LOOK AT THE BABY!!!! YYAAAAAAAY!!!!!!!!
Oh my goodness, Mother. I wish you could have seen me crying in front of my computer when I checked my email earlier today. I don't know if I have ever been so happy! Johnathan looks absolutely perfect in every way. I've been calling him little baby Joe-Joe for the last month, btw, and I couldn't be happier to finally see what he looks like. As for being worried about me being homesick, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. I was much more distracted wondering how Dani was doing and when she was going to have the baby and if everything would go alright and if the baby would be healthy and yadayadayada. It is such a relief to know that everything went perfectly fine. How is Dani doing? How much does the baby weigh? Why don't I have any pictures of YOU as a new grandma?!?! Please tell me everything! I want to know!!
As for me, I've had my ups and downs this week. My district is realizing just how bad I am at sports. Hermana Colvin taught us a game called Volleytensocpongball. Without going too much into detail, it's like playing soccer on a tennis court with volleyball rules. I will definitely have to show you guys when I get home! Anyway, it involves using soccer moves and trying to kick the ball over the net to the other team, and I am TERRIBLE at it. Can you picture me kicking around a soccer ball? Yeah, me neither, and I'm pretty sure my district can no longer imagine it either. Maybe after my time in South America I'll at least be a little bit better?
I have had a lot of spiritual experiences this week as well. On Wednesday I had taken my wallet with me to buy some supplies at the tienda (store) and just kept my wallet with me throughout the rest of the day. The next morning I realized that my wallet wasn't with me, and I became extremely worried. I had very important things in this wallet, including my passport. I wasn't sure if I had left it in our casa, our classroom, if I had dropped it, or something else. After looking around as much as I could, I finally asked my companion if we could say a prayer together. I asked Heavenly Father that I could be guided by the spirit to find my wallet, and that if it had been taken or found by someone that they would have their heart softened to do the righteous thing and return it or take it to the lost and found. We concluded and immediately went to Reception to see if anyone had turned it in. Lo and behold, there it was waiting for me! I know this story is a little silly and maybe not that much of a surprise, but it really helped me to know that my Heavenly Father was listening in that moment. We'll just say that I offered a VERY sincere prayer of gratitude.
Later that very same day I got a note that I had a package! When I went up to the post office, however, I learned that I first had to give the worker there my ID and she would pick it up from the post office in the city the next day. Somewhat disgruntled, I waited. The next day, the post office was CLOSED until 3 pm, and it closes each day at 4 pm. In that one hour window my companion and I got permission to run over there during class. As I asked for my package, the worker told me that she couldn't give it to me yet because she hadn't done the paperwork for it and she was leaving for the day. I wouldn't be able to pick up my package until the post office opened again on MONDAY. At this point I was just upset and grumpy. I didn't have my package, I wasn't understanding the grammar we were being taught, I could teach our investigator for the LIFE of me, and everything seemed to be going wrong. It seemed the rest of the district wasn't all put together that day either, because after our grammar lesson, Hermana Balderas asked us to take out our Preach My Gospel's and turn to the chapter entitle ''Christ-like Attributes''. She guided us to the sections for patience and humility, and then proceeded with what was for me a call to repentance. In that moment I felt extremely chastened for the atrocious attitude that I had been displaying. In Mosiah 24 (?) the people of Alma had been put under such extreme labor by the Lamanites who had captured them, and never once did they complain. Instead, they looked to God and praised him for making them strong enough to bear their burdens. In the book of Alma as the sons of Mosiah went about teaching the Lamanites they were subject to EXTREME persecution, but God always delivered them and they were blessed with the baptisms of many as they exercised patience. And here I was, grumpy because I had to go a few days without a package I didn't even know I was getting. Grumpy because after 4 weeks I don't speak Spanish like a native yet. I was very humbled in that short section in PMG and with those few scriptures. I very much suggest that you take the time to read it.
On that note, THANK YOU FOR THE PACKAGE! (I did apologize to the worker for my attitude when I went to pick it up.) The candy and letters are so wonderful, and I made sure to share one of the packets of beef jerky with the rest of my district.
I do ask for one favor. I have been struggling with confidence as far as speaking the language and practicing teaching the doctrine. I know I need more faith, but sometimes it's difficult when I don't feel confident in my knowledge. Would please pray for me to overcome this current trial of mine?
I love you guys so much. I pray for you every morning and night. Thank you for all the emails and the love.
With SO MUCH LOVE,