Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Countdown to Houston has begun!

¡Buenas tardes mi familia!

First of all, wow. Wow I am in my final week here at the CCM. Where did the time go? I am so excited to go out to the mission field and get to Houston, but I'm also going to be really sad to leave all of the incredible people that I've met here. I have had such an awesome experience here and feel so lucky to have experienced the MTC in Mexico. I love it here! I will always hold this place close to my heart!
As for my flight plans, if it's still the same as what they sent me with my other itinerary I leave on Wednesday morning at 7:30 fly to Dallas and then get to Houston around 1:30. And I don't think we're allowed to call from the airport, so unfortunately don't be expecting a call. To Ruby and Sarah, CONGRATS!! I am so excited for them. Which MTC's do they go to and when do they leave? Tell Ruby I love Mexico, even though I'm not where she will be, and to be so excited! And Sarah is going to the same mission that Doug Wirthlin is in! So I told him to look for her in a few months. And to Janie, congrats as well! I'm so excited for her and so sad that I don't get to be there!
Okay, onto the other stuff. This week has been a good one, I think my whole district has really gotten to work this past week. It's starting to hit us all that we're leaving. It's so weird and so sad, but so awesome all at the same time. We went to the temple for our last time today, and I am so grateful for the holiness and beauty that is always there. We are so blessed to have temples! I really love my district so much and am so grateful for their examples to me, We've all become such good friends despite all the stress that can build up. When you help each other you get a lot closer than you'd ever imagine. Hermana Smith and I taught our district lesson on Sunday, and I think it went really well. We talked about the Restoration, but we wanted to find a way to apply it to our own lives. At one point we started talking about the priesthood and I was so overcome with gratitude and with the Spirit. I don't think that I've ever expressed my gratitude to all the priesthood holders that are involved in my life. Because of the priesthood I was able to be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. I get to renew those covenants each week when I take the sacrament that is blessed by the priesthood authority. I have been able to receive countless blessings of comfort and help. And before I got here, I was able to be set apart by the priesthood authority. Set apart by my dad, both of my brothers, and my grandpas--that meant the world to me! I had so many of the people I love get to take part and that and I am forever grateful. So thank you to all you priesthood holders, I'm sorry for the lack of gratitude I've shown to you. Even though I don't personally possess the priesthood, it affects me and blesses me greatly. Always strive to live worthy of that blessing and honor it every day that you live. On Sunday I was also able to bear my testimony in Spanish, and again I was filled with gratitude for all that I have been able to learn and accomplish here. Sundays here are my favorite day, they are so jam packed with the spirit. This next week will be amazing with general conference! There is no better way to finish my time here at the CCM applying what I've learned. It's like the exclamation point to my stay at the CCM! And we haven't watched the Relief Society broadcast yet, we're going to watch it at the same time that the Elders watch priesthood, so I am excited about that! I'm excited to talk to you all about conference this coming week! You should all send me what you liked the best from it, and I am sure I will do the same. Oh, and it's also like 4 different people's half birthdays this weekend, including mine, so we're going to throw ourselves a party! Which mainly includes listening to General Conference and eating Chokies (chocolate chip cookies that they sell at la tienda aqui). So that will be fun! haha On Sunday night for our district spiritual thought we went out to the track and looked at all of the city lights, sung A Child's Prayer, and had our spiritual thought. It was so great and so beautiful! I wish I had pictures to show you how beautiful it is at night! I'll see if anyone else has any another time. So basically my district is the best. I love them! Dad, thank you for your advice and thoughts on those questions. I absolutely love the point you made about the atonement. Where you basically said that we're not going to have the answer to a lot of questions, but the most important thing is to live in a way to understand and believe in the Atonement. Even if we can't know for certain, the most important thing is to have faith in knowing that God knows and one day, we can know too. We just have to put our complete faith and trust in them and everything will be okay. I have learned so so much this week about faith. I finished the Book of Mormon yesterday, and faith and God's love is what really stood out to me this time I read it. I see the story of faith in Alma 32, the faith that the brother of Jared had, Ammon's faith, Moroni's faith, the faith of Helaman's army. And it doesn't even come close to finishing there. I see so many incredible examples of faith in the Book of Mormon and I can't want anything else but that same faith. I don't need to know with a surety that everything about the gospel is true. As long as I have faith and believe it, that's enough for me. I KNOW the Book of Mormon is true. I have prayed about it several times, pouring my heart out to the Lord, and in return my heart has been filled with His love. I know with a surety that it is true. I have never felt so much love from the Lord than when His Spirit testifies this truth to me. So Mom, I also was reading the last chapter of Moroni yesterday, and also spent a lot of time focusing on verse 32. We don't have to come to Christ as a perfect person. He never asked that of us. He simply asks us to turn away from ungodliness and love Him. We first have to come to Christ, and THEN we can be perfected in Him. It is only through Christ that we can be made perfect. (If you haven't yet, read the talk His Grace is Sufficient by Brad Wilcox) Then we cannot deny the power of God. That takes me to another one of my favorite verses, Moroni 1:2 and 3 "For behold, their wars are exceedingly fierce among themselves; and because of their hatred they put to death every Nephite that will not deny the Christ. And I, Moroni, WILL NOT DENY THE CHRIST; wherefore, I wander whithersoever I can for the safety of mine own life." If that isn't faith, I don't know what is. I am overwhelmed by the faith and love that they have for Christ and hope that I am able to express the same with that much power one day. I love this gospel, I know that it is true and my life has been so inredibly blessed by it.

Yo se que Jesucristo es mi salvador, y que sufrio por nuestros pecados. Yo se que el Libro de Mormon es la palabra de Dios. Estoy muy agradecido por el CCM y por la oportunidad tuve a aprender mas aqui. Yo se que vive mi Señor y estoy muy agradecido por la expiacion. Yo se que sin Jesucristo no podemos volver a Dios otra vez. Me encanta las escrituras y las palabras de los profetas. ¡Yo se que el evangelio es verdadero! (sorry it's not perfect Spanish and I can't get the accents to work on the keyboard)
Love you all so much and have a wonderful week! I look forward to hearing from you again! LOVE YOU!!!

Hermana Hoj

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