HI FAM JAM!!
Surprise, surprise!! I've only been here for about 48 hours, but Friday is our Preparation day so we got to email home!! And I've been waiting for this since I got here because I've so desperately wanted to tell you all how much I LOVE THE MTC (Missionary Training Center)!! It is everything good about BYU and I know this is the place I should be! Since I said goodbye at the curb, this experience has been nothing short of amazing!!
My companion, Sister Miller, was a bit lost for the first half of the day. She arrived late, so our district (or our group of missionaries that work and learn together) had already left for orientation. But once she finally found the other sisters and I, we immediately fell in love with her! She is from Houston, TX and she is so funny!! She's also going to the Idaho Twin Falls Mission so I'll have someone up there that I know!
On Wednesday, I was one of the very first people here at the MTC because my last name is at the beginning of the alphabet which was a bit nerve racking. But the spirit here is so strong, so I felt at peace. From the moment I walked through those doors, I've known that I am not alone. I feel the Spirit working through me and making me want to be a better missionary every single day. It brings things to my remembrance, it lifts me when I feel discouraged, it comforts me when sad, and teaches me things that I need to hear in that very moment. I am so grateful that I can have the blessing of the Holy Ghost as my constant companion because I was baptised. That is the knowledge I want to share with so many others! When they are baptized, they can receive that gift, which is one of the greatest gifts of God.
Wednesday really just took care of housekeeping and logistics. But yesterday was truly life changing. One thing that was really drilled into my head in the short time I've been here is our Missionary Purpose. Our purpose as representatives of Jesus Christ is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. We are here to invite and help strengthen the relationship between those we meet and God. What a wonderful purpose to have in life!! I am so excited for this opportunity and can't wait to invite others to come unto Christ so that they can feel of His love and grace every day of their life.
Another thing that we've talked a lot about since I've been here is how much God, our Heavenly Father loves all of His children. We were asked yesterday to write down some things that we wanted out of our mission. And I certainly had to repent after that exercise. This mission is not about me one bit. There will be plenty of blessings that will come with my service, but I realized that ultimately, I wanted to help all those I meet feel of God's love for them because of who I am and the spirit which I strive to keep always. If you haven't read it already, First John 4:16-19 is a passage in the Bible that changed my life yesterday. One of my teachers shared it, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since.
Family and friends, I just want you to know how much I love you all! I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that they live and love us more deeply than we can comprehend. They know me better than I know myself and want more than anything to help us to return home so we can live with them again! I've learned so much in the past two days and have a deep desire to change and become better. That change is only possible because of the Atonement, performed by Jesus Christ as he took upon himself every sin, every weakness, every pain, and every imperfection of God's children. The Atonement is what allows us to repent, and change, and become the people that God would have us become- to reach our full potential!! He died for me and He died for you. Is there any greater love than that? Because He took upon Himself the Atonement, He can bear whatever burden we feel we cannot carry. He will be on our right and and on our left to bear us up. We are never alone. He will always be there for us because He is the only one that knows exactly what we are going through! And I know that is true!
MUCH LOVE FOR YOU ALL!! Until next Friday!