I, Hermana Billings, am a representative of Jesus Christ. I pray for the strength and skills to represent Him well.
It still seems unreal that I am a missionary, but here I am, at the Mexico MTC, studying Español and practicing sharing the gospel with others. Earlier this week as I sat outside reading El Libro de Mormon, I looked around at the CCM, looked inside my classroom with the other missionaries in my district studying, and looked at myself. Here I am, with Christ´s name on my nametag, and I am called to do His work.
These are some of the flashcards I’ve made to help me with my Spanish vocabulary.
The investigators I teach are my Spanish teachers. We now have two investigators — Marlon (who was Jacobo before, and is now our evening teacher, Hermano De Santiago) and Ezequiel (who is our morning teacher). Apparently, later we will each be an investigator and other missionaries on our class will teach a different missionary in the class. (Does that make sense?) It amazes me the insights and revelation I can receive through prayer and thinking with others in mind. The Lord truly lives, and He speaks!
Here I am at the Mexico City Temple Visitor Center looking at the Christus statue.
The talks I write every week for Sacrament Meeting take me about 1-2 hours. I pray to know what message or aspect of the topic the missionaries in my branch need, then I read the materials on that subject, pray again for the Lord to help me express the feelings in my heart, select scriptures and organize them in with my thoughts, transitions, and testimony. Sometimes I spend longer on them than I need to, but it´s okay.
This is my first time writing my testimony in Spanish. It took me such a long time–but it is worth it.
I was impressed with this little bit of landscaping at the Mexico City Temple. It seems so simple, yet so beautiful–just like the Gospel.
For personal study and companionship study, we are encouraged to study in English so we understand the doctrine, and then in our Language study we learn how to express the feelings of our heart in Español. I hope by the end of my stay at the CCM, I can do most of my study in Español.
I like what you talked about with good, better, or best. There are definitely things that are okay to spend our time on that aren´t necessarily bad, but there things that would be a better way of using our time. We only have so much time here on earth, and we need to use that time wisely. (Alma 34) The Lord is definitely hastening His work. He needs all of us to work together and help His children regain that knowledge they had before they came to earth. All on this earth have made a good choice at least once in their life. The fact they are on earth means they chose Christ and followed Him. They have just become confused since then. But like Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said that if they have an open heart, the gospel will ring a bell they are familiar with.
Today we went to the Temple. I wish we could have gone inside, but it is closed until next year for extensive renovations. But the visitor center is beautiful, and the Sister Missionaries serving there look so happy. As we went through the tour with them, I thought how I am that much closer to doing exactly what they are doing — bearing witness of Jesus Christ and teaching families how they can be happy now and forever.
My companion Hermana McDermaid and me at the side of the Mexico City Temple.
District Photo: (From L to R starting in the back of the picture, they are: Elder Clayton, Elder Bradshaw, Elder McCreadie, Elder Miles, Elder Harvey, Elder Bliss, Elder Steinback, Hermana Thomas, Hermana Fagen, Hermana McDermaid (her names rhymes with mermaid, but with a D), and Hermana Billings.)
Yesterday was the first time I have been sick. My advice: don´t eat eggs and peanut butter in the same meal. I had eggs, fruit, and peanut butter on my banana yesterday morning, and by mid morning I had a sulfuric bubbly stomach. It totally drained my energy and my appetite. By the evening I was feeling really awful, so I asked for a priesthood blessing from the elders in my district. After the zone hymn and prayer, they gave me a blessing. One thing our district leader told the elders right before (since it was their first time giving a blessing) is that the counsel and words after the blessing were not as important as the faith of the one receiving it. The blessing was absolutely beautiful, and last night I fell asleep without any problem and woke up feeling brand new. I know the priesthood has been restored to the earth, and through it families can be together forever.
One things I´ve learned these past weeks is to not “throw up doctrine” when teaching investigators. The first meeting with them is crucial to establish trust and expectations. I need to serve them, show sincere interest and love and care for them, and follow the spirit, giving an overview of the Plan and bearing witness of Jesus Christ and showing how the gospel can help them deal with the challenges in their life.
Hermana McDermaid and I have been called to be the new Sister Missionary Training Leaders for our Zone. It´s a little daunting that only 2-3 weeks into the mission we are being called to serve in leadership positions, but I know the Lord can help us as we serve the sisters in our zone.
The past few weeks, I haven´t been sleeping very well. I tossed almost all night and woke up exhausted. But the past few days I´ve been spending more time with my prayers at night, pouring my heart out to the Lord, sharing with him the things that have happened that day, my challenges, my successes, etc. And that has been helping me sleep all the way through the night. As I focus on serving others, I find more happiness in my life.
My homework this week: Mosiah 4. But here is another great scripture on one of the walls of the MTC.
2 Nephi 32:3
I enjoy this colorful money.
I bought this Mexican shirt, as it has such pretty designs around the collar.
Please watch the following Mormon Message titled “Earthly Father, Heavenly Father.”