3 dias mas. Wow! Can you people believe it? Me either. Sadly, I have very little time to email today, but I'll try to share some of the wonderful things from this week.
Yesterday we had In-Field Orientation all day (which is why we have p-day on a Sat. this week) and it was awesome. Long, but awesome. All day we were in workshops and meetings. Singing, discussing, praying, more singing, learning, practicing, taking notes singing, and teaching all day. It was great! :D I think they should change the day to "Object Lesson Day" because we were learning about everything you need to know in the mission field through different object lessons - strange, but awesome. We learned about Finding People, Working with Members/Ward Council, Planning and Goal Setting, Faith and Miracles, and... I can't remember all of the classes, but they were pretty great.
Other good news! Elder Gardner (in my district) hadn't heard anything about his Visa (for Argentina) so we were really worried he would be stuck here in the MTC Referral Center for a while, but yesterday he went up to SLC to meet with the consulate and he should be getting his visa in the next month or two. Also, he has a reassignment until then and will be leaving for Fresno, CA on Wednesday! Yay! We're all very excited and happy that he won't be stuck here for the next 6 months answering phones.
It's amazing how much I've come to love my district. We are all so tight! We're planning a waffle party for April 2015, and are going to try to stay in contact during our missions with writing. They are some amazing missionaries. True servants of the Lord, and are great examples to me. This work is so great. I'm so excited to get out to CA and start preaching the gospel.
Teaching was pretty good this week, but our teachers have been really challenging and trying to stretch us a lot more. We contacted a girl named "Sarah" this week who was very kind and very strong in her beliefs with a strong testimony of God and the Bible and of her pastor. We tried to share with her a little bit of our message and she completely shut us down, wanting nothing to do with any book other than the bible. It was challenging, but we finally got a return appointment to talk to her about it a little more. One of the hard things to learn (which I'm sure I won't actually learn until I get out in the field and start teaching real people) is to find the balance between preaching the gospel to all - finding people's doubts and filling them with the gospel, and respecting people's agency. It's a fine line, but I'm sure it will come.
Another thing I've been working on (and am continuing to work on) is developing Charity - by that I mean, seeing everyone I meet as God sees them, as a precious child of God. This surely isn't something that I will master quickly, but that will take time. Thankfully, the Lord is patient with us J
I'm almost out of time. The week has been good, nothing too exciting. Oh, the Devotional this week was Elder and Sister Evans from the 70 - pretty amazing. I just want to let everyone know that the Book of Mormon is one amazing book. I feel like I'm reading it clearly for the first time - with spiritual glasses on or something. I am finding and seeing so much more than I ever had before. Read it. Pray to understand it more and to see how it applies to you and your life personally, because I promise it does. It is a book that was written by revelation, translated by revelation, and as you read it you can receive revelation. It is a book of revelation J
Welp, out of time. I leave for Carlsbad on Tuesday. I have to be at the Travel Office by 5:00am with H. Carlson - we're going to the airport together as she'll be flying to Texas, but H. Dudley will be taking a bus up to SLC at 8:00am which is sad. L I'll miss them mucho, but we're all so stoked for the field and ready to share the gospel! Hopefully my Spanish will come along a little better in CA, but I have seen how much my Spanish has improved and it's pretty amazing. This work is pretty amazing.
Hasta proxima semana! Les quiero much!
Hermana Alyssa Escalante
P.S. We have had NO time this week, so I apologize to the several people I have not written back yet (sorry grandma and grandpa! I still love you and appreciate your letters! I'll write soon).