Dar: To give.
Dar un luz [literal translation to give a light, but as Alayna previously told us it is how they say “to give birth” in Spanish]: Sister Pace called me at nine am one morning to tell me that I'm the AUNT to a newborn, slightly red-headed, currently nameless niece!!! I´m thrilled for my family and excited to hear more about her.
Dar un bendicion [to give a blessing]: This week was specialized training which is a great, spiritually uplifting two days where we talk, share, and grow. It was enlightening and humbling (So everything I'm doing now is wrong? Ok. Just checking.) and I shared my favorite story of Christ in the last part of the training with the hymn "Master, the Tempest is Raging" and my testimony of how Christ can calm our personal storms.
Speaking of personal storms, my companion is struggling. A lot. With adjusting to missionary life. So President Pace gave her a blessing at the end of the meetings, and while he was at it, gave me one as well. A blessing is a sort-of prayer given by someone who holds the priesthood authority of God, and is able to (through the laying on of hands) voice the blessings of heaven upon you and give you knowledge and comfort or peace and healing (depending on what you need). And I personally am a huge fan of them, though I've always been a little hesitant to ask. It's amazing how the desires of your heart and preoccupations of your mind are so clearly perceived and addressed.
Dar comida [give food]: Last week we passed around a "feed the missionaries list" and... well we haven't really eaten in piso this week, so I guess that means that the members love us. I'm a fan of Colombian food, and being in a real HOME really helped Hermana Manotas feel a little more tranquilla.
Dar Consuelo [give comfort]: Did I mention that my companion was struggling? She came on the mission with a mountain of emotional baggage that she feels like she can't unpack and can no longer carry (that's the best way I can think of to describe it.) We've talked a lot. And I've tried, summoning all the wisdom a studious 19-year-old can accumulate, to help her but it's hard. It's hard when someone is trying to confide in you and you are trying to listen and understand but you have to ask for clarification because she's upset and talking REALLY quickly in a language you haven't mastered yet. But we tried. And we'll keep trying.
Dar un discourse [give a talk]: This Sunday I was assigned to give a 10 minute talk on missionary work (a subject I'm fairly familiar with, so at least that's good.) and although I wondered why they would ask the missionary with the least language experience and second-least mission experience I did my best. I wrote it all out and had Hermana Manotas read through it on the metro to the church (feeling like a kid and a teacher). I'm sure my face was beet-red most of the time, but I know that at least SOME people understood what I was trying to say. It wasn't bad, which is good enough for now.
To give up: (I don't know how to say that in Spanish) [Darse por vencido]
My companion has decided to leave. Her bags aren't packed yet, but her mind is home. In the past few days we haven't had a single conversation that didn't end without a mention of her home or family. She stopped saying "if" and started saying "when" and the thought of leaving at the end of the 6 weeks training period turned into "If I leave tomorrow."
I want what's best for her (your companion is the most important person in your area) but I'm not ready to give up on her. I'll try my best to make this next week great, to help her focus on the good that she can do instead of the hard truth of endless rejection. And I'm not giving up.
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
and some other phrase that I´m pretty sure is Scripture, but I don´t know where
"Peace I leave with you. My peace I GIVE unto you. Not as the world GIVETH GIVE I unto you, let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." [John 14:27]
Tomorrow I go to Barcelona to get my residency which means I've been in the field for 60 days. A LOT of things have happened in that time, good and bad, but I'm hopeful and full of peace in spite of it all.
Summary: Give. Live. Seguir adelante. [Go ahead, press forward, carry on]
Love you guys! (Pray for us!)
A sort of P.S. I guess this letter was a bit of a downer, so I just wanted to add that really, this week has also been a really good one in many aspects. Ignacio (a recent convert) blessed the sacrament for the first time... and had to say it three times but it was SO tender and I was so proud of him. Edith (an investigator) has read up to 2 Nephi and although she doesn't understand everything says she feels something when she reads and that she loves us. Even in trial there is beauty to be found. And I can honestly say that in spite of- and because of- the things that are happening, I'm happy and I have (for the most part) peace. I can't really explain it. But I can feel it. And I'm SO grateful.
Ok. Love you guys. :D