Monday, June 23, 2014

Reflections of a one year old missionary


I had been praying all week that you would all have a wonderful, spiritual experience up at girl’s camp, and I definitely did not expect to hear what you told me! But, I am super glad that everything turned out so well. I am actually kind of jealous, Camp Bishop sounds like a blast! :) Thank you for sharing all your experiences. I am still laughing about the bishopric skit. PLEASE send me a picture, that sounds like something I need to see! :) 

This last week has been a wonderful, but crazy week. I can´t even believe that I have been here in Peru as a missionary for a year now. I actually had a really cool experience on Thursday, my one year mark. Our zone did this massive work visit, where all the senior companions of the zone, were paired up with a different junior companion and we were able to work together for a day to learn from each other, and help each other out. I was paired up with Hermana Olivas who has been here for about 5 weeks, it’s her first transfer. She is from Utah. So on Wednesday we worked together all afternoon in my area, and then she stayed the night with me. On Thursday morning we had studies together and then did the exchanges after lunch. We had our personal study (I finished reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish that morning, I´ll tell you more about that in a sec) and then during comp study we just started to talk, and we talked and talked and talked all morning. She expressed some of her frustrations, and difficulties that she has been having and I swear it was like listening to a reflection of me, from one year ago. For example, all the struggles with the language, not understanding what is going on in the lessons, wanting to talk and help people, but not having to words to do it, and so much more. I was able to share some of my experiences and things that I have learned that have helped me, and it was really awesome. It actually kind of amazed me, I hadn´t realized how much I had changed, and grown, until we had that conversation. I remembered where I had been, and realized where I was now. I feel like a different person, there were so many things about me that I wanted to change when I got here, and I know that with Heavenly Fathers help I am changing into a better, happier, stronger, person. I still have sooooooooo far to go, but I know that Heavenly Father has blessed me, and helped me so much in this last year. I was showing her pictures from the CCM and she said, wow! You look so young! I was like, what?? and then I looked at a picture from then, and a picture from now and it was true. She told me I look a lot more grown up and mature now. Haha, I hope so! I rememeber when I first got into the field during the lessons when my trainer would look at me to talk and I would give her the, are you crazy? look because I didn´t even know what was going on, to being the one in my trainers position, leading and teaching all the lessons with Hna Oliva, and translating for her what was going on. It was something I never would have thought possible, but here I am! 
I felt so humbled to realize, and to be able to have that experience. And so, so grateful as well, for all the many blessings I have received from my Heavenly Father. I know I still have soo far to go, and so much more to learn, but I really like the path I´m on.

That morning I also finished reading the Book of Mormon all the way through in Spanish. It’s taken me a year, but I did it! When I started out at the beginning of my mission I would read a verse, in Spanish, then reread it in English. Then I was able to move on to just having my English scriptures open next to me, that I would consult every once in a while when I didn´t know what was going on, and then somewhere in Mosiah I left behind my English scriptures and it became a whole different experience. I feel like I read the Book of Mormon this time from a whole different perspective. As a missionary, and in Spanish I understood it in such a different way and learned so many new things. I absolutely love the Book of Mormon in Spanish! I know that it is true. I love the happiness I feel every morning as I open it up, and read, and learn from its words and from the spirit. 

Another thing I learned this week is that change, is the most constant thing in our life. This last week in our zone one elder had to go home for family problems, another had an emergency transfer for the fault of another person, and another is being reassigned to a different mission along with 8 other missionaries from our mission. 9 missionaries from Central America are being reassigned to different missions for problems with visas and among them are 5 really good friends. It kind of breaks my heart to have to say goodbye to them, but Heavenly Father is in charge and I know that whatever happens, happens for a reason. 

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful week and know that I am always praying for you! Tell Maddi I say hi! I can´t believe she is coming home! Ah!

Love you all,

Hermana Shelton 

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