Thank you so much for sending this email on Monday. Some of the Hermanas here were worried that since we were doing our P day this Thursday, they wouldn´t have letters from their family. However, I wasn´t concerned. I knew my family loved me. =)
I´m sorry Dad´s not been feeling well. There must be a spring bug going around. Some of the missionaries here have caught something, myself included. Tell him to drink plenty of orange juice and to get plenty of rest. He must stay in bed and watch the entire Star Wars....or Lord of the Rings trilogy (Whichever is preferred) and cannot get out of bed, except for potty breaks and snack trips, until the entire series is over. Hermana Parslow´s orders. =D
I´m glad the funeral for Sister Graham went so well and that Dad was feeling well enough to sing for it. She was so strong. I admire her very much, I was very sad to hear about her passing.
We actually didn´t get to see the Women´s broadcast, however, we´re apparently going to watch it in the evening while the Elders watch the Preisthood session. We´re all really excited. We get to spend the WHOLE DAY at Main Campus. It´s going to be AWESOME! We all can´t wait.
So, life here at the CCM (West Campus version of the MTC) is pretty good. It was a rough week at the beginning however I got a good lesson out of it. I learned this week that Satan really does not want me on a mission. I thought before, "If I can just get to the MTC...everything will be fine." I don´t think I could´ve been more wrong! If anything he´s tried harder while I´ve been here. He tells each of us in all of our lives that we´re inadequate. We´re not good enough. We´re not qualified. We think that we´re just not enough. WRONG! The truth is that honestly, when we feel that way, it is a sign of just how adequate and good and qualified and strong we are. Satan would not try so hard and the Lord would not let us be driven so low if we weren´t strong enough to pull ourselves back up. The Lord knows us better than ourselves and will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can bear. I got taught that this week that we should never feel less that someone else just because their strengths are different from ours.
I have such wonderful leaders here. Right when I was struggling, I got to have an interview with my District leader and my Sister Training Leader (that´s the equivalent calling of a Zone Leader for a sister). They´re actually Hermana Ramirez and Hermana Wells. The other district in our zone left for their missions at the beginning of this week so we´re all alone. A lone little Sistrict. Yeah. I know. Sad. Anyways, I got to meet with them and they were so kind and somehow knew exactly what to say to bring me back up.
I also got to meet with my Branch President yesterday, President Stewart. He´s such a wonderful man. He´s like a mix of Gordon B. Hinckley and Grandpa Buttars. I´ll have to make sure I get a picture with him before I leave here. He came all the way to the CCM just because I asked to meet with him. He was so kind. He told me that he was surprised I was struggling because all of the reports he had gotten about me from my teachers and my companion were all great. Aren´t they all just so sweet? He told me that he could tell I was going to be a great missionary and that although he would rather have me for 18 months, he´ll gladly take the 6 weeks. I´m sure he says that to everyone but it still makes one feel pretty awesome. =)
Oh! I almost forgot! Guess what? So on Sunday, there was a "Going away" devotional for all of the missionaries leaving the following week. At that devotional, the President of the MTC told everyone that the Sunday devotional that week would be one you would seriously regret forever if you missed it. Of course word got around and naturally so did the rumors. Everyone thought it would be an apostle speaking to us or even President Monson. Well....we were all kinda disappointed when we got there and the board read Richard Elliot. Atleast, we were all disappointed until he started the devotional. He´s the organist for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and is absolutely amazing. He played songs and talked a little about the reason he was playing that individual song right before he played it. He played a song mostly with his feet! What?! I know! It was amazing. Then as icing on the cake, guess who showed up having gotten home from his mission not the Wednesday before? Go ahead guess....David Archuleta!! Oh my goodness, he was just as amazing as Richard Elliot! They performed "Be Still My Soul"..oh my goodness, it was so beautifully done. It was a devotional to remember!
We get to watch a "movie/film" after a devotional on Sundays and this last sunday we watched "Legacy". It´s an older pioneer film that was actually really well done. However, you can definitely tell that all of us missionaries are media deprived because everyone would cheer and clap and "Ooo" and "Ahh" and just the right parts. Yeah...I know... it´s kinda sad really.
Let´s see, what else....Oh! We were talking in class the other day about Christ and why He is an example to us. Elder Christoffersen said, "God gave you your agency and Jesus showed you how to use it." Powerful right?
I don´t know if you were told but I got a letter from Candace and Becca yesterday. Becca had been in primary on Sunday and the lesson had been Missionary work. She walked out of class with two pictures and said, "Mommy look! It´s Me and Carlie as missionaries!" Oh my goodness, that just melted my heart. Candace sent both of the pictures to me and they are now hanging up on the wall of my bedroom. I´m tempted to put them on the fridge however, I wouldn´t want the other Hermanas to be jealous of my niece. =) If you get to see her before I write back to her please tell her that I am sending a letter to her as soon as I can.
Our Tuesday devotional was done by Elder Scott Whiting of the Seventy. He talked alot about missionary work, being obedient, and power vs authority. He was a really good talk. My favorite thing he said though was "Focus on the Wonders of the Work". I think that when any of us are having a bad day we should just focus on the wonders of the work. Whether it´s God´s work and his creations or the work He has call us to do.
The last thing that just crossed my mind as I was about to finish writing was, remember, when the Lord asks you to do something hard, it´s not just because he wants that hard thing done but it´s because he wants a better you. He asks you to do hard things because they will make you better and stronger and exactly what the Lord needs.
I love you all! Good luck Camille! You´re going to be amazing at your games this weekend! Please give my dog my love! You´re all amazing!
"Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1 with JST Translation.
P.S Please tell Camille that the cookies were absolutely delicious and everyone loved them.
Oh, btw, guess what?! We get 4 new elders added to our zone this coming Wednesday! Yaaaay! We´re all super excited! We´ve decided to give them the "Bubble Salute" when they arrive! =D Thank you Madre Parslow and the Parslow family for providing the bubbles!