"Quizas no tenga yo que cruzar montañas ni ancho mar; quizas no sea a lucha cruel... que Cristo me quiera enviar. Mas si El me llama a sendas que .. yo nunca camine .. confiando en El, le dire Señor, a donde me mandes, ire..... A donde me mandes ire, Señor, a montañas o islas del mar. Dire lo que quieras que diga, Señor.. y lo que Tu quieras, sere." - I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go in Español.... and in English it is...
"It may not be on the mountain height or over the stormy sea... It may not be at the battle's front .. My Lord will have need of me. But if, by a still, small voice he calls, to paths that I do not know... I'll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine: I'll go where you want me to go.... I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord, over mountains or plains or sea... I'll say what you want me to say, dear Lord.. I'll be what you want me to be. "
This could not be more perfect fitting for me right now!!!! My Lord is in need of me and he has called me to do His work and I have answered and am ready to do His work with Him by my side. I am ready to go where the Lord wants me to go even if I don't know the path (California) ... I'm ready to say what he wants me to say, and I am ready with all of my heart to be who he wants me to be. This song touches my heart in many many ways but right now more so than ever before. It humbles me so much!! Also, we're singing this hymn as a District, our last Sunday together... so sad, and so we've been practicing it. We're singing it in Español of course and it is even more beautiful than in English. Ohhh it warms my heart soo much and whenever we all practice singing it I am completely filled with the Spirit. It warms my heart and brings tears to my eyes right now even just thinking about it and writing out these beautful lyrics..... But on to my letter!!!!
¡Mi Familia! Estoy muy feliz ser escritiendo este a ustedes hoy. ¡¿Como le va!? Estoy muy muy feliz aqui en el CCM en Mexico y estoy muy agradecida por la oportunidad ser un misionera por la Iglesia verdadera. He aprendido muchos cosas aqui y amo la oportunidad tengo estudiar mas sobre el Evangelio de JesuCristo y aprender la Idioma de Español.
Okay so I would write more in Español but I have to hurry and I am much faster in English hahaha. Ahhhh can you believe I am already onto my LAST week here in the CCM!? I can't!! Honestly, my mind is blown that I am already onto week 6 and will be in the field in CALIFORNIA!!! I am so so so excited but I just can't believe the time is already here. This week has already started off bittersweet too. I just feel soo so close to my District and am going to be so sad saying goodbye to all of them. Last night I was talking to Elder Ballstaedt and Elder Faerbar about it and we were saying how it feels like we're having to say goodbye to our families again.. These missionaries have truly become my family and best best friends. We have been through soo much together and I love & care for them all so much. Ahh I can't even think about it!! It makes me so sad already!!!! District D in Branch 14..... BEST DISTRICT EVER!!!!! I love my Elders and Hermanas!!
But okay... well first off, tell Haley CONGRATULATIONS on her call to the Phillipine's!! That is sooo so exciting and all week I have been waiting to find out where she's headed. Oh my goodness she will be the most darling missionary ever and I cannot wait for when she is out in the field with me. Oh, I love her so much!! Mom, I'm happy you got to be there at her call opening. Can you send me her email address please?? I want to send her a personal email.... and then let's see... I don't feel like I have much time but I want to start off telling you about the teaching experience me and Hermana Howe had yesterday. So yesterday was the last time we got to teach our investigator Gilberto. We had brought up baptism the lesson before but wanted him to committ yesterday.
So anyways, we went into the lesson with a plan to teach him about baptism, etc. However, we really wanted to let the spirit direct the rest of the lesson and focus as much as possible on his own personal needs in his life and overall just make it a very personal lesson. Well we usually teach outside but it was pouring so we taught in the hallway and this time we had two other Latino teachers watching... This made us a little more nervous at first haha but once we got going I forgot they were even watching. So we started talking to Gil and we asked him about his church atttendance, his feelings with everything, etc. (sorry I am not giving you much of a background on what we've taught him thus far haha) but he said he had been loving church, felt very happy learning more about our Gospel, etc. So anyways, we asked him what he felt he was doing in his life that wouldn't be in harmony with God... etc. because he said he still wanted to recieve that FINAL answer as to if the church is true or not.. so he then told us he drinks alcohol and so we quickly taught him the Word of Wisdom.. then he told us he also drinks coffee and tea.
We taught him why it is important for us to follow the Word of Wisdom, follow God's commandments, etc. and then we led into repentance and then baptism. And okay, so we talked to him about baptism and already the words were just perfectly flowing out of my mouth. I wasn't thinking about the Español and neither was Hermana Howe. We were switching off teaching very nicely, the best we ever have, and she was saying words I've never heard her say so boldy!!! We both were just speaking Spanish the best we ever have and were saying everything with such confidence. Well anyways, I know I am all over the place and not giving every detail of the lesson so you're probabaly super confused haha but after teaching and talking for a little about what was necessary for Gil to hear I all of the sudden had the most overwhelming feeling come over me and I began to bear my testimony. The first thing I said was, "Yo se que esta Iglesia es verdadera" ... I know this church is true. Most simple statement I could say but this time it was different. When I said those words I not only said them but declared them. I said them with such boldness and sincerity that I immediately was completely filled with the spirit and love of our Savior that I began to cry. It hit me right then and there, in the hallway of the Joseph Fielding Smith building in the CCM here in Mexico while it was pouring rain outside... more than it ever ever has that I KNOW THIS CHURCH IS TRUE. And I have the strongest testimony of it's truthfullness and overall goodness. It's amazing how sharing your testimony with others builds your own testimony so much.
