First of all, thank you to everyone who sent me mail/e-mails/packages this week. I feel so loved!
I'm on Week 5! Can ya believe it? 1 month down, 17 more too go! Gosh! I can't believe how quickly time flies here. Next week I'll be receiving my reassignment somewhere in the states. Any guesses? I'm very excited to start my mission in the U.S. It's like 2 missions in one and who wouldn't want that?
The weather has been so nice the past couple days. We've been studying outside a lot and I may have over done it because I'm starting to get a watch tan line. I'm really proud of that tan line too! It makes me feel like I'm making progress and it definitely makes me feel like a sister missionary.
I love the MTC. It will be sad to leave for sure. I love meeting new people all the time. I also really love telling people I'm from Detroit. One Elder in my district didn't believe me for at least a week. Everyone thinks that I grew up in the ghetto. It's cool though. What I will miss most is the Spirit here. Last Saturday we went to TRC (Training Resource Center) and taught a couple volunteers. Our favorite lesson was with Miles and Drew, two member friends that served a mission in Brazil. Drew became less active after his mission. Sister Decker and I spent most of the time talking to them and getting to know them. Then we shared a message about prayer. It went so well! I felt like someone was actually benefiting from what I had to say and the Portuguese was flowing so easily. The were surprised that we were doing so well after only 4 weeks.
This week I've been pondering a lot about the reality of a Savior and the Atonement. We watched "The Testament" on Sunday and it really got me thinking about what it must have been like for the Nephite people to finally meet the promised Savior. Then I read in 3 Nephi 17:5,
"And it came to pass that when Jesus had thus spoken, he cast his eyes round about again on the multitude, and behold they were in tears, and did look steadfastly upon him as if they would ask him to tarry a little longer with them"
I can only imagine the perfect joy they felt when the Savior had come. How devastating to know that He would again leave them. And then it says in verse 6, "And he said unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you."
The Savior has an infinite and perfect capacity to love and have compassion that extends to all who are willing to receive it. I have felt His love so abundantly in my life. Especially since I decided to go on a mission. So many people today think religion was important only in ancient times and that God doesn't manifest His power anymore today. I testify that He does. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is very real and very much alive. He is completely aware of us and what we need. The resurrected Savior will return again.
I know God loves me. I'm grateful for the opportunities I've had to struggle this week. God is quick to remind me who is in charge. I'm learning to submit my will to His and rely on the Spirit more than my own reason and logic. The church is true. Missions are tough, but it would be disappointing if it were easy. I love my Savior and I'm eternally grateful for His atoning sacrifice for me. These things I say are true.
I love you all and think of you often. Have a great week!
Your favorite missionary,