Hi friends and family!
I can't believe it's preparation day again already! Time is weird when you're on a mission. I feel like one day takes years, but a week goes by so fast!!
So I know I already mentioned this, but I have to write about it again because it was SO COOL!! We had a devotional last Tuesday with the quorom of the twelve--as in, 10 of the 12 apostles (all except for Elder Packer and Elder Hales because of their health) were sitting on the stand only 20 yards away from me! We were in like the ninth row!! It was so powerful! Elder Perry was the one who spoke. I love him. :) He spoke about why "those mormons next door are so happy and successful." They let all the apostles go after the meeting, but as all of us missionaries stood to watch them leave, Elder Scott waved to all of us and we waved back, and then Elder Holland blew us a kiss. It was very special. I'll never have another experience like that again in my life!
I am still learning like crazy! In the MTC we have "investigators" that we teach multiple times (it's fake, but we treat it very real). It has been an incredible experience to teach the gospel and really feel the spirit as I do so--and even better, to have my investigators feel it and see their desire to make a change in their lives! I can't tell you the joy I feel when I share the gospel and it really makes an impact! It makes me SO EXCITED to be a missionary. I am really learning to love people and to love this work. :) One of the things I am working on the most right now is learning how to recognize the spirit and follow its promptings. As a missionary, teaching with the spirit is essential. Even though we've taught many lessons with the spirit very present and strong, we have also had lessons where it is absent, and they are very disappointing. But the good news is that every time we have a lesson like that, we learn a TON from our mistakes and we are able to see how we can improve for next time.
Something else I learned about the spirit this week (that I wanted to share because I think it is really cool) was from my branch president, President Gubler. He said that one of the many things the spirit can do for us is manifest our standing before the Lord. If we have felt the spirit today, that means that as of today, we are worthy to be in the Lord's presence, for the Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead, and if we are worthy to have a member of the Godhead reside in us, our standing before the Lord is good. :) Cool, huh? He also says that the spirit is Heavenly Father's way of giving us hugs. :) I loved that.
I've come to realize that Heavenly Father tries us all in different ways, and the way I am being tried is NOT what I was expecting. I was expecting the MTC to be hard because of the normal things: homesickness, hard work, lack of sleep, etc. I've actually been doing really great with all of those things... instead, Heavenly Father is strongly testing my faith and my testimony. There were a couple days in a row that I really struggled. Then I talked to President Gubler in an interview and he put all my worries to rest. He also gave me an INCREDIBLE priesthood blessing. The promises I received were amazing. But he also reminded me that I have to have faith in the power of the priesthood for them to come true. As I have been putting my trust in that blessing these past couple days, I have been incredibly blessed, and my struggles have been reduced to almost nothing. :) This gospel blows my mind!
The saddest news of the week is that the only weeks I am here just so happen to be the only weeks of the whole year that the temple is closed for cleaning... so I won't get to go to the temple as an MTC missionary. :( I was super sad about that. But I can't wait to go to the San Diego temple instead. :)
Sister Riggs is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Her ability to teach and follow the spirit is unbelievable. I am SO LUCKY to be her companion. In addition, she sang a solo in front of the whole MTC on Sunday and blew them all away!! (Remember how I told you she's a performer??) I feel like I'm famous now because I'm her companion... you wouldn't believe how many people have thanked her and complimented her and praised her for her performance. She brought the spirit so strong. I love her!!
Last cool thing--Kristi Grover came to the MTC to interpret for a fireside and I got to see her!!! She gave me a HUGE hug and chatted with me for a bit and made me feel like I was on the top of the world! It was the best part of my day. :) I love you Kristi!! You're amazing!
I love you all SOOOO much!!!! Thank you for everyone who sent me letters this week--if I don't get to reply to them all, I'm sorry, I will do my best! But your support has made such a huge difference!!
I am so grateful to be here and for everything the Lord has blessed me with!! Everyday I recognize how good He is to me and I can't thank Him enough!! Count your blessings, everyone!!
Until next week,