“And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after:and your Father KNOWETH that ye have need of these things. But rather SEEK YE THE KINGDOM OF GOD; and all these things shall be added unto you. FEAR NOT, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”- St. Luke 12:29-32
I absolutely LOVE these verses! Seriously, we all have to understand that when we do what God wants us to do, and we follow His commandments, He will bless us. Not only spiritually and emotionally, but economically and physically too! He knows what we need to survive and He will help us acquire those things as long as we are obedient. Put the things of God first, and everything else will follow…I promise you that.
Well, VERY GOOD DAY EVERYONE! This week was so. great. To start off, we went on divisions with the Hermana Leaders and THEY ROCK. I got to go off with Hermana Quizhpe (keeshpay) and she is so great. I seriously admire her. She’s from Loja, Ecuador and she knows Spanish, English, French, and Mandarin. COOLEST PERSON EVER. Anyway, so I learned a lot from her and we even found people who wanted to get baptized! So that was cool. 🙂
Second, I got FOUR packages and FIVE letters!! Thanks for all the support…seriously. (shout outs to Pop Pop and Grandma, aunt Melanie, Jan, Wes, and my Family!) You have no idea how much you all keep my spirits up! 😀 gah! you’re great.
Third, we got MEDALS. Gold, of course. For real though. Every district meeting, the person with the highest numbers gets a medal that says “maquinas de la semana ZONA IBARRA” And we won this week!! So, even though I can’t watch the olympics right now…we are kind of recreating our own. Except without sports. Or fans. Or tv. Or competativeness. Or……okay it really isn’t that similar, but I can dream can’t i?
Fourth, there was a baptism in my branch this last week and I got to eat CHAWARMA. Kay. For all of you who don’t know what a chawarma is….FIND OUT. Go to your closest Arabic food restaurant, order a chawarma, and scarf down heaven. Seriously, there are only chawarmas in el centro…so I can only get those on special occations because I can’t leave my sector. Anyway, it is basically a burrito but with a pita breadish wrap and super great chicken, tomatoes, lettuce, and something similar to tzaziki sauce. Way good. That was definitely a highlight of the week.
Fifth, we had a service activity on saturday where the hermanas got to sweep this house (it was brand new and full of dust from drywall and stuff) and the elders got to machete the grass and weeds……so I was pretty dang jealous of the elders. I went to go join them, and the man we were doing the service for told me that it was man’s work to machete…but I did it anyway and it was SO MUCH FUN. Seriously. But one time, the machete swung back and hit my leg. pretty hard too….so i had to go to the hospital. HA JK. but it did hit me. Luckily, i didn’t get hurt though 😀 Buuuuuut….that man was right. It is man’s work because my arms ACHE now. Like, pretty bad. But hey….it’s all good because it was worth it.
Sixth, our sacrifices are really paying off!!!! This 17 year old, David, came to church with us!!! We literally stopped by 15 investigator’s houses before his and NO ONE could go. They were either gone, or “too busy”….lame sauce. But he came and LOVED it and wants to bring his family next week! ah!! so that is CRAZY awesome. He also has a date to get baptized for the 15th!! So we’ll see.
This week I was also able to finish memorizing The Living Christ in spanish! gah. it is soooooo long. but i loved it! it is so beautiful and everyone should read that document 🙂 Well this week I have really learned how amazing this mission is. I’m not just growing spiritually…I feel a change in so many aspects of my life. I tried to disect why, and I wrote down some things you learn on the mission:
Psychology: You have to analyze how people are responding to your lessons and know when they are comfortable or not or if they are saying what they really feel…and if they’ll react a certain way if you say something. You have to know the emotional state of your companion at all times so you have to be able to tell when something is off with them.
Sociology: You have to talk with EVERYONE. You have to learn how to make conversation (which i am awful at…) and be able to get along with others.
Anthropology: You have to learn the norms of the culture and adapt your life to how they live.
Public Speaking: You have to get over this fear. It definitely isn’t an instantaneous thing, but it happens. You have to get used to speaking to big groups of people, which was really hard for me before.
Strategic thinking: You have to plan your day every night and figure out what would work out better, who you should have as a backup plan if something falls through. You have to always be calculating time and numbers and making sure everything is going to add up all right.
Problem solving: You have to think out of the box. You have to find ways to help people with their troubles or problems. You have to find new ways to get your investigators interested in the lessons…apply them to their lives more.
Compromising: You have to learn to give up something good for something better. You have to be able to agree with your companion. You have to put others before yourself and realize that their needs are more important in the mission.
Language: You learn a new language. You learn how to truly express yourself in a different language.
Teaching: You learn how to teach. Not only gospel topics, but how to sing hymns (there are so many people who don’t know how), how to speak English (in English classes), how to treat each other (there are a lot of machisto men who order their wives around), and how to be a friend (there isn’t much unity in the branches here).
Being a leader: You have to learn to take the lead in things and like it. You have to set the example for others, and help them grow in all these aspects as well in the mission. You have to make good decisions…decisions you know God would approve of as well.
Coping: You have to learn to live with the bare minimum and be happy. You might not always like your companion, but you have to make it work out. You might have had a long day but have to go home and do a lot of paperwork, writing what you did, and get to bed late–compromising your sleep. You have to be happy with what you are given;your sector, zone, companion, members, ward or branch…because you are not serving with all your heart, might, mind, and strength if your heart is serving grudgingly.
Managing time and money wisely: that is really straightforward…you have to be really frugal and really punctual.
Goal setting: Not only in the amount of lessons you want to have per day, but also setting goals for how you can acheive characteristics you want in your life. Setting goals so you can truly come back a better person than you left.
hygeine and physical fitness: I am showering every day now -__- and we have to stay healthy by working out and eating well and avoiding street food… (sooo hard….the corn with cheese on it like you see in Nacho Libre is way too good)
…and well there is a lot more but this letter is already long enough. haha. basically, i am learning A LOT and I know that this is an experience that i will never forget and I can learn from for the rest of my life. I love every moment on this mission and I understand how important it is. I will never waste a day because I will not be returning with regrets. I love the Lord, I know that He lives. I love serving and teaching others, and I feel the true love of Christ as I do it. Everyone who has the ability and opportunity to serve a mission, needs to take this chance. You will truly be a stronger person in all aspects of your life both temporally and eternally. I promise that you will see miracles and blessing as you decide to serve, if you truly serve with all your heart, might, mind, and strength and are exactly obedient.
I love all of you! Thanks for all the support and thanks for being such great examples for me. 🙂 I learn from you all as well as from my investigators and members…you are all wonderful people and I am trying to develop all the good qualities I see in you all in my life. Keep at it, be examples for everyone else, and never lose sight of what is truly important in this life. Love,
Hermana Dunne 🙂
pictures: machete, wuddup. real gold medals. K BYE! TAKE CARE! :}