Lots of pictures included this week...make sure to scroll down to the bottom.
FAMILIA!! AMIGAS! AMIGOS! hi.
How is life? I truly hope everyone is happy and smiling. If not, do it. Right now. Ok, good :)
Man! This week was gooooood. Probably the best so far! Although I think I say that every week. haha well at least it's not the other way around!
THANK YOU FOR THE BIRTHDAY LOVE!!! I felt so special :) All of the letters and emails and gifts from friends and family were SO thoughtful!! I am surrounded by some amazing people in my life (and if you're reading this I'm talking about you), so THANK YOU. I'm one luck girl :) I have a good feeling my 20th year will be one of the best of my life. What better way than to dedicate a full year (and then some) to the service of my Savior and God's children in Mexico? Rhetorical question! Nothing. Haha
So besides that wonderful day, every other day has just been fantastic. Honestly, it's probably because I choose it to be and see it that way. It's all in the attitude! And just surrounding yourself with amazing things and amazing people and el Espiritu Santo! (the Holy Ghost :)
I have to say, my Sunday was probably THE BEST day so far. Firsts, I had my first Fast and Testimony meeting (where we fast two meals and share our personal testimonies with the congregation at our church service) here at the MTC. We combined church with another zone because it's just our district! And the zone we combined were some friends of ours so it was just perfect! Testimony meetings are so wonderful, because it is a guarantee that you'll feel the Spirit :) It was so special to hear the tender feelings and sincere beliefs of people my age and friends that I've become so close with. I had the literal "heart pounding out of my chest” feeling and the next thing I knew I was out of my seat and at the pulpit. It was amazing how the Spirit lead me to get up, helped me to stay calm and know what to say, and then just engulf me again as I sat down. It was hailing and storming as I spoke, but then as I finished the sun all of the sudden came out and just lit up the room! It was honestly so amazing and such a tender mercy. I have always loves those moments where the sun comes out and you just bask in it! I think God knew that :) I was touched when a few people came up to me afterward and thanked me for sharing my testimony! To know that someone appreciates your sincere thoughts and feelings and it touched or made better by them....I mean what better compliment or accomplishment (if you will) can you have! That is honestly the only way that I want to and hope to spend my life. Being an instrument in the Lord's hands to help and bless others! So one step closer I guess :)
Well the day gets better!!! Can you believe it?? I had a normal weekly interview with one of the Counselors from the Branch Presidency that ended up being very enlightening! (Go figure...enlightenment at the MTC ;) ) Well, he asked me the typical 'how are you doing?', 'what do you think you could be doing better?' questions. My answer was practically that I always think I have room for improvement and could be doing better. He all of the sudden started giving me this whole lesson about the importance of knowing the difference between "the best" and "perfect". Often times we ARE doing our best and there really isn't anything better that we could be doing. He asked me that at the end of my day do I think Heavenly Father would say "Well done Hermana Johnson." He says this to many people in the scriptures "well done my faithful servant." He sees their efforts and he acknowledges them. He also knows that they aren't perfect. I need to remember (and I think we all do) to be happy with what we have, what we are doing, and what we are capable of; and not waste it away wishing or being held back by what we don't have or haven't done. I explained to him that his timing was impeccable, and just the night before I had gotten upset at myself in class for not being able to do something right. I thought what I was doing should be easy and was upset with myself because it was obviously not. I know that what he told me was a lesson that God wanted me to learn. What I am striving for and getting upset at myself for not having, is perfection. And we are not perfect! Perfection is the goal. Perfection takes a lifetime for me to learn and aspire to. I need to utilize what I have and have been blessed with and know that everything else takes learning and time! Some of us have been given "two talents" and some "five talents". As Christ teaches us, the quantity doesn't matter, it is how we use them and show our appreciation to Him for having them! So that's what I'm learning :)
OH. and the day keeps going!!! So we have a Sunday night and a Tuesday night devotional where special speakers come and basically enlighten us. This last Sunday we were blessed to have a musical devotional! We heard from Richard Elliott, the organist for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir who is SO amazing!! He would play some songs and then speak in between. It was a blessing to be serenaded by the man that the Prophet gets to hear all the time. And then...........we got to be serenaded by......DAVID ARCHULETA!!!!! He had returned from his mission in Chile the DAY before!!!! He gave his homecoming talk that morning! So crazy!! How sweet that he wanted to come and speak and sing to US missionaries :) He had THE MOST powerful spirit from his words and pure insight and of course from his voice! I know I don't know him personally or anything, but it is truly amazing to see how a mission matures and grows someone! You guys will have to let me know how is post mission life goes! He is one amazing person.
SO yes. That was basically all my Sunday. haha I hope you all enjoyed it vicariously as much as I enjoyed it in reality :)
Here is a quote I randomly found on a bookmark I received in Young Womens (Shout out to YW leaders!! whoot whoot). It was perfect timing and perfect for us all!
"There is something Inspiring and Sublime about the little forget-me-not flower. Its five petals give pause to consider five things we would be wise never to forget... FORGET NOT to be patient with yourself. FORGET NOT the importance of good sacrifices. FORGET NOT to be happy now. FORGET NOT to "why” of the gospel. FORGET NOT that the Lord loves you."-Dieter F. Uchtdorf
The leaders of our church are truly inspired and of God. I know I really learned that lesson this week when Brother Marrett (the counselor) told me that he honestly didn't know why he was telling me those things until I explained my day before. To prepare yourself spiritually in being a disciple of the Lord is something truly special. And believe it or not, something we can ALL do. So try it. Today. That's my invitation to you all. (yupp. I just committed you. typical missionary)
I LOVE YOU ALL. And that's not just said lightly. The fact that you're reading this shows you care :)
CON MUCHO AMOR,
Ps. I ALWAYS FORGET A SCRIPTURE!!!! sorry.
Ether 12:12' - Faith is an ACTION word. we must SHOW our faith unto the Lord.
HEBREWS 6:10 - not just for missionaries ;)
|me and my companion on my burfday!! the hermans made me a candy chart and we blew up the balloons mom sent :)))|
|GEORGETOWN CUPCAKES!!!! GRACIAS!!!! they were the best|
|all that birthday love <3 getting mail seriously makes my day!|
|at the temple this morning :)|
|yes i know i'm a ham. but this was candid...what can i say! haha THANK YOU FOR THE BIRTHDAY DRESSS :))|
|a group of good friends that we've made! (this was actually after playing volleyball this morning)|
|Elder Howard and Elder Alverez!! They are good friends that both left for Mexico this week. Keep them in your prayers :)|