It has been an incredible week. I don´t know if there would ever be enough time to describe all that has happened. I think every day we saw multiple miracles. On Tuesday we had our district meeting and we spent some time talking about the Atonement and missionary work and then learned about how to get into houses - because we don´t get new investigators without getting inside the house to teach. We talked about the importance of getting to know the people and talking about stuff that maybe doesn´t have much to do with the gospel, but if we listen well we´ll be able to find something about which we can bear testimony and then invite them to listen to our message. Obviously it says all that in PMG, but we didn´t understand how to apply it before. We practiced it and applied it during the rest of the week and we were able to find 9 new investigators. I haven´t been able to do that in the last 3 months of my mission. It was a miracle and we are so excited to keep doing it and improving.
Hermana Johnson´s birthday was on Friday and I completed one year. We got to spend the evening in a meeting with President Eyring, Elder Ballard, and Elder Christofferson (did you know he speaks Spanish?). It was so great. Elder Christofferson talked about the importance of planning our lessons with the end in mind -a.k.a. what commitments are we going to leave? Elder Ballard talked about his grandfather, Melvin J. Ballard, who dedicated the land of South America for missionary work in Buenos Aires in 1925 and how we are fulfilling the prophecy that he made so long ago that the church here would grow, not like a sunflower that grows quickly and soon dies, but like an acorn - slowly at first, but then flourishes into a great oak tree. It had to have been so special for him to be here to participate in the temple dedication.
President Eyring´s talk was my favorite. He talked about how we all say that we know God lives and knows us, but do we live that way? He talked about how God is intimately involved in our lives and will guide us through the Spirit if we let Him. He talked about his first experience with assigning missionaries. He said he was sitting there with Elder Scott with two computer screens, one with the picture of the future missionary and the other with a little information about them. He said he would look at them for a few seconds and then look at a map of the world. He said one part of the world would just look slightly brighter or stand out than the rest and then he´d ask for a list of the missions in that part of the world and how the same thing would happen there - just a faint, little feeling telling him which was right. He said he did it a few times and then turned to Elder Scott and said, "This is something really important. Is this all I´m going to get?" Elder Scott just said, "yes." It made me think about how closely we need to pay attention to the whisperings of the Spirit. If an apostle only gets a faint feeling for something so important, what can I expect? I also learned, though, that if I´m in tune with the Spirit and listening for it, I´ll be able to recognize it´s still, small voice and respond in the way God would want me to.
He also talked about the importance of being happy as a missionary. We will only do this work well if we are happy. He said the best way we can testify of Jesus Christ is through our smile. Hermana Johnson and I learned that on Tuesday and we have seen the difference in the responses we receive when we feel excited about what we´re doing. Sometimes it´s necessary to fake it til you make it, but if you do, you´ll make it, because happiness is contagious.
The cultural event was so great, too. The dances from Argentina are a lot different than what I´d imagined, but beautiful all the same. We ended it with all the missionaries in the North, South, and West missions as well as the Bs.As. MTC walking onto the field singing "Called to Serve." The re-dedication was wonderful, too. It was hard to stay awake though. We got home late (around 11:30) on Saturday and I think I´ve inherited your problem of sleeping inside the temple. (It was difficult in the MTC, too.) What I was awake for was incredible, though. I never thought the temple would be open during my mission and I am so blessed to have been here for all of this.
I´m out of time. I wish I could tell you more. I love you!