How are you?? Can you even believe that I am leaving the MTC on Monday? I can't! I feel like this has been the longest 3 weeks of my life, but also the shortest. It's a very hard thing to explain. I have enjoyed the MTC very much, however, I am very ready to head out to do amazing things in Alaska. My flight leaves about 10am on Monday July 16 and it's about a 5 hour flight to Anchorage.
This week has been a major rollercoaster ride. It was full of a ton of blessings and answers to prayers as well as some really not so wonderful moments. But that's just how life always is. As the scriptures say, "They could not know joy for they knew no sorrow". How very true that is! Let's focus on the good moments though! :)
- I received a TON of letters this week full of love and encouragement from a ton of different friends and family. Thank you ALL for writing me! I cannot express what a blessing my letters/packages were for me this week. Keep them coming! (But don't forget to send them to AK instead of the MTC)
- Our investigator Sara (the non-member who has been incredibly challenging) was especially difficult to teach on Tuesday. We couldn't even share a brief message with her in any of our lessons for the last two weeks and this Tuesday was the worst of them all. Sister Morrison and I were getting incredibly discouraged. We prayed for guidance in our lessons multiple times a day but were not receiving any answers. Our final lesson with her was on Thursday and we didn't even bother planning a lesson because we knew there was no point. We had a talk with one of the TRC (teaching resource center) workers to see if he had any advice...he didn't and was actually telling us that we were bad missionaries because we weren't getting anywhere with her. We said a prayer to have some direction in what we were going to say and to ask for help in filling our mouths with the message that Sara needed to hear. I can't express to you what an incredible experience we had in that lesson. We taught for 30 minutes about the temple, plan of salvation, Joseph Smith, the Restoration, and the Atonement. At the end of the lesson I commited her to baptism. It was a truly wonderful moment hearing her say yes. Sister Morrison and I walked out of the room and just sobbed. The Spirit was so strong and we knew that we had changed Sara's life for the better. We prayed to Heavenly Father for forgiveness for not putting our full trust in Him sooner.
- We also commited our other 2 investigators to baptism this week! It bring such joy to see how much the Gospel really blesses our lives and the lives of those we teach.
- I can officially say that I have played 4-square at the MTC! What an experience. haha
- On Wednesday our district got to "host" the new incoming missionaries. I was chosen by the head of the media department to be followed around by a photographer while hosting a sister. They are making a new Welcome to the MTC manual/video presentation and were taking pictures/video for the book! Basically, I'm going to be famous here at the MTC. Haha just kidding, but it was a really fun experience!
- Answers to prayers are real. After I had the experience with Sara, our teacher challenged us to go outside and pray. To ask God a sincere question and to listen for an answer. I can testify to you that God hears each and every one of our prayers and that He answers them. I received an immediate answer to my prayer through reading the scriptures. It was an INCREDIBLE experience. I challenge you all to do that this week. Ask God a question that you want the answer to. When you are done, just listen. Listen for about 4 times longer than you pray. I promise you that you will get an answer.
I want you all to know how much I am loving being a missionary. My testimony has been strengthened so much in the last 3 weeks, but I am looking forward to seeing how much it will grow in the next 17 months. I know that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me and each and every one of you reading this. He knows you and loves you so much. He answers your prayers on His own time. Jesus Christ is our Savior. He experienced every hardship, trial, and sadness that we are going to experience here on this earth. He died so that we could have the opportunity to return to our Father in Heaven if we are willing to follow in His example. Joseph Smith is and was a true prophet of God. He saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the Sacred Grove and he restored the Gospel of Jesus Christ in this dispensation. I know that families can be together forever.
I love you all so much. Please continue to write me and tell me how you are doing. I hope everything is going well and that you all are loving life and doing what's right. Next time you hear from me, I will be writing from Alaska!