Thank you so much for looking up all of that BYU information for me. I am going to talk to my mission president so that I can get my ecclesiastical endorsement. I wasn't sure if I could go back earlier than when I deferred to, but if it's possible, I'd really like to head out in June so that I can get back into college life! I was thinking that it would be awesome to work at the MTC, and then I thought, well, maybe I can just go for summer then. I want to get everything worked out with my ecclesiastical endorsement and stuff, but I may just wait to register for classes until I'm at home. I know that a summer semester is 7 credits usually, and so I'm thinking of taking a math class and a Spanish class. But I don't know if there is a way for me to sign up for a more advanced Spanish class since I'm pretty fluent....I'd like to take a test or something so that I can get going at the level I'm at and not have to take a 100 level class. Oh, and Tricia and I have been writing each other and she told me that she would love to be roommates! So I asked her about the housing situation because I figure it's easier for her to access that.
I am so proud of Abby and Benjamin! They are really excelling! I hope that Abby can go to GHP. That would just be the coolest thing ever. Do they still do it in Valdosta? I'm also so excited for you to read the scriptures every day! We tell all of our investigators that the Book of Mormon is their spirit's favorite breakfast (or lunch or dinner, whenever they read is awesome hahaha). I totally agree with what the high councilman said about being active in the Church versus in the gospel. I think a lot of the time we take the gospel for granted and get in the habit of just going to church every Sunday because we know that we should, but we are not focused on the reasons why. My Book of Mormon teacher compared the difference between these two with anything that uses electricity, for example, a toaster. The church is the toaster. But the gospel is the electricity. Without the electricity, the toaster is nothing. There are lots of churches, but only our church has the fulness of the gospel!
Hermana Brown and I had a great week! I learned about relying on the Spirit. On Monday I was having a hard day. We had a million things to do and not enough time. I renewed my visa, which took a million years waiting in the Registro Civil (basically DMV or DDS type thing). So we ran out of time to plan for the two lessons we had that night. And I didn't have the time to clean the bathroom. And I felt frustrated with my companion. So I just did not know how I was going to be able to do these lessons! (Hermana Brown does not speak much Spanish, so I carry more weight than I'm used to in our lessons.) But I just kept praying in my heart that Heavenly Father would help to calm my anxiety, that I might know what to say and how to teach. The lessons went fantastic! I felt really calm, and the Spirit helped me know what to say, what questions to ask, how to include Hermana Brown, etc. The family we visited (Johnny and Guisela) are starting to progress, little by little! We are excited! We are also teaching Hermana Obeso English! It is so fun. She is so sweet and adorable, and she just REALLY wants to learn English.
We also had another cool experience where we taught some German people this week. We had gone by a member family's home to invite them to come to ward council and start working on their family history, and when we got there, they introduced us to their German friends who were visiting. One of the German boys is half Chilean (his dad is German, his mom is Chilean), so he spoke Spanish. But the other German boy didn't speak any Spanish. The poor guy! He had a really hard time in the lesson! But the family had a German Book of Mormon, and so we introduced the Book of Mormon to them and invited them to seek out missionaries when they go back home to Germany. The boy who didn't speak any Spanish actually seemed really interested, so we are hoping he will look up the missionaries! That day we had almost forgotten a copy of the Book of Mormon, so we went back home to grab one...and I also just happened to have a Restoration pamphlet in English in my backpack. So we could give them a Book or Mormon in Spanish and a pamphlet in English (that the other boy would understand better than the Spanish one). It was cool and I was glad that we had listened to the Spirit.
Yesterday in church we had some great lessons! In Gospel Principles we talked about agency, and I liked how clear the book was when it said, "Dios nos ama. Satanás no nos ama." God loves us. Satan doesn't love us. It seemed so clear to me, especially this week as I have been striving to learn about and feel more of God's love in my life. Then, in Relief Society, the lesson manual said, "Dios nos ama. Satanás nos odia." God loves us. Satan hates us. It seemed even clearer! It was no coincidence to me that in two classes in a row, I learned exactly the same lesson. I know that God loves us. Whenever we have doubts about that, we can just look around us at all of the marvelous blessings that He provides to us. All He wants is to bless us and let us have the blessings that He has!
Hermana Brown and I are so excited for this transfer. I want it to be my best transfer yet! We are praying, and we are focusing, on one specific desire--to help a family get baptized. It is something that I have wanted to see for my whole mission. I had somewhat decided that I wasn't going to see it, didn't deserve it, etc. But Hermana Brown reminded me...even if I really didn't deserve it...Jesus deserves it. And this is His work. We are here to work in His vineyard! I am so thankful for my opportunity to have six more weeks to serve as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.