Monday, April 7, 2014 at 1:27 p.m.
FAMILY!!!!! HIIIIIIII!!! 🙂
The MTC is so great!! Today has been the first pretty day we’ve had though that isn’t too cold, or rainy. But it’s such a blessing because we got to go to the temple this morning and it was gorgeous. I love my district and my zone!!! We have all the Elders and Sisters going to Romania as well as ITALY. So I hear and am picking up Italian all the time too 🙂 So much fun 🙂 The language is difficult but it hasn’t been too hard for me yet. The only thing that’s frustrating is not knowing everything I want to know NOW, so that I can teach how I wish I could, you know?
Haha, how are you?! This is the first we have been able to email but did you get my letter? I sent it Thursday so hopefully you’ve gotten it by now. The MTC is so great!!! I truly love it here. The first day was crazy. You’re just kind of sent off in all these random directions without much clue of what the heck you’re doing but it’s awesome.
I have THE BEST companions. Their names are Sora Honey and Sora Anderson. I just love them. S. Honey is from Australia and is loud and fun and we just laugh all the time. S. Anderson is so sweet. She is humble and teachable and helps us focus which is great. Our district has another pair of Sisters and a companionship of three Elders. We’re also in a zone with all the Elders and Sisters that are going to Italy!! They are so hilarious and we have a blast all together. We’re always laughing about something. Like last night, Elder Blair and Elder Anderson (Italy Elders and our ZL’s, haha) decided to do the gallon challenge (more like half gallon) at dinner with chocolate milk. It was pretty interesting. Elder Anderson held up alright but about 30 minutes later Elder Blair was running for the bathroom. Hahaha, we were dying. We’ve started this running quote board with all the funny things people say in our zone. I wish I could tell you all of the funny quotes but they just won’t be as funny to you, haha :).
The second day we got really into the language. It’s going to be hard but I’m so glad I’ve taken French and Italian – it makes it so much easier, not only because I can understand more and speak it a little better but also because I’ve been taught how to learn a language before. It’s so humbling though because you really feel so frustrated that you can’t say all that you want to. It’s the most frustrating when we’re teaching our investigator, Christian, and he asks things and we have no idea what he’s saying so all we can do is just bear a simple version of our testimonies. I realized the other day, as well, that I’m always going to be asking myself “Is there anything more I can do?” I know that the only way I’m going to learn the language and be able to teach and serve these people is if I’m doing EVERYTHING I can possibly do. But it’s a great feeling to go to bed each night completely physically and spiritually exhausted. I don’t think I’ve ever fallen asleep so fast before in my entire life.
Friday night we had our gym time and that is going to be a saving grace here at the MTC. It’s a lifesaver to have that time to decompress and just have fun. It’s also completely necessary because they feed you so often here. I swear it’s like I eat, sit down, eat, sit down, eat, sit down, go to bed. And the food is good but it’s already gotten old. It’s just not the same, ya know? My companion S. Honey and I are doing our best to eat healthy and to not eat too much which is so nice and makes the BIGGEST difference.
I’ve run into so many people! Dad, I ran into your friend, Brother Jarman, which was such a tender mercy to have that second day at the MTC. He spoke so highly of you and I was so proud to be your daughter :). I see Elder Huckvale ALL the time and he’s such a positive influence for me so it’s a blessing that I get to see him as often as I do. Christine!!! Haha, so I have some people who know you in my zone! There is an Elder Chase Minor, and an Elder Palazzo (Spencer’s friend!). There is also an Elder Gallagher. They all told me to say hi to you!! They think you’re pretty great 🙂 Chris, I LOVE reading your letters. That first email you sent home was such a blessing to me and helped me feel so much better. You are a great strength to me and I’m so grateful to have an amazing sister serving with me!!! LOVE YOU!!!
My teachers here at the MTC are so great. We have one teacher who is actually FROM Romania so he is awesome and incredibly helpful at explaining certain language differences and the culture to us. Our other teachers are so sweet and helpful and you can tell they truly want to help us learn the language. It’s so funny, we have absolutely no idea what they’re saying most of the time but the more they speak to us, the more we pick up which is going to be good. Class is amazing and so hard at the same time. I have a hard time focusing sometimes because it’s difficult to be in one place for such a long time. We’re usually in class for about 3 or 4 hours, but that also includes personal, companion, and language study. I prayed that I would be able to focus better and I have been so that’s been great!! It’s also kind of strange to have personal study in our classroom surrounded by other missionaries but it’s just something I’ll get used to eventually. I’ll probably end up loving it in a few weeks :).
GENERAL CONFERENCE. Can we just talk about how powerful that was?! I think it’s the best conference I’ve ever had the privilege of listening to. I took SO many notes (24 pages!!!!!!) but I still feel like I didn’t get everything I wanted! How crazy. It was AMAZING. I hope you all got SO much out of it and have new goals and commitments to the Gospel. 🙂 Elder Holland just started it off with the biggest bang he could make and it only went uphill from there. I love how he told us that we have to defend our faith! Not just the missionaries out here but EVERYONE. But then he so sweetly said, “Take heart. Pure Christlike love flowing from righteousness can change the world.” HOW AWESOME IS THAT?! All we have to do is LOVE, people!! It’s that easy. And hard. But mostly easy, especially as we pray and SERVE THEM!!! I was so touched by Sister Reeves’ talk and felt so grateful to have been able to talk with her just last Sunday – it feels like years ago. I love what she said about daily prayer and scripture study and weekly FHE – DO IT!!!! She gave such powerful promises and I know that if we make time for those things in our life, everything else will fall into place eventually. The Lord wants us to be doing the best and what is better than reading the scriptures, praying diligently, and spending quality time with your family?!? NOTHING. 🙂
Other notes from Conference:
– As the world slips away from the Lord’s law (of chastity, but it could be anything), WE DO NOT.
