It's very hard to keep track of who I write to and what I say between you and my family, so I know what you mean about being unsure what you said in a letter. I sent 2 this morning, so you should receive it by Saturday (: My experience here has been great! it's so nice to email though without my companions pestering me about writing home. I technically am I only supposed to write on P-days, but I didn't find it a big deal to write home, unlike Elder Schlee. Love the guy, but sometimes I feel he's almost a bit too obedient? I'm not sure. I'm the most innocent out of us 3, yet I break the most rules ha. I record videos on my camera, I write letters home, I read them before 9:30 (you're supposed to wait till all your classes are over), just little things. He said I write home too much so it's like I haven't started my mission yet. He's half-serious and i'm just like uhh... It's alright though, he's going to Sacramento, I can handle him for 4 more days. I arrive to California at noon on Tuesday! I have to get up at like 4:00 though, oi. Well that's really all I have for now, I love you! thank you for emailing me (:
To be honest, you were the only one to email me ha, and I don't have kelsie's janeese's or Pam's address, but they sent me a package and i don't want to write for the rest of my time here, so will you tell them thank you so much, they picked out all the right things, especially the now and later flavors. They sent me a valentine's package haha, it was very sweet of them (:
I can't remember any of my family's emails ha, so also tell them I love them and tell Blair that her letter was so cute! Tell her it's not me that makes her Strong; Jesus Christ does (:
Also tell Connor that i'm very grateful I could be such a good influence to him. He spoke so highly of me and it was so nice to see his personality shine through the letter he wrote me. He's a goofy kid that I miss dearly.
I sent shelby an index card home that I think will make her chuckle, but tell her I miss her so so so much and that I really hope that Litza's is going great for her. I love her so much and I hope she's able to draw closer to Jesus Christ, even in the slightest.
Tell Drake I love and miss him and that Hope Rasmussen asked about him. Tell him I admire how much he loves his life and that I hope that it only increases for him. Tell him and I really wish before my mission we had more time to hang out, I miss hanging out with you, drake, and shelby. They were always the best times (:
Tell Ben and Koriann and I love and miss them so much but I love making them proud. I hear that Bristol can stand on her own, how crazy! I wish I were there for that (: Tell Ben how I LOVE wearing my missionary badge, and because of his talk on Tuesday night, I honor it and respect my title as a representative of Jesus Christ so much more. (Elder Schlee just showed me his watch reminding how much time I have left on the computer!!!!)
And as for my parents, well, tell him that I have to much to say for an E-mail and i'll call them from the airport, talking in person will be so much easier!
I really wish I had time to write everyone, I can't express how busy I am that I barely manage to find time to update everyone ):
Other random things that popped in my head: Yes, I showed my whole district how I eat Krispy Kreme haha! I really enjoy my jeans, they are very comfortable. Yesterday the new group of missionaries came in and one of them is from Ogden and plays at Mojo's with his band a lot. Pretty cool! I wish I could show you some pictures! The computers are on the fritz and the sisters couldn't get pictures to upload, idk. But yeah, things are very good for me here, mainly cause of Elder smith. He's great! Wow I am lame with e-mail. Either way, hope these brighten your day a bit, glad to hear you're a boss at your job! (figuratively, not literally). They're super lucky to have you at the hospital, you provide such good news for those who need hope, and they're so lucky to get to come to such a pleasant face at a potentially stressful time. I love you very much and pray that things are looking up for you, considering that's really all I can do for you, but i'm sure it's effective. Have a lovely day, I will talk to you on Tuesday!
I almost wish the toughness of the MTC was distributed equally each day, because progressively I find the course of each day getting harder, to the point I get very excited to sleep in hopes the next day will be better. Everyone copes differently, I get that, but it’s hard to sit back and see other Elders and Sisters get something out of a lesson that I didn’t seem to grasp. Today we learned about Charity, and Paul said that even though he has enough faith that God could remove mountains, he is nothing without Charity. When you do teach investigators, you need to possess that, because if you don’t love them the way Christ loves and sees them, they won’t be will to trust and open up to you. There’s really so much to keep in mind. So today, as we taught an investigator named Cury I was so distraught as I left that room because I felt so helpless because I honestly could not find words to contribute to the lesson, and it’s so hard to leave on terms like that. Then we taught someone named Don and that lesson actually went really well. We got him to agree to reading the introduction to the B of M. and to pray on his own time. Don is 77 and has never in his life prayed, we did pretty good. However, it’s not certain he’s a real investigator. 30-40% of the people that come to the MTC for proselyting purposes for missionaries are real investigators. So who knows if we actually did have someone open up to the Church or if they’re only doing it for us to do some role-playing. Later that night we had a third investigator and our teacher said in this lesson to pray for your companion and the investigator during the lesson. I tried doing that, but I’m not very good at multi-tasking, so while praying for Elder Smith during the lesson, I was unable to comprehend what he was preaching. He finished and looked at me to take over and I didn’t have a single train of thought and I felt so up-set that I tried to fulfill what our teacher had asked us to do and it resulted in me being skipped over cause I tried to spit out words that could not make sentences. It is honestly devastating when you are unable to perform God’s work when you have the potential and the knowledge to bring someone closer to Christ, and everyone in my district spoke so highly of the technique and I sat there so discouraged like I had failed. I’m not sure how, but these 2 days have been hard on me because I feel as though I am moving backwards I know I’m in your prayers, I just ask for an extra prayer throughout the day specifically asking that I will be able to make progress for the rest of my stay here and that my investigators will be patient and feel the spirit with every lesson. I hate saying I’m struggling, but I really need all the help I can get. But it is time for me to slumber, we have a service project in the morning and 6:30 comes way too early. I love you all so does the Lord.
