BUNA ZIUA FAMILIA MEA. Wow. Holy cow. I will be in Romania in LESS THAN A WEEK. IN ONLY 4 DAYS! WOWIE.
This week was great. SO GREAT! WE GOT OUR FLIGHT PLANS ON FRIDAY! So that was very exciting. But not even the highlight of the week. I SWEAR this place is slightly heaven. A little glimpse to what the celestial kingdom will be like, except I will be able to see all of your smiling faces everyday and talk to you more than once a week :) haha
So one thing I noticed this week was that my faith was lacking a little...so I said a quick prayer during personal study and I found an AWESOME scripture that really helped me see faith and trust in a new way. Ezekiel 2:9 - "when I looked" is the key phrase that I picked up on. WE need to turn to the Lord. His hand is always extended - ALWAYS - but we have to make sure that we're looking for it. Does that make sense? Hopefully?! It really helped me see that if I want to grow in faith and trust in the Lord that I need to put some effort in. I need to be looking and recognizing His hand in my life :) SO that's another goal to add to the never ending list of improvements!
CAN I JUST SAY AGAIN HOW MUCH I LOVE MY TEACHERS. Seriously. Angels sent from heaven. We do this thing called coaching and again I was having a rough day. But then Fratele Simmons came to the rescue. He did a little speed round coaching with each of us. He told me some things that honestly were straight from Heavenly Father. Because he is in-tune with the Spirit, he was able to help me out. I've really learned that here. HOW important it is to ALWAYS have the Spirit with us. And that's possible. In our baptismal covenants, Heavenly Father doesn't promise to give us the Spirit sometimes or just when we need it. He has promised to give us His Spirit ALWAYS if we keep up our end of the deal. I invite you to go and read Mosiah 18:8-10 for a quick refresher about what promises you've made with God :)
Elder Holland gave a super awesome devotional a year ago that they play on Sunday nights here in the MTC called "Open Your Mouth". Really inspiring. He challenged all the missionaries to go and find 20 "open your mouth" scriptures. So I want everyone to do that and then share two or three with me, so I can add them to my long list haha :)
OKAY BUT THE REAL HIGHLIGHT WAS TUESDAY NIGHT DEVOTIONAL. WOW HAVE I SAID HOW MUCH I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY/THIS PLACE YET?! I LOVE IT. So Brother Juan Uceda of the Seventy spoke to us about his conversion story. It reminded me so much of your conversion story, grandma and grandpa :) AND MAN. Family. Friends. Loved ones. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be brave. Share the gospel with everyone. I don't know how to stress it enough. My biggest regret in life is not being a better member missionary while in high school. The gospel is a blessing in my life. Is it a blessing in yours? Don't you want your friends and family members to feel the same joy that you have from knowing your family will be together after this life? PLEASE have courage and share the gospel. YOU CAN DO IT. I AM PRAYING FOR YOU. The elect are EVERYWHERE around the world. They're in Central Point, OR; Vidor, TX; Provo, UT...etc :)
I have loved the MTC. I'm so sad to be leaving...especially all the friends I have here. Especially my district. These elders and sisters that I've spent 24/7 with for the last 6 weeks have made me into a better disciple of Christ. BUT I am so excited to go to Romania. My Romanian is pretty much as good as a 2 year old's, but I love the people there already. I can't really explain the kind of love I have for them, even though I've never met them. They are God's beloved children, just as we are. And there are people out there ready to hear the gospel. I know that. Without a doubt. Eastern Europe or not, the elect are waiting and READY FOR ME TO SMILE ALL THE TIME AT THEM EVEN IF IT FREAKS THEM OUT haha :)
But thanks for your prayers. Seriously. I can't stress that enough. The power of prayer is UNREAL. I love being able to communicate 24/7 with The Most High God through prayer. What a blessing that is.
NEXT TIME I EMAIL YOU I'LL BE IN A CREEPY INTERNET CAFE SOMEWHERE IN ROMANIA!!!!!!!!!!! xoxo
With our Branch President (President Taylor) and his wife!