– Just because the “times are changing” doesn’t mean we need to.
– The way you feel in the temple is a pattern for how we should feel in our daily lives! (Loved this).
– As we live faithfully year after year, our experiences will confirm to us over and over that JESUS IS THE CHRIST.
– We hold in our hands the happiness of more people than we can imagine.
– Duties must sometimes be difficult because their purpose is to move you along the path towards the Lord and Jesus Christ.
– If you let the Lord be the head of your family, things will work out :).
It was bittersweet to hear about Kim Clark’s release and Elder Callister’s as well, although Elder Callister has an amazing new calling!
Elder Nelson’s talk was FOR ME. I felt so endeared to him and close to you family as I listened to his talk. Faith is amazing and one of my favorite aspects and doctrines of the Gospel.
– Are we securely tied to God, so that our faith shows? Or are we tied to something else?
– There is only one in whom your faith is safe, and that is JESUS CHRIST. You need to let your faith SHOW.
– Truth is truth. It is not divisible and no part of it can be set aside.
– Keeping divine commandments brings blessings EVERY TIME!
– Let us have the courage to defy the consensus. Courage, not compromise, brings the smile of God’s approval.
Ok, so here was something amazing from conference. I don’t know if any of you caught this, but President Packer specifically said that he was an EYEWITNESS of the Lord Jesus Christ. So he just basically said that he has SEEN Jesus. WOAH!!! I kind of had an impression that this might be his last talk/testimony to us, from the way he was speaking and what he spoke about. Something to ponder on :). What an amazing man and servant of God. I could write SO many more things – maybe each week I’ll write more about my conference thoughts/notes.
Helen, Grace, and Julia!! I got your letters today!!!! They made me SO happy. And everyone in my zone was laughing because I get SO MUCH mail. Literally everyone wants you girls to write them letters too. You should, cause some Elders and Sisters don’t get much mail and they would LOVE a letter from you all :). I loved seeing your faces in the letters and I laughed so hard at the funny faces you put in, Helen. I miss you girls SO MUCH. I hope you listened extra hard to General Conference this weekend. If you didn’t, that’s ok, but when the Ensign comes out, go and read one talk a week. I promise you will have a stronger testimony and that Heavenly Father will bless you! I love you all!!
So a typical day has us waking up at 6:30 (we actually get up at 6 so we have enough time to get ready and I still feel rushed, but it’s not bad). I always feel tired though. It’s just such hard work and we work SO hard and go all day and by the time 10:30 comes along, we literally drop into bed and I’m fast asleep within minutes. I’ve been waking up slightly before 6 when our alarm goes off every day, which is strange but I’m not complaining. My eyes hurt every morning when I wake up, probably cause I’m still tired and cause we turn the lights on right when we wake up, but that goes away within a few minutes of putting my contacts in. Breakfast is at 7 and I love mealtimes cause we sit with our whole zone and just LAUGH. I’m pretty sure nothing we’re laughing about is even that funny, but we think it’s hilarious. Then we have PS, CS and LS, and depending on the day we have class, or gym and then class. Class is about 4 hours and we have lunch in between. Dinner is at 4:30. (It’s SO early – we don’t really like that but what can you do?) Then we have more class and then either gym (if we didn’t have it that morning), a devotional (on Tuesdays), or something else I can’t remember because it’s so hard to remember anything here cause they tell us SO MUCH ALL THE TIME. But I love it. We get to go on a walk to the temple on Sundays at 1:30, and then we go to the temple every Monday morning at 8, which I absolutely love. Today was amazing.
I had such a sweet experience because I had been feeling sad and slightly discouraged and said a prayer in the celestial room. About 5 minutes later one of the Elders in my district came over to me and handed me the scriptures. He had it opened to D&C 8 and, with a smile, told me to read it. It was a sweet and direct answer to my prayers. Heavenly Father is incredibly aware of EACH and EVERY ONE OF US. You are ALL loved. None of us is left behind or forgotten, even in the hardest, darkest moments of our lives. We are engraven upon the palms of His hands. Just remember that, :).
I don’t have much more time to write, but I will send pictures next week!!! LOVE YOU!!! Stay classy :). I miss you tons but it didn’t hit me until last night. We have been so busy and honestly just having so much fun that we don’t really have time to think of anything else. Know that I am doing well and I’m happy and that I know this is the true church, restored by our dear prophet Joseph Smith, through the power of God and that we have living prophets on the earth today who LOVE US SO MUCH. Seriously, I hope you and mom and all the kids go back and read all the talks from GC and apply EVERYTHING. You will be so so blessed. 🙂
I LOVE YOU!!!!
P.S. mom can you send me some conference talks from this weekend? If you can I’d like Elder Scott’s, Elder Zwick’s (his talk on communication was SO important for me to hear and I loved it!), President Uchtdorf’s, Elder Ballard’s, Sister Steven’s, Bishop Stevenson’s, Elder Bednar’s (AMAZING), President Packer’s, and Elder Bednar’s from a few years ago called “Tender Mercies.” THANK YOU!!!!