This week was fairly uneventful. It's pretty cold here in Oregon so we're just trying to stay as warm as possible. Just tons and tons of layers!
We had a really fun New Year's! My companion's (Hermana Cardon's) mom is from El Salvador and a tradition there is to make pupusas on New Year's Eve. Pupusas are these SUPER yummy things; basically it's this thick tortilla with cheese and beans in the middle. On top, you put cabbage and carrots that have been soaked in vinegar and then you put this special salsa on top of that. It sounds so weird, but the combination of all the flavors is SOOO good. So we went over to Kika's house and we made those for New Year's! It was really fun to learn how and they were just super, super yummy. The night was short-lived, however, because we had to go to back to our apartments early in order to avoid all of the craziness of New Year's Eve.
Other than that, there really hasn't been anything very exciting that's happened. Just your pretty standard week. As I was thinking about what I could share this week, I thought about our mission motto. There's actually a really cool story behind it. President Samuelian said that, as he was preparing to come here and be the Mission President, he kept trying to receive revelation for the mission but couldn't. He prayed and prayed but nothing came. He said as they were driving into Oregon, almost as soon as they crossed the border into this state, all of these ideas and revelation just started flooding into his head. He said this motto came to him at this little diner they stopped at right over the border and that he wrote it on a napkin. The motto is:
"When inspired vision and Christlike culture combine, mighty miracles occur; with the byproduct being a people who not only know where they are going, but how they are going to get there."
This quote really has driven our whole mission and shaped us into the missionaries we are. It incorporates the two biggest principles we focus on as a mission as a whole: vision and culture.
President's favorite scripture to quote is Proverbs 29:18: "Where there is no vision, the people perish...." We talk about this concept of vision ALL the time, for our companionship, for our area, for our missions, for our lives. When we create a vision for ourselves and focus everything we do and make every decision in accordance with that vision, we actually end up getting where we want to go. When we lose that vision, who knows where we'll end up?
The other concept we really focus on is that of culture. President tells us all the time that our future families will have a culture and if we don't deliberately create it, it'll create itself. Even in the short time that I've been here, I've seen the culture change a ton. The mission as a whole has become more obedient and really come to understand and focus on our purpose as missionaries.
I'm happy to be a missionary and I'm especially happy to be serving in this mission! I love President Samuelian and I'm grateful for his inspired direction.