Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mais Um! (one more)

Dear Family,

It has been another week, I can't believe that I am almost done with the MTC. It seems like I have been here FOREVER, but at the same time, I keep thinking... wait a minute, already?! I am a little stir crazy having been here for a space of many days, but I don't know how it will go when I teach actual investigators. It is going to be alright, I already love them! No matter where I go, I love the people that I am going to meet. We have such a great message to share with people, and the best part about it is that Heavenly Father loves us. Who doesn't need to hear that? It certainly makes me feel better about myself. The inevitable topic has surfaced... my visa. Not yet. I will get reassigned in two days. On a scale from 1 to 10, how hard do you think it is for our district to focus? Haha, we are always counting down the days and making crazy guesses. I am going to go to the Hawaii visitors center I just know it.

Sister Doyle, on of our companions got her reassignment last wednesday and she left friday for Temple Square. eeeek! I will probably leave next monday or tuesday. Anyways, nobody gets temporarily reassigned to temple square, this call was certainly inspired. Brooke and Taylor, you simply must look for her. She is 5'1 and has glasses. She has a hug for Brooke to give to Mom. Sister Doyle was put in an MTC district with all goofy elders and she didn't like to dress the part of a missionary, Sister Ricks and I think that she was sent there to learn how to be ladylike again. I hope it goes well for her. The elders from last week got reassigned to Detriot, Baltimore, Pittsburg, and Riverside CA. There were some good ones! The few weeks before that, everybody was sent to St. George or Pocatello. Wherever I go, it will be where the Lord wants me to go, so I am not too worried. Just excited! It is kind of like another mission call.

This week has been a busy week, but if I reported anything to the contrary than I wouldn't feel like a good missionary. Our teachers are going to be sad to see us go! We spend a lot of time in that little classroom, but we have learned so much. The other day, Elder Head said that he feels like he has just been at an eternal EFY session, somedays I would just have to agree. It is amazing to me to see the spiritual and language growth of the missionaries around me, and I hope that I have grown too. I know we all have, and it is inspiring to think that we have just scratched the surface of what we will learn in 18 or 24 months. I can't wait to see who we all are when we get home. I am going to miss my district very much, most of them are going to the same mission as Sister Ricks and Sister Rust( the new sister with hair pretties) [Brasilia, Brazil]. But, I have made all of the elders promise to go to BYU and look me up for a home cooked meal. Whenever a district of elders leave, I make them promise me two things: 1) keep up on language study while reassigned in the US and 2) come find me in Provo, UT in two years. These young men are just incredible! It is such a priviledge to be surrounded by stalwart servants of the Lord who make me want to be better, just by being themselves. I love them. Missionaries, while sometimes silly 19 year old boys, really are choice young men. I will miss this part of the MTC most of all!

Last Wednesday and this next wednesday, I get to be a new missionary host. That means that I get to help the missionaries who have just been torn from their families get situated, get thier name tag, and find their classroom. Good thing Elders that are host missionaries are the ones who get the luggage from the car and witness the tearful scenes. I would cry harder than most mothers. Just the other day, I saw from afar a mom hugging her daughter goodbye and I was briefly tearful. It is actually a great fun diversion to be a host, I met someone who has recieved their mission call SINCE I have been here and they are already here too! At the end of the assignment, I just think to myself, boy am I glad that my first day is over. That certainly was a hard day. But they do keep to busy from the minute you get here, and there are so many new friendly people to meet.

The other day I got hiccups while teaching a lesson. In the middle of giving a prayer. Just after learning that you should make 500,000 mistakes in a language to become fluent. Do you think embarrassing hiccups while trying to speak Portuguese counts as a couple hundred mistakes? I hope so.

The last devotional we had was the first one where a general authority came to speak, Elder Evans of the 1st quorum of seventy came and his talk was great. He said that he was talking to some members of the twelve and one of the things they most want new investigators to know is the first statement in the Preach my gospel lesson #1. God is our Heavenly Father. It is amazing that the more basic doctrine is that you are talking about, the more easily the spirit can testify because it is so true! I loved that talk. Then I taught our district meeting and the lesson topic was the same principle. I truly believe that we can learn more about our Father in Heaven by looking at our potential. It is times like this where I am reminded of what I need to be learning that I am so thankful that I am not studying alone. I know the Lord guides missionary study because our work is so important. It is humbling to be part of something so important to our Father in Heaven.

I am excited to let everyone know where I am going! I love you all very very much and I am so thankful for your support

Lots of Love,
Sister Smith

ps - Auntie Kristin asked me a question "What experience this week strengthened your Faith in Jesus Christ?"

Well, I had a very touching experience while in the TRC, a practice teaching session with a volunteer that comes. They just changed the protocol of the TRC, and instead of role playing, we teach the volunteer as themself. Even returned missionaries. Sister Ricks and I taught Brother Webb, who served his mission in Brazil when it was one mission. He is a very sweet older gentleman. We asked him about his family and he told us that he and his wife had one son, who passed away at the age of 9. We taught him about prayer, and asked him to share an experience in his life where prayer was helpful. He talked about how when his son died, they prayed that life would continue to be okay. Through his faith in Jesus Christ, he was given confirmation that he would see his son again and they could live together forever. My faith in the Savior was strengthened too, because I can see how when we are given trials we are given opportuity to grow. The thought crossed my mind a few weeks ago that whenever I have a hardship I should really just think to myself "Heavenly Father really loves me! He has just given me an opportunity to get to know Him and His Son better! Really, He just wants to be closer to me." I know that when we strive to be closer to the Savior during the hard times, our faith WILL grow. I know that when we have faith in Jesus Christ, he can help us through anything.

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