Have I ever told you how cool I think you are? Seriously. I have been trying on my mission to learn Spanish, as I told you a few months ago, and in large part is it because of you. I talk about you all the time. You are awesome! I remember throughout my life how you have been called to visit teach the Hispanic members of our ward, and how your visiting teachers were often Spanish speakers. I remember you being worried because it had been so long since you had spoken in Spanish on a regular basis that you found it hard to communicate with those sisters, and you always just hoped that they would forgive you for the mistakes you made and to help you relearn to be fluent. I remember listening to you in the other room, or making some excuse to walk up the stairs just so I could hear you speak to them in a language I couldn't understand. It fascinated me. I took Spanish for three years and honestly still couldn't speak it very well. Mostly that's because I didn't study as much as I could have, but whatever the case I was a little disappointed because I always wanted to be able to speak another language fluently. I kind of hoped to speak another language on my mission, but I was sent to Georgia (granted they do have their own form of English which I love, but at first it disappointed me). When the opportunity presented itself to me that I would be able to teach someone here in Spanish I was so excited!! Finally I would be able to learn something, even if it was small.. Sadly, they ended up moving a few weeks ago, so there hasn't been much in development of fluent Spanish speaking for me. It's still a goal I have, and I'm working on the patience and the diligence needed to learn it, but I think it is awesome that the Lord has used you in such a way that talents and skills that you learned years ago when you were my age!! are helping you now. And through you, others are also being blessed. How cool is that! The fact that you can still use those talents means to me that you have used them in the way that Heavenly Father wants you to, and He is going to continue to use them far into the eternities. How lucky you are for that! I want to be like that when I am your age:)
Yesterday at the dinner I had with some of the members of the ward I was so touched by some of the things that was shared that it left me, and pretty much everyone in the room in tears. One of the members who was the ward secretary, spoke about how it is hard for him to sometimes encourage missionaries to bring new members into the ward, because he sees all these people that are already in the ward that the ward isn't taking care of (as it is with every ward) and he worries that adding more will not help. However, he knows that the Lord has a better plan then what we might know, and so he and one of the other members here who is on the high council decided (all on their own!) that they were going to go on splits with the Elders for a few hours every week so that the investigators and the less actives can come back into the fold. He then bore a powerful witness that it doesn't happen due to how people teach, or how things are done, or even what is said. The only way that people will come closer to Christ is through the love that they show for them and for Christ. He then started crying and said that to him the most devastating thing is watching your friends slip away from the truth that they know and quit coming to church, but the happiest moments are when they come back. He wants so bad for everyone to feel that and for everyone to love them as much as he does and as much as Heavenly Father does, and to hear the marvelous choir of angels shouting for joy each time someone comes into church, whether for the 5000th time in a row, or the 1st time in years. Remember that email I sent a while ago about the less active that came to church for the first time in 10 years and how I screamed with excitement? Yep. Totally should happen every time, but maybe with more reverence.. haha. My question posed to you, is how many people do you know in your ward at home? How many people are perishing with want for help, and none are there to help? I'm not saying its up to one person to fellowship and bring everyone back to church, but at the very least we could love them! I looked at our ward roster a few weeks ago, and I don't know hardly anyone! I know there will be lots of new faces that I will learn when I come back, but I think of the people that we don't know. Our ward boundaries aren't very large, especially considering places like here where the ward boundaries are 7 1/2 counties. My goal when I get home to to find time to visit at least one family I don't know a day. I have no idea if it will work out, but I want to try. I want to do more then just fellowship at church. I want these people to know that they are loved even if they have never come to church. All of us are children of loving Heavenly Parents, and because I love and respect my Heavenly Parents, should I know love and respect those that they love too? My brothers. My sisters. MY family! I don't even know the lengths I would go to help you or Dad or any one of my siblings. Should it not be the same for everyone else? Granted, I, nor anyone else is perfect, so understandably we will never be able to love everyone as much as they need, but even if I can learn to love one more person, and they know it, they can in turn help another person, and they another until eventually everyone is taken care of. Thats what I want to be able to do. We shall see if this conviction of mine stays when life not as a missionary come back to full force.
There is so much more I want to say, but I keep running out of time. Remember I love you lots!
Oh, some housekeeping items:
- Transfers are this next week.. My companion is going home Sunday and I have no idea if I am getting transferred or not, if I do get transferred, I will have the three hours at church to say goodbye to everyone I want to and then I will be gone. Kind of strange.
- Next Monday is a holiday and so I don't know if I will be able to email home. It all depends on whether or not I will be in an area where they have a key to the Family History Center or not. We shall see.. And then with transfers, and my not knowing if I will be transferred or not..
- I ONLY HAVE ONE MORE TRANSFER AFTER THIS NEXT ONE!!! That is absolutely mind blowing to me...
Sister Monica Walker