Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Hola familia y amigos
First things first, I am pretty sure I get my travel plans at the end of this week. I seriously feel like I got here yesterday. But I am really excited to put everything I have learned to work!
This week has been amazing. HARD, but amazing. Again, I am so thankful for all the tender mercies of the Lord. Last night I was able to have dinner with Elder Macdonald because we both sang in the choir for the devotional. That was awesome to sit with him for a while- finally!
Last night at our devotional, we had Elder Ballard come. I was in the choir with my companion and when he walked into the room the spirit testified that he truly was an apostle of the Lord. The spirit was so strong the entire meeting and at our district meeting afterwards we were all still just in awe at the words that were spoken. He talked a lot about how this is the BUSIEST time for the church and definitely for the MTC. (It is crazy to see how relief society on Sundays has quadrupled since arriving here at the MTC). He was saying how we are miracles. It is a miracle that we have decided to give up this time because we love and want to serve our Lord. There was one part that I love and it was when he talked about how important it is for the world to know what we know right now. We need to share the things that we have learned in primary because it is only the gospel that brings true joy and happiness in our lives. The world desperately needs our message and that is why this work is surging right now. Its great! He was so motivating. He was saying how this generation is blazing the trails with this new age change. He continued saying that that is a burden to be awesome missionaries. We are the beginning of something marvelous!
I am so grateful for the teachings of the Savior in the bible. If you have time, go watch some of the bible videos on youtube on the mormonchannel. They are really well done. On p-days, we love the time we have to relax and watch all the mormon messages and bible stories. The new "Mountains to Climb" mormon message is awesome too.
It seems like a common theme with all the devotionals this week is that the Lord wants you all! He is expecting all that we have because we are the elite group. Three things that I have learned this week to be true is that in order to be a great missionary, you must 1. Love your companion- always, 2. Be exactly obedient- trying and improvements are key, and 3. Qualify for the companionship of the Holy Ghost- it is the job of the Holy Ghost to confirm the truths that we are teaching and it is only through the Holy Ghost that we and our investigators are changed.
I have been trying to be better about finding my daily blessings. Sometimes the work gets a little bit crazy here and it is important at the end of the day to truly recognize and find the Lord's hand. That has made all the difference in my attitude here at the MTC. It helps me to really know that the Lord can help weak things become strong. My district was talking about the Book of Mormon this week- about the story of when Alma and his people were enslaved and trapped among their enemies. We focused on how Alma and his people prayed in their hearts because they were enslaved to do such hard and tedious work. This interesting thing in this story is that their burdens were not taken away, but rather that the Lord made their burdens lighter. We then opened our scriptures up to a random verse and it was the verse when Ammon was boasting in the power of his God and being overwhelming grateful for the Savior. I love that part of the Book of Mormon. Being in the MTC, I have truly realized that it is not really me that is doing this work but rather that it truly is the Lord working through me. The key to missionary work is forgetting yourself. When you think of home, get frustrated with your Spanish, get discouraged that this task is too hard, those are all selfish things that get in the way of your relationship with the Holy Ghost and your investigators. Every action and thought must be for your investigators. It is the best to be able to put aside yourself and focus on other people. It is the best work that you can possibly ever do. I want to do this forever.
My love for everyone has grown so much in the MTC because I have felt the Lord's love for me and all his children accelerated here in the MTC. It is that love that carries me through all the challenging times. Elder Ballard last night also said that the best missionaries truly know the power of the atonement and the living Christ. He was saying that when you truly know the message of the restoration that you are sharing, you teach differently, you find differently, and you study differently. My goals have been shifted a little bit to fit this. I think that is such a beautiful promise. That if we KNOW Christ and his ministry, we are going to be different and changed missionaries and just people in general. I love my Savior and I am not only so grateful for the redeeming power of His atonement but also the enabling power of His atonement. It helps me so much when I want to give up because I know that He didn’t give up when he had it so much harder than me. I know that Christ desires to live IN all of us. I am excited to help people realize that and help them learn to rely on the mercy, merits, and grace of Christ.
My investigators are doing really well. I love teaching! This truly is the best. We have this thing called TRC and it is when volunteers come in and we speak Spanish to them for a while and that is really awesome too. I am in love with Spanish. It is the most beautiful language. It also helps me to teach the gospel simply which is such a blessing. The gospel is simple and when we simply state the truths we hold true, the Holy Ghost does testify and sustain the words that we say.
I want to share this quote with you all. I love it. "If you could only see the vision that I have. I wish I had your bodies to do this work. I would run from house to house telling everyone of the gospel, and after I lost strength to run I would begin to walk, and after I collapsed from walking, I would begin to crawl. And after my knees were so bloody that I could not use them I would use my arms to drag myself, and once my muscle in my body was gone I would begin to yell... oh, only if you could see the vision as I have."
This is the work that God wants me to do. I have been prepared for it all my life.
Also, this is exciting news. I am the Coordinating Sister with my companion. My Branch President just got permission to have 2 Coordinating sisters per zone because of the increasing amount of sisters. This week our zone gets a district that has more Hermanas than Elders. Hermanas are taking over! It is awesome. I get chills every time people talk about the sister missionaries. They seriously all are so great and have such a deep desire to be here. The Elders are great too but oh how I love sister missionaries.
The book is blue, the church is true, Moroni is on the ball, and I love you all.
PS. My companion and I got chosen to lead a "How to Begin Teaching" Class for all the new missionaries today! Wish us luck! We are really excited. Our teachers nominated us to the MTC Presidency to work with all the new missionaries. I thought that was pretty cool! They have 1000 people come in each week now. It’s insane.
|I love Sister Pedersen|
|Elder Macdonald and some friends that ran into us|
|Elder Riley Hodson|
|Best Dad in the world - he sent a package of fruit!|
|Our final destinations|
|Happy Valentine's Day! Cheers MOM...Thanks for the package.|
|Temple Walk Day|
|Email and Laundry day!!!|