Monday, December 12, 2016

Birthday and Elder Andersen

There is a lot to talk about from this past week. Well to start off I had a great birthday on Tuesday. I spent it at a Zone Conference and afterward we rehearsed for about 3 hours the Christmas program that were going to present on Saturday and Sunday to the two stakes of Juchitan. In the conference President Madsen trained us on the difference between explain and teach. As missionaries we tend to explain too much and sometimes we fail to really teach. If we spend the time talking our heads off trying to explain every little thing in a lesson, the investigator isn't going to learn much. But if we teach with the spirit, that's when the our investigators are going to learn and progress. We did some role-playing as well as focusing on using scriptures to teach every principle. It's always more effective when they see that everything we say comes from the scriptures!

Everyone sang for me and I got a chocolate bar because it was my birthday, so I enjoyed that a lot :) After the conference we started rehearsing and putting together the Christmas program. I'm going to sing a children's hymn called "I know He lives" in a group of four and a duet with Sister Muñoz were going to sing "Santa la Noche" (O Holy Night). It's going to be really fun performing a few songs to finish my mission in the spotlight. ;) I'm a little nervous about "O Holy Night" because that's not an easy song to sing and we both run out of air in the last verse. They recorded us rehearsing a little but of the two songs.

We got to Sister Liliana's house to eat dinner straight from the rehearsal after being in the chapel in Juchitan all day. We got back to eat at 6pm. We entered in Sis.Lilianas house and SURPRISE! A cake with my name on it! Haha Well I wasn't so surprised because I know how sister Liliana is, she really cares for the missionaries.

On Saturday we had the special training meeting with Elder Andersen, Elder Pieper and other area Seventies. Wow I have never been in such a little room with so much power. We had the meeting in the Primary room and I will always remember the words that Elder Andersen expressed to us. He said that whenever we don't know what to say, to testify of Jesus Christ and the words will come by the Holy Ghost. He told us that a few days ago he was with the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve apostles and that they send their love and blessing for us. I got to shake his hand twice and sing a solo in front of him. I remember looking at him during the special musical number that we performed and he had a great big grin on his face. I was a bit nervous but the song went well and the spirit was really strong. 

That night we spent the night in Juchitan and we ate the famous Tlayudas from the Septima. Everyone says they're the best tlayudas in Oaxaca. It was full of meat and cheese and only 35 pesos! Just for the delicious and cheap food that you can only find in Oaxaca I'm coming back to visit after my mission for sure.

Yesterday was the Multistake Conference and there was A LOT of members who showed up. We got there 2 hours before the Conference started and we were all the way in the back of the line and we had to watch the Conference on a tv in another room. I was fine with that because on Saturday we were up close and personal with Elder Andersen. Tithing was touched a lot in the conference and Elder Andersen spoke about Alma 32 and the three attributes that we need to endure to the end are Faith, Diligence and Patience.
It was a fabulous and spiritually enriching week. December is already flying by and Skype day is soon. Its scary how close I am to finishing my mission. I definitely have mixed emotions but I am excited for anything life throws at me. In these two years I've learned that with The Lord on our side, we can do great things!
Love y'all!
Elder Smith

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