Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Semana 5 - Holland, First Grade & Romans

Note: What's worse than waiting all day for your missionary's letter? Nothing. When it finally arrives at 6pm, what's better than that? Absolutely nothing, especially when it mentions special people who have unknowingly impacted Elder Heimuli's life, even from a very young age. Yesterday, Elder H met his first grade teacher -- the beautiful, gracious Nancy Woodbury and her wonderful Utah Man Bruce Woodbury. Elder & Sister Woodbury just entered the MTC on their way to the Mormon Battalion Visitors Center in San Diego (coincidentally, Helam's birthplace). Elder H hadn't seen Mrs. Woodbury since the Hall of Fame banquet in April, and before that he hadn't seen her since his Meadowbrook Elementary School days!


Sorry that i'm writing so late! We didn't get any mail until just barely so i got your letter! I'm glad everything is goin well over there! It's cool to hear about all the missionaries that are coming out here and i hope that i do host when Elder Bushman comes out here!

Well, since i didn't get your letter til just barely i couldn't plan out what i was gonna say, so i'll just wing it. Don't get mad at me if it's too short.

My week has been pretty good. It was a little longer than it usually is, but it's ok! Last Tuesday Elder Holland came and spoke to us! Pretty sure i was gonna wet myself cuz i was so excited! i've wanted Elder Holland to speak to us the whole time i was here and it happened! His talk was amazing! it was centered around missionaries (of course) and how the missionary program has changed. President Hinckley was the one who proposed the change from memorized lessons, to Preach My Gospel. He noticed that missionaries who would come home after serving a full time mission and fall away from the gospel. They wouldn't live what they spent 2 years preaching about! President Hinckley said that the missionary program had failed and that we needed to do something about this. They realized that the MISSIONARY needed to be converted before an investigator could ever be! Therefore, Preach My Gospel was born. Elder Holland stressed the importance of learning this gospel and applying it to ourselves. He also said that all of us need to be a MILLION times better than he was as a missionary, that's just how it's got to be. This talk was one of his machete's in that he told us 3 things missionaries lack--study, preparation, and teach to commit. Even though we all felt like terrible missionaries for a bit, we all knew what we needed to do to become better! Hooray!

I saw Elder Hamilton the day he came in and that was really cool. I've seen him a couple times since then too and it's trippy seeing everyone in suits all the time! Sunday night we all watched a movie together (Elder Hamilton, Elder Allen, and myself) and spoke Spanish the whole time. We're excited to see what it's like when we're all home and super fluent! Elder Lemon didn't join us because he sat in the front with his district...lame sauce! hahaha jk jk! Oh, and yesterday i saw Brother and Sister Woodbury, how crazy! i was eating dinner and they just walked in! They had just arrived that minute and i talked to them for a while. They're serving in San Diego as....something...i forgot...but that was cool to see them!

This week has been a pretty good learning week. I've learned quite a bit more spanish than i knew last week and i am slowly beginning to speak and understand easier. This saturday we teach our first lesson all in spanish and i'm way nervous for that! i know that no matter what, i'll be able to learn from it...but still, i don't wanna fail like i have before hahaha.

One thing that i've loved is being able to really study the scriptures and take so much away from it, a lot more than i have before! and studying in two languages really opens your eyes to things. I read in Romans 8:31 and studied it out. If you read throughout that whole chapter it talkes of how we can prevail through ANYTHING and the way to do it is through God. In verse 35 it lists things that MAY overcome us and in 37 it tells us why, in the end, we are given strength to overcome them. It's through Jesus Christ the one that 'loved us' that gives us the strength to carry on. It is because he suffered, died, and then overcame both so he can stand there and hold out his hand for us to grab on to. He knows what each of us go through. He knows how much we can take. I know that through him, i can do anything. i can sit in class for 12 hours a day. i can teach in Spanish. i can fly to Atlanta and preach for 2 years. I know that you all can recieve the strength and the help through the one who had to endure those things alone, just so we don't have to. i know that this is true and i'm so grateful for it in my life and for that knowledge of it.

There is a short story titled "The Room" that i want you to read. It was such a testimony builder for me and i have such a big appreciation for the Atonement.

Our Hermanas left on Friday so now we have 6 Elders in our district left. I was made District Leader on Sunday, and we had a meeting that a Branch High Councilman sat in on. I had to conduct and teach a lesson on the Atonement and i had only been a DL for 20 minutes hahaha. it was good and President Hacking told me he appreciated the lesson. Cool Sunday huh?

I can't email pictures from these computers so i will try to mail some soon! Sorry about that! Oh, and i'll send that paragraph too! I'm glad you guys liked the tape, pretty sure my district is so random! And fun. The letters this week might arrive a day late cuz today was kind of a busy day!

I love and pray for you all every day! Thanks for all you do and thanks for the support, i can really feel it here! Take care! Stay sane!

Love, Elder Heimuli

  In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features except for the one wall covered with small index card files.  They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order.  But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endless in either direction, had very different headings.
  As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read, Girls I Have Liked.  I opened it and began flipping through the cards.  I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one.    And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was. This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life. Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn't match.
  A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content. Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching.
  A file named Friends was next to one marked Friends I Have Betrayed.  The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird: Books I Have Read, Lies I Have Told, Comfort I Have Given, Jokes I Have Laughed At.
  Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: Things I've Yelled at My Brothers. 
  Others I couldn't laugh at: Things I Have Done in My Anger, Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents.
  I never ceased to be surprised by the contents. Often there were many more cards than expected. Sometimes fewer than I hoped. I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived.  Could it be possible that I had the time in my years to fill each of these thousands or even millions of cards?  But each card confirmed this truth.  Each was written in my own handwriting.  Each signed with my signature.
  When I pulled out the file marked TV Shows I Have Watched, I realized the files grew to contain their contents.  The cards were packed tightly.  And yet, after two or three yards, I hadn't found the end of the file.  I shut it, ashamed, not so much by the quality of shows but more by the vast time I knew that file represented.
  When I came to a file marked Lustful Thoughts, I felt a chill run through my body.  I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card.  I shuddered at its detailed content.  I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded.  An almost animal rage broke on me.  One thought dominated my mind: "No one must ever see these cards!  No one must ever see this room!  I have to destroy them!"  In an insane frenzy, I yanked the file out.  Its size didn't matter now.  I had to empty it and burn the cards.  But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card.  I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it.  Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot.  Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh.  And then I saw it. 
  The title bore, People I Have Shared the Gospel With.  The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused.  I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands.  I could count the cards it contained on one hand.  And then the tears came.  I began to weep.  Sobs so deep that they hurt.  They started in my stomach and shook through me.  I fell on my knees and cried.  I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all.  The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes.  No one must ever, ever know of this room.  I must lock it up and hide the key.  But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him. 
  No, please not Him.  Not here. Oh, anyone but Jesus.
  I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards.  I couldn't bear to watch His response.  And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own.  He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes.  Why did He have to read every one?  Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room.  He looked at me with pity in His eyes.  But this was a pity that didn't anger me.  I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again.  He walked over and put His arm around me.  He could have said so many things, but He didn't say a word.  He just cried with me.
  Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files.  Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card.
  "No!" I shouted rushing to Him.  All I could find to say was "No, no," as I pulled the card from Him.  His name shouldn't be on these cards.  But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, and so alive.  The name of Jesus covered mine.  It was written with His blood.
  He gently took the card back, smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards.  I don't think I'll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side.  He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, "It is finished."
  I stood up, and He led me out of the room.  There was no lock on its door.  There were still cards to be written.

                                                                                                   John 3:16

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