Monday, October 11, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010 -- Keep Sprinting

¡Hola familia y amigos!

The day that I leave for Chile is close at hand. This is probably my second-to-last email from the MTC! My district will get our travel plans tomorrow, so next week I will have detailed information and a time frame that I will be able to call you in.

This week has been such a wonderful week, one of my favorites thus far. I have had so many wonderful experiences and oppurtunities. Here is one:

On Sunday, Elder Matesen and I were going to find somewhere to study. He said that he thought that we should go study on the couches next to the elevator, in the building that our class is in. While we were studying, a couple elders from our zone walked by and Elder Matesen said something funny to them and then as they walked away, he called after them and said "chiste"--the Spanish word for joke. Right at that moment, a middle-aged latino woman, who had just gotten off the elevator was walking by. She turned and said "que es el chiste [what is the joke]?" My companion explained and she smiled and walked away. She came back a few minutes later and was talking to us in Spanish about our families, where we were from, where we are going, etc. Then she asked, "Elders, can you give me a blessing?" Elder Matesen and I looked at each other confused. We had just met this woman--Sister Carmen Ventura Batz from Guatemala--and she was asking us for a blessing. She said that for nearly a month, she had been asking Elders for a blessing for her health, but they always came up with an excuse. I told her that we'd be happy to give her a blessing. I always carry consecrated oil with me so I will be ready for these type of situations.

We went to our classroom because we knew that the sister missionaries in our district would be there, that we we wouldn't be alone with Sister Batz. Elder Matesen anointed her and then I sealed the anointing and gave her a blessing. After the blessing we talked for a little bit and then bore my testimony. When I finished she said, "Gracias Elder. Me senti el Espiritu muy fuerte durante su testimonio. Vive su testimonio!" (I felt the Spirit very strong during your testimony. Live your testimony!) She then asked if she could bear her testimony. During her testimony, the Spirit was so strong. Tears were brought to her eyes and nearly to mine. The whole time, we were talking in Spanish and I could understand what she was saying and respond back. She even complimented me on my Spanish and on my accent.

I am so thankful for the Spirit. We were guided to be there at that time to help Sister Batz. At the same time, she was guided there to tell us some things that we needed to hear. It was such a tender mercy to meet this wonderful woman and to be able to carry on a conversation in another language.

Now, I have devloped a motto for my mission: keep sprinting. It all goes back to my cross-country days. I trained for hours, days, weeks and months for cross country. I trained all that time for a three-mile race. Similarly, I have been training for my mission for my whole life! For this two year race. At times, the three-mile race seems like it lasts forever. You feel like you have plenty of time. However, the whole time the clock is ticking. I took pride in knowing that I gave all I could, all the time, every race. Even when I felt tired, fatigued, sick I kept pushing. The last mile I would sprint with everything I had left. "Time is short--I can rest when I'm done."
I have 1/12 of my mission race nearly done. I am going to sprint to the end. When I cross the line, I want to see my Captain, my Coach and tell Him that I kept sprinting.
Keep sprinting! I love my mission!

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