Last night as I way lying in bed to go to sleep, I had one of those “wooowwww” moments and realized for over 2 months now I have been across the world in another country. It’s no vacation! I’m a missionary! Isn’t that awesome?!?
Wow this week. What a week! It started with teaching one of our investigators, Stefaní. She’s just great! She is just a couple years older than me, and if I wasn’t a missionary and could actually speak Spanish very well, I know we would just be best friends. She just showed up at church last Sunday. Talk about every missionaries dream! She had talked with the missionaries a couple months ago but got too busy with school and such. Stefaní understands and believes a lot about the Gospel, but she is just so afraid to make any commitment because she is worried about going back to her “old ways”.
This made me think and study a lot about our own personal conversions this week. Each of us have a “conversion story”. I’ve always loved hearing what attracted others to the Gospel. I love the fact that literally the Gospel of Jesus Christ is for EVERYONE. Whether you want to learn more about eternal families, or repentance, or where do we go after this life…. You can find your answer through His Gospel! But along with that, we all have to “stay” converted. This is what Stefaní is so afraid of.
In 1 Nephi, the prophet Lehi sees a vision of “the tree of life”. The fruit on the tree represents the love of God. Leading up to the tree is an “iron rod” or “the word of God”. We had to cling on to the word of God to receive the “fruit”. However Nephi also describes an account of people that fell away. He says:
28 And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost.
29 And now I, Nephi, do not speak all the words of my father.
30 But, to be short in writing, behold, he saw other multitudes pressing forward; and they came and caught hold of the end of the rod of iron; and they did press their way forward, continually holding fast to the rod of iron, until they came forth and fell down and partook of the fruit of the tree.
Like these people, like Stefaní, we have to cling on to word of God to stay converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Of course we mess up sometimes, and that’s what is so beautiful about repentance and the Atonement. But are we doing everything we can to cling on to the “iron rod”?
We taught Stefaní about 3 things this week..: What we call (h)OLA here in Spain: orar, leer, asistir. Which in English is: pray, read, and attend church! These 3 things are the first steps to “staying” converted. If we want a relationship with God, if we want to be the HAPPIEST possible, we must do these 3 things EVERY SINGLE DAY! If only I could express in words how important they truly truly are.
Another thing I learned this week is the amount of crazy holidays! And unlike in America, where stores and restaurants are even busier, here, everything just shuts down and no one is on the streets! This makes the life of a missionary pretty tough, haha. Plus, when you are out of groceries, and I mean OUT, haha, you end up eating a little hot dog, a plum, and the crumbs from a bag of tortilla chips for lunch. I think we learned our lesson last week on putting a little more time into grocery shopping on P-Day.
Anyways, Hermana Braun is wonderful. We’ve already planned our yearly road trips we are going to take when we get home and the Just Dance Party we will have. But not only do we have so much in common and so much fun together, I also lucked out with the best trainer in how hard of a worker she is. She pushes me to speak more Spanish, make the most out of my study time, and always, always follow the guidance of the Spirit on the work we will do that day. And when there seems like there is no work to do, we work even harder! This week has definitely been the hardest, but also the most growing. I can feel my Savior Jesus Christ sustaining me like crazy! Sustaining me with energy and enthusiasm to spread His word. I’m so grateful for my best friend, Jesus Christ! I’m so grateful to be a missionary! And I’m so grateful that I am able to communicate with my Heavenly Father every day, read scriptures to get even more guidance, and go to a church every Sunday, even when I hardly understand what they are saying, I can feel the Spirit so strongly and be completely edified.
Have a great week y’all! Be better tomorrow than you were yesterday!
Love, Hermana Devereaux
Here’s a few pictures of my adventures this week: