Epicness for the week: Elder Holland was the speaker for the devotional on Tuesday! And not only was Elder Holland there, but so was Elder Richard G Hinckley, Lowell M Snow, (one other member of the missionary department) and Kathy Hinckley Walker. Epic n'est pas?! Wow, could I ever love Elder Holland any more? He's absolutely incredible! When he walked in the room, our district may or may not have been flipping out a little. ;) That being said, here's a quick few things he said over the course of his talk...
-"Be a little persistent. Sister Holland's got an
Avon lady that's more persistent than some of you, and she's just selling mascara! After all, how many times did Christ have to visit the Nephites? - Don't give up that easily!"
-"Tell me how obedient you are and I'll tell you how your mission will be." That was one of my favorite comments that he made. All through the time that I've been in the MTC, I've heard a never of different times and ways that the MTC is training us to become the people (not just missionaries) the Lord wants us to be. So literally everything we learn here, connects to how we should run the rest of our lives. So after Elder Holland made that comment, he quickly said "And that is an eternal principle."
-"The last days are upon us. And as exciting as that may be for this Church and it's members, for the rest of the world art large it's not going to be pretty. And that will affect us. Don't kid yourself about that, but as hard as these times may be, you are God’s answer. You are his hope. You are the hope of
. - So remember who you are!' Israel
-After retelling the story of when Jesus visited the apostles after his resurrection, specifically when Christ asked Perter if he loved Him, he said, "'I do love you. More than anything!' And that's when Peter became the great apostle. That's the question 'Do you love me?' Elders and Sisters, do you love Him? You need to decide tonight if you're on the course you're on because you love him. 'When I asked you to leave you're nets it was forever. When I called you to be an apostle, it was forever' When He called you to be a missionary, it was forever. And now, you can't go back. This is a new life. If you do you will break my heart and you will break the heart of your Heavenly Father. You've left you nets - for eternity. So 'feed my sheep' and do it forever."
- "God bless you on the greatest adventure of your life that will shape you and should shape - if you let it- the rest of your life and the rest of your eternity."
I absolutely love Elder Holland's passion. =) He fully knows what he knows and he’s not even slightly ashamed of it, nor does he hold back when he speaks. He just such a cool guy!
So this week, we changed from 39 to 35 new missionaries. And we changed from 7 to 6 sisters. Luckily, we didn't "lose" our seventh sister. But because she's already fluent in French, she'll only be in the MTC for three weeks. (She'll fly out the day after Soeur Woodruff and me.) Her name is Sister Murray and she'll be going to
. As for the other six, they're wonderful. I seriously am so excited that they are finally here. Tuesday night was like Christmas for me - knowing they were coming the next day! =) Of the remaining six, four are from Paris Utah, one is from California, and one is from . Two are going to Alaska . One is going to Paris . Two are going to Toulouse . And one is going to Switzerland Tahiti. The two going to Paris and the one going to Tahiti live with Soeur Woodruff and me. And I love them. Sister Buswell, the one going to Tahiti, went to Weber High. And, small world that it is, she knows Katie Stitt! I don't have enough time in this email to tell you about each of them, but I'll try and fill you in on more details later. Overall, the sisters are great! And I absolutely adore them! Not even to mention the new Elders - also incredible. =] All-in-all our zone fully rocks.
However, the one major thing I realized in meeting the new missionaries was how dang glad I am that that moment in my life is behind me. The constant feelings of being lost, confused endlessly overwhelmed...yup...I'm not missing that. But luckily, they all seem to be taking it rather well (considering what's being thrown at them.)
Mom in the letter I got from you yesterday, you made a comment about how you miss me, but you're grateful for this experience (more or less.) And I'm not sure if I ever shared this quote with you, but when I read your letter, it popped into my head. So I thought I’d share it. "Missionaries: people who leave their families for a little while, so that others can be with theirs for eternity." As much as we may miss each other, this time is absolutely flying by (at least from my end.) We can’t believe we've all been gone for six + weeks already!
I realize this is kind of a weird place to end this email, but with 1:03 second left, I can only say so much ha ha.
So I love you all,