Thursday, January 23, 2014

...I will strive, and will be the best missionary I can be...

Hola familia!

I hope everyone had an amazing week! I forgot my journal at my residence so I will try to remember everything that happened!

So I mentioned yesterday that we had Elder Bednar at our devotional last week. wHAT!? Yeah, awesome right?? He gave such a great talk touching on women with the priesthood, testimony of the book of mormon, teaching with the spirit, and how to be better companions. It was just about the best thing ever. Sunday we got to see a devotional he gave a couple years ago called "The character of christ" OHMAHGOODNESS. It was so awesome! 

So we wrapped up with our investigators and my whole district did so well. My companion and I committed all 4 to baptism, went through all the lessons, helped 2 with relapses, and dunked em in the bath tub :P haha it was so great though. Actors or not, the experiences they share are real, and the spirit brought into the conversation is real. Can't wait to start being the instrument to change the hearts of those in my mission! 

Quick side note: My singing. It's gotten less terrible!! So I am pretty much singing hymns everywhere I go. I have an elder and a sister from my district giving me tips and advice and everyone says they can at least stand being around me now so that's improvement right?? haha :P But really, it keeps me in such a great mood! Although i'm sure my companion doesn't appreciate it in the morning when I shower. Haha Oh hhwell. :P

So we had this awesome teaching excercise where we could only use the book of mormon as a reference in our lessons. It was a little tough because I wanted to pull some stuff out of D&C and couldn't :/ but we planned and organized and got through our lessons and I was like woah! It's all we really need. Just came across as having so much power. It was so nice!

We added 16 new members in our zone, 8 sisters and 8 elders. They aren't as  fun as our original zone though :/ 7 of the girls are from Colombia and one is from the US somewhere.......  They're sketch. haha kidding, just awkward at times.  o.O

My companion and I were helping sister vasquez and sister Newton from my district pack and clean up our class room, and they both asked me if I could give them a blessing for their trip. I was so struck and honored. I asked if it was okay for my companion to do one and i'd do another and they agreed. So my companion and I went up, and he said the blessing for sister vasquez. Then I did sister Newton. I cannot explain to you the feeling I got when I gave that blessing. It's literally like I was standing there, talking but kind of outside of me listening. I can't even recall what I said in the blessing. The priesthood is the power of God. Literally. & like I mentioned in my farewell, the fact that you can respectfully provide a blessing because you know you are worthy to give it is just about the best feeling ever. It was such a tender moment and I know she felt it too. So awesome!

Thought of the week: I will strive, and will be the best missionary I can be. The experiences I will gather from my mission in being obedient and fully dedicated to the Lord will provide blessings on a personal, spiritual, and also family aspect. For some reason during one of my classes we talked about the people we want to be when we returned. (mostly cuz so many RM's fall away) and I strangely thought of what I wanted to be as a son, friend, but mostly focused on what type of husband and father I wanted to be. & that is one who is dignified, devoted, and loving in the gospel and family. My goal is to be worthy of being married and sealed honorably in the house of the Lord. (we're going deep) haha but yea, had to write that cool thought!

There are 4 people form my original zone left. It was so sad to see everyone go. Brother Stuart's and Ben's journal were a hit with everyone! They all wanted one! haha but I passed it around like it was a yearbook in highschool haha everyone laughed at me because I would write novels in theirs haha I lloved every one of them so much. It's different how being set apart and having the spirit so close to you heightens your emotions. Every time one of them came to me for troubles they were having I would hurt with them. Their sadness became mine and I did everything to help them. Ah! Crazy!!! I love it though. You really come to appreciate everything about everyone and it's so great.

Well I can't think back on anything else. OH!!!! did I mention I went to the temple again today??? I have come to gain such an appreciation for it!!! Did I mention last week that there is a new video?? Go watch it! although idk if it's out everywhere. It is so cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I like the actors better on the last cool one but eh, you win some you lose some. Still just about the best ever though!! and words around the fountain is that there are still 2 more editions coming out!! crazy right?? ahhhhhh!

Well if I think of anything else I will update. I head off to st george tomorrow in case you send me mail! I love and miss you all! May we always strive to be christ-like !

Til' next week!
Elder Castellanos