I went on to bear my testimony and express my love for this Gospel, for my ever so loving Savior, Jesus Christ and Father in Heaven, my love for Gilberto and my sincere care for him, etc. I testified of the truthfullness of our message, the message of Jesus Christ... expressed to him how this Gospel WILL change his life and that I KNOW that if and felt the Spirit soo so strongly. Well so anyways, I immediately started crying when I was bearing my testimony and then Hermana Howe started crying and Gilberto as well. So all three of us were just sitting there with tears running down our faces while I bore my strong and sincere testimony. And to make the situation even better, while I was talking I also noticed that the two teachers had tears running down their faces and were wiping their eyes as well. It was amazing. The Spirit touched us all soo strongly and after I finished, Gilberto wiped his eyes and with his crying, stuttering voice, told me that he had recieved his final answer. I then invited him to be baptized and he said YESS!!!!!! Which made us all cry even more. And following that, Hermana Howe bore her testimony as well and it was just the sweetest message I've ever heard.
Now I know that this wasn't necessarily a "real" investigator we were teaching... but it was still a lesson for all of us and I know that all of our testimonies were beyond strengthened. It was exactly what I needed. What we both needed. Oh my goodness I can't express how amazing it was and how powerful the Spirit was during that lesson. Me and Hermana Howe were just in complete awe and when we talked about it afterwards we both felt soo so beyond blessed. We immediately thanked our loving Heavenly Father and both just hugged like crazy with tears still running down our faces. I love this Gospel with all of my heart, might, mind and strength and know with a surety that IT IS TRUE. There is no doubt in my mind and I can't express it enough. I also love my teacher Hermano Arevalo "Gilberto" soooo so much and am so thankful for the influence he has already had in my life. He truly has the sweetest spirit and biggest heart I know. He also ALWAYS this big ol' grin on his face and whenever he walks into the classroom we are all uplifted immediately. I love him so much. Such a darling human being. And then as for Hermana Howe, I know I go on and on about her almost every email haha but I truly love this girl with all my heart. She is the sweetest, most darling, Christ-like Hermana and truly one of my best best friends. We both are soo sad we have to say goodbye next week but I just feel beyond blessed to have had her as my first companion. I know that we are companions for a reason and that our Heavenly Father put us together for a reason. I love her and I know we'll be friends forever.
Then as for other updates, I can't think of many specific things at the moment but overall it has been such a wonderful week. I have learned soo so much and have felt my testimony be strengthened ohh soo much every single day. I started reading Jesus the Christ this week too!!! It is AMAZING!!!! Right from the beginning I was glued. All that I have learned about my loving, selfless and overall perfect Savior has been amazing. I am learning soo much about Him and increasing my love and appreciation for him that much more.
Oh, which reminds me... Mom, I apologize for not giving you the scripture for my missionary plaque yet. I have had the hardest time deciding which one I wanted because there are a million I could use and absolutely loove but I finally decided on one!!! The other day I was studying my scriptures and stumbled upon Moroni....
"Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God."
Ohhh I absolutely LOVE that verse!!! It is sooo powerful and just absolutely perfect for me. And it even says "come unto Christ" which was the topic of my farewell talk so it's even more fitting haha. Oh man isn't it so powerful!? The scriptures and Book of Mormon contain SUCH powerful and profound messages. I love it!! Studying my scriptures has truly become one of my most favorite things because I learn soooo much from them every single time. This is the most I have ever deeply studying the scriptures too and found soo much meaning behind every single verse. Oh we are sooo so blessed to have all of this Doctrine and the true word of God!!!! This Gospel is true my dearest family and friends!! I know it for a fact and will never ever ever ever deny it's truthfullness. Ever. I will continue to strengthen my testimony which is soo precious to me and serve my Heavenly Father and ever so loving Savior, Redeemer, Lord, Brother, the Great I Am... every day for the rest of my life. I am the happiest I have ever been and am constantly overwhelmed with the gratitude and happiness I feel for deciding to serve a mission. There is NO greater work on this earth and I couldn't feel more privileged to be apart of it.
Well, I have to go!! We have lunch and then are heading to the Temple one last time!! I am sooo excited. But I'll write more next week and actually I will be writing againso write me back like night... I'll give you my itinerary and I SHOULD be able to call you at the airport in Pheonix. Well I wish I could tell you more... but here are some quick random things... real quick.. it's still pouring rain every day, the other day the sidewalks were literally RIVERS and there were lakes in the middle of the lawns haha... funny quote I have to share for mainly Scotty who always jokes about my feet... the other day in class I took off my shoes for a minute and they were all wet from the rain and have left over scars from blisters, and Elder Ballstaedt said. "you look like you have the feet of a pioneer child!!" hahaha I was dying. Always get made fun of for my feet. But Elder Ballstaedt is my best friend of an Elder here haha so I was laughing so hard. Ohhh I am going to miss my District so so much!!!
Oh yeah, and yesterday all us Hermanas wore black & white polka dot tops as a joke since it's our last week. We looked like fools hahaha but it was fun. Ohhh the things you do after being in the CCM for 5 weeks. I love it. We'll probabaly do more weird stuff later on this week. Oh yeah!! And mom!!!! I got your package with Michael's letter in it!! Hahaha the letter was soo destroyed but I am glad all of the pictures and letter were still in there. That's crazy it got that hashed coming from Brazil. Good thing I'll be in Cali so my mail should get to you very nicely haha. But thank you soo much for sending that to me!!!!!!! I still need to tell you what I want sent from home once I'm in Cali but I have no time for that right now. I have to run!! But anyways, wish I could tell you all more but I really have to go. Oh and cutest thing, Elder Garcia's compañero just took a trip to the store and I jokingly said to get me ice cream and he just came back with an ice cream sandwich for me!!! Hahaha the Elder's are the sweetest!! But okay, love you all more than every star in the sky. ¡TE AMO MUCHO!
Con mucho amor, Hermana Barth