I cannot believe that three weeks in the CCM has flown by! I feel like I said goodbye to my family yesterday, however, at the same time, I feel like I have been here forever. It is like a little time warp. Have you seen the first Percy Jackson movie where they get stuck in the casino for like a week because they lose track of time, well that is life at the CCM. Yesterday it was Thursday, today it is Tuesday. It doesn't help that we don't have calendars.
Okay, so there has been some funky virus that has been spreading around the CCM this week and my roommates have gotten it. And so have I...it is terrible and I won't go into detail because it is so terrible, but nevertheless, we are all alive. We were quite worried that we would perish before ever seeing the field, but our casamates brought us supplies during the day so that didn't happen. Hermana Cookson wrote an excellent narrative about our illnesses, but if you didn't experience it you would probably think we were kidding. This week I also got an infection in my arm. I was bitten by some bugs, both on my face and on my arm, but the bite on my arm was infected with some sort of disease. One of my other casamates insisted that I had mosquito babies in my arm which led to a sleepless night...Anyway, my arm was as swollen as it could be and that is no exaggeration. It was solid, purple, and FFFFFFFFFFAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTT. It was disgusting. And I will not grace you with pictures because I love every one of you and would not like to make you barf. But I did go to the doctor and I got some antibiotics that I am still taking, just to let you know, infections like that don't really happen a lot out here which surprised me and didn't instill a whole lot of confidence in me. One of our sisters was really ill, like really ill. So we tried to track down our district leaders which is hard when you can't leave the house and don't have a phone, but after waiting all day, they came and it was truly an answer to our prayers. They were able to give her a blessing and it was the sweetest moment ever because the elders started to get emotional. I think it was some of their first times blessing but it was so sincere and the Spirit was so strong! I loved it and I love our district!
During my illnesses, I have really learned a lot and grown spiritually. Call me crazy, but I think when my body is weak, my spirit is strong and that is when I do the best learning. I have had some of my prayers answered this week and have seen my testimony grow in ways that I never thought were possible. My scriptures are just highlighted beyond belief. Some of the things that I studied this week were: the attributes of Christ, faith, and the Holy Ghost. I have really been struggling to remain patient, both with myself and my companion, but through my studies this week, I have felt myself become more patient. I have learned that having faith in the Lord doesn't mean he will tell us the "why's" of life. Sometimes he expects us to follow the promptings with faith and then rewards us with understanding when we have worked through it, studied it, and asked. I have also humbled myself and come to realize that "God's ways are higher than my ways" and He knows the needs of my investigators in ways that I could never know. As I have put my faith in following the promptings of the Spirit, I have felt my faith grown in my Savior and my Heavenly Father.
I have learned a ton about my Savior as well. For those of you who would like to know more about Jesus Christ, first and foremost read the Book of Mormon, and if you would like to know more about who He is, read Jesus the Christ because that book is amazing. I have learned so much about how selfless my Savior is and I have such an example to look up to! One of my favorite stories has been from a devotional this past week that also tied in to the book. It talked about when Jesus fasted for 40 days and experienced all sorts of trials and temptations. At the end of the 40 days the scriptures say that angels came to minister unto him. Thanks to modern day prophets and revelation, we now know that Jesus Christ, in His time of need, sent angels to minister unto John the Baptist who was held captive in prison. This connects to the book because it talks about Christ's love and after John was beheaded, he went out into the wilderness to be alone but there were multitudes of people who followed him. In Matthew 14:14 we learn that even in time of great sorrow, Christ still took the time to bless and heal the sick of the multitude. How great is that example. How great is it to turn outward, when in most cases of trial, we turn inward. As I have been here at the CCM, I have found many times when I can serve and bless the lives of others when I am feeling crummy. My Savior is the best example for me to follow and as I learn more about who He is, and what He did, the more I find myself being converted to Him. I find myself striving to be as He is (not as He was) and as I keep striving to keep Christ central in my life and becoming more like Him, the Spirit just testifies of His truth and His atoning sacrifice.
For those of you who may need a little extra help this week, I encourage you to take a few minutes and read over a few sets of scriptures: Psalms 25, 3 Nephi 8-11 & 17, and Moses 1
I know that the scriptures truly bless our lives and as we strive to learn from them and discover their truthfulness, the Lord will bless you. Please pray with a sincere heart, which only means having real intent to know if these things are true, and I know that the Lord will bless you with the peace and knowledge that you seek. If you don't know how to tell if the things are true, read in Galatians 5:22 which tells us the fruit of the Spirit. If there is only one thing I have learned here it is that the Spirit testifies of truth and if you are truly seeking for it, you will find it.
I love you all and you are all in my prayers!