Don't you love how creative I've become with my outfits? Haha :)
V. Trottier had the best birthday! Thanks to everyone who sent him dear elders. Friday was a fun day :)
They made us move rooms....very frustrating, but we rang in the move with a mirror selfie DUH
4 Days People . . . . . FOUR DAYS
Elder Gorze!!!!!!!!!! Oh how fun it is to have Wardies at the MTC :)
The best part about all the sisters forgetting their cameras.....is that
we can later take pictures of the pictures the elders take!
Because we can't get emails from them :-) EXACT OBEDIENCE BRINGS BLESSINGS WOOT WOOT
.....cleaning bathrooms with Sora Lee during service FOR THE 4TH WEEK IN A ROW :) while Sora Dusie got to go clean windows.....very fun haha but actually cleaning bathrooms was fun this week. Two elders were following us around singing very loudly. It was entertaining. BUT some other super fun things that happened: I got to go out into the real world! I had a doctor's apt. for a nasty internal rupture BUT I AM ALIVE AND OKAY. I could definitely feel all the prayers coming my way. SUPER SWEET STORY: Elder Lemon and Elder Jacobson were fasting for me when I was out getting the ultrasound. FASTING WORKS MAH DUDES. In all reality. I was so grateful to my district the past few days while all the weirdness was happening. They were so kind and supportive. SO THANKS TO YOU AND THEM. SHOUT OUT TO MY SORORI AND VARSTINUL :)
BEFORE I MOVE ON ANY FURTHER, IT IS VARSTINCUL TROTTIER'S BIRTHDAY TOMORROW. Will everyone who is reading this send him a Dear Elder tonight? It's our goal as a district to have everyone of our family members and friends send him one...so that he will get like 1 million. So if you could do that for me, that would be GREAT. Same address as mine for Dear Elder, but his name is Elder Jacob Trottier. Thank you. Let's continue :)
This week also included an entire floor evactuation in the residence hall....because of a bat. But don't worry. I made sure to grab the queso and chips the Heywoods sent. So we had a mini fiesta on the floor below. It was a paaaaaaartaaaaaay!
SISTER OSCARSON CAME TO SPEAK ON TUESDAY. It was wonderful. She is so spunky and wonderful and kind and cute. Wow. Love that lady. One of the most important things I learned came after watching the video clip from Elder Christofferson's talk about the currant bush. I've watched it maybe 90 times in my short 4.5 weeks in the MTC. BUT I LEARNED SOMETHING NEW THIS TIME. Each time I watch it I've thought I need to be humble so that Heavenly Father can help me change to become better for myself. WRONG. He cuts me to down to humble me so that I can develop more Christlike attributes so that I can USE those attributes to help OTHERS. The whole purpose of the Lord cutting down the bush was so the bush would produce fruit....which would feed and bless others. You feel me? It was a great reminder that 1) this mission is not about me, it's about the people I will be serving and 2) the work and glory of the Lord is to bring to past the immortality and eternal life of ALL His children.... So what can we be doing more of to make sure that ALL of His children return to him. I'm challenging all of you reading this to put this into effect! Humble yourself to let the Lord show you areas where you can improve. Then use that improvement to help others. I'll be working on that this week :)
UHM HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK: SEEING HERMANA KILLBOURN AND SISTER CASE YESTERDAY. I love seeing friends here. Everyone go on a mission. We're part of the generation that the Lord has chosen to fill with the Spirit, if we put in the work :) a cool scripture that Fratele Simmons shared was in Acts 2:6-8 & 16-18. WE ARE IT GUYS. We are the sons and daughters who the Lord needs to prophesy. Every member a missionary, whether or not you serve a mission YOU can still be a missionary.
I love all of you. ONLY A WEEK AND A HALF UNTIL ROMANIA. Can't believe how fast it's gone. Thank you SO MUCH for keeping me in your prayers. I can feel the love and support everyday. This church is truly Jesus Christ's restored church.
