MUSICAL PROGRAM. I've never been so stressed IN MY LIFE. Headaches galore, tense neck and back... I FEEL SO GOOD now that it's over :) :) I know it's selfish of me, but I'm SO relieved that the singing video didn't work. I'm sure it was ok, I just don't want you to hear me sing. Hahaha I'm so glad you got a video of me crying in Spanish. How darling, right? Hahahaha The program went well, and it looks like President might want to do it throughout the mission. SHOOOOTT. You mean I might have to do it AGAIN?! Rats. Hahaha
Hna Abellan and I went to Chili's. A member forgot they signed up to give us dinner, so they bought us a gift card. Going to restaurants makes me trunky. Just a little something for you... Hahaha
FUN FACT: Our branch president looks like Sylvester Stalone/Rocky. It makes me happy :)
The song I played for I had to learn in a week and a half. I can't thank mom and Sister Shirley ENOUGH for teaching me how to learn a song, and making me practice. The last two pages of that song are rough, and THE DAY OF the program, I was FINALLY able to play the song without stopping. I made mistakes, yes, but they would have been noticable if I had stopped to correct them. That, I learned from Sister Shirley. YOU'RE THE BOMB! :)
There's a family here who I just LOVE. They're all super Mexican, but the best part is one of them reminds me of Mike LaFontaine A LOT. I literally feel at home when I'm in their house. It's awesome. We did service with them (yard work!!). Did I even express my love for yard work? We were ripping out shrubbery and all that glamorous stuff. I just love dirt and grass!! Haha :)
Oh yeah... Funny story. So one of the English wards asked my compaion to do a special musical number in their ward. We thought it started at 12, so we get there at 11:45ish and walk in as they're... SINGING THE INTERMEDIATE HYMN. It started at 11. Hahahahaha BUT! We sat down as the next speaker got up to speak. I sat down, looked up, and then looked at my companion with eyes bigger than my face and said "I KNOW HIM!" I looked at the woman who was sitting on the stand who had already spoken and thought "OH MY GOSH, I KNOW THEM BOTH!!" So I pull up LDS tools on my iPad and search their first names (because he said them in his talk) and sure enough!! Ryan and Ashleigh Di Lello. Ring a bell? Then I whipped out Facebook to see if I was right, and AS SURE AS THE SKY IS BLUE, they were on SYTYCD. The LDS ballroom couple on So You Think You Can Dance. And let me tell you, THEY ARE AWESOME. As in, real life humans. SO nice, and at least HIS talk (I didn't get to hear hers) was AMAZING. So I got to talk to them a minute, which was awesome. I'm speaking in their ward next month. NO PRESSURE, they're just world traveling professional ballroom dancers. THEY'RE ONLY FAMOUS PEOPLE. Hahahahaha
OH OK, it's miracle time. Now's the best part. ARE YOU READY FOR THIS?!
You're not... Because I wasn't either. Anyway... proceed with the miracles...
Yesterday when I was basically waiting in line to talk to the Di Lello's, a member of the ward was talking to us, and he got emotional and said something to us about how "There's somebody, somewhere waiting for you. Somebody is hurting and only needs you to find them." I always knew that, but the way he said it struck me. Then we went on throughout our day. On our way home from a stake meeting, we walked by a house where there was a family going inside, speaking Spanish. We made note of the address and planned to come back. We went to dinner, went on with our day, then...
We were leaving our house to go contact that family when we passed a big box that said "FREE", surrounded by BIKES. We knocked the door and asked if it was the bikes that were free. GUESS WHO GOT A BIKE!! It needs a lot of help, but we're going to fix them up today and hopefully buy the things (locks, lights, helmet) so we can stop being late to appointments and stuff... :) TENDER MERCY! I was literally JUST thinking that day about how nice it would be to have a bike.
So we took the bikes back home then set out again to contact that family. And wouldn't you know it, the mother was sitting on the front porch watching her two children play. We asked if we could come talk with her and she said yes. We got to know her a little bit and then asked if it was ok if we prayed and shared a message with her. She said yes! We started by talking to her about how much God loves her. We asked if she believed God loved her, and she said yes. We asked how. She began to cry as she watched her unusually small 3 year old throw leaves in the air, laughing hysterically. She told us about how her son was born at 5 months, and then spent his first 5 months of life in the hospital. She told us about how hard it's been with his health, but how she doesn't "believe" God loves her and her family, but she KNOWS. Her husband came out and started listening to us. We shared a video about eternal families with them, and about half way through the video the kids (8 year old daughter and 3 year old son) came to watch it too. The whole family was able to feel the spirit, and they said we can come back and teach them more. The spirit was SO strong with that family, I really really think they're one of the reasons Hna Abellan and I are both here. I feel like they're so prepared! I can easily see them at their baptism, and later at their sealing. They're such a special family!
Another little miracle happened earlier in principios class. We were learning about the life of Christ, and at the end of the class we were asked to read the portions of the chapter about the atonement and think about it, then share thoughts or something we learned. Everybody was sharing their thoughts, so I wasn't planning on sharing what I learned from it, but the Spirit was spiritually hitting me in the face trying to get me to share it. So the SECOND there was a break, I raised my hand. The one thing that jumped out to me when I was reading it is when it said that God's spirit was even withdrawn from Christ in His suffering. He suffered EVERYTHING, and not only did He suffer EVERYTHING, but He had to do some of it ALONE. We only have to suffer for ourselves, while He suffered for EVERYONE. He did it alone. Completely alone. And because He did it alone, we don't have to. We sometimes feel alone, but we're not. Because of His sacrifice, we NEVER have to suffer alone. The class ended, and a less active woman who was sitting next to me got up and hugged me because they were getting ready to leave. I hugged her back, but then went to let go of the hug. She held me tighter and started crying. She said "What you said... Thank you so much for what you said. It was EXACTLY what I needed to hear..." I barely met her the night before, and the Spirit was able to get me to say what SHE needed to hear. I didn't know why I needed to say it until after I did, but Heavenly Father knew what she needed, and used me as a way to touch her heart. WOW.
So yesterday was full of miracles. I'm so grateful that after the most stressful week of my life (worse than finals week), I was able to witness aaaalll of those huge miracles. AMAZING.
GENERAL CONFERENCE IS ALMOST HERE!!! I can't wait. I likely won't go again. Because of the huge amount of missionaries, we will probably only be able to go once on the mission (as opposed to 2, like it was before). I went last October, so I probably won't go again. But that's ok! I got to hear ELDER HOLLAND'S talk IN PERSON, so I'm content :)
I love you all so so so much! Mom, I'm writing you a really long letter for Mother's Day (I'm starting it now, so just imagine what it'll be when I finish!!) It makes ME cry when I read it, so you'd better stock up on your tissues NOW, because a letter for a mom such as YOU isn't a little something. I love you so much!
Keep on keeping on, family. Y'all's the best there's ever been!