I'd like to start off by saying thanks for all the random emails, letters, and random goodies. They certainly add extra brightness to my day!
I know you might all get sick of hearing it, but the MTC is seriously one of the greatest experiences of my life and even an hour of attempting to explain why wouldn't ever do it justice. I wish you all could come here and experience it for yourself. I'm pretty sure I've learned more about...almost everything in the last few weeks then I have my entire life!
This week didn't include any new additions to our zone but boy did our zone get closer and I am so thankful for each of them. I truly believe that God places the people we need in our lives to keep us smiling and to help us grow in every aspect. I could not be more thankful for my companion and the smiles and encouragement she always gives me. Plus the laughter, which is in such abundance, always keeps my spirits high. I cannot believe that it has already been another week. I feel like I was just here at the computer and at the same time I also feel like a month's worth of activities has occurred.
We are now teaching four lessons a day which is actually less stressful then the first week when we were only teaching one. It's certainly something that you have to get the hang of and then you just can go and go and go. I get really excited and doubly nervous before each lesson (at least that hasn't changed), but I'm more aware of how to teach to my investigators' needs now, and less focused on trying to dump all my knowledge right back at them. I love to see the way their faces light up when they feel the Spirit and i hate when my "shattered" Spanish causes them to get bored and drift off. There are moments where I swear I'm gonna scream cause I simply want to express to these people the power of what I know and how happy it'll make them, but I don't have the words for it. The other day we were attempting to teach the plan of salvation, which is truly the plan of happiness which I've come to realize in even greater force now that I'm studying it, and I had no words to elaborate on how truly amazing Heavenly Father's plan is for all his children. I just sat in the lesson and was like, "the plan of salvation is good....it's important...it's beautiful. Gosh I wanted to break into English so badly!!! But though the struggle is real, I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm striving each day to become better at explaining it so that one day, hopefully, I might even be better at explaining it in Spanish then i am at explaining it in English.
I love watching how much everyone here has grown and constantly hearing their testimonies, which I know strengthens my own. When I have self doubts they're all there for me with a scripture, a hug, and the most amazing loving words you'd think we'd all known each other for years. I love how much we rely on each other because it's further proof that the Lord realizes we cannot do this work alone. This week we talked a lot more about the atonement and I truly learned more on a subject matter that I already believed I knew a ton about. The atonement is everything; the center of the plan of salvation, the only way we can make it back to live with God, the only way we can truly be forgiven of our sins, and the greatest gift everyone on the earth possesses that they don't even realize is theirs. Though I know I will never truly understand the magnitude of the Savior's sacrifice I know with certainty that there is nothing more personal and applicable to each of our own individual lives. He truly died for me! Even if I had been the only person the Atonement would have benefited, Jesus Christ would have suffered for me. The atonement was not simply an act, it was a an act for us, an extremely selfless action, that freed all men from every struggle, pain affliction, and sorrow they have ever felt if only they will turn to Christ and except it. I know of the power this gift has given me in my own life and the comfort it has brought me in times of trial. I have truly felt my burdens become lightened. That's what I want my investigators to come to know, that this gift is for them if they will follow Christ. I want them to feel that power and significance. Without Christ we can do nothing, but with Christ we can do everything! (Phillipians 4:13) I once again stand all amazed at how deeply grateful I am for this work and the ability it has of teaching me while I attempt to teach it. I love how little I truly know and the opportunity it gives me to learn and grow in leaps and bounds each day. I truly am clay waiting to be shaped and molded in His hands.
On Sunday my zone took group pics by this creek that runs through the middle of our campus. The guys tried to do all these boy band pics that just ended up hilarious. I also took a ton of pics with my comp and keep thinking about how much I'm gonna miss her in three weeks (HOW DO I ONLY HAVE THREE WEEKS LEFT?!?!). I seriously don't know what I'm going to do without the influence of her sweet spirit in my life and her gorgeous smile! On the way home from the devotional we had our entire bus singing and I'm pretty sure the music hasn't stopped since. On Monday night I got hit with the giggles and did a tap dance routine for everyone. I'm sure most of you have experienced a Kristi Lee meltdown, I like to call it a happy high, and boy was I enjoying myself. One of the elders started writing deep gospel questions on the board and me and Elder Sturt had so much fun attempting to answer them. Basically it's been the perfect week!
Remember how much the Lord loves you and look for his hand in your life this week,
With smiles, laughter, and joy,