Mama Bear, I am still happy, healthy, and have everything I need. This week has been CRAZY BUSY. And I was so devastated that my email wasn't working, but it's all good, my Branch President is allowing us time outside of P-day to write home now that the system is back up.
We bid farewell to the Elders in our district Tuesday morning as they took off for Pocatello Idaho. We miss them a ton, our district got super close. We legitimately wouldn't have made it through the first week without each other. We started our Visitors Center training this week, and created a new district of 26 sisters, all of whom are going to Temple Square this Wednesday except two, my roommates Sister Namehe (Salt Lake East, Park City VC) and Sister Robertson (Omaha Nebraska, Winter Quarters VC). My companions and I are way sad that they won't be on the square with us.
As part of VC training we've spent a lot of time learning how to use resources specific to VCs (like the paintings, exhibits, statues, films, etc) but most importantly, online chatting and phone calls from mormon.org. It's a little weird and not my favorite way to talk about the gospel, I prefer face to face interactions. It's been a... learning experience. One nice thing, at least with the online chatting, is that you have the opportunity to discuss with your companion what to say before you say it... so I guess that's good.
The sister in my district are all SO AMAZING. Other than my American and Canadian companions, we've got sister from all over the world: Argentina, Mexico, Bolivia, England, Ireland, Spain, Malawi, France, Micronesia, Italy, Chile, China, Japan, 4 from the Philippines, Brazil, Tahiti, India... and I'm sure I'm missing some. It's amazing to me how quickly I've grown to love these sisters- you just build bonds here unlike anything I've ever experiences before.
Twice now we've been bused up to Temple Square to kind get oriented or whatever. There are definitely a lot of little "fun facts" that I don't know that people talk about, but I'm excited to talk about the gospel of Jesus Christ with everyone I meet.
Wednesday is D-day for us, and we will all take the Frontrunner up to Salt Lake. I cannot believe how quickly this time has passed. But of course, just as I'm getting comfortable, it's time for change.
One of my teachers (Brother Anderson) shared some cool insight with us last week, and I want to share it with you. We were reading in D&C 59, where it talks about the Sacrament. We read verses 8-12. He said, usually when we think about the Sacrament, we think of partaking of the Sacrament. But in these verses, it uses different wording. It says Offer up thy sacraments. He told us that for him, to make his experience of partaking of the sacrament every Sunday a more sacred and meaningful, he thinks of the tray of bread and the tray of water as an alter, and as he takes the bread or water, he is leaving something behind- sacrificing something, to be able to partake of the Atonement. I had never really thought about in this light before, What am I willing to give up to take this bread? What am I willing to sacrifice for this water? What am I willing to change to know God?
Anyways, it was a super powerful moment for me, so I wanted to share.
Another special moment for me this week came from one of my new VC teacher, Sister Peterson (who rocks, by the way). I was experiencing a moment of weakness and doubt, and she shared with my companions and me a scripture from Alma 26, verses 27-30 and 35, and an experience from her mission when she had been considering going home. Anyways, the whole chapter I think speaks to the hearts of all missionaries, and you should read it. God is so good, and will deliver us from our afflictions. But he requires sacrifice, and hard work.
In one of the buildings here there is this beautiful depiction of when Jesus is walking on water, and Peter goes to him, first walking on the water, but then sinking out of fear, and then being saved. It was just a solid (and inspired, in the moment) reminder that I need to keep the faith that got me here, and not to doubt that through Christ, all things are possible- even walking on water.
There have just been so many little tender mercies this week, I wish I had time to write them all. But just know that I know God is so involved in the little details of our lives, and it is so important to put our trust in Him, and His timing, because He can see the bigger picture.
Keep making good and choosing happiness!