I received my flight information! I have to be up and ready by 6:05 am to my shuttle which by the time I get to the airport, it’ll be 7:00 or 7:30. My flight leaves at 11:00 am to Ontario and it’s a 1:47 flight, not too bad! So I really have no idea when I’ll call you guys, probably when Connor and Blair are at school L Ahh well, an even better reason for Mother’s Day J Either way, I can’t begin to tell you how much I love my companions! They’ve really made my experience awesome. I’m learning so many things here, there’s a lot more to teaching how to teach investigators than you’d think, it’s hard work! I’m learning to love the investigator before I start to teach them, it’s helping. You know, my letters don’t even begin to cover the MTC experience. I’m not having a hard time, but I’m definitely being pushed here. You don’t really get much time to rest. And you don’t even understand how frustrating it is planning the perfect lesson for an investigator! And leaving their “house” without them showing much interest in the Church kills ya. It’s like “The Gospel is real and it makes sense, how are you not accepting it?!” It’s frustrating having the testimony and not being able to force it on them haha, I know that’s not how the conversion process works though, and I understand we all have our own agency, I just have a difficult time finding out after the lesson where we went wrong. It’s hard, that’s the thing. Gah! It’s alright though, don’t get me wrong, I’m not struggling by any means J When study times is allowed, I try not to waste time and I found the neatest thing about prayer in the bible dictionary. It says: “Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other. The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for other blessings that god is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for the WOW!@@ No wonder God doesn’t answer our prayers sometimes; it’s because our will doesn’t match up with God’s, while if it did, that means that we are thinking 100% Christ-like because we are submitting ourselves to what God wants, not what we want, I just can’t believe the insight of that definition. So that thought came from Saturday, but I gotta tell you about this Sunday. We had sacrament and that was really cool, but I will tell you that today was the hardest day I have had while here. It’s tough (for me at least) to…ugh, I just sometimes have thoughts that cross my mind that in a sense degrade my testimony, and I don’t like feeling weak. You can’t convince me this church isn’t true, however, there will be instances we are vulnerable and that’s exactly how I was today. All day really, and it was unpleasant because we had 3 awesome firesides today that I now contained so many beneficial things. But luckily I was able to pick out a couple of things from brother and Sister Holland’s talks that I now to be true. Sister Holland said the reason God allows us to be weaker at some moments than others, is because He knows that is when we are going to communicate best with Him. We plead for extra love and support from him to remove whatever road block we may be experiencing. We need to rely on Him. We can try through our own human strength to persist through a trial, but we will not get far. Chances are, we will get too frustrated at our lack of success that we will end up lower than our beginning point. So I will openly say it. I had a hard day at the MTC. It was bound to happen within the 2 weeks that I was here, but this just calls for a heartfelt prayer that will restore myself to feel balanced and to keep my ambition flowing. Perhaps I lack stamina, but I want to tell you something in particular about my day. Although this was the hardest day I’ve had here, during all the talks, meetings, and firesides I attended today, we sang “I’ll go where you want me to go” three times today. And what peace that song offered me today as I could tell Grandma was watching over me today at a very vulnerable time. I think of grandma every single time I hear that hymn and am glad my spirit was enlightened today when I listened to it J
I’ve recovered from these 2 days that were a struggle for me! Today I had one of the best experiences with our investigator Don! I’ve been studying baptism a lot lately and we were reading in Matthew 3 and I said to Don “Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized to fulfill all righteousness?” and WOW!! I wish you guys could feel the spirit that just burned inside of me, my stomach, I just cannot explain my feelings! Don said he sees why it needs to be done, so I asked if he’ll prepare for the baptismal date on February 1st and he said he would pray about it. He responds well to the gospel and it makes me so giddy that the spirit worked through me. I was so excited that I did so well and then my companion Elder Schlee pointed out to me it’s God’s work, so I need to not give credit to myself, oops. Which I realize is 100% true. I’m just so happy God used me as a tool to spread the gospel, I love feeling in tune with Him and his love I’m a poor explainer, you get what I’m saying. Give credit to God/the spirit because they’re the real reason Don is feeling the way he is, it has nothing to do with me. While I’ve been here, I’ve had 2 dreams about home. I hope everything is great there I can’t believe I’ve been here exactly a week! Time flies. I’m honestly going to be sad leaving here because my companions and I have to go separate ways, but I won’t ever forget them for making my MTC experience great. There were exactly what I needed and I thank God so much for placing me in Branch 60. The MTC has been such a blessing to me. We’re getting 12 new missionaries tomorrow, so I can’t wait to meet them all to express to them how great it is here and how much they are going to learn and grow if they rely on the Lord. The MTC really is Heaven or Hell and I want them to have an experience like mine. I apologize for being such a downer in my last letter, my feelings must have gotten the best of me. I love you all so much and hope that you’re all growing closer to God at half the rate I am J