FELIZ ANO!!! :D
Ya es Enero 2017!!! No puedo creer que llevo casi un año en mi misión!!! Wow it's gone by insanely fast. We went grocery shopping and the milk expires on January 17! And I was like dude that's 3 days before my year mark!! No way!!! And its already been a week since I was skyping with y'all. How crazy is that!? I just have a feeling that this year will go by even faster and I will enjoy my mission even more. So I will be home before I know it so I got to use the best of my time! So the past 2 days have been pretty different because on New Years Eve we had to be in our apartment by 7:00pm and then we were strongly encouraged to hang out with members and not allowed to hacer proselitismo, also church starts at 1:00pm in the branch now instead of 9:00am so that's really nice because we don't have to wake up at 6:00am and be at the church at 7:00am for branch counsel! Anyways it was really nice taking a bit of a break and today is P-day so it's like a 3 day break! Super weird but nice. New Years Eve was super sweet but I do have to say I got a little homesick that night just for like an hour. I have only felt homesick maybe like 3-4 times on my mission. It's not a bad thing at all. Just want to let y'all know that I really do miss and love y'all and especially have missed y'all over the holidays but it's all good!
I got to talk with y'all on Skype and that was really the best thing ever and also because I have been able to make so many amazing, fun, and awesome memories here and learn so much that I would not have if I was at home. The amount I have learned this year of Spanish, how to be a missionary, how to come closer to Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father, how to love and serve others and preach the gospel, it all blows my mind and I know I miss y'all but deep down I am just so grateful for all that has happened this past year and for being here in Calgary and am filled with joy looking forward to what I will help the Lord do this year and how I will grow closer to Him and help others do the same. It's the biggest blessing ever to be on a mission. I am super excited for Jared to go on his mission. It will be 3 years before we reunite and it will be like the story of the sons of Mosiah in Alma 17:2-4!!!
"2 Estos hijos de Mosíah estaban con Alma en la ocasión en que el ángel se le apareció por primera vez; por tanto, Alma se alegró muchísimo de ver a sus hermanos; y lo que aumentó más su gozo fue que aún eran sus hermanos en el Señor; sí, y se habían fortalecido en el conocimiento de la verdad; porque eran hombres de sano entendimiento, y habían escudriñado diligentemente las Escrituras para conocer la palabra de Dios.
3 Mas esto no es todo; se habían dedicado a mucha oración y ayuno; por tanto, tenían el espíritu de profecía y el espíritu de revelación, y cuando enseñaban, lo hacían con poder y autoridad de Dios.
4 Y habían estado enseñando la palabra de Dios entre los lamanitas por el espacio de catorce años, y habían logrado mucho éxito en traer a muchos al conocimiento de la verdad; sí, por el poder de sus palabras muchos fueron traídos ante el altar de Dios para invocar su nombre y confesar sus pecados ante él." It will be so cool when we get to see each other again and share all the miracles we have seen. Can't wait. Still can't believe you will know and speak Tagalog. That's soooo crazy! Dang I love ya Jared.
So anyways I was thinking about all of this New Years Eve and then my homesickness went away real quick. Also it was nice because I spent New Years with Elder Ibáñez and Elder Sorvari and we played games and talked. And it was so crazy watching Elder McLaren and Elder Bailey(one of my trainers) both go home this week. In 3 months I will be the oldest Spanish missionary when Elder Sorvari goes home. So crazy! Alright so I have one cool story to share and then I will send a ton of pics. So when I first arrived here in Canada with my trainers Elder Sánchez and Elder Bailey. We taught the Plan of Salvation to Alex, this guy from Colombia who is Lutheran and who is really respectful but he liked to bible bash us and just kind of try to prove us wrong and half way through the lesson he told us, "this will be last time we will be meeting, just to let you know." (This is just what my trainers told me because I didn't understand Spanish at the time) So now when Elder Ibañez came with us he said that him and Elder McLaren sent him a text to visit him. He said yes!! So we went over there and it was soooo weird and crazy driving back over to his house again, it being like 10 months since I was there! So we get there and we talk and Alex says my Spanish is "muchísimo mejor" and now he can even see it in my face that I understand him and I'm more confident now. It was so cool to hear him say that because I remember my first time there, I was feeling pretty down about not being able to help anyone or teach anyone because my Spanish was so bad. So I have learned to never give up on anything!!! You can do anything even as crazy as learning a new language. So we started off sharing the Christmas video because he asked why exactly do we celebrate Christmas and then after that we started to talk about tons of other topics because he kept asking questions which is good. Some of them were pretty funny like why do we break the 2nd commandment of not worshiping idols by going to the temple with the angel Moroni on the top.. and other things like that and we used the scriptures and our testimonies to answer his questions and then the next lesson we had with him he did the same thing but this time it was even more bible bashing and the Spirit was not there so I just raised my voice a little bit and testified of the Book of Mormon and how God has always called prophets and that has always been the way God has revealed His word to His children and that is how you are able to use the Bible and hold it in your hands and read it, it is only because God called those people who wrote it as prophets and revealed His word to them.
I testified how it is the exact same with the Book of Mormon, how did we get the Book of Mormon? God called the prophet Joseph Smith to be the prophet of the restoration and he translated it. Then I shared just how much studying the Book of Mormon along with the Bible has helped me through my life and understanding and living the gospel and going to church and following the prophet. After all of this we invited him to pray with us on our knees and to ask God if the Book of Mormon is the word of God because he said that it isn't. We read Moroni 10:3-5 and then he prayed and wow it was super cool how the lesson changed. The Spirit was there and his countenance changed. I really have learned how powerful testimony is. No one can deny it. You have God on your side testifying with you. It is so cool!! Well I am running out of time but I want to let y'all know that your testimonies are super powerful and do not be afraid to share them. I love y'all and am super excited for all that is to come this year! Y'all are the best :)) time for pics.