So much has happened this week! I really am not sure where to start!
I guess before I forget, can you tell Sister Danny (I think that is her spelling) Harper thanks for the bags she made that look like a quilt for each of us when we graduated from young womens? We aren't allowed to use backpacks or big bags around here, but that was literally the perfect size for here and so I've been able to get so much use out of it while at the MTC. And it is cute! I love it!
Also, this past week, Jenny Oaks Baker came and did our devotional on Sunday. It was extremely inspiring but it was especially cool because I got to see her just a few months ago at the Time Out For Women thing. I also got the best seat in the whole place, literally right in front of the piano and I loved it. There was so much emotion that went into the piano player's playing and that made it mean that much more to me! Also, my companions and I were glad that during relief society that day they taught us how to sit like ladies because our legs showed up on the screen for quite a few shots of the piano.
Oh yes, Courtney asked me if I could help her with a fear she's having. She said she's really afraid of fires lately and she's not sure what to do. Hopefully I can help out a little bit by some things I say now! I guess the first thing to do is figure out exactly why you're scared. If you're afraid because you think your house is going to be burnt down by all the fires in New Mexico currently, I'd say that fear isn't necessary because the house is far enough into the city that the fire fighters would never let the forest fires get to your house. If you're scared about other people I'd say you also don't really have to worry. Fires usually burn slowly enough that people have plenty of time to get away. After that, maybe it is good to realize that fires aren't necessarily bad at all. In fact, fires are really good for nature. It gives a chance for the dead trees and the underbrush to be cleared away and for the soil to get nutrition again. In fact, there are some seeds that will never sprout until a fire has come because that is the condition necessary for germanation of that seed. Thus, it actually helps with the growth of the forest. In the scriptures, there is also a great analogy of how fire is necessary...in 3 Nephi 24:3 it is talking about the refiner's fire. That is the type of fire necessary to purify things like gold and silver. So if we relate that verse to ourselves, if we let the Lord be that refiner's fire for us by making ourselves an offering in righteousness (via giving everything that is required of us), he will clear away the impurities little by little to make us something we never could become on our own-- gold or silver. In this analogy, the fire isn't comfortable by any means. In fact, it is at times downright painful like fire. But that is what is necessary to clean away the little bits of us that are holding us back from becoming the beautiful precious metal the Master of the fire wants us to be.
Thanks for your lifesavers in the backpack. They came in really handy this week when we taught a lesson on tithing to show that the Lord blesses us with so much and we only have to give one tenth back. I used the lifesavers to show this. But then we read the scripture that the windows of heaven will be opened if we do this and so then I poured out the rest of the bag onto the table to show this. So they are delicious, but it worked out perfectly for that as well!
Quick question...if you get the opportunity, can you look to see if you can find a mini Preach my Gospel in Spanish online? It is called Predicad Mi Evangelio. One of the Elders that came in this week had one and said that the church has started making them and I think that would be convenient if you can find some like online or something like that. If not or if they're expensive, that is fine. But if you can find one. I'd love that!
Now for another quick Spanish mistake of the week brought to us by beautiful Hermana Coleman. So we were teaching a lesson about the law of the fast and fast offerings and Hermana Coleman meant to say something like "in this manner we can follow the example of Christ and feed the poor people. But instead of feed the poor people, she said "podemos comer los pobres" or we can eat the poor people. I love my companions!
This week I got to be a new missionary Host again and it is my last week getting to teach the new district all the little things about the MTC as coordinating sister. Along those lines, we also had in-field training yesterday (which is why I'm writing today). It was a little bit cheesy at times, but they were so creative to do things to keep us interested and to keep our attention since we were literally in there from like 8am until a bit after 9pm minus some breaks for food and stuff. But I learned so much. I am a little nervous to be out in the field because now everything is for real. But I'm mostly super excited. I know I have so much to learn and master, but I guess that is why I'm going to be given a trainer who knows all the strings etc. Some good things I learned, for instance, were how goals are fantastic and necessary but you need to have the right proportion of everything. All of the key indicators (like people baptized, referrals received, lessons taught with a member, et cetera) are like the ingredients of how to make chocolate chip cookies. The mission standard is like the chocolate chip cookie recipe. And the goals are kind of like how many batches you're going to make in a way. Anyway, there was so much stuff we learned about how to work with members, how to really utilize true principles to create miracles, et cetera. I'm so excited to get out in the field now!!!
That reminds me, so I got my travel itenerary last week and I'll be leaving the MTC on Wednesday morning at 8:00am. My plane will be flying at like 11:15am and like an hour or two later I'll be in California. So I guess if you want your call at the airport make sure you are home around like 9 or 10 or so in the morning. But yeah! It's real! I'm going to be out there so soon!!!
Another thing that happened this week is that one of our Elders left us this week to go back home. I won't share his name, but his presence has definitely been missed. Everywhere we go, especially in the classroom and in the cafeteria it seems like someone is missing. He was really great, but I guess there is something that he personally needs to get taken care of back at home and then he'll return on a mission. We don't judge him and we are extremely excited that he is learning about the atonement and how important it is in our lives. He wrote the district a letter before he left and I feel like it is extremely powerful and hopeful, so I want to share it:
I have really come to love you all (teachers included) and I am so thankful for all of your testimonies. I would like to share my testimony seeing how I never got the chance before I left. I know that my Savior lives. This is his true church. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and we will all be resurrected and have the chance to be in the presence of our Heavenly Father once again. Families can be forever, I know with all my heart that my family is a gift from God himself, and I am so thankful for them. I know that there is no human problem in this life that cannot be saved through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. We cannot be the best we can be without the presence of the Holy Ghost in our life, and that is why I have to go home. I want to be the best missionary for the Lord, and I will be back to do that I just don't know when. I cannot deny the truth, and that is why I live to be a member of this church. You all will be wonderful missionaries and will help build up the kingdom of God in your own special way. AmenJust because..."Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world, there is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were all meant to shine, as children do. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously let others do the same, as we are liberated from our own fear."
PS- I wasn't the native today
Now I want to share two more spiritual thoughts. One of them happened when we were practicing the fundamental of Revelation Through Prayer. We as a class watched the first vision scene and then we role-played where one person was the missionary that just taught this first vision and was going to teach and invite the investigator to pray and the other missionary was an investigator. So we each took turns and on Hermana Coleman's turn she had me pray specifically about this event and the restauration and told me to have a moment of silence to wait for the Holy Spirit to testify to me. After this prayer, I just started crying. My heart in a way felt like it was bigger and warmer than my chest. It was the weirdest thing because I'm a missionary. I already know with all my heart that these events really did happen. But the spirit will never stop testifying of the truth of that to you even though you already do know it. It was such an additional powerful witness to me and I am so grateful for that sweet experience,
The last thing is a thought that they shared with us during the workshop on Monday. It was so good!! There was a poem went something like:
He asked me to go to the edge and I said "No, I can't go to the edge. I might fall."
"Come to the edge" and I said "No, I can't! I'll fall"
"Come to the edge!" and so I came and he pushed me off and I flew.
This relates to our lives because the Lord knows exactly what abilities we have. He knows what we are capable of even more than we do. He'll never ask us to come to the edge if he knows that we'll just fall and die off the side of the cliff. But he will always patiently ask us to come to the edge to see if we're brave enough to obey everything He asks us to do even though we don't understand why. Only through that act of faith can he prove to us our true nature and our abilities. That is why faith is so important.
Have a great week and by this time if anyone wants to send me a letter, it'd probably be best to just sent it the California address. Thanks!!!
May the Spirit be with you!