My companion asked me this week, "If you could start your mission over knowing everything you know now, would you?" Ummm... YES. Without a doubt. I feel like I could serve a thousand missions and never get tired.
Ok maybe that's a lie, but my soul says I can do it.
But honestly, it would be so amazing to start over - knowing the language now and knowing how to teach. But that's what real life is... it really is just a continuation of the mission. I get to apply everything that I have learned into my life back home. I will never, ever be the same!
I remember when President Gardner first got here to the mission, he stood up at the pulpit and looked at us and said so boldly, "You can never be the person you were when you got on the plane and said goodbye to your family. You can never revert back. Promise me you will never be that person."
It was so bold and caught everyone by surprise, but it has stuck with me. I know now so much more than I did a year and a half ago. There's no way I'm going back.
My companion also said that it must be special to be a Spanish missionary. Why? Because it's "double the difficulty, double the blessings." I am exhausted after months and months of striving to learn a new language and yet now, I have become a part of a completely new culture, and I can now speak their language. Double the blessings for sure.
So this week, I have one cool story for ya.
During weekly planning, I felt prompted to call one of our investigators, Danida. She hadn't been progressing; we were just never able to get in with her! It was frustrating because the ONE lesson we had was so amazing, and I was just like, "Come on, lady!" Haha but alas, my patience was being tested.
So we called her and she FINALLY answered! She told us that she was in the hospital with her husband who had just gotten heart surgery. She asked us if we could come visit her. Of course we could! We finished up planning and then headed straight over. We got talking to her and she told us what has been going on. She said every time she tries to come to church, come to an activity, have us over, or read the Book of Mormon, something always gets in the way. And not just something small, something big, like her having to go to the emergency room or her husband having an emergency heart surgery.
It was very humbling to me and all of those thoughts of, "Oh she's just ignoring us" or "She obviously doesn't care" just completely left. I sat there in awe of the way our Heavenly Father chooses to teach us lessons of humility and love.
We talked to her for about half an hour, sharing our testimonies of the plan of salvation and the reality of our Savior and His love. She told us she had read in the Book of Mormon, and what she had read had really brought her peace.
The next day, after church, we came back with a brother from our branch and the elders. They were able to give her and her husband a powerful priesthood blessing. She hugged us and thanked us.
What would've happened if I had ignored that prompting? What if I had just thought, "Nah, she's not interested"? We would've missed out on an incredible opportunity to teach about the atoning power of our Savior Jesus Christ and invite someone to feel the power of the priesthood in their lives.
Never ignore a prompting.
The Atonement of Jesus Christ is sufficient for all people - no matter what.
I quote Elder Holland... because we all know his words are more powerful than mine.
"I do not know who in this vast audience today may need to hear the message of forgiveness inherent in this parable, but however late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.
Whether you are not yet of our faith or were with us once and have not remained, there is nothing in either case that you have done that cannot be undone. There is no problem which you cannot overcome. There is no dream that in the unfolding of time and eternity cannot yet be realized. Even if you feel you are the lost and last laborer of the eleventh hour, the Lord of the vineyard still stands beckoning. 'Come boldly [to] the throne of grace,' and fall at the feet of the Holy One of Israel. Come and feast 'without money and without price' at the table of the Lord."
You are loved, you are not forgotten nor forsaken.
Hermana Brie Gould
pictures: hiking with mi hija, teaching her my ways. Also we brought our baby soccerball, Wilson, along.. lol