HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!
The one holiday I was never fond of but I’m still being happy today. Thank you all so very much for the valentines. :-) It came in at a time when I needed it. Well, to be honest this was the hardest week to go through yet. Last Tuesday, we had another great devotional from Elder Richard Edgley who talked about the importance of exact obedience. He also talked about my favorite scripture; but actually this time D&C 18: 11 stood out to me. It’s the second verse on my plaque and I never thought of it in the way that he described. He shared a story about how he baptized a sister and years later her daughter came to greet him and said that he baptized her mother. He went on to say that he could project how many generations were and will be blessed by that one baptism. It’s hard to fully express how that touched me that night but I’m so glad that the spirit taught me because I had such an appreciation for the missionaries that came to YOUR doors mom and dad. Even though I will probably never know them, I am grateful that they followed the spirit to come and teach you and that you mom and dad had the faith to accept the message and act on it; cause I know I wouldn't be here on a mission if you didn't.
So Thursday's highlight was welcoming in another district. I'll keep this day short because I really loved Sunday and want to share that day with you. The new district is all Elders and man, was that different! I forget that these young men are 19 years old and so you can only imagine the humor that came along with that. But we (the zone leaders and I) conducted the meeting while the branch presidency had personal interviews with the missionaries. I was so touched because at the close of the meeting, he said to all the new elders, "If you ever want to know what kind of missionary to be, look at these three." I was so grateful for his nice words but also felt the responsibility that statement came with. In general, the world looks to us missionaries and what we do and say so. I think it’s important to always be doing what is truly representative of Christ. I realized I skipped over Wednesday but it was class and eating and sitting basically; always amazing lessons and personal revelation.
Friday and Saturday just tanked.
On Thursday when I got my immunization shots, they gave me typhoid and polio in my right arm and the Japanese encephalitis in the left. My arms were sore on Thursday, I felt a little sniffle by Thursday night because the Elders have been sick this week and such. So lo and behold, I woke up sick on Friday. It was awful! My upper body ached; especially my arms and I had a headache and a stuffy nose. That morning was hard to get through. I told myself countless time throughout the day, to put on a smile and do my best. Don't worry mom, I am better now ... almost. :-) Every morning I had / have a bowl of cereal and two cups of orange juice. By the end of the day, I’ve had about 6 cups of OJ. :P For lunch I have soup ... lots of soup and just eat whatever for dinner; whatever meaning what they serve.
So I'm taking care of myself and so are my sweet companions. I've had medication regularly and about half a bag of cough drops. Friday was still a good day. MOM and DAD (and Trav and Trina!) I LOVE YOU!! YOU ARE AMAZING!! My district was so impressed with how you wrapped my package with the blanket. I needed it on Friday; it was just a miserable day and I felt like my body was literally going to fall apart. I started feeling better Friday night but Saturday morning wasn't promising. I was worse. So after doing our Saturday Service we came back to residency and I crashed. I felt bad for my Khuus (companions) because I slept through personal study time and gym. I physically couldn't get out of bed, but I slept with the green blanket and my purple bear Trina sent me and it had the fragrance of home. I loved it! I think I just had a fever but I wouldn't want any other missionary to have what I had cause It was NOT fun!! Plus the mail room closes at 2 p.m. on Saturdays so no mail :-(
It’s ok though because when I thought about it, I realized that I’m worrying too much about myself and I'm letting a small thing like being sick be a road block for me. The lesson on Saturday night was hard to work through because physically I couldn't hack it but then, I remember the people in Thailand. Someone out there needs me, they're struggling through things much worse than a cold and if I'm not prepared to share the message of the gospel with them; I'm going to be so sad that I missed out on an opportunity to tell another soul that God knows they're worth it and He loves them. Also found the blessing I was given when I was set apart and the reminder that Christ went through everything and even more. So I prayed a lot this past week about several different things. I'm also so glad to have the companions that I have. At times I do get a little frustrated (to be honest) but when I was sick this weekend, they made sure they knew how I was feeling. Sister Stolworthy is amazing because I think I had this look like I needed a hug on Saturday and without even saying anything, she just knew and was right there giving me one. :-)
So all sickness was about gone yesterday morning. Faith in trails! Yay. I know Heavenly Father is mindful of what I need and he blessed me my whole life with the most wonderful angel; yes, you mom! I loved your gift! It hangs above my bed and I'm going to the copy-center today to shrink that talk and stick it in my scriptures. On Sunday nights, we watch different films and this past Sunday, we watched one from Elder Bednar who came to the MTC this last Christmas and he talked about the Character of Christ. I wished you could have been here to hear it because I was so moved by it and really motivated to do what he challenged us to do. He talked about Characteristics of Christ and he said that moral qualities are "strongly developed, strikingly displayed and consistently lived."
He shared an amazing story about a woman who lost her only daughter but when she found out about the two other mothers whose daughters were in the same accident and injured badly, she was concerned for them. It was amazing how she turned outward in love towards the other mothers when most of the time we have a tendency to turn inward and focus on our sorrow. So in the last minute I have, I loved what he said about journal writing. That sometimes, when we hear talks, we tend to re-write what is being said. He said that we should focus on how we feel and record that because chances are the talk being given will be published elsewhere but you won't remember how you felt in that exact moment. What has stuck with me from this talk is the power of conversion. I've been learning ever since I came to the MTC that I need to be converted. I need to have true conversion and know what that feels like before I try to teach people in Thailand about it.
He said that a testimony is not enough! It is the foundation but it is not the final destination and that conversion is to be consistently true to what you know. We all have to pay the price for our conversion and Alma 23:5-6 is worth studying. :-) I wrote in my notes that night, to forget myself, and get to work. Every day we teach and even if they are just our teachers doing role-play; they are role-playing as real people who have been taught in Thailand. All my thoughts are about them now. I don't know them yet, but I love them already. Like you said mom, I want to be that angel for someone over there.
I love you all very much and I hope you have a great day filled with love.
p.s. Your valentines might be coming randomly throughout the week. Oh, and can you tell Trav I never got his letter.
p.s.s. Many of my fiends sent me stuff but I don't have their addresses so please convey my “thanks” for are Aaron Barrus, Chelsey McCarty and Abby Holyok. Also, can you do me a favor and tell Sam I said “hi.” I haven't heard from her since the first week--so yeah.