How is everyone doing? There were so many cool things that happened this week!! How's Trina feeling? I hope she is going to recover super quick! I can't believe it's already time for her OAKE experience! :-) I am excited for her. How's Travis? Busy I'd assume--the semester ends by the time I leave the MTC. It's going by fast, week seven already!
Thanks for your letter mom! It's nice to get mail :-) Hmm well, I guess I will just start from last Tuesday.
It was an a.m.a.z.i.n.g fireside given by Elder Holland. He spoke about our responsibility and the expectation the church has for missionaries. He started out by sharing how loved we are as missionaries and how people all over the world pray for us. He expressed that for a while and oh man, it's hard to describe the feelings that I had. My heart seriously felt like it was going to pop; it was so special and it really is amazing to think about how much missionary work is looked at in the church. Thinking about it now, I'd always be so happy to see missionaries; especially the sisters when I went to temple square. Elder Holland asked us a question: "Are we doing the things that we teach our investigators?" Meaning have we taken the steps to our own conversion. He said that we couldn’t expect our investigators to be converted if we only have the mentality that for this 18 months I will do the Lord's work and then go back to “real life.” He said, “THIS IS REAL LIFE!” He said that if we are not converted and don't commit to continue to live the way we are living as missionaries, then we should not go at all. So Elder Holland doesn't talk to the missionaries the way he speaks in General Conference. [He is much more direct.] It was powerful! My companions and I talked about it and we said we've never been chastised and felt so loved. He said, don't go back to what you were before the mission; even if you were terrific, God wants us to be a more mature terrific. Then I loved how he told us to savor it. Savor the moments of a mission here at the MTC and basically everything that we experience. I agree completely because the more I think about the fact that we go to Thailand in a month, the more I realize I need to stop worrying about what others don't want to do or not be obedient but that I’ll decided for myself that I would be exactly obedient as you all have advised me too and has been taught here a lot. It was an incredible fireside!! I wish you could be here for every single one of them.
The week has been good as far as language study. Tomorrow, we get new missionaries... going to Thailand. Oh BTW, I got released from my calling as a coordinating sister. It made me really sad initially but I asked Heavenly Father to just help me be comforted. I thought about it and I thought about Christ. He didn't need a special calling to love and serve people; so I don't need a calling to do that either. My companions still tease me because they say I know everyone, but that's just me; I like to meet people and hear their stories and it helps me to see the good in the world through other people. It was funny because one day an Elder came up to me and said you look like a girl I know from back home. (He's from Hawaii) and I said oh, I'm probably not related since I am from here [Utah]. So my companions said you probably know her (the Elder's friend). So, he mentioned the name and... I do know her older brother. The weird part was that I saw her older brother at the temple on Sunday when we were out for Temple walk. It was crazy! It's Provo and a lot of people from BYU are here, so I guess that's how that works.
Sunday was mission conference, and we heard from our MTC presidency. President Brown spoke about the Atonement and the way he did it was very educational and also very spiritual. He really detailed every aspect and even that led up to the crucifixion of Christ. He was betrayed; he was beaten and taken to several illegal trials and still said nothing. He suffered so much in the garden of Gethsemane and was hung on the cross. It hard to explain all of it in such a short time but I think that would be a great lesson for FHE. It's incredible (for lack of a better word) that he turned outward and cared about everyone else while he was going through the hardest thing anyone could experience in life.
Our branch president was released and is not serving in a different calling here at the MTC. He and his wife are so great and very loving! We miss them but will welcome in our new branch president. President Brown and his wife came to our sacrament to conduct business and I have a feeling I might get called up to speak one day because I led the music and ... I like to smile, it's never a bad thing, so she would look at me, smile and ask Sister Roach a question. President Brown talked to us afterwards and He is so very kind.
Okay, in the last five minutes… Sunday devotional was different but amazing! A man named Alex Boye came. Youtube him! (Oh and sidenote ... if you haven't seen Mormon messages on the LDS website, you should check them out; we love them here and they are our spiritual booster when we all need a minute to be uplifted). So, Alex sang and I want to share one thing that really stuck with me:
He said, “We become what we think about the most.” I LOVED that! At the end, he also told us to, “think as BIG as you want.” Which is so true, God created us in His image, which means He has invested in us and believes in our abilities to become like Him as we rely and come to know Him. I wrote down that sentence in several places because during the week when I get frustrated with things or people I think about that, the Savior and my potential. If I am working toward my potential then I will remember that the Savior is patient, He is kind, and He loves without end.
I love you all without end and I am SUPER DUPER grateful for the love I feel from you and your prayers. You are the best!!
LOVE YOU ALL!!!
p.s. Thanks for the snacks mom!! I almost ate the whole pack of Adobo in one night. It's all American treats here in the MTC. Oh, and my bruised knee has not been bruised for a while. I was playing Volleyball and kinda might have dove for a ball. I repented ... I don't do that anymore. I'm all in tack and ready to go to Thailand. :-) Yesterday, I was super allergic to something (but I took my allergy medicine) so I might be getting sick again ... but I've been eating healthy and wearing my coat everywhere. Don't worry tho Mom, I"ll be fine and take great care of myself then keep you updated :D
AHH OH yeah! I sure hope that I'm home if Uncle Bobo and Aloysius and Ah-wei comes to visit!!!!! That would be SO SO SO cool!!! I'll cross my fingers.
Well last thoughts, I know that serving a mission is where I am suppose to be and I am so grateful for the opportunity to give all my time, talent and everything to this wonderful work. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3