"Good afternoon everyone! Hopefully everyone is having a great start to their day! It's been pretty eventful over here and it will only become more eventful as we go along! Nothing super exciting happened (that I remember). Plenty of funny stories! I'll try to remember to put them all.
So, some disclaimers. Next week we are having... *Drum roll* ... TEMPLE PREPARATION DAY! I finally get to go to the Chicago Temple. I'm excited beyond all belief. And given that, our preparation day will be moved to Tuesday next week, instead of having it on Monday. So, I won't be replying to emails until next Tuesday and they'll probably be a bit shorter as they are on every other zone preparation day.
Second, we have Spanish Conference this Friday and that's super fun! The mission has never done anything like it so it should be interesting.
Other than that, the weather here is doing pretty well. It's currently sunny here in Batavia, Illinois and we'll be heading to Naperville today to run some errands, so my emails back to everyone might be a little dispersed and inconsistent, so I apologize in advance for that.
Here's the week!
We went on exchanges this day and I was in Aurora proper. There. Are. SO. Many. Hispanics. ITS NOT FAIR. It's literally a little Mexico, you don't need any fancy finding methods to find Hispanics because they're all here. We taught an interesting lady named Isabel Lomeli which basically ended with us dropping her.
We went to a members house for dinner and we saw a ton of success with getting names from them of their friends who need the gospel. Tons of potential there!
WE FINALLY FINISHED WEEKLY PLANNING THE SAME WEEK WE STARTED IT. I was so proud of us, we haven't been able to do it since I got here. So that was an accomplishment. Right before curfew we went to downtown St. Charles to go to a restaurant that supposedly a less active member owns, but we decided when we were outside of it that we should probably wait until we plan to eat there so we just don't walk in like creepers asking for people that we don't know and whose name we don't know either. BUT as we left we saw a guy with two pieces of wood resting on two stand-up road signs, jumper cables, what we thought was a car battery, and he was setting the wood on fire. So we thought "Let's go contact him." After talking to him for a while he was actually doing a Pinterest project that his boss found and it was a microwave battery instead of a car battery. I debated naming the email "We didn't start the fire; it was always burning since the microwave's been turning!" But that's a little long
Now I explain why I named the email the way I did. We cover a place called West Chicago (which actually isn't that close to Chicago) so we went there to the train station to try contacting because we had never done it before. When we got out of the car we contacted a man (who turned out to be very drunk) and basically by the end he said he couldn't be Mormon because he had brown skin and didn't have a white shirt and tie. And as he left he said, pounding his chest repeatedly with his fist "Be strong. BE STRONG! Stronger than the rest!" And then did the Nazi salute and walked off. When we asked him his name he said "Mario Whweoriueshfodskghd". We weren't sure what to do, so we just kept walking to the train station. When we got there, I opened the door and immediately looked to the right. I saw a pulpit with a blue heart and flames and I said "This isn't the train station" and when I looked over to the right I saw a man with a beard dressed in some army uniform, standing in front of a congregation of people dressed in black robes with bibles (I assume) in their hands. Everyone turned at us and stared, and we stared back in turn, frightened. I think I said something like "Uhhhhhh" and then closed the door and we both went out speed walking. When we left we heard the man yelling at the top of his lungs in, what sounded like, German.
This day wasn't overly exciting. We visited some Elders and had a good talk with them for a while. Had MCM, fun stuff.
On Wednesday the High Priest group leader took us out to ice cream and beforehand he told us a really interesting story that he heard that he wanted to share with us, and in turn I would like to share with you. It's not 100% the same because I don't have it written down and I have to translate it from Spanish to English, so bare with me!
The very first emotions that entered the world were Hate, Lust, Envy, and Jealousy. They reigned over the world for a while until God sent Love to counter those emotions. And since then Love had reigned unmatched. One day all the emotions gathered together, and decided that they were going to murder Love. Hate said "Give me a month, and I'll murder love" but after a month was unable to do it. Lust tried and said "Give me a month, and I'll assassinate Love" but was as well unsuccessful. And such was the same with Envy and Jealousy, given a month but unsuccessful in killing Love.
Thinking about planning about what they should do, an unknown figure come out of the shadows and said "Send me, and I'll bring Love dead before you". Everyone was taken back and asked the unknown figure his name, but didn't reply. He only said "Give me 3 days to a week, and he'll be here."
On the fifth day, the unknown figure brought Love dead, and the other emotions were amazed. "Who are you?" They asked "How'd you do it?" "Why couldn't we do it?". Now, the question is to you; who do you think this unknown figure was? Think about who it could've been...
The unknown figure was routine. Routine killed love. I was surprised when I heard this, but the more I thought about it the more it made sense. Sometimes we do some things for so long, or we become so casual with certain habits or things that it loses the special feeling. It's no longer exciting. It's no longer fun. It's not as rewarding. It nulls our spiritual sensibility and sucks the thought that is needed to receive revelation.
Routine can kill love, and this story goes with something that President Griffin said to us recently. In specific, he was talking about studying the scriptures. This is what he said:
"The higher law of study is to study for others. We study to become better disciples of Jesus Christ. Sure, you might pick up some scriptures here and there. Maybe memorize a couple or have some neat bits of knowledge. But if you just study for knowledge, you will be empty in the end."
If something becomes too casual for us; whether it be the scriptures, prayer, church, temple attendance, we rob ourselves and we cheat God. No one wins. More importantly, if we lack love in any of those aspects routine will easily reign. If we're supposed to have joy in what we do then let's make sure that, even if we have to do it regularly, we are anxiously engaged, and that we are where we are when we need to be there.
"Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness" (D&C 58:27)
I love you all!
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