The wait to email home wasn’t as long this time, 5 days is a lot better than 10! We just got back from the temple like 5 minutes ago. I LOVE that place! The Bogota Temple is SO pretty. I sat next to a Colombian lady during the session and she wouldn’t stop staring at me! It was so sweet! Ha-ha. Afterwards in the dressing room she was talking to Sis. Parry (another American Sister) and I. She was asking us for North American money because she so badly wanted to go to the U.S. We are told not to give money, plus I didn’t have any with me anyway. It was just sad to hear about how badly she wants what we have.
Along with that on Sunday, (btw….Sundays are the BEST in the MTC) we had Relief Society with the 20 sisters here in the MTC and Hermana Dyer was giving the lesson all in Spanish. She asked how many of us have come from all member families and were raised in the church. All the American Sisters raised their hands and a few Latinos. She then asked who hadn’t come from an all member family and almost all the Latinos raised their hands. The tears started to fall as Hermana Dyer talked to them about how they are missionaries not only for their assigned place, but for their families as well. I had heard before I came that a lot of the Latinos were often the only members of the church in their families and would make great sacrifices to serve missions. However, nothing could prepare me for that moment. I became so emotional sitting there watching as these sweet sisters around me cried. In that moment I thought of how blessed I am and grateful to have so much support and love. I think of you all often and am not sure I could do this without so much support and love. After the lesson Hermana Dyer opened up the meeting for testimony sharing. Latino after Latino got up to share their testimonies and I cannot even begin to explain the feeling of the Spirit. These Latinos may not have been blessed with many of the things that I have, but they have greater spiritual blessings than I ever thought possible. I cried as I heard their love for this gospel and the worth of their sacrifice. Near the end of the meeting I found myself on my feet to bear my testimony, for a moment I thought I must be crazy. I don’t know enough Spanish to bear a testimony in front of a whole group of Latinos, but I stood up there and words started coming out of my mouth. I was able to share with them how much I love them and what incredible examples they are to me. I shared the love I have for this gospel and missionary work. I was amazed as I sat down recognizing what had just occurred, it is an experience I will remember and cherish forever.
The 6-week missionaries and Latinos left this morning at 3:00 am. It was sooo hard. We said our goodbyes last night and I got to bed at about 11:00 and at 2:30 I woke up to help them all carry their bags down. We cried as we said our farewells. I will always remember those Hermanas, they changed my life and as they serve they will change others lives as well. They are so kind and even though I don’t always understand everything they say, I feel it, and that is powerful.
Well that’s all that really happened since the last time I wrote you. I love this place more and more everyday. The Spanish is progressing slowly but I was able to go through the temple all in Spanish so that was good. I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week. We get to go play some volleyball now, study and then watch Ephraim’s Rescue in ENGLISH since it is now just us 16 Americans until tonight when more missionaries come in. I think 16 elders from the states and I don’t know how many Latinos are coming. I’m excited to find out!
|Hermana Lomax and Hermana K____|
|The CCM in Colombia - courtesy google earth.|