World's most "Forget things all the time in our room so we run up the stairs like 90 times a day" trio hahah
1) ELDER NEIL L. ANDERSON CAME AND SPOKE AT TUESDAY'S DEVOTIONAL !!!!!!!!!!! AN APOSTLE OF JESUS CHRIST. HERE. SPEAKING. ME LISTENING. WOW. It was such a cool experience. Earlier that day Fratele Simmons had showed us one of the "Life of Jesus Christ" videos - the one where He and Peter walk on water - and asked us if we really truly believe that something like that could happen. He then testified that he knew it did, but that question left me really unsettled. I know that Christ performed miracles during His ministry...but did I really believe they happened? I guess from my doubting the answer was no. During personal study I read more about it, but still had feelings of uneasiness. SO FAST FORWARD A BIT: Elder Anderson walks into the room and everyone stands up/goes SILENT. You wanna see 3,000 teenage boys and girls go silent? Have an apostle walk in lol BUT ANYWAYS. Before he started speaking I prayed in my heart that I would have a question answered that I really needed. I wasn't super sure about what question I needed answered, but I had faith that something would! Mind you, when I was saying the prayer I had completely forgotten about the video we had watched earlier that day/my unbelief in the miracles Christ performed.
Okay so fast forward to the end of his talk.... He starts testifying of Christ. That he is a sure witness of Him. He testifies that Christ will come again, and that He will stand in our midst. AND BAMMMMMMMMM !!!!!!!!! All of the sudden I have this OVERWHELMING feeling that YES! I do believe that Jesus Christ performed miracles. He DID walk on water. HE WAS RESURRECTED AND IS ALIVE TODAY. Just like that. Waterworks. Hahha. Later in devotional review we were going over what we really loved about Elder Anderson's talk, and I shared the answer to the prayer I received. AND BAM ROUND TWO! The Spirit testified to me AGAIN that what I was telling my district was the truth. So there you have it folks. God is mindful of the questions we have, that we don't even really know we have.
I can't wait to show you my journal when I get home, so you can see all the other great insight he gave!! But here are some other cool things he shared: D&C 1:16 - Are we truly obeying all of the 10 commandments? What "gods" can/should you give up? Mark 12:30-31 - if you are having a hard time letting go of the natural man, START by reading these scriptures and acting upon them. I PROMISE that I'm working harder on this than anyone I know... but we can all improve!
Most of his talk was centered on having faith during the hard days of your mission...never letting your faith flame be defeated. WHEREVER YOU LIVE YOU COULD AND SHOULD BE A MISSIONARY. STOP MAKING EXCUSES. The message that we have is the happiest message around. Why didn't I share it more with my friends in high school ?!??! I challenge all of you to share it with someone you care about this week. Don't you wan't them to be as happy as you will be, for eternity?
OH ALSO PRESIDENT UCHTDORF IS COMING TO VISIT MY MISSION SEP. 6-8 !!!!!!! SO LIKE A WEEK AFTER I GET THERE. WOWZA. I AM SO PUMPED.
OKAY ANOTHER GREAT THING THAT HAPPENED WAS CHICK-FIL-A FOR DINNER ON MONDAY. The joy that brought me. Last time for a year and a half. Tender mercy. I wish I would have brought my camera. I think everyone in my district shed a tear. Especially Sora Gleason. She actually started crying when she walked into the cafeteria hahaha
OKAY SORRY THIS IS SO LONG! But thanks to everyone for sending me Dear Elders throughout the week! I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU! It brightens my day. We make the elders check the mail twice a day. Just in case we get Dear Elders in the afternoon, for all you slackers :) haha kidding. Plus if you send Dear Elders I will have your address and can write you letters on P-Day :)
BUT YEAH! This week was incredible. We aren't using notes in lessons anymore. And I sound like a 3 year old instead of a 2 year old (or so I like to tell myself to not get discouraged haha). Thanks for all the prayers. My companions and I can really feel them.
THIS CHURCH IS TRUE. I love the Savior and His miraculous ministry. The priesthood power of God has been restored. And it is POWERFUL. *some of the elders gave me a blessing this week and wowie. The Spirit is strong in these youngins straight out of high school*.
I'M PRAYING FOR ALL OF YOU EVERYDAY!
AREN'T MY COMPS SO CUTE?! I love them,
Our zone includes our 1 Romanian district + 4 Italian districts...they all leave this upcoming Monday/Tuesday :( so sad to see them go. FORZA ITALIA!
My eye has some type of infection? It's been this way for like 3 weeks. Yesterday morning was especially bad hahah so I made Sora Dusenberry take a pic. HELLO BED HEAD. Don't worry mom, I'm going to the Doc tomorrow to get it taken care of
There are marker thieves here in God's chosen land....so some parents have sent markers to us (which we hide in the tissue boxes lol). Now our board is the most beautiful on campus.
