Hola! This week was a long one. I don't even know where to start. First off, I am a Texan at heart and I am going to serve in Mexico, needless to say, it is cold! I am excited to worry about sweating as opposed to really cold fingers. The Lord was merciful in sending me to Mexico instead of Siberia or somewhere really cold.
Earlier last week we got to clean the Provo Temple! It closed down for maintenance during the holidays, and we got the opportunity to clean all sorts of rooms in it. What a wonderful experience; I love the Provo Temple! And just the day after that, our District was able to host the new missionaries coming in (we are also doing that tomorrow)--which was a blast to remember having done that and helping them feel comfortable. Throughout last week, we only had one new District in our Zone, so not tons of training (we get 2 new Districts tomorrow!), but it is so fun with Elder Hercules to train these new missionaries. We will often do a role play of "how not to do companionship inventory", and afterwards do a good example. Elder Hercules is hilarious in these, and often we have to cut it early because I'll break out laughing. But really, we love the missionaries in our Zone. We have felt an appreciation, admiration, respect, and desire to help the constantly changing members in our Zone. It is a learning experience trying to be loving and uplifting, while helping them be exactly obedient.
And there was New Years Day. We were worried that some Elders would throw a party or do something crazy that night, so we got up and sat in the staircase at midnight to make sure that everyone was being considerate of those sleeping. Either we were a little too partially-unconscious, or the missionaries were actually quieter than they normally are that night.
The following morning was not a highlight of my MTC experience. As I was stepping out of the shower, I slipped, fell, and landed with my two front teeth on the corner of the cement bench next to the shower. My whole weight was forcefully funneled onto my two front teeth, chipping them, and giving me some bruising that no one can see but I sure can feel. But I am grateful it happened the way it did, because any other way would have been much worse. My hands were holding things so they didn't help lesson the fall, and it easily could have been a broken jaw or something way worse. Needless to say, there were some lessons learned. First, shower carefully. Second, appreciate smiling more. Since it happened on a holiday, I wasn't able to get it fixed until Monday. So for church and all our Sunday Meetings, I was smiling a little awkwardly. I love smiles--"sonrisas". Third, technology is amazing. They fixed it up really nicely, so that the only way you can tell something happened is when you watch my facial expressions while I eat (because it is still tender to eat, even though it is fixed). Well, that was a fun little adventure.
I watched the Joseph Smith Movie yesterday. As I watched this, I was filled with wonderful feelings testifying that Joseph Smith truly was a Prophet of God. He was who he said he was. I know that. I was tenderly touched as Joseph Smith's father asked him, on his deathbed, if he would see Alvin (an older son who died) again. Joseph responded yes, and told his father that he would always be Alvins father. I thought of my Dad. My Mom. My Family. I know, and am every grateful that my family will be together forever, as we turn to and trust in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I know Christ lives. I know it. I know God lives. I am so grateful for the blessing it is to be a missionary (even if it cost me a little piece of my tooth haha).
I love this quote by President Monson--something along the lines of: "If there is a design, then there must be a designer." All things testify that God lives and Christ is our Savior. Every day, I feel like I am beginning to see that more and more.
The next email I send, I should have news on whether or not I got my VISA! I am scheduled to leave in under 2 weeks, but we will see what happens.
Love you all,