Thanks everyone for the prayers! I'm still in way over my head here, but God's tender mercies, his personal little blessings, have surrounded me this last week. Nothing has gone perfectly, but its all gone well enough. Beyond that, I'm learning faster than I ever have before! I think I finally feel like I'm at the point where I can just have conversations in Spanish. I'm a long way from fluent, but I'm making jokes almost as much as I do in English (which is my personal scale of language dominance). This week we had a very powerful lesson with Natalie Smith (who speaks English and is the 30-something year old daughter of one of our members) when we taught her the second half of the Plan of Salvation. When we talked to her about doing baptisms for the dead in the temples, she teared up and shared with us that her aunt and uncle (members of the church) had done that for her father who passed away and she finally understood what that means. She said she felt so grateful that he had the chance to accept Jesus Christ through baptism even though he wasn't baptized while he was alive on the earth. She said she had always known deep in her soul that everything we shared about God's plan for us is true, even though she'd never heard it before then. The spirit is such a wonderful thing. It testifies of truth. It's so wonderful to know that God has given us a way to know truth without having to make eternally significant decisions based on the best guessing we can do as imperfect humans. God has a plan for us and we can know it. I love that truth!
BYE BYE BLACK!
Now I've shared, I now need to rebuke a little (just jokingly...sort of). I KNOW that someone has gotten a mission call since I left, but no one has told me! I want to know where all my friends are going (Oly grads especially, I'm talking to you!) and when! Or if you're not serving a mission, if you're heading off to college, workforce, military, anything you would tell all your friends on Facebook, I'd love to hear about it! But especially mission calls, who's heading out to serve the lord, where, and when? I'm calling you all out because I'm selfish and want to know :) I know you are all crazy busy, so if you don't have time to write a letter or just a message on the blog, it's fine. I get it...I'm just hoping that SOMEONE will find a moment :) haha! It really is the best feeling in the world, serving. I get to get up every day, not for myself, but to serve and help people I love. I can eat to get the energy I need to be able to help other people. I get to plan every day with the end goal of bringing as much joy as possible to the hispanic citizens of Fort Walton Beach, FL! My life is awesome! Even hard things just now are starting to feel more like a challenge, a puzzle, a contest, a game. ...Speaking of which, that's what this week's CHALLENGE is!
Either on your own, with your family, or with your friends, design a game/sport/challenge (ideas could be like a minute to win it challenge, a type of scavenger hunt crossed with a relay race, basketball played with a football, etc.) and play it with someone at some point during this week or next week. It could be anything from silly to athletic, just practice using the creativity that we all have in different forms to come up with a new way to have some uplifting, wholesome, spending quality time together fun with your friends or family! As always, feel free to tell me what you come up with!!!
Love you all so much! I wish you all success in all you do and that you continue learning every day!
Your bilingual by three months bye I'll talk to you next week friend,