How was this week for everyone? How is work going mom? I forgot to mention last time, congrats to uncle Pete being the new Stake President. That’s awesome!
Wow what a week! So much to tell you! So many ups and downs as you can expect from a missionary :) but the positive outweighs the negative by a landslide!
So last Thursday after I had my first p day I was feeling a little down.. but in a weird way! I was having some doubts… not doubts about being on a mission but doubts like am I worthy enough to be a servant of Christ...I kept thinking like I have made mistakes in my life; Am I letting everyone down.....But then at the same time I was like, But I am worthy. A ton of crazy things running through my head! It carried through until Friday. Every night we have a devotional with our zone. Friday night Elder Davis, the zone leader who has been a great example of hard work to me, gave the devotional. He read Joseph Smith history 1:20. It was so amazing! He told us how Satan puts things in our head to give us so many doubts to bring us down. The spirit was sooo strong as he spoke to us and I felt such peace and knew that Satan was trying to get in my head. The Spirit comforted me then to tell me that I am striving to be like Christ and I am exactly where I need to be! That was one of my favorite highlights of the week.
SUNDAY. Sundays are like Heaven in the CCM. It’s what we all look forward to. For Relief Society we watched the conference talk Approaching The Throne of God with Confidence by Elder Jorg Klebingat. I don’t know why I don’t remember that talk but it is one amazing talk and you should watch it :) My favorite part of the talk was, "Spiritual confidence increases when you take responsibility for your own spiritual well being by applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ daily." The spirit was incredible and it uplifted me a million times more!
Next was sacrament! I was asked to give a 5 minute talk on baptism and the Holy Ghost in Spanish. I was feeling pretty good about it... and then....walks in... President Pratt and his wife (MTC president) and the other members of the Presidency. They all came to our branchs’ Sacrament Meeting. Let me tell you President Pratt is not a warm fuzzy kind of guy so I got terrified…But it went well, I felt that the spirit helped me talk and I felt that others felt the spirit as I spoke. Our district also sang The Spirit of God for the musical number and that was great too. I can’t describe the spirit here. It’s just so overpowering and amazing! We get to watch a video every Sunday night and we got to watch The Restoration! It’s a great movie and my testimony of Joseph Smith was strengthened mucho by watching it.
For some reason Monday just didn’t want to be my friend. When we very first walked into class one of the elders in our district told me that I looked homely…He wasn't kidding....So I was like well that wasn't very nice but I tried to just shake it off. Next we had our first lesson with Marcellino (really our teacher Hermano Palma). I felt like the lesson went pretty well but for his feedback he told us that we taught too much doctrine for the first lesson and that he felt like we didn't love him. So I was like shoot, I can't even make a fake investigator feel loved?? But me and my companion talked about what we could do better and what we would fix it for next time (which we did, we taught him again Wednesday and it was 12 million times better). Any way after that it was time for gym and I was like okay good I can get my thoughts together and get my feelings back to normal! So we walk out of our classroom and our Branch President, Hermana teachers, MTC presidents wife are in the hallway and I was like hmmm that’s strange... and what do you know they call my companion and I in! My companion has had some issues with modesty and flirting and has not liked the encouragement from myself or teachers to change that. Sooo we got to have a meeting with the big guys. They showed the whole website about dressing and what not. They didn't get upset with me but they told me I need to be more stern with the sisters about following rules. I didn't want to tell all this to you to make you feel bad for me.
We went back to our casa after that meeting to change for gym and I took the time to pray about the whole day. While I was praying I remembered about the Relief Society lesson we had and a meeting we had earlier with President Pratt. PRAY! I was feeling like everyone was ganging up on me (really they weren't, I just need to learn how to get over myself and not be sensitive). I expressed all my thoughts and feelings to Heavenly Father and I KNOW that he listens to our prayers. We can pray to him about ANYTHING! I am so grateful for our Heavenly Fathers love! And then the end of Monday went fabulous, staying positive out here is so important!
I have had a couple very spiritual experiences the last two days. Last night our districts heads were all about to explode because of so much espanol haha. We had 30 more minutes before we needed to go home and we decided to take that thirty minutes to sing hymns. (Oh I am in the choir, might as well be uncomfortable in every situation possible, I actually really love it though.) I have never felt the spirit so strong while singing hymns! It was amazing! I ended up crying while singing (still a baby) but I had such a strong feeling while singing that Grandpa and Grandma Nielson, and Grandma Gifford are all on the other side helping me. I had a feeling as if they were there singing with our district. One of the most amazing experiences I have had yet.
Today!! We got to leave campus!! The one time of the six weeks!! We got to visit the Mexico city temple. The temple is closed for about a year for reconstructing so we spent most the time in the visitors center. While we were in the visitors temple we watched a video on families. It was showing a persons life, birth, growing up, marriage and then death. The message was about eternal families. And once again, so spiritual! I know that we can all be together forever but we MUST endure to the end. I want to be with you guys forever so help a sister out and endure to the end :) Family! I am so grateful for you and I love every single one of you!
Random fact: There is an elder in my zone that is from South Dakota and he knows Tod Kirton! Its a small world here! Turns out a girl in my very own district is in Uncle Eric's ward! She's a hoot.
Well anyway, I love you all! This week...PRAY. Heavenly Father is always listening to you and answering our prayers. My favorite quote of the week, "With any major decision there are cautions and considerations to make, but once there has been illumination, beware the temptation to retreat from good things. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. Don´t give up when the pressure mounts. Certainly, don’t give into that being who is bent on the destruction of your happiness. Face your doubts. Master your fears. Cast not away therefore your confidence. Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you." Jefferey R. Holland
Love, Hermana Gifford
|We were pretty excited to leave campus|
|Beautiful Mexico Temple|
|My 1st letter in the MTC - Thanks Liz!!!!|
|The Book is true, no matter what language|
|The best chocolate in the world! - Bueno Bars|
|What I eat every day for lunch and dinner - I've lost 5 lbs - hahaha!|
|What everyone else eats|
|Hermana Christensen and I - Uncle Eric is her dentist and home teacher!|