August 24, 2015
Tomorrow is Uruguay´s birthday again!!! Last year for August 25, I wrote 25 things I had learned in my mission thus far. Here’s what I’ve learned this year:
1) That although Uruguay is one of the smallest countries in South America, it´s the biggest in HEART.
2) That Uruguayan skies are the best. Whether I’m looking up in the wee hours of the morning, in the afternoon sunset, or in the nighttime stars, these Uruguayan skies never cease to take my breath away.
3) That the gathering of Israel is awesome. That like it says in D&C 35:14, we are the ARMS OF THE LORD. That He needs our help as members and missionaries to gather the house of Israel and that we can feel incredible joy as we´re doing it!
4) That Christmas and New Year´s Eve are so much better when there are fireworks, really hot temperatures, and barbeque!
5) How to avoid stepping in dog poop (kind of...)
6) That it is so much better to live in the present (cut wood) instead of live in the past (cut sawdust).
7) That Fray Bentos, Juan Lacaze, and Artigas are the perfect areas for me.
8) That it is so cool to shake an apostle´s hand! That Elder Dallin H. Oaks is an apostle of the Lord and that the Lord truly uses the prophet and his twelve apostles to guide our lives!
9) That when it rains, it POURS. And that doing proselyting in knee-high water is such an interesting experience.
10) That a missionary plaque can really become a part of you. I feel lost without it and so distressed when I can´t find it. Sometimes when I see pictures of myself before the mission, I find myself thinking, "Where in the world is my missionary plaque?"
11) That general conference is the most magical time of the year and that although the leaders of the church convey God´s word to all of His children, they speak directly to ME and help ME with what I need in my life.
12) That when I feel like I can´t stand any longer, I need to go down on my knees.
13) That the members in Uruguay are pioneers. That they are fighters (so many of them do not have support of family members, for example, but still continue fighting for the truth). That they are filled with love for their brothers and sisters. That they are so patient and kind and generous.
14) That hearing my Latin companions pray in English is such an incredible experience. That God listens to prayers in every language and answers prayers in every language.
15) That as missionaries, we truly have angels all around us. Whether it be our companions, a friendly person in the street who smiles at us, a person halfway around the world who is praying for us, a person who writes a heartfelt letter or email to cheer us up, or a mission president and his wife who give us words of encouragement or treats (Hermana Smith makes the best treats), there´s always someone who´s got our back.
16) That the Book of Mormon is so incredible. That every time a person needs help, they can pray with faith, open up their scriptures, and find exactly what they need. I have seen this so many times in my mission!
17) That the best way to answer the phone is by saying "HOY ES EL DIA" (AKA “Today is the day,” our mission motto).
18) That although Spanish is hard at times, it is the most beautiful language ever (and I still struggle with el and la, but whatevs)!!!
19) That we should always keep our sights on the temple, and that we should help every other person/family do the same as well. That one person´s life can change the lives of generations!
20) That repentance is such a beautiful thing. That every second, minute, hour, day, can truly be a fresh start.
21) That God´s love is so perfect for His imperfect children.
22) That arroz con leche is a gift from the heavens.
23) Alfajores as well.
24) That Hermana McMurray (who taught me the importance of hard work and obedience), Hermana Gordillo (who was a grand example of being sweet and demonstrating charity), Hermana Paredes (who helped me learn how to teach PEOPLE and enjoy the mission), Hermana Ventura (who taught me the importance of doing what Jesus Christ would do in my place), Hermana Obando (who changed my mission through her organizational skills, diligence, and testimony), Hermana Jenkins (who strengthened my love for the Book of Mormon and helped me see all those around me as children of God), Hermana Ramirez (my grand example of patience, serving, and thinking of others before herself), and Hermana Salvatierra (who is such a hard worker, who has a great love for the people in our area, and who tries to be a bit better every day, inspiring me to be better) have been the perfect companions for me!!!
25) That the atonement of Jesus Christ is so real. Christ knows what it´s like to feel weak. Christ knows what it´s like to be rejected. Christ knows what it´s like to feel regret. He knows what it´s like to lose a loved one, to feel lonely, to feel without hope. And He also knows what it feels like to overcome these problems, With Him, and only with Him, we can always keep going!
Love you all! Happy Birthday Uruguay!