Today is Mother's Day. It is about 8:00am and I am laying in bed rather than sitting in my classroom studying because I feel like I am near death. The stress from the language (plus the herbs not quite helping me out) was more than I could bare this morning. I feel like I am being punished - not only can my mind not comprehend the fundamentals of Spanish, but now my body is refusing to cope with all the pressure I am putting on myself. Yesterday, I would have burst into tears multiple times if it hadn't been for Elder Daniels sitting right next to me, telling me jokes throughout classes / study times.
Last night / this morning, I have hit an absolute rock bottom. I don't think I have ever been this emotionally distraught in my entire life. And this morning I feel guilty that I could not attend my meetings, and I am making one of my companions miss Sunday meetings because I cannot be left alone.
But then I started reading and studying my patriarchal blessing, the scriptures, past conference talks; and I realized that even though I only know simple phrases in Spanish, that's okay. God's elite, the people who are ready and waiting for me specifically will not need complex testimony bearing / arguments to know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that his church has been restored again in it's fullness though Joseph Smith. They will recognize the truth through the small and simple testimonies that I am able to share with them. And I am promised in my time of need all that is needful, even when needed, the words I should speak. And right now, the words I should speak are simple.
I am thankful that I am able to be serving a mission right now. I feel so much more love and compassion towards others right now than I have ever felt in my entire life. I am starting to find so much goodness in my companions and all the other sisters & elders that I meet.
I am overwhelmingly thankful to the Lord for the love, support and calling he has given me. I am thankful for the reminder in the Book of Mormon when Nephi says, "The Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." (1 Nephi 3:7)
I am grateful that the Lord shows so much love to me, especially during trials. I was reading Elder Holland's pas General Conference talk, and his word of, "Surely the thing God enjoys most about being God is the thrill of being merciful, especially to those who don't expect it and often feel they don't deserve it, " really hit me. How wonderful that we are loved so deeply by the creator of the universe! How amazing is it that we have the support and confidence of the Most High Being? I have come to the conclusion that even though life seems very difficult and occasionally lonely right now, this is the best time to be alive, we are blessed to be on the earth with the Gospel restored to it's fullness. The Lord is concerned for us, He loves us and if we follow the example of Christ, we will be able to return to His glory. I am thankful to have the opportunity to share this message with the people of Ecuador.
I love you all,
It is now 11:00 am and I am feeling much better. I have a feeling that I was meant to stay in bed this morning. I have felt more personal inspiration than I have since I came to the MTC, and Hermana Giles really opened up to me and told me all about her family and I realized I judged her too quickly.
All is well at the MTC.
It is now almost 2:00 pm, and I feel a lot better but the Coordinating Sister in my zone told e to rest and not go to any meetings until the Sunday Night Devotional. I feel stupid when I feel sick.
Do you want to hear something weird / awkward? There is an Elder here in my zone (my class is a district and my zone is made up of a few districts / classes that are learning Spanish. We have Sacrament meeting together.) This Elder is a little bit quiet, and we always make awkward eye contact. Yesterday I found out he was my age and also, yesterday as my companions and I were walking back to our dorms, he yelled to us. I was the only one of us to turn around, and he said, "I need a picture with you!" Which, I mean, doesn't surprise me - my companions and I get along well with all the Elders.... But then I started thinking... whenever we made the awkward eye contact, he was always looking at me first. And now I am just way awkwarded out. This is probably just because I am now super paranoid since Hermana Norton told me that she thinks Elder Daniels flirts with me. And I also don't want these elders to think I'm flirting with them. Oh, listen to me - I am so childish.... I guess that means I am all better.
I have more to say....
When I finally was able to go up and study in the room, the elders asked me if I wanted a blessing. I said yes. And they told me I had to pick who I wanted to give the blessing, and whoever I picked it meant that I liked him the most. I think my district leader wanted me to ask him, he was already standing by me, and I adore him, Elder Magill, but I decided to ask an Elder Harris to give me a blessing - he is awesome and reminds me of people back at home. It was an amazing blessing about how much Heavenly Father loves me and called me to Ecuador for a reason which is funny because just hours earlier I was certain that Heavenly Father hated me and wanted me to go home. Another elder wrote me a little note saying, "Hermana Ellis! You need to get well soon! Your smiling face always brings joy when you're around! I'm praying for you to feel better. Your friend in the work, Elder Austin Howarth." Being here at the MTC is wonderful.
Today I was wondering why I was experiencing so much hardship here, because, I mean, I don't feel like I am a horrible person. I actually feel like I am ready for a mission - or I felt I was ready. I came to the conclusion I'm being prepared for something great, like the Lord is preparing me to speak to congregations of the righteous.
Okay, enough about me.... let's talk about what YOU can send me.
-my black sweaters
Guess what! I have not had one headache here. Amazing, huh? Also, I do not crave chocolate here. The only candy I eat is fruity candy, and I can only stand a little bit of that at a time so that is great.