Sorry for using the annoying term of Hump Day, but that's the only thing I can think of to categorize HITTING OUR HALFWAY MARK IN THE MTC. What is life? I can't believe how quickly this is going by. I love the MTC and it's so sad that we only have three weeks left!
The Danes left this week, early Monday morning, and we miss them SO much! They were our "Gandalf" to guide us through the MTC. (Our sister training leaders were two of the Danish sisters. We love them so much) But we're getting new Danes today! 7 sisters and 2 elders! I'm so excited to meet them. Our favorite thing to do on P day is to watch people get dropped off. Our window in our res hall faces the drop off zone and we just people watch out the window and watch all of the adorable families. It's the best.
Devotional is my favorite thing here. I think I'll miss that a lot when I'm in the Netherlands. The devotional on Sunday was given by Elder Stephen B Allen, and he was the perfect balance of funny and spiritual. He talked about how Satan and his followers know exactly what to do to push my buttons, and they will try to do those things that can make me discouraged or tempted. But he shared a really really wonderful scripture: Alma 26: 27-30. It just talks about how the sons of mosiah dealt with the disappointments and discouragements of being a missionary and how Heavenly Father comforted them.
Another thing Elder Allen mentioned that just really comforted me was that I need to turn my loved ones over to the Lord. I can't spend my mission worrying about the health and well being of my loved ones, and I just need to trust that you are all in Heavenly Father's care. I'll never get the chance to be a missionary again. For the next 18 months I need to give 100 percent of my energy, mind, talents, and worries to the people in the Netherlands that need to come unto Christ. I love you and I do worry about you all, but I know and trust that you will be cared for while I'm gone.
In verse 30 of Alma 26, they say that the reason they were willing to go through such difficult trials (being spit upon, cast out, mocked, etc) was that they knew ho important it is to save souls. There are Children of God that desperately NEED the gospel--whether they know it or not. And that's why I'm willing to go through this difficult experience. It's bigger than me or you. It's all for a higher purpose. And it's just so so so wonderful and humbling to be part of this work.
Tuesday Devotional was equally as wonderful. We got to sing in the choir "Jesus, Once of Humble Birth", which is always a wonderful experience. Our choir director pointed out the words of the song are written in a two-part message. The first sentence is about the trials that Christ suffered in His earthly life, and the second sentence always tells of the glory that He is in now. It is so wonderful to consider the meaning behind the words. We're truly able to feel the spirit in the MTC choir. It's a special experience.
The speaker last night was Elder James B. Martino of the seventy. He kindof looks like Grandaddy, although not anywhere near as handsome. It was just such a comfort to look at the speaker and think of my wonderful Grandaddy and how much I love him, and then of course that turned my thoughts to all of my grandparents and how much I love each of them. I have the best family in the world! I love you all so much!
He talked about making goals and the missionary purpose. (page one of PMG if you don't know that. we memorized it in dutch!) It was so good! He talked about how we were called in the premortal life to serve missions and we are fulfilling a glorious purpose. In Luke 17:3,5-10 , the apostles ask Jesus how they can let their faith grow. The APOSTLES that walked with Jesus didn't think they had enough faith! Anyway, Elder Martino talked about how Jesus pointed out that in order for them to gain more faith, they needed to do a little extra. We need to push ourselves and challenge ourselves and do more than our best, and then we will see and increase in our faith.
"It is fear of sacrifice that stops us from doing things, not the actual sacrifice itself." See yourself with all of the potential Heavenly Father views you with! Such an amazing perspective shift. I love to read my patriarchal blessing so I can know more about the way He sees me.
He also mentioned about how we need to measure ourselves against ourselves! The Lord factors in "Degree of Difficulty". The language might come easier to some people, and might be harder for some people, but it doesn't matter if someone's doing better than you, because Heavenly Father knows what is most difficult for each of us and he judges us by our efforts, not by what we do. We will be judged by who we become, not what we have done.
Another gem from Tuesday devo, "if it is to be, it is up to me" He said that in relation to companionships that are difficult, but I think it applies to a lot more as well. We ALWAYS have control over our relationships and over our own personal happiness. It is up to ME to make that difference.
I'm still a little bit sick, but I'm so happy. This past week was amazing, because I CHOSE to be happy. And that's the most important thing. There's a scripture in D&C that says "They are agents unto themselves" I apply that to every situation I possibly can. We can't blame our attitude on our situations. We have to take accountability for the way we react to situations. It's so much better to look up and be positive than to be negative.
quick funny story: In our lesson on Saturday, Zuster Bush gave the wrong scripture to our investigator to read and he was SO confused. hahaha so great when things like that happen.
Love you all so so very much!