Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Is is crazy to think that another week has come and gone. Lots of things happened this week, but at the same time I feel like they are all the same types of things that happen everyweek here. But anyways, This week was really great. Yesterday was Mexican día de Independencía. Its their equivalent of the 4th of Julyy... but like 10 times as crazy. On any given night here we joke that Mexico City NEVER sleeps, because of how loud it is outside. But last night was so dang loud you cant even imagine. Huge pipe bombs, and fireworks, and loud music and everything just blaring starting at about 11 pm, and they say they party all night. It was awesome, we enjoyed the fireworks. Mostly just hearing them, they don´t do a ton of huge aerial ones.

There were about 40 of us missionaries who got on the roof of one of the casas and we all just hung out up there for a while, have "roof offs" which are like rap battles, but with songs. haha it was legendary! I have pictures I will send you guys. So we have been practicing the Mexican himno nacional (national anthem) this whole week. Its pretty cool actually, you should look it up. But we sang it at the beginning of our morning classes and afternoon classes EVERY SINGLE DAY. It was cool in the beginning, but If I have to sing it one more time so help me...

But we had a pretty cool program last night, with all these dancers, and singers, and we thats where we sang the himno nacional. I took some videos of the show, that I know mom would appreciate, but I dont know if it will let me send them or not... if not, you can the pictures that I have. 

So by far, the most spiritual moment of the week for me, was our Sunday night devotional. Shawn Cates who is the Director of training at the CCM spoke to us. He is this super cool young American guy, from Utah who lives here with his wife Nadia and their 2 or 3 small children. I think he is like 34 or something... and he is a bishop in a ward right here in Mexico City, and he was such a powerful speaker. His talk was about "Staying on target, and not looking back!" It was just so inspirational, because as a missionary you need to give EVERYTHING you have, or else you are never going to be as successful as our Heavenly Father wants us to be, and knows we can be! 

Ralph Waldo Emerson said: "That which we persist becomes easier. Not because the nature of the thing itself changes, but because our power to do so has increased." One of the shortest verses in all scripture is Luke 17:32 "Remember Lott´s wife." Which actually has a TON of meaning behind it. You all remember the story of this woman, that turned around to look back toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and was turned into a pillar of salt. I don´t believe she simply turned and looked back, but rather she had a desire to return, and longed for the past after she had been commanded not to do so. 

He related this to missionary work, (but I also believe it can apply to EVERY ONE OF US) by saying "Don´t let our attachment to the past outweigh our confidence in the future. The past is to be learned from, not lived in."  He also accounted the story of when the Pharisees tempted Christ by asking him if they should pay tribute or taxes to Caesar. I love how the Savior perceives their hypocrasy and holds up a coin and asks whose imagine, and name is inscribed on the coin. He is probably referencing this back to the Old Testament (which these people were probably experts on) because it talks about having no "graven image" before you, also how we are made in the "image" of god. Anyways... they answer and say Caesar. Then Christ tells them to "Render that which is Caesars, to Caesar. And Render that which is God´s to God."

This is such a POWER STATEMENT. Because if we are made in the Image of god, we belong to God in a sense. That means we must render our WHOLE SELVES to him. I really took that to heart, and that is my goal to give my whole self to my Father in Heaven, and his son Jesus Christ whose work this is. The savior is such a powerful example in every aspect of life. But especially in the way he teaches others. He teaches by asking questions, and I love how he shuts down all these people who tempt him, and try to "catch him in his words."

Anyways, this was an awesome devotional to be in, and I really felt the spirit. I really really encourage all of you to make it a habit to study the scriptures daily. Not just read... but STUDY. I am probably coming across hypocritcal because I wasnt the best at that before my mission, hahaha But I can already clearly see the knowledge, spirit, personal revelation, blessings, spiritual protection, and comfort that come from reading the word of God.

Not much else has really happened here, because its basically the same schedule with studying and teaching all day. haha, but I am sure getting excited to get out in the field and move to CHILE already :) Have a great week, and remember the source of our blessings. In fact, remember the source of every good thing that ever happens to us. That source is our Loving Heavenly Father.

Love, Elder Hartvigsen

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