Wow this was one of the most eventful weeks I have been here. To start off on Monday night I had to say goodbye to most of my district because they were all leaving and I was switched to new room and building because the sisters in my room and companion were leaving before anyone else had to get up. I was thankfully transferred to a room with sisters who are from my branch and they will be leaving this next week with me. There is actually a sister who is headed to Mesa with me but she is not a VC sister.
I had an amazing experience at the temple of Monday. While I was there I saw the picture of Christ descending from heaven with his arms wide open in that moment I felt like He was opening His arms to me, telling me to come unto Him and I can find peace and comfort while all those I have come to love were leaving.
Tuesday's devotional was by Elder Nash of the Seventy and my favorite quote from him was "Don't hold anything back from the Lord" I just love that, so I have made the decision that this is how I'm going to serve. And during his talk I came to an understanding that I am never going to have a better companion that the Lord because He is going to be working right beside me as I bring about his work.
My VC training started on Wednesday there are 5 of us. 4 sisters are going to the Hawaii Laei VC and then there is me; 2 speaking English, 1 speaking Korean, and 1 speaking Mandarin. I am companions with Sister Maio and Sister Kim. One of the English speaking sisters, Sister Walker, is actually from Eagle.
Wednesday we went to Temple Square for a visitor's experience, we toured the Beehive House and the Assembly Hall, and touch the temple to feel the actual chisel marks. We learned how to do "online proselyting" which will be one of our responsibilities at the VC. We do online chatting and calls through Mormon.org. It is so much harder to not be able to the see the person face to face. Sadly when my companions and I get on we always end up talking to members, not potential investigators. Which I know we are here to help All come unto Christ but they only let us answer their question and then get off the chat.
Yesterday in class we really focused how we can teach like Christ, act like Christ, and improve inviting other to come unto Christ. And our main focus was how there is absolutely no other way to receive exaltation with out Christ and his saving atonement. I will be perfectly honest and say that at the end of the day I felt really inadequate for my calling as a VC sister because my teachers stress that by the time people leave the VC they should've had converting experience and come unto Christ to the point they have the desire to act whether they are a member or nonmember. I know I can't do that on my own and it is only possible through the help of the Lord and the Spirit but it is still daunting. And right now I feel like I'm not doing that well in English, how am I supposed to do it in Spanish where I can barely have a conversation.
On Monday the other sisters leave for Hawaii so I will be here by myself, again. But because of that they have arranged that my TRCs are in Spanish, and TRC for VC is different because we don't know any information about the person until they walk into the room like a real VC. Which is awesome, but at the same time real nerve racking. I don't think I will have a companion on Monday to do it with because my companion during the day will be my teachers and they don't speak Spanish. So Monday will be very interesting.
Thankfully today was Pday and we got to go to the temple I went asking for comfort and reassurance of my call. While waiting for the session I came across 3 Nefi 21:10 "the life of my servant shall be in my hand". I immediately knew that God answered my prayer and that the Lord knows where I'm at and where I going and doing. Then later if I found Moroni 10:23 "if ye have faith ye can do all things which are expedient unto me". Everyday I have to remind myself that this is the Lord's work and He will not let me fail.
Sometimes I think I got called Spanish speaking because I don't ever really cry during spiritual moments in Spanish, like baring my testimony or singing hymns that always make me cry in English. Maybe it is a tender mercy so that way the people I teach can somewhat understand my Spanish.
Tomorrow we get to go back to Temple Square but this time we will go on splits with the sisters there. I am super excited because I will officially begin my real missionary work! Because if I am able to teach a person tomorrow and they have a desire to learn more I can begin teaching them until we get them in contact with the local missionaries! I could have my first investigator tomorrow!
Sunday I will be in my same Spanish branch so hopefully I will be able to be prepared for Monday by attending all the meetings in Spanish. I still have the same mailbox number so you can send Dear Elders until Monday night.
I leave on Tuesday and I leave the MTC at 4:30ish and my flight leaves at 9:50 so expect a phone call sometime in there. Thank you for your package! Honestly eating the caramels in class is the only thing keeping my awake because our days are so long! I will send pictures from tomorrow at Temple Square my next p-day which will be out in the field!
Are there any big changes at home? Being in missionary mode I have an invitation for you guys, this week in class we watched the Good Samaritan Bible video but instead of looking at it for service we looked for Christ and how He is the Good Samaritan to us. So maybe you could do this for FHE this week because this gave me a new perspective of this parable.
I am so grateful for all the things I have been able to learn here, but I am ready to go and serve the people in Arizona and those who come to the Visitors' Center.
It is crazy that another week has already gone by! Here at the MTC there isn't even time to breathe! Our district has come to measure our time for when our next "lunch" is. (Every meal in our district is called lunch.) I am doing a lot better! Sorry for not telling you last time. I still have a cough and sometimes a runny nose but nothing compared to the few days before I left. It is weird that all of my district is leaving tomorrow so I will be assigned to a new companion by tonight, so I'm sleeping in a different room. Because this week is my VC training I will have pday again on Friday! Because I'm being transferred to a different district I will probably have a new mailbox number so I will try to get that to you as soon as possible, hopefully later today! I will make sure I get that package!
This week my testimony has grown leaps and bounds! I know I was supposed to come during this time to meet the people that I have because I have learned so much from the other sisters and elders in my district. I have come to love and know them within in such a short amount of time! I know that the gift of tongues is a real thing and that the Lord can put the words I need to say in my mouth through the Spirit. I know I wouldn't have made it through this past week without this gift because of all the lessons that we taught. I have come to know what it is like to love someone so much that you just want them to receive the gospel because you know how much it will bless your lives. Even though all of our investigators are already members I got to see a glimpse as to what it is like out in the field. The Spanish has still been a little difficult for me because I'm still so stubborn that it has to be perfect. So every night and morning I ask Heavenly Father in my prayers to humble me to know that it is okay to not be perfect and I need to make my 9000 mistakes fast.
