Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Abide With Me; Tis Eventide

Hey everybody!!!!

Of course, again, shout outs to the emails I received, including Assael, Emily, Camille, Kailey, Crys, Natalie, Lizzie, Will, Nanny, Lara and the girls, Sanora, Trina, Steph and Dad. I love ALL of you so much, and it is so humbling to open my email and see all these messages... I love you guys so much, and you really don't know how much it means to me.  You are all wonderful people and you are all in my thoughts and prayers. 

To all the girls, remember that you are daughters of a Heavenly Father who knows you perfectly and understands all of the fears you have and all the endeavors you are capable of following... Talk to him. ALL the time. It makes all the difference and whether you are religious or not, it brings about his love... And I KNOW after these past couple weeks that he exists.  

To the boys, missionary work has been the most fulfilling conquest of my life, and I have only just started. Boys? PREPARE. Make it a priority.  It will change your life in ways you can't imagine... And honestly, only Day 14.  To all of you, I know that God lives and that the power of the atonement is real, for repentance and for drawing upon strength... Use it always.  

STORIES of the CCM....
First story, being district leader was hard.  I will probably be released this week, and HEAVENS was it difficult.  It often felt like like the moment they called my name, I became the enemy to many missionaries. But... Through a lot of friendship building, I can honestly say that my district is BY FAR the best in this CCM. No kidding - ask some of the others. They agree.

Next... Word got around that I sing, somehow. Not like I am singing everywhere I go or anything.
Of course not.
That would be weird.

Either way, the Hermana (Sister) called as the music director asked me to sing a solo on Sunday.  So... Jolley and I performed Hymn #98 (In the Spanish Hymnbook), called Conmigo Quedate, Señor. Better known as my favorite hymn... Abide with Me; Tis Eventide.  Jolley accompanied me, and it was wonderful. Music has a power no one can comprehend....

In fact, last night was the first send-offs in the CCM since I have arrived (the current 6-weekers).  So, what did we do, as the Guatemala MTC?  We all (149 of us) All bunched into a tiny room and sang hymns halfway into the night.  The sweat was gross... But very empowering.  I played drumbeats on the clothing cupboards (cuz that was the only place I could fit. Seriously, the rooms are tiny and there were A LOT of us).

There have been more spiritual experiences than I can describe.  The spanish is coming more and more, and... DANG it gets hard sometimes. Especially, because as of Wednesday, our teachers (the legitimate HARDEST in the CCM) decided we get a badge of honor... A little clip on the bottom of our missionary nametags that reads:
No Hablo Ingles...
Translation? I do not speak english.  EVERYWHERE we go... We are not allowed to speak english.  Do we anyway?  Yes.  Often?  Maybe to us.

The spanish language is beautiful.  Our classes are full immersion at this point, which means we are taught solely in spanish.  Hard... But so rewarding.  We teach in Spanish on a regular multiple-times-a-day basis.  Fun huh?

Um, one lesson that really stuck out to me this week is this:  Lehi was called (so to speak) by God to leave the comfort of his home to go into the wilderness, then eventually sail across the ocean to get to the promised land, right?  

First Book of Nefi (Nephi).  Great story. You all should read it.  And, it's way funny to imagine the Angel that stopped Laman and Lemuel from beating Nefi talking kind of like, "GUYS. REALLY.  YOU DON'T GET IT YET?  NEPHI is chosen to lead BECAUSE OF STUFF LIKE THIS.  You wonder why God has issues trusting you guys?  MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T BEAT YOUR BROTHER THE PROPHET WHEN HE DOES WHAT GOD SAYS.  MAYBE.  JUST MAYBE.  THINK ABOUT IT.  Geez.... AND DON'T MAKE ME COME DOWN HERE AGAIN.  COME ON."  Etc... I always get a laugh out of it.

ANYWAY, our maestro told us that our missions kind of work the same way.  Call to serve, leave our homes of luxury to enter the wilderness - or in our case, the MTC.  He's not kidding.  Then, the ocean... The actual mission field... Hard, rocky and you might get tied up a couple times (just kidding Mom).  But, eventually.... We will arrive in the land of promise - back home with all of you, my wonderful friends and Family.  Well.. Here's the deal though.  Laman, Lemuel and Nephi all went on the same journey, sí?  Well... What made all the difference between them?  

Looking to God.  Obeying. Being loving.  Not beating your brother with a stick vs. beating your brother with a stick.  The concept is the same... The trip was hard for all of them, no doubt.  But Nephi's faith in God made all the difference.  

Life at the MTC is hard.  I love my companion dearly, but Mom, Dad, Bishop?  I know what you mean.  And I'm sure HE does too.  Teachers can be rough.  I LOVE them, and I respect them more than I can describe. They are powerful... But difficult.  The rules are strict.  There is no time in the day for relaxing usually... But that just means more focus.  More trust. More faith.

Yes, It gets hard... But it is so worth every moment.  And prayer... Sincere prayer MATTERS. God LISTENS.  I promise you all this, with every fiber of my being.  God LIVES. and He KNOWS AND MISSES YOU. ALL of you.  And I challenge you that if you DO NOT KNOW if he cares, cerrar sus ojos, cruzar sus brazos, inlcinar sus cabezas, and de rodillas and PRAY.  (close eyes, fold arms, bow head, on your knees).

I challenge you to do this THIS NIGHT after you read this.  You will know.  Have doubts? ASK.

Next.. if you are struggling with your testimony, PRAY FIRST, and then?  READ THE BOOK.  THIS BOOK IS PRECIOUS AND IT CONTAINS THE LITERAL WORDS OF GOD.  If God wrote a book and said 'hey, read this!', would you?  WELL THERE IT IS.  Have you been asking for a sign?  HERE IT IS.  YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

Next, Feel like you aren't good enough?  DUH. NONE OF US ARE.  If you don't feel inadequate, you aren't doing something right.  All of us fall short of perfection.  That is what the Atonement is FOR.  That is what I am out here PREACHING ALREADY and exactly WHAT MATTERS AND APPLIES TO ALL OF US TOO. PRAY.

I Love You all.  I will miss you, but you will remain in prayers always.  And... Always write to me. I love it.  Stay strong... And listen to the song Be Still by the Fray.  I LOOVE it and it has been my anthem for my mission this far. (included on this blog page)

Nanny, your writing is impressive. Keep it up, and I will keep singing for you all the time.

Compartir el Amor.

Elder Kristian Huff

p.s. Mom, Dad, Jakob, Nanny, Lara, Caroline, Gracie, Ty, Assael, Lizzie, Emily, Camille, Kailey, Crys, Natalie, Will,  Sanora, Trina and Steph - I love all of you - I am sorry I can't respond to each of your emails, I will as soon as I can.

**Special Shout Out to Caroline and Gracie - I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!!!**

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