I'm so sorry I don't have time to write you all back individually. Thank you so much for keeping me updated on the things I'm missing out on at home. I feel so much love and support from you all, and your prayers for me are working! I feel them strengthening me everyday!
I feel as if Heavenly Father is always finding new ways to challenge me. Every week gets harder, every week presents a new challenge. This week especially has been very difficult. Remember last week when I wrote about how healthy and strong both me and my companion were? Well, this week we've both been terribly ill. In fact the whole CCM has contracted a really nasty and highly contagious virus (I think the new wave of missionaries last week brought it from the states). Almost half of my district was up last night with migraines and throwing up every half hour at least. I found out this morning that several other districts were experiencing the same thing.
Thankfully, I seem to be immune to this particular bug, however, last week I had some sort of stomach flu and also a sore throat and dry cough. My poor companion is still not doing very well :(
Because of our health conditions, my companion and I have missed a lot of class. It's been very hard on me because I learn so much everyday in class, and this week I've felt like I'm getting a bit behind in my language studies. I've had to do a lot of catching up in my spare time.
On a more uplifting note, it's really quite amazing the different ways that the Lord answers prayers! This week I had a very special experience in Sacrament Meeting. As I was waiting for the Sacrament to come around, I felt prompted to write my thoughts down. I started mindlessly writing, I really wasn't paying close attention. I didn't think anything of it in the moment. But I kept writing, and the more I wrote, the more I was able to...feel?...the words that I needed to write, like I was being told what to write. This continued for about 20 minutes....when I finished, I reread my paper and was so touched at the words. They weren't my words, but words of comfort and guidance, and it had answered a question that I had been pondering all week. I had never had the Spirit direct me in this way, I never really had words put into my head before! But it was amazing and I'm so grateful that the Lord is so mindful of me and is able to answer my prayers so directly! What an amazing experience it was!
Oh and I had to give a talk in Sacrament Meeting again... I think my Branch Presidency is picking on me...or I just really need extra blessings! :)
So I've been really trying to have the Spirit with me during my lessons. I keep remembering that scripture from Doctrine and Covenants about how, if you don't have the Spirit, you cannot teach. During a practice lesson with my companion, I started off and felt really good about the topic I was teaching about. I felt the Spirit and I didn't use any language notes at all. Right in the middle of it, I was pulled away by a member of the presidency and got into a pretty light discussion with them. The conversation with him turned really bad, from my perspective, when he said something to me that deeply hurt me. It's a little embarrassing to admit, but it completely dampened my mood and I wanted to just give up, I was so discouraged. But I had to continue on with the lesson that was interrupted. When I sat down with my investigator, I tried so incredibly hard to forget about what had just happened. I tried so hard to continue. But my mind went completely blank. I didn't know how to speak Spanish all of a sudden. Not a single word. It was afterward, as I was thinking about it, that I really understood the importance of the Spirit. Boy, did I ever learn a lesson! I will not be able to touch a single person out in the field if I'm thinking only of myself. Also, there is no way I would be able to do this work without the Spirit, it is absolutely essential! Doctrine and Covenants 42:14 How true it is!
Heavenly Father loves teaching me new things! And I'm so grateful for experiences like that, as embarrassing as they are, that help me realize how little I am in this great work. I am nothing without Him! I'm so grateful to know that He is always there when I need help.
Rely on Him, please! He is the only one, and He never disappoints! :)
I love you all so much!--
Hermana Stacie Morgan Townley