Hopefully
that´s a good sign. But goodness gracious I only have like a week and
a half left here in  the CCM and then comes THE REAL WORLD. I really
feel a bit like Maria at the beginning of the Sound of Music. You know
that whole ¨what will this day be like¨ to ´¨I have confidence¨
sequence? yeah. pretty much my mission life so far. And then I get up
to the gate and say ´´oh help!´´ haha it´s good though. And I´m still
loving it here! There is just so much to be done and so much I want to
do before I leave! I´m happy and excited and scared all at the same
time again. :) OK! Activities of the week. Last P day I went to
Bernbeu Stadium where Real Madrid plays! It was Hermana Lofgren and I
and ALL the boys(who were like kids in a candy store), so that was an
adventure in and of itself, but even for someone as uneducated in
Futbol as I could appreciate how amazing the whole thing was! My
camera´s dead, so pictures will have to wait until next week, but I
was fairly thoroughly educated in the art of loving european Futbol.
The stadium is HUGE! Bigger than anything I´ve ever seen! And the tour
included a whole interactive maze of Jerseys, Trophies, replays of the
best saves and goals, and statistics of the best players. I have a
newfound appreciation for Christiano Ronaldi  (spelling...not my
forté) and for the love that Spaniards have for Futbol. Man. I don´t
think ANYONE ANYWHERE ELSE has the kind of love that spaniards have
for futbol. It´s nuts. But that was tons of fun and it was probably my
favorite P day so far. This week was also a hard one, because we lost
the Lovells as our presidente y esposa. Everyone had a hard time with
that, the Lovells were amazing and we all miss them so much. But now
we have the Packers! We haven´t had a ton of time to get to know them
yet, but they´ve been really nice and SUPER energetic so far! These
last couple of weeks are going to be great. The park this week was
also a great experience, this time I was paired with Hermana
Briggs(who is from Pleasant Grove and is headed to Malaga) which was a
great experience because goodness that girl is FEARLESS. We would see
someone on a bench, head over, and she would start right up and start
asking questions and giving information about the Church and The Book
of Mormon. Her spanish is also really good so that saved me a couple
of times. :) We made a pretty good team, because she would explain who
we were, what the gospel was about, and a bit about the book of
mormon, and I would ask questions to get to know them a little better
and bear a (VERY BROKEN) spanish testimony. It was a pretty successful
tactic! We got our first Referral so that was a major victory for both
of us! It´s such an incredible experience to be able to go out and
actually practice what we´re learning how to do. And it´s with real
people and real stories, real experiences and there is such a real
SPIRIT! It´s indescribable. We also have a couple of ´´investigators´´
that Hermana Humbert and I work with about 3 times a week, where we
get to teach and try and figure out needs and learn how to communicate
with people. (have I already talked about this?) Our investigators are
Josefa and Andrea, but until yesterday we had Patricia. She was the
hardest one by far! Tough questions and problems and a totally
unreadable face during discussions. Haha. We had a really good
experience with her though when we took her over to the stake center
and gave her a tour of the chapel and a couple of the classrooms. Even
though the investigators are just our teachers, the Spirit that comes
when we testify of what we know is real and powerful and amazing. We
had a worldwide missionary training yesterday from a few members of
the twelve and other people from the Missionary Board (Bishop Waddell
spoke which was really exciting! He spoke about committments and how
we must first commit, then promise blessings, then testify of the
truth. He used the story of Elijah and the widow woman who had only
some meal and oil to make one cake and he asked her to feed him first.
you know the one I´m talking about? Oh it was so good!!!!) which was
entitled TEACH REPENTANCE AND BAPTIZE CONVERTS. We learned a bit more
about what our responsibilities are and how we should go about
accomplishing the work that we´ve been given. One of the most
important things that I learned (throughout my MTC experience and park
experience and in the broadcast) is that we, the missionaries are not
the teachers. We are not the people in charge, using the Spirit as a
tool to penetrate the hearts of investigators. WE are the tools that
Heavenly Father, through His Spirit, uses to bring just a taste of the
joy that can be recieved through the Gospel. Haha in my mind, I  see
myself as a bit of a person who hands out samples outside a bakery. We
go over to people, show them what can be theirs, offer them a taste of
the power of the Holy Ghost, and point them to where and how they can
recieve more. We don´t make the treats, we just hand them out. Does
that make any sense? Anyway, that´s how I´m seeing it right now. :) My
goal isn´t to be a good missionary. I want to be a good and faithful
servant of the Lord and at the end of my mission and be able to say
that I have fought the good fight, tried my hardest, and been a good
soldier of the Lord. (And then continue in the work. ;) I´m a bit
tired, sometimes confused, neck-deep in spanish that I need to learn,
and I´m happier than I´ve ever been. I love you all and I pray for you
every day! 
 Con Amor Siempre,
 Hermana Larson

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