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Friday, December 13, 2013

December 5, 2013

Cello, all -                                                                                                               December 5, 2013

Lots of changes here in the MTC, both physical and spiritual. Some of the physical changes: My mustache is growing back faster than ever, which is annoying as heck. I think I'm filling out a little. I do like 5 push-ups a day or something so I think it's making me pretty swoll. I also play a lot of 4 square...I'm not sure what muscles 4 square targets, but I think it's doing the job. Or something. I've probably put on like .79 lbs. of pure muscle. I weight myself at Main Campus sometimes. Spiritual changes: I just love being here. I love studying the Gospel. I love learning about my purpose as a missionary and preparing to serve. I love sharing my testimony and hearing other people share theirs. It's the best. I love feeling the Spirit everyday. I'm so lucky to be here! I love reading the Book of Mormon. I'm really getting into it. It's so cool! I was thinking about how wild it would be to be Joseph Smith, translating the plates, and there are straight up prophecies about YOU! It's also cool to read because there are prophecies about us in these latter days. Just awesome stuff.

Ohhh I meant to tell you. One of the new members of our branch presidency is Dr. Hartman. The guy who wrote that color personality book. SUPER sick man. So spiritual, so doctor. Haha he really is way cool.

Okay, some things I forgot to write about. Choir has been so cool! We sang "Jesus Once of Humble Birth" a couple weeks ago which was baller. The Spirit was soooo strong and I just had chills the whole time. "Hope of Israel" was another powerhouse. Then last Tuesday, we sang "Angels We Have Heard On High," and that was killer. Gosh dang I love singing in the choir. I probably drive everyone nuts because I have zero experience singing in choir and the whole "4 part" thing really throws me off. But it's cool because I get mad camera time. AND the Spirit, of course. So, on Tuesday, we were supposed to hear from Elder Nelson, but he couldn't make it because of the snow. So Bruce C. Hafen spoke to us. He delivered such a powerful talk. It was incredible. His emphasis was on not fainting in the day of trouble! He talked about how he's been friends with Uncle Jeff for pretty much his whole life. He said he remembers Uncle Jeff coming to his birthday party when he was three! So that was neat. He also talked about how when Jeff was of mission age, he wasn't sure about going because he was afraid Pat wouldn't be there when he got back. It was cool to hear that about an apostle because sometimes we tend to view them as these perfect beings who have never made a mistake or grew up being perfect. Anyway, super awesome devotional.

It's been fun here. I have a lot of fun with all of the missionaries. Elder Juanson (or Hijo de Juan) and I are good friends. ALSO, Josh Sandquist showed up yesterday and he is in my zone! I'm so stoked. I just love being friends with everyone here and all of the positivity I feel. Hopefully we get our flight plans this week. I'll let y'all know.

How did I almost forget this? Elder Buhler and I got called to be Zone Leaders. We are currently in training, but we will be the official ZL's on Sunday. It's bittersweet for me because I tend to dislike having added responsibility and having to be held accountable for other people. That's just the natural man in me, and I'm more than willing to serve with all of my heart, might, mind and strength. But I'm not one who seeks those leadership positions. I would've never thought that I'd be called to be a ZL. I know we need to be loving and act the way Christ would. We need to help others and build them up. Anyway, so that's kind of exciting! What else...hmmm. OH!

Okay so last week something crazy happened. One of the hermanas in our district has had some health problems that she has told me about. Well we were all in class and about to head home for the night when she said she was feeling dizzy. She put her head down for a bit, then we had district prayer. Right after district prayer, she started getting way worse. She was on the ground hyperventilating and shaking. We asked if we could bless her, and she said yes and to hurry. She thought we had left because she wasn't really aware of what was going on, so she said it was awesome for her that we were right there, ready to bless her. So I grabbed my oil and Elder Coates annointed her and then I blessed her. We were all on our knees around her as she was shaking. I felt her calm down during the blessing, but after she got a lot worse. We ran and got security and they came in. They decided it was a panic attack, but like the worst they've ever seen. Her whole body was tensed up and her hands were in super tight fists. It was awful having to watch a member of our district lay there and go through that while we stood there without being able to even give her a hug. She was taken to the ER and we called President Pickering. Everyone was shaken up. Elder Buhler and I went over to where the tie-trade was going on and got everyone's attention. We told them we needed to pray for Hermana Eye right now. So, everyone stopped what they were doing and knelt in prayer. The whole living room was filled with elders, as well as the entire hallway. I offered the prayer. It was incredible. 

So, after that, I was kind of wondering, "Why didn't she immediately calm down? Why didn't my blessing seem to help her?" I was kind of concerned that maybe I wasn't worthy or I said something wrong. I know that it's based upon the will of God, but I was just letting my mind run wild. The next day, she showed up at lunch. She had gotten back to her apartment at midnight and slept in with her companion because they were obviously exhausted. She came up to me and thanked me for my blessing. She couldn't even remember the blessing, but she remembered that when she thought we had left her, we were still there, ready to help. She wanted to know what I said in the blessing because she had some cool experiences. So later on, we talked more about it. I told her that what I remember is just that I said her mind would have peace and that her health and strength would return. I remember saying she has been and will be blessed for her service to the Lord. There were other things, but honestly I don't remember them. All I know is that I felt the Spirit with such strength while I was blessing her. She then proceeded to tell me how that was like the worst panic attack that they've seen and that she should be in a lot worse shape after that. One of the coolest parts - her dad died when she was very little. Apparently while she was in the hospital, she kept saying, "My dad is dad is here." She doesn't remember saying it, but she knows that he was there with her and that angels were present. She talks about how grateful she is for our Priesthood and worthiness to hold it and use it. She hasn't ever had that present in her life, and she absolutely loves it. I was just shocked at all of was incredible to hear. Not for my own selfish reasons, but that through the Priesthood, she was able to be protected and watched over. She bears such sweet testimony of the power of the Priesthood. As a Priesthood holder, it really bolstered my testimony and desire to worthily hold the Priesthood. I'm so grateful that I have the opportunity to hold the Priesthood and serve others. I'm grateful to be in the service of the Lord and my fellow men. I know that through the blessing she received and through faithful prayer, she was able to receive heavenly help. Such an incredible experience to be a part of. I love being a missionary and I cannot wait to get to Argentina and serve. This is where I am needed. "I Can Go the Distance" keeps coming to mind haha. Total missionary song. 

Anyway, sorry for the biggest email I've ever sent! But there is just so much I want to tell all of you! "Come Thou Fount" has been stuck in my head every single day. I want to share my favorite part of the song. 

Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wondering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood

O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee
Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above

I get all choked up when I read that. "He, to rescue me from danger, interposed His precious blood." Estoy muy agradecido por mi Salvador. Estoy muy agradecido por Su Expiación. Yo se que vive mí Señor!

I love you all so much and pray for you always. Thank you for all that you do on my behalf.

With much love,

Elder Alec Sipple

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