Happy 4th of July everyone! While you're out having BBQ's, waterfights, and partying, I'm going to be in class then go to a devotional! So I'm sorry, I'll be the first to tell you that I feel bad for you all. I'd stick with my plans ANYday.
This week was so great! Here's why:
One of the new Elders in my zone was having some troubles being here, he wasn't sure what to do, and he was just having a really hard time. He asked our zone leaders what time the counseling center opens (I didn't even know they had one here). Our zone leader told him and then said, "there's actually an Elder in my district whose like a certified therapist, counselor... person. Want me to go get him to see if he can help you out?" The troubled Elder said he'd love that. So I get a knock on my door and I'm told that my services are needed. (I know what you all are thinking and no, I did not hypnotize him. When I worked in the psychological counseling center at SUU I did normal sessions as well--so just get that out of your head. Thank you.) ANYwho so I went to his room and just talked to him out in the hall for close to an hour. By the end he was just so much happier and doing great. Great right? Just wait.
So the next day I went to his room again to check up on him. The first thing he says to me is, "So, I've made my decision, I'm going home." I was super shocked by this because he was doing SO great by the time we were done talking the day before. I actually don't really know what I said for the next 45 minutes. All I know is that it sure wasn't me who was saying any of that stuff to him. I just remember thinking "dang, I should be feeling super bummed that I failed and he wants to go home!" but I didn't feel that way at all. I had the strangest feeling of peace.
Then the NEXT day I go down to his room to see if he was still there because as far as I knew, his bags were packed and he could've already been home. BUT he runs out and gives me a hug and says "I'm staying!" I was shocked once again but he's here and he's doing better than ever.
It was SO nice to be back in my element. Being at the MTC is great, but I just feel kinda weeny because I'm not actually helping real people. I'm teaching my teachers all day who are already members and they are just making up different pretend problems. Anywho, it was just a cool experience and just goes to show you how powerful the spirit really is.
Other than that, we had an incredible fireside on Sunday where the speaker acted out the entire account of Willard Richards (I think that's his name) It was awesome. He had props and a costume and told the story of the restoration and Joseph Smith just like Willard writes it. It was INCREDIBLE! There were so many different little stories about Joseph Smith that were just crazy and amazing to hear about. (And is he a prophet or what?!) At the end we all stood up and sang "Praise to the Man." Good earth, let's just say my eyes got a little sweaty and it takes a lot for them to sweat.
Last night we had Elder Kukuchi (I think that's how it's spelled... I really gotta start writing these names down). He's a former 70 member. His talk was really really good. I'll quote on of my favorite parts:
"Sometimes, if dog is barking you, you just say, 'hello dog, I love you.' Maybe dog will feel spirit and stop barking you."
Oh man, I got the biggest kick out of that. It was a great talk though.
Things are going fantastic here. It's the weirdest feeling to begin to catch on and get good at speaking another language. (at least for me because I've never been able to fluently speak another language before) Especially when the spirit is helping you. I'll just spew out a sentence I didn't even know half the vocabulary to, let alone how to conjugate it! BUT I know that it all comes with obedience and relying on our Lord.
As always, if you haven't read the Book of Mormon today--Do it. Fireworks don't start until dark, so you have no excuse.