Last night's devotional the Sister who spoke focused that we have been divinely given our challenges and weaknesses. And that the Lord gave them to us so we can become stronger and over come them. Knowing that my trials and weaknesses were specifically given to me by my Heaven Father gives me strength to endure them and try that much harder to overcome them.
This week we had the greatest tender mercy ever! All of us from our room took a shower after our gym time, and when we were all done we went to get back into the room but the door was shut. We thought none of us had a key so we were going to have to walk across the MTC campus in our PJs and flipflops. As I set my stuff down I had the thought to check my short pockets just one time. Low and Behold! I had my key! I never have my key out of the 4 of us! So as soon as we got into our room we said a prayer of gratitude. It is little experiences like that, that I have had here that I know my faith has been strengthened.
Yesterday was the departure devotional and because my companion is leaving tomorrow I went even though I have one more week. One of the MTC presidency members spoke and he talked about how he often times gets to work with the members of the Quorum of the Twelve when they assign missionaries. He said Elder Eyring receives revelation which mission the missionary needs to go while Elder Ballard receives inspiration of which mission president needs that missionary. But no matter who receives the the revelation the missionary would be sent to the same mission. I know that I'm supposed to go to Mesa and that there are people there waiting and being prepared to hear my testimony.
I used Ashley's Plan of Salvacion for my lessons that we were teaching a "16 year-old", who was really our teacher. And it was a successful lesson!
This Wednesday is when all the new mission presidents are coming so the Quorum of the Twelve and First Presidency will be here to train them! Hopefully I can see one or two of them!
I received my itinerary for leaving so I will be leaving on June 30 at 9:50 and will get in to Arizona 10:40 Arizona time. I am so excited to get out there and I'm grateful for the opportunity to be out in the field for 3 extra weeks I wouldn't normally have if I was in the beginning Spanish program!
How is Josh's swim team going? Has Ashley gone horseback riding with Papa yet?
These past few days have been crazy! I won't lie and tell you that the first day I was super overwhelmed. Not in the missionary aspect but the language aspect. I sat in class and I could only understand about 60% of what the teacher was saying and I couldn't remember any of the Spanish I had just spent the last 5 years learning! I was super frustrated with myself especially because most of my district are natives expect 2 other people. At the end of our first class our teacher asked if any of us had concerns for being in this class and I raised my hand, so I went and took another placement test. The guy said that I would be okay in the class but I just have a lot of practicing to do.
I have been blessed with the companion that I have, Hermana Leos. She is from Yuma, Arizona and she is a native speaker and is heading to the Washington Vancouver Mission. One of her best qualities is that she is so patient with me. I came here not knowing how to even begin a prayer in Spanish but we make sure we take turns when we need to say a prayer as companions. My prayers maybe 5 minutes long and I only said 6 things total but she is willing to kneel with me and help.
Our whole district is going different places, but three are going to the Utah Ogden Mission. (the other sister companionship and one of the elders) Thankfully everyone in my district and zone are super understanding and patient with me.
I have 2 main instructors, Hermana Imbler and she served her mission in Peru and Maestro Lloyd. They are both really awesome and willing to help me. Hermana Imbler is actually one of our investigadoras and one of our other assistant teachers Hermana Richards is our other investigator. Tomorrow we teach an investigator that is not either of our teachers so hopefully it will go well. We don't have any language study because we should all know Spanish already. But I know I am here at this time for a reason.
But me being me I still get frustrated when we are teaching that I can't answer the investigadores questions because of the language barrier because I knew that I could give them the answer they want but only in English. So here I'm praying for the gift of tongues, but it is a different gift of tongues Taylor was praying for with African food. I can say on Sunday I know I was able to have that gift because I could understand Sacrament Meeting in Spanish I wasn't translating in my head at all. In one of my interviews with the branch presidency one of the members told me "If you think you are incapable, remember the Lord can enable." That has become a motto for my time here because I know that if I turn to the Lord He will help me because He doesn't want me to fail and He won't let me fail with His help.
I will have one week of visitors' center training and we go to Temple Square twice! I am super excited about that. And because I am here an extra amount of time I might get to sing for some of the Apostles when they come train the new mission presidents! So I will keep you posted!
Gracias for your oraciones!(prayers) That is one thing that has helped me survive because I am able to communicate with my Padre Celestial about the things that are on my mind. I know that this church is true without a doubt! I love you all very much!
So tomorrow is the day that I begin my new adventure serving the Lord and the people of Arizona for 18 months. I am super excited! While I'm gone my blog will be updated by my mom and sister!
My email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
My MTC address: Sister Abigail Hart
2007 N 900 E Unit 53
Provo UT 84602
My mission address (for now): Sister Abigail Hart
Arizona Mesa Mission
2525 N 32nd St
Mesa, AZ 85213
When I get my first assignment my address will be updated.
I am grateful for this opportunity that I have to serve. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church here upon the earth today. And that it was restored through the prophet, Joseph Smith. I know that he translated the Book of Mormon and that it is the truest book. I know that if anyone has a desire to know of its truthfulness and know if it is from God, then they can pray with that true desire and the Lord will hear and answer that prayer. I am grateful for the relationship I have with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I am excited to help others come to know and love them as I have.