Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Sunday at the MTC June 22, 2014

Hey Family!

Well. I did it. I survived the "hardest part of the mission." They say the first 4 days are worse than the rest of the 18 months. So if you make it to the first Sunday, you'll make it! :) So I made it! Honestly, I'm so glad the first week is over. I'm being positive and everything. but it's true. the first 4 days are the hardest. Already today, I've felt a huge improvement like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Other than that, I LOVE the MTC. It's so incredible. The spirit is so strong. I'm so lucky to have the perfect companion. Today, taking the sacrament, I really felt like I was making HARDCORE covenants with the Lord. Oh man. It was so peaceful for me.

I've already had some MAJOR humbling experiences. So that's good. I just really have been trying to have more trust in the Lord. He's got my back but when I'm teaching my investigator it's harder to feel that support. So I'm trying to develop my "recognizing the spirit skills!"

So really this is kinda awkward writing a letter when I also emailed. What else can I tell you?  haha. Well. Uh. I'm taking pictures but I can't attach any to my emails cause I don't have a USB connector to my camera. {Note from Mom - Don't worry, fans, I have already mailed a cable to her in Canada so we can get some pictures.}Wanna know something weird? haha. Duh ya do! (not like you have a choice cause I already wrote the letter.) But here it is: Every single missionary here reminds me in some way of someone at home. For example: Sister H = Sophie W., Elder M = Camron (but way cooler), Elder B = McKay. Various other look alikes: Taylor Chapple, Brian, Spock...haha, Josh Blair, Nathaniel Gerlek, Jared, Hannah!, Sam Brown, Elder Scott.

Wanna know another thing I LOOOOVE!? I'm Sister Whiting. That's my name. No one even knows my first name. And when people need my attention or they call on me, or whatevs, they say, "Sister Whiting." Every time my name is said, I'm reminded of my call to serve! It's wonderful!

P.S. I say "cool beans" waaaay too much. Someone give me a new phrase!

Also, I can't stop singing "Love is an Open Door" because of Elder Mitchell's crush on Anna. He sings it a lot.  So it's stuck in my head. : P gotta love it!

100% honesty right here:
     1. I miss rap music (I'm So Fancy! You already know...) never mind
     2. I miss Once Upon A Time
     3. I miss Emma's awesome ability to join in on my weirdness.

HOWEVER! I can do this. More than that, I WANT to do this. So I will. :-)

So anyways. In case you didn't notice, I'm writing this letter over the course of several days. So, yeah. Sunday really was the best day. We watched Music & the Spoken Word and they sang "Alleluia!" It's my FAVORITE MoTab song. (well, Men of the MoTab) and so when they started singing it I was SO  happy. I felt like it was a reward from the Lord for being so ok. haha. For reals though.

I have a request for you as a family. It is in regards to scripture study. I think I know what can help you. When you read, do this: (it's what we do for district Book of Mormon study)
      - go around in a circle, reading one verse each.
      - when anyone has a thought/question about a scripture, they say "PAUSE" and then they discuss. After, say "PLAY" and continue reading. This has opened up a whole new world for me in the scriptures.  SO MUCH INSIGHT! :)

Also. Mom. I'm so grateful for the skirts you made for me. All the sisters here have the same clothes since they all went to Downeast, Deseret Book, etc. So I am actually unique! It's awesome.

I also have to say I'm soooo grateful for the family I have and the testimonies you have. Here at the MTC we do A LOT of role playing (I have a love/hate relationship with role playing.) But in order to do this we often times need to play the part of investigator. So what they have us do is pick a person in our own lives who is a non-member or less active. It needs to be someone we're close to so we know about them and can really act/respond as they would.

I act like my friend, A. And really, it has helped me learn a TON about her from an investigator's point of view. SADLY, most of my zone uses one of their immediate family members as their investigator. :( I'm one of the few missionaries here that has a totally active family. It makes me sad to think of what these missionaries are going through. I've grown VERY close with everyone in my zone and I feel sad that they can't say EVERYONE in their family supports them. As an STL (sister trainer leader) I've been trying really hard to keep up with how everyone is doing emotionally. I want to help them feel support and, more importantly, hope for their family member(s).

Although I'm sad for them, I'm VERY happy to know I have a full-on, hardcore, spiritual support system. Thanks, family. :)

WOAH! MOM! You got a new calling?!?! I just have to say 2 things:
     1. those primary kids will miss you.
     2. As soon as I read you got called to teach relief society, I got super overwhelmed with the spirit. I started crying. (duh) Mom. I KNOW this is the right calling for you. You're going to bless so many lives - INCLUDING YOUR OWN - with your lessons! Good luck!

So in case you're all wondering, now it's Tuesday morning (6/24/14). And I just exercised. Now I'm doing "doctrinal study." Which is time for me to do/study what I want. (BTW - in the gym I weighed myself & I've totally lost 5.2 lbs!! haha. seriously. I don't know how people get fat here. There's no time. Too much work. Whatevs. :) There's hope I won't come home a baby walrus!!

**Doctrinal Study: Sister Whiting's Spiritual Thought
How do we think of Joseph Smith? I tend to describe him as: perfect, spiritual, kind, humble, charitable, perfect, Christ-like, fun, perfect, etc. Notice that I said perfect and etc. to make it clear there would be a lot more "perfects"! haha.
The thing is - he wasn't perfect. He was the closest any mortal has come to being like Christ. But he was still FAR from 100%. Joseph Smith History 1:28

28 During the space of time which intervened between the time I had the vision and the year eighteen hundred and twenty-three—having been forbidden to join any of the religious sects of the day, and being of very tender years, and persecuted by those who ought to have been my friends and to have treated me kindly, and if they supposed me to be deluded to have endeavored in a proper and affectionate manner to have reclaimed me—I was left to all kinds of temptations; and, mingling with all kinds of society, I frequently fell into many foolish errors, and displayed the weakness of youth, and the foibles of human nature; which, I am sorry to say, led me into divers temptations, offensive in the sight of God. In making this confession, no one need suppose me guilty of any great or malignant sins. A disposition to commit such was never in my nature. But I was guilty of levity, and sometimes associated with jovial company, etc., not consistent with that character which ought to be maintained by one who was called of God as I had been. But this will not seem very strange to any one who recollects my youth, and is acquainted with my native cheerytemperament.

As missionaries or even as members of the church we think we need to be PERFECT or there's no hope and we should give up. A lot of missionaries go home because they realize it's hard and they're not already good at teaching, so they quit.But we have this whole life to make mistakes and learn from them. The Lord will never stop giving us opportunities to repent.

Joseph Smith - "perfect" - was still a teenager once who chose bad tings when people were mean to him. THE LORD SAW PAST IT.  He sees our potential. Where we can go. He sees that one day I'll actually be a good missionary. haha. Hopefully it should give us hope to know we can one day be that "perfect" person we want to be. But it shouldn't make us raise our personal expectations so high we crash in discouragement. "Just as we should not lower the standards that the Lord has established for the conduct of His servants, we are also NOT AUTHORIZED to raise them..."  - Elder Cecil O. Samuelson, MTC Devotional, 2002

I'm still learning not to be discouraged. I've already had many opportunities to feel so. But I have faith the Lord will help me. 

Love you all! Write me!!!
Love, 
Sister Whiting

P.S. I GOT TO SEE D. TODD CHRISTOFFERSEN, DALLIN H. OAKS, RUSSELL M. NELSON, NEIL L ANDERSON, DAVID A. BEDNAR and M. RUSSELL BALLARD! They're cute on TV but waaaaaay cuter in real life! :)

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