Hello friends! This week has been awesome. Where to begin!? I officially have just over one week left here in the CCM. (es una locurra.) We just joke here saying, “There’s only 17 months left. Why even unpack?!” but really, that’s how fast time is flying. The Spanish is coming along. Some days I feel more confident in it than others. An Elder in my district made a little uh-oh mixing up words. He is from Australia and has a pretty fantastic accent, not every really emphasizing his r´s. So the other day while teaching a lesson, he tried to say that Christ can lift our burdens, and so burdens is cargas in Spanish and it came out as caca.. Which is poo… he literally said Christ lifts our poo… there was really no way to not laugh at this. Alright on to more spiritual matters. hahahah…
So this week has really just been a growing week for me. I have pondered to know more the character of Christ and through seeking that, know that my relationship with Him has strengthened so much. I have been thinking a lot this week on why our church is named the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Jesus Christ is the center of the teachings in our church and should be the center of our lives. But I also thought a lot about what it means to be a Saint. A saint literally means to be a follower of Christ. It means to live consecrated for a sacred purpose. It means to one day dwell with God again. How wonderful is it that we can all be saints!
2 Nephi 9:18: But, behold, the righteous, the saints of the Holy One of Israel, they who have believed in the Holy One of Israel, they who have endured the crosses of the world, and despised the shame of it, they shall inherit the kingdom of God, which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world, and their joy shall be full forever.
This scripture could mean so many things. To me, it means we believe in the Lord. It means we endure trials without doubting our faith. Because we know salvation doesn’t come easy.
Enos 1:3: Behold, I went to hunt beasts in the forests; and the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart.
Then in Enos 1:3, we are reminded the joy the saints have. The prophet Enos hungers for that same joy! Always, always, always remember the joy that comes from following our savior, Jesus Christ.
Mosiah 3:19: For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
In Mosiah 3:19, there are some attributes of a saint. A saint puts off the natural man. I picture this like I picture the cookie monster. “I want a cookie and I want it now”!!! Don’t let the “cookie monster inside of you win. A saint looks outward rather than within. And isn’t this just what Jesus Christ did! I love that we have the ability to lose ourselves in our work. That is my goal here, to lose myself in His gospel. There are so many things to learn and I hunger just like Enos did, to know the things that sink deep into my heart! I encourage you all to see how you can be a better Saint of Jesus Christ.
This week, we had a little bit of a change of missionaries at the CCM. The 2 Ukrainian Elders left. Elder Balyas and Elder Oman were spiritual giants! They are both so inspiring. I don’t think I ever saw Elder Oman without a smile on his face. On his last night at dinner, keep in mind the only word in English he knows is hello, I hear my name being sung across the table. I look over and it is Elder Oman, arm stretched out, singing ohhhh Sister Devereaux ohhh Sister Devereaux to the tune of ´called to serve´ haha. They are wonderful.
So as they departed, 4 new Spanish speaking Hermanas and 3 Elders were welcomed. It has been so fun to practice my Spanish with them. However, the first time I met them, suddenly all the Spanish I have been practicing this week vanished from my head. Completely blank. So hopefully that doesn’t happen in a week when I leave this beautiful place. But it is getting better now, no worries here.
So another great Saturday at the park! I will just share with you one man, his name was Anilli – aka the coolest guy on the planet! He is from Sierra Leon. Even with his thick accent, I was so grateful because I could finally speak some English!! Anilli taught me so many lessons. We just sat down on a bench in the park and talked for an hour. Mostly I just listened. He has been through so many things in his life, but he has recognized Gods hand in all of it. I asked him who Jesus Christ was to him. His response was beautiful, yet simple. He said he is his brother, his best friend. Isn’t that exactly who Jesus Christ is?! Anilli’s 2 younger brothers passed away. I promised him that he would get to see them again. I know that this promise is true from our Heavenly Father. I know that we will live with him and our families again! What great knowledge is it to know that. The plan Heavenly Father has for us is just the best. His Gospel is the best.
Another challenge for you all, listen to Tarzan “you´ll be in my heart”. Close your eyes, and listen to the lyrics closely. Another sister had us do this for our nightly devotional. She said rather than thinking of Tarzan and Jane (I know, difficult haha) think about Jesus Christ saying these things to us.
I say this every week, but I hope everyone truly is well! I think and pray for all of you, and love you all. I am so happy to be a missionary. This past month has been incredible. I wish I could explain it. I am learning to truly lean on my Savior, I am learning to submit my will to His. When we do this, your heart just opens. His plans for you are so much greater than those for yourself. Have another great week….be better today than you were yesterday!!
Hermana Brooke Devereaux
Spain Madrid Mission
Calle Fuerteventura 4, 2, Office 8B
28703 San Sebastian de los Reyes
More Pictures (some are pictures of pictures and are blurry!):
On PDay, we get to go to some of the sites around Spain. Here are some pictures from last week, Thursday, June 18th:
And here’s pictures from our PDay today, June 25:
And we’re still not having any fun:
Have a great week!