Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Onward, Ever Onward

Dearest Family,


Sister Taralyn Smith
Montana Billings Mission
1848 Rimrock Road
Billings, MT

It is here, it is really really here! I am leaving the MTC tomorrow! I can't believe that 2 months of my mission are gone and done. Time has gone by so fast. Trevor has been gone one year this week, I also am having a hard time swallowing that:) I am SO excited to go to Montana, I felt an automatic sense of rightness when I heard where I was going. I am so glad that I am going with Sister Ricks and Elders Hutchins and Morrey as well. What a tender mercy. I have a mission with someone in my district now! That has been a hard thing, not meeting anyone going to Teresina while I have been here. Heavenly Father knew that I needed a connection with my Brazilian missionary friends. I love my district so much, it has been the best part of my MTC experience getting to know them.

I was shocked when I found out that I was going to the Montana Billings Mission. I love the idea of it. I already love the people I am going to serve, and I am so excited to go meet President Gardner and tell him to put me to work. I am going to act like this is my mission for 18 months, I will represent well and I will serve with my whole heart and soul. I can't wait! 24 hours from now, I will be on a 1 hour and 28 minute flight that will get me to the greatest mission on earth.... except maybe Teresina:) I am not even worried about my visa, when it comes, it will come. See Alma 13:25. I know that the Lord has impeccable timing for our growth and I am going to learn something necessary for my experience in Brazil right now. The timing is right, and for now I need to be somewhere besides Brazil. It is humbling to think that I am needed in two places, very specific places. It is times like these when I think, woah! Are you sure I am cut out for this? Billings has a temple too! I hope I get to go. Have you seen a picture? It is beautiful! Go look, right after you read in Alma. I can't wait to get there... or really just leave before football season starts in Provo. That would be a trial of my faith... much more than a visa delay:)

The last week of the MTC has been a blur. It scares me. My whole mission is going to be a blur isn't it? Last classes, saying goodbye to teachers and members of the branch presidency, final 14-hour field training (that was a brutal day), and packing. Oh packing. I can fit it all in, I have great faith. I wonder what airport security thinks when they scan missionary luggage. Who travels with 6 sticks of deoderant? I bet that this would be an entertaining job anyways. Imagine what people think when they see Taci's luggage. A tree branch? If I can't fit everything, I'll just wear 5 skirts and carry my Portuguese books in my arms like a baby. No sweat.

Last Tuesday, I recieved a beautiful blessing from Elder Morrey and Elder Sudweeks in my district. I had a migraine. Probably the worst that I have ever had, including numb hands, nausea and disorientation. I am so thankful for the Priesthood. After a blessing and a nap, I felt so much better. I know that resting and medicine don't hold a candle to what God can do for us. I am so glad to be around elders who are worthy and willing to share their priesthood. These young men are INCREDIBLE! They make me think of the men in my family, and the good they do. Especially Elder Beckstead right now, there is good to be done with this sacred power of heaven. I cannot express what it means to me to have righteous men in my life, there is no replacement for it. I think of my uncles, my grandfathers, my brother and brother in law, my cousins and of course my father, and I am left to marvel at the blessing their priesthood has been to me. What a precious blessing we have to have each other. So thank you, every last one of you! Thank you thank you.

I must head to pack now, but know that I love you and I am so excited to email you from Montana! Oh my goodness, I am going to be a real missionary!

Sister Taralyn Smith

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