Thursday, April 10, 2014

Spain MTC 4/3/2014

Oh I love to read your letters! They are candy! I am sorry I probably won't be able to write as long of responses. Like I said, I am here at the Spain MTC and I love it! I am sorry I was so negative last time in my letter. God is so generous to me and I need to learn to bite my tongue! I won't tell anyone about the secret. Thanks for all your love and support! I do miss you!|

During the week, things happen and I think "Oh! I need to write home about that!" Then, when I am here, typing, I forget what it is. I wrote in my other email a little bit about what we do, so that is nice.

This week has been really good. I decided after I wrote you I was being silly and I needed to bet better. So, i vented to Sister Haynie, told her I was feeling a bit discouraged, but I knew I was going to be fine, and I have been great since! There was one day we talked to a native Russian who was a real inactive person; her daughter works at the Temple, right next to the MTC so she came and we taught her--- well she taught us! Seriously, she talked the whole time, and has an amazing testimony, she just doesn't like to go to church because she can't understand it.... and she wanted to know why bad things happened to good people, but every time we tried to answer, she talked! Hahaha it was funny, and a good experience, though at the time I was a little sad becuase I COULD NOT UNDERSTAND HER!! Same thing happens when our teachers, who are native Russian speakers, talk in Russian! It is very discouraging... but after I talked to her, I felt a little bit sad and thought "I don't know if I can do this! I can't understand!" Then I remembered that God called me to Russia! And if I continue to study hard, He will help me when I need it. So, I decidede to work harder, and by the end of the week, I was able to understand SO MUCH MORE! So, I am so happy and grateful that the Lord blesses me that way. He is so kind and good to me, Mom, so many blessings! Always! Anyways, so I am feeling much better about that!!
Okay, well, I learned a lot. I realized one night while I was praying that I need more faith. I never thought I had a problem with faith, but I realize I do. I was praying to God, telling Him the desires of my heart, which right now are to change, I want to give myself to him completley, to be crafted into a tool that He can use, to dedicated my life to HIm! ACK! Mom! I cannot tell you how much I want that! Ugh! I can't even, express or say and it makes my chest tight and I just lkfjalsdjflsdfj! I don't know how to explain it! But I am so far, Mom! I am soooooo far! Haha... but that is Okay. When God shows me my weakness, it means I am coming closer to Him... anyways... as I was praying, the thought came to me that I don't have enough faith. Thinking that I am not good enough - that is not having faith in the Atonement. But it goes so much more beyond that!!! I think sometimes "Oh, James will never come back to church," or "I don't know if I will ever know this language... I can see myself going home and not knowing it" or "I am not good enough to feel the spirit when I teach. I know God can help others teach, but not me!" I can't really explain it, you see, I had faith that God can do those things, He can change hearts, He can give the Spirit to people when they teach, He can lead people to find those people who are ready, He can prepare people, He can fill them with the gift of tongues, he can do that, and I know that... where I lacked faith was that he could do those things with ME! So, I was resolved to study faith more... I know that if I try to exercize faith, if I am bold, coupled with the study of faith, if I understand it, find examples, and then apply those examples in my life, God will help me increase my faith. I know this! So, I got a brand new blue floppy Book of Mormon and I started to read and pray and focus on faith for just that Book of Mormon. I amr eading it through, and only highlighting or commenting on things that have to do with faith. I just started, so I am not far, but it is really cool to see. Faith is so powerful! And our faith here is an extention of the faith we had before in teh pre-mortal life. I am excited to see how the Lord will change me through faith..,