Well, as of today I have officially been a missionary for a month now! Well, tecnically yesterday, because I got set apart the 10th, but I count it as today! I can´t believe that it has already been a month now! The time sure flies when you are having fun! But seriously, I can´t get enough of this place! We had our first Sunday here, and it was so good! It was fast sunday, but I didn´t mind it that much, because that meant more time for us to learn the Gospel! In Sacrament meeting, we had the opportunity to bear our testimonies in Spanish, and I was thinking about bearing mine, but as soon as they announced the time was ours, about 20 missionaries got up and went straight for the stand, so I figured I would just sit this week out. But I had this nagging feeling throughout the whole meeting, so as about 5 or so of them were done, I just decided that I needed to get up there and bear my testimony, so I did! I know my Spanish wasn´t as good as it could have been, but I felt the Spirit so strongly in just that short two minutes of bearing my testimony! I am so glad that the Spirit was pushing me to get up there, because I was so glad I had the chance to get up there and share what I have experienced!
For our ´devotional´ here, we didn´t have any speakers here of course, so we watched an older clip of Elder Holland in the MTC. Now that I think more about it, he is easily becoming my favorite apostle by far! He is so direct to us missionaries and is not afraid to tell what he really thinks, so that really makes me strive to be the best missionary that I can be and to work as hard as I can. He gave an analogy of what Peter and the other apostles did when Jesus was crucified. In the last part of John, it tells the story of the Apostles not knowing what to do when Jesus left, so they just resorted to going back to what they did best, which was fishing. They weren´t having the best day, and they were getting pretty frustruated by the time night came. Then they saw a man on the shore who told them to cast their nets on the other side. Once they did, they caught so much fish that they couldn´t bring the net back in! Once Peter realized that the man was Jesus Christ, he dove off of the boat and swam as fast as he could to shore. When he got there, Jesus asked him if he loved him more than Peter loved the fish, and Peter answered yes. Jesus continued to ask him three times, and Peter answered yes three times. At the end, Jesus said that they needed to feed his sheep. Elder Holland likened that to us and said that we need to leave our boats, or our distractions back at home and feed his sheep. He continued to tell how much Peter took that to heart, and he became the best apostle he could be. He said how people were traveling night and day just to have the chance to be in the shadow of Peter, becuase he was that good of an apostle. It really puts it into perspective on how good we can be as missionaries! I just thought I should share that story with you guys, because I really liked it!
The MTC here is so much fun! Everyone here is so nice and friendly, especially the Latinos! My roomates are awesome, everyone is just awesome! By the way, if you guys have ever heard of the book ´The message´ by Richardson, look for it, because my roommate Elder Peña knows that family, and said it was one of the best gospel books he has read! On Thursday we had our first chance to go to the Temple! It was such an amazing experience to go to the temple here! Once we got there, we had to wait about 40 minutes because the Temple was so full, so we spent that 40 minutes outside of the temple and talking to some of the members that happened to be at the Temple! We had groups of teenagers that took our pictures, we sang with some little Houndouran children that happened to be there, that definitely added to the experience at the Temple! But we finally got to go in, and I was kind of hoping that everything in the temple would be in Spanish, but they separated us Nortes from the Latinos and we did it in English. But they promised that we would do it in Spanish by the time we leave in a couple weeks, so I am excited for that! But the Spirit was so strong there, and it was so cool to be able to do temple work in another country! It really just shows how widespread the church is and how it can touch so many people! It really just makes me want to go out into the field right now and teach as many people as I can the happiness that i felt on that day! But I know that I need to learn as much as I can and learn the language better, and it will all come with time! But I know I am doing the right thing by being here. If I can do what Peter did and forget all of my distractions and become the best that I can be, I can share that happiness that I have felt in just this month with all of the poeple of Guatemala! I can´t wait to share as much as I can, and can´t wait to get out into the field!
I love you all. I don´t have much time, but I love how much fun you guys are having at home! I love you all so much, and thank you so much for the support!
Love, Elder Stuart