Wow. Well this week has been a stretcher. As in I have been stretched and pushed and sad and happy and JUST DOWN RIGHT WOW WHAT A WEEK. So the honeymoon phase of the MTC is over. I am not in a "always happy totally smiley" bubble....or am I? Hhaha jk I am. But I've definitely had some learning moments this week! Heavenly Father sure is shaping me into the woman He wants me to be, which is uncomfortable and hard BUT I'm so grateful for it :)
Funny: My comps and I wanted to sing "I Am a Child of God" in Romanian to our investigator Mele (who we later found out was really our teacher Sora Long)..... So we did it. Or at least we thought we did. HAHAHHA we sang "I Need Thee Every Hour" to the tune of "I Am a Child of God".. and couldn't find out why she was laughing so hard during the song. We thought it was because we sounded awful. But really it was just because we can't read Romanian...or ask our other teachers for help. Oh pride. How it will lead you to do silly things. We had a good laugh about it when she told us later in the week what we had done :)
*QUICK SHOUT OUT TO MAMA BRE FOR THE FIESTA IN A BOX. We had a fun time as a district pinning the tail on the donkey and instantly growing facial hair hahaha*
Spiritual: Okay but really what isn't a spiritual moment at the MTC? So I guess this section is really more of a "The Spirit Rocks and Teaches Me New Things Every Single Minute" section. My favorite quote from this week's Tuesday devotional was "Look outward - See Needs" AKA my new mission motto. We got two new investigators this week, and I was struggling to understand their needs. Why do they need the gospel? I was MAJORLY humbled when I heard that saying. To be able to see the needs of investigators, companions, friends, children, parents, etc. we really need to quit being so self-centered. When we start to look outward, Heavenly Father will help us see the needs of others. SO that's my goal this week. I really want Cosmin and Cristian (our investigators) to feel their Savior's love. "Look outward - See Needs"!!!!!!!!!
Scripture: John 3:17 - OKAY totally eye opening lesson with one of our teachers this week. It was a much needed pick-me-up after a hard lesson. Heavenly Father has sent ME into the world (Provo + Romania) to help save His children. HOW AWESOME that for the next 18 months I get to stand in the shoes of the Savior. That I am being allowed to stand in His place. It really helped put things into perspective... you know? As missionaries we help and invite people to draw closer to Christ. Just as Christ did while He was on the earth. WOWIE. Powerful.
Family: I know that this church is true. I know it with all my heart. I'm so grateful to have been taught by such ROCKIN' AWESOME parents and uncles and aunts and grandparents my whole life. I know that through the Atonement we can be cleansed of our sins, but also find strength and be comforted. I'm so grateful for Jesus Christ. I have turned to Him more in the last two weeks than I ever have before. He literally has been my rock during the hard times. And trust me, there are. But staying positive and turning to the Lord=keys of success. I LOVE AND MISS YOU ALL AND I AM PRAYING FOR YOU. Look Outward - See Needs !!!!
P.S. Please send me Dear Elders. I only have an hour to read and respond to emails, BUT I want to hear from all of you !!!!!! So send me those throughout the week, and I can write you back on PDays :)
(From Emma's Mom: Dear Elder is just as easy as emailing, but the letters are printed each day at noon and go in Emma's mailbox. So she can pick them up daily and read them anytime. She's only allowed to open emails on PDay and wants all her allotted computer time to write emails back, rather than read emails. If that makes sense. Just go to dearelder.com and click to send a letter to the "Provo MTC (FREE)" You have to enter a few things about Emma: Her Unit # is 61, Her code is ROM-MLD, and her estimated departure date is AUG30 and then you can type to your hearts content. I have donated money, so when they ask, just remember that it's been done for Emma's group!!)
All my District Sisters + Sora Long w/mustaches during the fiesta :) Pin the Tail on the Donkey. We still have it hanging on our door.
Romanian Elders are the best Elders!
Doesn't Elder Perrett just make you die laughing cuz same hahaha
Sister Kinnison and I during our temple walks !!!
Love running into my sweet Sweeeeede :)
Is there an cuter trio than this? No. No there is not.