Hi Family and Friends!! This week has been amazing! First of all, I can finally announce that I will be and AUNT!! Ryan and Alexa are expecting in February and I can finally tell the world! 🙂 They will be RAD parents ha ha 🙂
Anyways, I really cannot believe it has been another week. The MTC is amazing! The sisters in my district always talk about how the days go by slowly but then you look back and the weeks fly by! I have 1.5 more weeks here and I start Vistor’s Center training on Wednesday! I am so excited to start but a little bummed because we will have to say goodbye to our amazing teachers, Sister Smyth and Brother Cragun. I also will get to do some training at Temple Square next Friday! It will be so busy because it is Conference Weekend and us sisters are stoked!! We can’t wait to be in the “real world.” haha. It’s kind of funny because I have no idea what’s going on in the world but I kind of love it at the same time. Anyways, on to this week!
Sister Barkdull and her district left for Tampa on Tuesday 😦 I loved those sisters!! They will do amazing things. Sister Cook (Sister Barkdull’s companion) couldn’t leave because she has infected blisters on her feet so I was her companion on Wednesday. She is sorta floating around districts but I think she finally has a permanent companion. Our elders leave on Tuesday to make the long train ride up to Salt Lake for their missions haha. Us sisters are sad to see them go. It’s kinda funny because the sisters are all generally pretty quiet but when the elders are around, it is a whoooole different story. When they leave, our district will just contain us sisters so it will be pretty lonely. Because our elders leave next week, we went to In-Field Orientation with them. That’s where they train us for the mission field and show us how to set goals and work with the members, and let me just say it was the longest day here at the MTC haha. But we did it!
Sister Rice, Sister Harris and I taught relief society on Sunday. It was on Enduring to the End. I loved teaching about how after we are baptized and receive the Holy Ghost, we are not done!! This life is hard but through following Jesus Christ and His teachings, we will have eternal life. Remember that promise!!
Our new TRC this week is Heidi. She is from Germany and I love her! Sadly, we had our last lesson with Arisa last week. Like I mentioned in my last email, we planned to invite her to be baptized! The whole lesson we talked about repentence. She was confused because she said that when she repents, she feels so bad but that’s it! We explained to her that because of the Atonement, we can be cleansed from our sins and be happy again! She totally understood the whole lesson. It was awesome. We would teach her a principle and she immediately understood! After two lessons of trying to figure out the heart of her problem, we finally did! We asked her to be baptized and she said that she wants to, but needs a stronger confirmation. At first we were bummed but then we understood where she was coming from. I am just happy about how the lesson went! We went back to class and told Brother Cragun about it. He told us that in Acts chapters 17-18, Paul goes to teach the Jews, but his message is rejected. Then, later on, Apollo comes to teach the Jews and they are converted! Paul references this situation in 1 Corinthians 3:6, saying that he planted the seed but Apollo watered it. Sometimes as missionaries, all we can do is plant the seed! It made me feel so much better.
Lastly, this week we heard from President and Sister Mehr (recently returned mission presidents). It was INCREDIBLE. Sister Mehr talked about how sometimes, blessings are “inflicted” upon us, meaning that they like blessings in disguise. I loved that!! They both talked about that and how rather than feeling sorry for ourselves and being jealous of others, we need to lift and be lifted. Here are two talks that they referenced:
President and Sister Clayton also talked to us on Tuesday at the devotional. Sister Clayton spoke about miracles as a missionary. She said that we have family on the other side helping us. During the whole talk, I thought of my Grandma and Grandpa Draper and my Grandma Dokos who have all passed away. I know that they are helping me! When the devotional was over, I was walking up the stairs and I saw a penny heads up. I immediately picked it up and was reminded of my Grandma Dokos. She collected pennies all the time! I know that it wasn’t a coincidence and that she was saying hi from heaven 🙂 (INSERT MOM COMMENT: My dad, her grandpa Dokos, was with us on Wednesday night at Nicolas’s basketball game and guess what he found on the basketball court? Yes a penny from heaven and he also mentioned how my mom would always look for pennies. No small coincidence…we always have to be looking out for these sweet tender mercies and we will find them in our daily lives!)
President Clayton talked about how the Gospel of Jesus Christ is either completely wrong, or completely right. He quoted Gordon B. Hinckley: “Either the church is true, or it is a fraud. There is no middle ground. It is either the kingdom of God, or nothing.” I love that!! If we have a testimony of Joseph Smith, EVERYTHING else falls into place! I testify that this is Jesus Christ’s gospel once again restored on the earth. I am so lucky to have the authority to share that each day. I know that if we continue to live our covenants and commandments of God, He will be on our side. I know that to be true and I cannot deny it. Being a missionary makes me so incredibly happy! Through Jesus Christ, I am the means of bringing salvation to others. It is the greatest responsibility I could ever have. My heart is full!
I love each and every one of you. Thank you for the letters, packages, and emails. One more P-Day till Missouri!