Hola mi maravillosa familia y amigos!!!
Well this is the last P-day I get until I fly out to Tucson. This email will be really brief because they've really only given us this allotted time to pack.... Can you believe I leave on Monday?? It feels so surreal. I don't feel ready at all. I have this illogical worry that I need to be a fluent native Spanish speaker in order to share the Gospel. As a result, I've been panicking all week.
This week has been really wonderful though. I feel much more confident in my speaking, and I've made it a goal to bear my testimony and say prayers whenever I get the opportunity. It's great language practice I've found :) Also, I've started reading the Book of Mormon in Español as well...so far I've gotten through the entire book of 1 Nefi, it takes a long time though because I really want to understand and learn while I read. I can't wait for the day that I'll be able to read through without a dictionary!
It's amazing how close you can get to someone in just 6 weeks. The thought of leaving to Tucson without the rest of my district really brings pain into my heart. All of the Elders in my district are going to Philadelphia, PA and my compañera is going to Dallas, TX. Which means I'll also be travelling alone. All of a sudden, the badge on my heart feels really heavy. We all plan on buying cheap Spanish Books of Mormon in preparation for our plane ride, just in case :) I can't wait.
I've come to realize this week the deep significant calling of being a representative of Jesus Christ. I always knew it was important, but I have gained a much deeper understanding of the role this week. My teacher, of all people, pulled me and my companion aside one day during our lunch break with tears pouring from her eyes. The first thing she said was "You are missionaries, right?" (in Español, of course). Then she just talked, she talked about her family, her job, her school, and her faith. She had great feelings of inadequacy and she didn't know what to do about various situations that she was in. It was that moment, while I was completely taken off guard, that I realized that people everywhere, members and nonmembers alike, will flock to me for help, just because of the name that I have over my heart. I felt the intense realization that I had incredibly enormous shoes to fill, that I am expected to help people in the way that Christ would if he were here. It was also in that moment of my own feelings of inadequacy that I felt a very profound love from my Heavenly Father for me. It is amazing that he puts his trust in someone as imperfect as myself. I felt strengthened in the moment as I felt his love for my teacher, Hermana Rameirez, as well, and I was able to remember a scripture that I hadn't used in months, that was exactly what she needed. Then I cried with her, and expressed my love for her.
This work is amazing. I haven't even started my mission, yet I've been so blessed to have already witnessed so many miracles as a result of complete dedication to our Lord. What a wonderful blessing it is to be a part of the fullness of the Gospel! I am so blessed to know that the Lord has entrusted me to play a special part in the bringing of His children back! He is real, I feel his presence in my life constantly!
Sé que esto es verdad al recibir mucho bendiciones. Estoy agradecido por el amor de nuestro Padre Celestial! El Evangelio de Jesucristo es verdadero. Yo sé que Jesucristo es nuestro Redentor! En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.--
Sister Stacie Morgan Townley