Saturday, September 26, 2015

10 Days Down!!

Hi Everyone-
   It is seriously unreal how fast time goes here, but at the same time, it feels like I was born and raised at the MTC. I still love it here but WOW this week was a rollercoaster. I am too busy to think about or miss anything or anyone outside the MTC, seriously. I love all of you but I am so busy and happy here. I am learning and growing so so much. I cannot believe how much I have learned and how close I have grown to my Savior in the past 10 days. All of my classes and devotionals and studies are amazing. I have already filled up a journal and went through two pens. I end all of my thoughts and notes with exclamation points hahah.
"the famous mission map picture"

   Thank you for the mail!!! It makes me sooooo happy. I am so grateful for Sawyer writing me a letter and asking if I can eat at the MTC. Oh and can I just thank Ellie for spelling bishopric, BISHOP BRICK. 
   My new weakness is REFRIGERATED Reeses cups in the vending machine down the hall. Oops.
   I love starting my day out with yoga or pilates or a run outside around the temple under the stars. It wakes me up and it is wonderful. I talk to Him when I run. It's so peaceful. We have all grown SO close as a district, we really are like one big happy family, I love all of them so much. 
Volleyball for gym time! Go Aggies!

   So we began teaching out first investigator, Randy. Me and my companion Sister Ankeny were having a hard time teaching in unity and the first two lessons ended in tears and feelings of inadequacy and hopelessness. After HOURS of study and reflection and praying and revelation and PLEADING, we finally had an awesome lesson where he felt the Spirit so strong and even offered the closing prayer! The Spirit was so strong I thought my heart was going to beat out of my chest. That feelings of seeing someone light up when they hear they can be cleansed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ is absolutely PRICELESS. Brings me to tears to even think about it. There are no words to even describe the feeling of having your investigator feel the Spirit after so much hard work to be in tune and be prepared. We had to work really hard on teaching in unity and I am learning patience and humility like never before.I have had to rely on my Savior so much this week. Sometimes I'll just pray in my heart, "Heavenly Father, please." Because I know He knows my heart and what I am trying to say and what I need. 

   Sunday was WONDERFUL. Sacrament meeting was beautiful. First sacrament as a missionary and BOY did I utilize it, I am very far from perfect and have a long way to go, but through Him, I can become! Relief society was so powerful. Everything is more powerful because we are all missionaries haha. We got to walk to the temple grounds with our district which was beautiful and such a nice break! 

   I took my Daddie's advice and joined the choir! It was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. If you want to feel the spirit, come listen to 2,000 missionaries sing, "Behold! A Royal Army!" I literally had chills the entire time and could hardly sing. We had an awesome devotional that night by Lloyd Newell, he does Music and the Spoken Word. Very powerful. He talked all about the phrase "Fear Not."

"For God has not given us a Spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." 2 Tim 1:7

   How appropriate that my sweet Daddie sent me the most beautiful advice this week about fear!

 "Having conceived of her purpose as a missionary should mark out a STRAIGHT pathway to its achievement, looking neither to the right, nor the left. Doubts and fears should be RIGOROUSLY excluded. Thoughts of doubt and fear never accomplish anything, and never can! They ALWAYS lead to failure. She who has conquered doubt and fear has conquered failure."

   SO POWERFUL. Teaching for the first time and preparing for the field can be scary, so this was super comforting.
  Then we watched a video called the Character of Christ by David A. Bednar. It was SO inspiring, all about turning OUTWARDS, which is exactly what I needed :) 
  Our Tuesday night devotional was by Craig A. Cordon.

 "God will proceed to make bare His holy arm in the eyes of all nations!"

  He talked about how we are His arm! My mom wrote me this week and said "You are His love, His mouthpiece, His hands, and HIS ARM." My parents are so inspired. I love that idea. We are his arm that he is reaching out to ALL nations as missionaries!
  We got a new district this week! I was like freaking out thinking that a week ago that was me, clueless and BRAND new haha. Since we are Sister Training Leaders, we are in charge of a tour and making them feel welcome and stuff. They are all SOO sweet and positive. They are catching on to my sarcasm quickly :) Its weird how you feel older after being here just one week. But I prayed to love them and I do!!!
  A sister in my district, Sister Serr, had a severe anxiety attack on Tuesday night. It was very traumatic for all of us, especially her companion Sister Casey. After hours of ER runs and phone calls and leaving campus to get prescriptions and meetings and interviews, she was sent home. It was extremely eye-opening to all of us. We learned so much. We all truly learned to drop everything, especially thoughts about what WE need and turn outwards which is just what I needed. It is interesting because at first when it wasn't too severe, we were all kind of annoyed that we had to miss class and didn't get to bed on time and had to sit outside in a waiting room for HOURS. We were frustrated because we were thinking of ourselves and what WE wanted. Once we forgot ourselves, we learned MORE than we would have learned if we were sitting in class. I could not have learned the humility and compassion I did that night if I was sitting in a class. I had never dealt with severe anxiety or depression or stress in my life or in anyone's life that is close to me so this was a HUGE eye opener to me that anxiety and depression are a real thing and I am filled with compassion. I don't mean to say I am happy this happened, but we all learned so much from it. We have a peaceful feeling now that she is safe at home because she was not safe here. So we are a TRIO now! I love Sister Casey and we pray for Sister Serr every prayer we offer. 

  At one point I had to walk her down to an office to call her mom. The first time she called, her mom didn't answer, so we sat and waited. Then she decided to call back. Her mom answered and when her eyes lit up and she gripped the phone, and said "HI mom," it plucked at my heart strings pretty hard. May have cried a little, but that wa probably just due to lack of sleep ;) Then she got to talk to her little brother and that really got me. i couldn't stop thinking of my sweet brothers. It was hard sitting there listening to her talk to her family. That was honestly the first time I have really missed you guys. I almost sunck a phone call in JK :)

   Thursday we had infield orientation and we were in a classroom for 9 hours straight. It was sooooooooooo long. We bought some candy to hold us over :) BUT I learned a lot and I had to share this POWERFUL story that I know my Daddie will appreciate. He is one of the greatest men I know and has taught me SOOOOO much and so much that can apply perfectly to my mission. Our teacher told this story of a district who had not had a baptism in 10 years. Not one. Everyone would email the president saying, "don't send my son or daughter there," no missionaries ever wanted to go there, and it was a terrible situation. The Mission president received inspiration to close that area. A couple months later he reopened it and told missionaries it was one of the highest baptizing areas in the mission. The first month it was opened, a pair of missionaries baptized 45 people in 30 days. This story hit me so hard. he talked all about expectations and if you go in expecting no baptisms, SURELY you wont get any. These missionaries had high expectations and not only had the first baptism in 10 years, but 45 baptisms in less than a month. 
   Man I just wish I could tell you EVERYTHING I've learned. I love you. I can feel your prayers. WRITE ME its my favorite thing, besides the MTC :) UNTIL NEXT WEEK :))))))
   "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life." 3 Nephi 5:13
Sister Brinton

Sister Sorenson (Sister Training Leader)

"I always take pictures of Sister Ankeny when she falls asleep hahah she loves it"

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