Tuesday, January 10, 2012
It Is I
Last week was great. Elder Arredondo and I are getting along super well and I feel like the people here are really starting to progress. I remember I was talking to Elder Jaden Talbot the last day he was at the MTC and he challenged me to read John 6. I never got the chance to read it until this last week. It is the chapter where Jesus feeds the five thousand and walks on water. That chapter gave me so much strength. I especially like John 6:20, the verse that take place when the disciples are on the boat and they see Jesus walking on water. "But He saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid." That verse stuck with me all week. Talking to people here, I have come to understand that people FEAR God and Jesus Christ too much and TRUST in them too little. Faith is the root of our testimonies. Without faith, there is no foundation and we are lost. Sometimes we are afraid, but there is no need to fear, because through Jesus Christ and His gospel we can return to the presence of our Heavenly Father.
Spanish is really starting to come along. Elder Arredondo is helping me a lot and I feel pretty comfortable using my Spanish everywhere. I can understand it really well and as time goes on speaking that language gets better as well. I love the language, but it is different than missions in foreign countries, because here in California we are surrounded by English-speaking people and stores everywhere. It’s different than serving in a place like Guatemala, where EVERYTHING is in Spanish, but I like it because I get a lot of practice going back and forth between English and Spanish. I think my retention of the Spanish language will be really good after I come home from my mission. On any given day I generally speak or am surrounded by "Spanish" for at least 3 hours, but if we have a lot of lessons it can be up to 6 hours or more. Additionally, we have language study for an hour a day and always have dinners with members of the Spanish branch. I LOVE SPANISH!!!!!!!!
Funny/TRAUMATIC story … a week and a half ago I contacted a guy named "T" that said he cuts hair. He said he had his license and cuts hair all the time, so Elder Noris and I went over to his place last week. He looked pretty legit; he had his barber stuff on and got all ready. But then I saw the quality of his combs and clippers … TERRIBLE! It was pretty bad. We were already there and we were kind of trapped … sooo … we just decided to let him do it. His comb had parts missing in it and his mirror was broken. Wow. So I told him I wanted him to trim my flow … basically just a trim. I don't know if he misunderstood me, but before I knew it he shaved me down to a 2! I was like AHHHHHH! It looks like I am a marine! It seems like I can never find anyone that TRULY KNOWS HOW TO CUT HAIR! At least I can take comfort in the fact that my hair grows back though, haha. I am glad I am having these bad haircut experiences now, so that when I go home I will be grateful for GOOD haircuts.
This past Sunday was amazing. It was Fast & Testimony meeting and for the first time since I have been here almost all the seats were filled. I felt prompted to bear my testimony on missionary work. As I was walking up to the pulpit I was filled with the spirit of God, and as I began to bear my testimony in Spanish I felt so close to my Savior, Jesus Christ. It felt like He was standing there as I looked into all the eyes of the people in front of me. It was hard for me to talk at first, because of the love I have for the people here … it is something I cannot describe. I began my testimony by saying that I will be forever grateful for the two sister missionaries that taught my father so that I could be here today. Those two missionaries changed my life forever … because of them I am physically and spiritually here today. I love this gospel, because without it, I do not know where I would be in my life. My beliefs, my religion, and my family all contribute to the man I am today. There is something special about sharing spiritual experiences with people … it binds us for eternity. I can't say it enough; I love my mission. I know God has a plan for me and my mission is the greatest gift I have ever received.
Posted by Spencer Vance at 2:17 PM