Wow, I don't know if I've said this before, but no creo hoy es dia de preparacion! I cannot believe that today is preparation day! It really seems like just yesterday we had a p-day. Pues, I'll just jump right in
Last week, soon after I wrote my last email to you, I went to the temple with my companions. It was really hot outside when we left. We were hoping to go as a district - we met Elder Richardson and Elder Walker in the chapel at the temple but didn't know where Elder Cottam and Elder Pitcher were, so we went ahead and ended up meeting up with them later. We all ate at the cafeteria in the temple afterward just for a change of scenery (the food really wasn't all that different from the stuff here, but it was a nice atmosphere). We go to leave the temple - and it's raining! It was more than a little trickle but less than a drizzle. So, we got a little wet because none of us thought to bring our rain gear :) That almost happened to us the week before too - it started raining just after we got back to our residence. So, moral of the story, don't go to the temple without an umbrella.
Our district is really awesome. During one of our 'planning sessions' we broke out our water bottles and had a water bottle concert. We were in the middle of trying to figure out a song we could learn so we could try out to do a special musical number for one of our big meetings - we didn't get that far though. It was great fun! I really like that our district can have a lot of fun together - however, sometimes it hinders our ability to make good progress during times that are supposed to be personal study.
I got to see Shelly (Sister Hadlock) the night before she left (Monday). She was super excited to get going and meet some real people who need her help. She didn't really even seem that nervous (I would be!). She said it was going to take her 2 days of travel to get to South Africa - it makes me very grateful to live so much closer to my mission.
Also, I saw Aunt Rachelle's parents! Elder and Sister London got here this week and I saw them as they were getting what looked like a tour of the campus. I see them all the time and have gotten a chance to talk to them a couple of times. Elder London seems pretty gung-ho and Sister London is too, although her Finish tutor is pretty hard on her, she says :) It's so great to see smiling familiar faces!
Speaking of familiar faces - Elder Gardner is leaving on Monday! I haven't had a chance to talk to him lately, but in the cafeteria this morning he told me that he's leaving! I'm excited for him, but I'm a little sad to see him go
I'm realizing just why everyone says it's hard to be in a three-some companionship. It's really hard to balance our teaching time when there are three of us. Also, it's harder to plan and to be really united. I love both of my companions dearly, but sometimes I feel like they've got their own thing going on and I'm just an imposition. Also I have a hard time getting a word in during the lessons we teach because they just both have so much to say. I feel like, this week, I've made somewhat of a breakthrough with my problem - I have found that if I just STOP comparing myself, follow the Spirit, and work really hard, we can be more unified.
For instance, we taught a new investigator this week. Hermano Pollock was playing 'Pablo' and we didn't even know about him until an hour before we were supposed to teach. So, we took an hour, came up with some ideas of how we wanted it to go, wrote down some bullet points and tried to just follow the spirit in the lesson. In the past, most of our lessons have been VERY scripted. But the best lessons for me have been ones that I don't do that. I work so much better if I can concentrate on what the investigator is trying to communicate with us and how I can help him/her. Entonces, when we went into the lesson, both of my companions froze! I had been praying to feel the spirit to know what to say, and guess what, I did! I had to ask my companions how to say some words, but by being okay with maybe some broken sentences, I just really tried to communicate with Pablo that God loves him and we can talk to him through prayer. It was a super big breakthrough for me. I've realized that I really need to rely on the Spirit even more. He can do so much through us. It reminds me of a scripture that someone shared in one of our classes this week - Alma 26:12. I love that scripture. Look it up. Es una muy buena escritura!
On Tuesday we had ANOTHER apostle come to talk to us. Elder Russell M. Nelson came to talk to us about the Book of Mormon. All the missionaries got a copy of this month's Ensign all about the Book of Mormon. We were asked to read it by Tuesday and to bring our scriptures and the Ensign. So, we did. Everyone I talked to just felt like we were at his feet, learning and coming closer to Christ by what he was teaching. As soon as he walked in the room, the Spirit washed over everyone there. It was almost tangible and it was impossible to deny his being an apostle of the Lord. He talked a lot about the history of the Book of Mormon and gave us extra footnotes for our scriptures and showed us lots of really cool things about the scriptures. I wish I had time to be more specific.
Hermano Wood, one of our Spanish teachers, has left us! He got a promotion and now he's working over at the TRC (Training Resource Center). We're all really nervous to find out who our new teacher is going to be. We'll find out tomorrow!
Speaking of teachers, Hermano Barrio is just my favorite. He always knows just what to say to make me want to work 1000x harder! He sees when I'm struggling with something and really honestly wants to help. There are so many people here that are like that - it's good to know that we're all watched out for.
It's so good to hear about all the fun things going on at home. Keep me informed :)
I love you all mucho, mucho, MUCHO!!