Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Back from the gira

February 17, 2010


Hey family!

We got back from the gira (tour of the southern part of the mission) yesterday. It was a pretty successful gira. All the zone conferences went really well, and we feel good about the teaching we did. It's a teaching that has completely changed my life. It's about planning and it works. But it makes me sad because looking at the missionaries numbers from last week, very few people put it in practice the stuff we taught. It makes me sad because now I am accomplishing SO much more with the time I have. I just love being a missionary and being even more effective with my time!


We had a good gira. There were a couple of days where I wasn't doing well. I kinda just crashed for a few days and just kinda lost it. I still worked hard and taught well, but on the inside I just felt absolutely empty. I was really struggling with it till Saturday afternoon when we arrived in Bariloche. I talked to my companion about it a little and he suggested I did a ´spiritual fast´ In this program, I was going to write down about 15 or 20 things that I was going to do or not do for 40 days. I wrote down a lot of good stuff, and I won't lie I haven't done everyone of them these past 5 days, but man I feel so much better. I had a good real fast from Saturday to Sunday, and I feel like I'm back in control now. I just completely lost it for a bit, and was just dead. Now i feel awesome, just so happy. I think for one of the first times in my life I understand what repentance is. In the dictionary in the Spanish book of Mormon, it says that it means you see yourself and God in a new light. I think that absolutely happened to me this past weekend. On Saturday, I just was so down and just weighed down by that burden, but then I worked really hard to pull myself out, to give absolutely everything to invite the spirit back into my life and to ask for forgiveness for the things I had done wrong. Then on Sunday in church, it just hit me. I had a completely different light about myself. I just felt different, like I had the spirit, like I could do anything, and like I had been forgiven. That was a sensation that I'm not sure I had ever had before. (ps, it makes it even better that on the computer right next to me they are playing the Rudy soundtrack of this big motivational orchestra. haha.) It was a great experience, and I have learned an awful lot. I am not the same person I was before the gira--I feel like I know myself a whole lot more, that I understand a whole lot more of having the gospel in my life, and the importance of giving my all always to have the spirit in my life. It was a pretty incredible turnaround, and I just feel so good now, like I felt back in Allen or something. Just purely happy and content. That's how I long to feel always.


On Saturday, we did divisions with some elders in Bariloche. One is one of my favorites in the mission. He came in with elder Cox and I've worked with him 2 or 3 times. He is just a purely good guy. Humble, hard worker, fun, easy to talk to. Just one of the top 5 missionaries in my book. His companion that he is training, however, is on the verge of giving up the mission and going home. We worked with them on Saturday and then elder Camacho worked with him on Sunday to see if we could get some animo in him. He speaks GREAT Spanish! he's a great teacher. But he just hasn't decided he wants to be here. They are going to make a final decision in a couple of hours what is going to happen. He drove back in the car with us from Bariloche to neuquen. I just hope he realizes what this work is and how much it changes lives. I've tried putting it into words what my mission has meant to me and I just cant. Mom- it reminds me a lot of something you wrote me in the MTC. It was the first or second letter you wrote, and in the last line or two you said something or other would happen if I would ´humble myself and commit to this experience.´ Working with him just brought that flying back into my mind because I realized that everything good that has happened on my mission is because I did that-- humbled myself and committed, giving everything to this experience. I just absolutely love it here.


We got to be with Doctor Peterson and his wife for the whole trip. I fell in love. They are so awesome. He has served 9 years of his life as a missionary, mission president, and twice as mission doctor. I learned so much from him. He just would always come and give me these huge hugs. We became really good friends. I had another little health interview on their last day here, but I did it just to talk to him. At the end, he just says elder it's been so good being with you! We're going to miss you! You are the kind of person that gives us hope in the future. You're the kind of person that can go into any situation and make good things happen. That's the difference between a good area and bad area in a mission- the missionaries and their attitudes. You are going to do incredible things in your life.´ Then, we took him to the airport while president finished up zone conference and I asked for his last bit of advice for me and elder Camacho. He says ´you two are incredible missionaries. You need to know you're the best. Don't let it get to your head because you have to be humble and you know that. But you are two young men with bright minds that can do anything. Anything! You can become anything you want, and don't ever let anyone tell you otherwise. Don't let the time it takes to accomplish something take you away from it. Lots of doctors faze out because they don't want to take so long studying. Do what you want to do, and don't let anyone tell you you can't. He then talked about callings and leadership and stuff that we'd be doing after the mission. I was just so touched the entire time i was with him. He is an incredible man, and I want to be like that when I'm older!


We got back yesterday and set out right away to work. It started pouring rain, and that is always a blast! I love it. Me and elder Camacho are such good buds now. We just kinda walk around and accidently bump each other into puddles and stuff. I love working with him, he's so much fun. But we went over to the sepulveda´s house, the ones who we found and have come to church 2 Sundays in a row now. We put a fecha with them for the 6th of March. Only three of the kids were there, but that was okay because they were the three that were most interested and didn't have to do any marriage or divorce papers or anything. They were just so happy and excited for it!! wahoo!!!!


Well, other than that, I'm out. My hands are tired from typing so fast. and we get a full p-day today!! wahoo! I need a good nap and to write letters. It's been a long time.


Take care! I love you! Thanks for writing me and supporting me!



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