My parents received this letter in the mail from Amanda last week. Amanda is traveling down to Argentina today, so she won’t be able to send an email, but the family will get to talk to her on the phone!
Daddy and Mommy!!
Como estan? That right there is about all the Spanish I know. :) Just Kidding. Sort of. I miss you both a lot!!! Thanks for being so patient with my incessant requests for more socks. For future reference, the George High "Great with loafers" kind are PERFECT. So gracias! To repay you for those, and because I feel bad not having enough time to write better emails, I wanted to write you some things that I'm learning. Emily's free to put them on the blog in fact maybe she should so it's not just about socks too. :)
I'm learning that I don't need to have elegant conversations with people to love them. Not that my conversations are every particularly elegant, but still. It's an amazing feeling to look at someone and immediately feel God's love for them. I'm learning that my part is very, very small in all of this. I'm just the person walking around, studying, wearing the nametag, and opening my mouth. The Lord does everything else. He can magnify the words we speak and make them mighty. He doesn't ask us to convert but to open our mouths. The task of converting is not ours - that belongs to the person hearing and to the Spirit. Even when I have absolutely no idea what to say, all I have to do (usually) is open my mouth and say "Pues..." and sentences are formed in my head that I was not thinking of before.
That happened today - I explained something in Spanish I didn't even know in English. The lady we're practicing teaching is old, has no family, is blind, in a wheelchair, and has a ton of health problems. When we started with her she said she didn't feel God's love in her life, and she totally didn't understand the role of Jesus Christ. Today she asked us some hard questions like "If Christ suffered for all the sins and afflictions of the world why am I still suffering? (Hna. Stradling totally answered that one and basically none of us, including her, have any idea what she said, but it helped her) and then she asked "If Christ suffered for all of that, how does he save me?" so I was sitting there thinking well that's a good question that I totally don't know how to answer in Spanish (by my standards my Spanish is mediocre on a good day) but I'm just gonna open my mouth and start a sentence and then word by word I was saying " Pues... porque el sufrio todo, El puede decir a Dios: "Yo se como ellos sienten, Yo se que ellos han aprendido y han crecido, y yo se que ellos estan tratando ser buenas personas."" Luckily I'd followed the prompting to look up the word "advocate" like two seconds before we went to go teach - it's "defensor." And then she asked "Well if He does that, what do I have to do?" and we were like, "well let us tell you!" :) It was a super good experience, and really shows that I am NOT the teacher in lessons. I don't know what I'm doing half the time. The Spirit is the teacher, and I learn things as I say them. I'm blessed to get to be the one rolling along for the ride.
I'm learning we don't have to be perfect for people to be touched. One of the most helpful things we can do as missionaries is to be happy! It literally attracts people. When we are happy and smiling, we are literally bright. There is nothing that will happen to us that our Savior doesn't understand. He always has and always will take care of us. Ether 12:27 has new meaning for me. It describes how I feel lots of times. But I think it's so interesting that it doesn't say "after you are humbled you'll be able to get better." It says, "then is my grace sufficient for them and I will make weak things become strong unto them." It's as if Christ says "thank you for humbling yourself and having faith in me about this weakness now I'm going to bless you a ton." How merciful and loving our Savior is.
Thank you two for being amazing! I'm learning I am blessed with wonderful parents even more than I thought.
Lots of Love,