Sunday, March 10, 2013

Highlights 3/7/13

Dear Family,

I can hardly believe it's already been a month since I got here. We'll likely be getting travel plans before the weekend is over, so I'll let you know what those are when I have more info.

Fun moment of the week! I bumped into Brother Jett from the Sandy Plains ward at the breakfast bar this week. He and Sister Jett, who I also got to say hi to, are on their way to Chile. Also, I got a Dear Elder from Dylan. He got his mission call to Kenya!! Also, Nokuthula is going to Zimbabwe, Yondela (who I am SO glad decided to go on a mission!!) is going to the new Ghana mission and Avela, another guy in our ward, is going to Ghana, Accra, which is where Hyrum is. I was SOOO excited to hear their news. It's so great to me how much enthusiasm they all have for the gospel. So exciting!!

This week was probably the hardest week of the mission so far. Hna. L. had a couple of hard days right at the beginning of the week, and now it's my turn. Honestly, being a missionary is exhausting. It's mentally, emotionally and spiritually exhausting to the point of becoming physical. The last couple of days, I have gone to bed and woken up feeling like I didn't sleep at all. Never in my life have I so consistently gotten 8 hours of sleep, and never in my life have I been so utterly wiped out. Yesterday, our teacher asked us to work on weekly planning for 40 minutes, and I immediately got a stomach ache, my eyes felt like they had turned into lead, and I couldn't think any more because I knew the mental toll that was about to be taken. It just wears you out, and it's hard to find ways to refill the bucket. Today at the temple, I was so tired during the session and even though I fought it and fought it and fought it, I would think I was doing a great job, and then all of a sudden I would wake up. My heart was pounding, and I've been a little bit shaky all day. I feel like I can't speak Spanish very well, because now that I've learned how many rules I didn't know, I get into lessons and I can't figure out how I'm supposed to say what I need to say. Is this really preterit, or should it be subjunctive? For that matter, maybe it should be conditional, with past subjunctive? And is that verb regular or does it have a stem change??!?!?  Honestly, it's terrible, but I also feel like it's a blessing. The last few weeks, I have been praying to learn humility and patience, and I think this is a golden opportunity to do both. Heavenly Father expects us to give our best, but I'm sure he can't want us to feel miserable for the next 18 months. In order to make it through this, I HAVE to rely on him to help me figure out what it is that he wants me to be doing. It's so interesting how a few weeks ago, I felt like I wasn't giving enough, and now I feel like I'm almost wasted. Mom, I've been thinking a lot about you and your calling and what you said about not running faster than you have strength. Yeah, that's totally true. If you kill yourself running out the gate, you're not going to be able to finish the race. I've just got to figure out where the balance is.

That being said, we had a really great devotional this week with the Provo Temple president, and he talked a lot about the ordinances in the temple. In particular, I loved what he said about the initiatory, and this week, it has been really comforting thinking about the blessings we are promised there, and how they can help me as a missionary. I don't want you all to think that I'm hating my life and wanting to come home, because that's not the case. In fact, I believe more strongly than ever that every girl should come on a mission. This is the best spiritual workout you will ever have in your life. It will change who you are and what your future will be. I'm just feeling the soreness after the exercise. I know I'll get through it. I'm just really tired today. Actually, I had a really great experience last night that reminded me that Heavenly Father is mindful of my situation. We were walking back from dinner and I was feeling especially tired, when all of a sudden I saw S. Pister, one of my Campus Plaza friends. He was there to volunteer for the Russian misisonaries in the TRC. S. Pister is the most comforting, upbeat person in the world. Totally genuine, and very practical while still being 175% positive. The missionaries were a few minutes late, so I got to talk to him for a bit, and it totally turned my night around. Just a small tender mercy that made a difference to me.

Actually, I want to say something else that relates to deciding to come on a mission, and I hope all of the young women in our ward hear this. Hna. L and I were having a hard time planning a lesson for one of our investigators. We felt like we weren't getting any direction at all after spending all day Sunday thinking about it, and our appointment was scheduled for early Monday morning. Sunday night,we watched a devotional by Elder Bednar about recognizing the spirit. He planned his remarks in response to this question "Elder Bednar, how do I know if I'm feeling the spirit, or if it's just me?" And his response was this. "Quit Worrying About It!!!!! You be a good boy, you be a good girl, you remember and keep your covenants, you obey the commandments, press forward with faith, and you will be guided." So many times as members of the church, we fall into the trap of thinking we have to have an answer before we move forward. That is not true. If you have righteous desires, and you are living faithfully, Heavenly Father will take care of you. I never got "an answer" to go on a mission. I just made a decision and pressed forward. I would encourage every young woman who is considering a mission to do the same. If you have a desire to serve, you are called to the work. Even though you may pray and pray and pray for six months like I did, "the answer" may never come. Just make a decision, press forward, and Heavenly Father will guide you. I can testify that this is a true principle. After deciding on a course of action as a companionship, we moved forward with our lesson, and it was one of the best ones we have ever had. My choice to come on a mission was the best decision of my life. I STRONGLY encourage every girl who has the opportunity to do the same. You will not regret it, and you can bet that it is a decision that Heavenly Father will 100% approve.

I could keep emailing all day, but there are tons of missionaries in line, and that wouldn't be fair. I know the Book of Mormon is true. If you're thinking about a mission, STUDY it, every day. Testimonies come as you bear them, Heavenly Father loves us and is mindful of each one of us. I love you all, I love hearing from you every week. Keep up the good work!!

Hna. Em

PS Mom, I know how you feel when everybody calls for "MOM!" Now that my name is "Hermana," my head doesn't stop turning.

No comments:

Post a Comment