Okay. I'm realizing I have to be more careful with my letters or you guys all have a freak-out session.
First of all: both of my comps speak English. I don't know where that went wrong...
Second: Ally and Becca, calm down. I'm not (currently) writing a missionary, and you should definitely leave his little sister alone. But yes, Subway did happen...
Anyways. Hey everybody! This week has been really good so far, but crazy as well, per usual.
Oh Ally. Ally Ally Ally. Never have I been so proud to call you my sister as when you made a Tangled/Les Mis comparison on Office paper. Now I don't want you to jump off a bridge and go *splat* anymore. So that's a plus.
Bob - I'm so sorry you had to sit in church for "FIVE HOURS!", but yesterday I had class for 12 hours. So stop whining you big baby. Love you.
Mom - it's not that I didn't want you to know I was sick - I'm just not the type of person to draw attention to myself. You know that. And I really was mostly fine. I went to all my classes and taught my lessons and went to the gym and whatever. So it wasn't a huge deal. But next time I'll tell you.
Dad - love the Spanish cartas. When I get some time I'll do you one.
One of my teachers was talking about an oceanology class he had taken, and I had the overwhelming urge to shout "it's oceanOGRAPHY!" But that would have been totally irreverent...
And about that - it's really amazing just how much the Lord takes care of us. All of us. I was having a bad day on Wednesday and just wished that I could sit in my room by myself for like twenty minutes, like I usually would, and everything would be good. But I couldn't and we still had to teach and the world just kept turning without me. So when I decided that I wouldn't be able to fix it on my own, I just said a little prayer. "Heavenly Father, I'm trying my best, but this is really hard. I've never had to do anything like this before. You called me here with these companions for a specific reason, and I have work to do, so please help me be in a better mood." And it really was that easy. Within minutes I was laughing again and we were able to be unified and plan one of the best lessons we've ever given. So although I've always known that the Lord hears and answers me, it just strengthened my testimony that when I am trying to do His will He is ready to help me. I'm doing His work, so why wouldn't He help me?
Things with the companions are going much better, but still not great. Well, overall. Without getting into all the details, I'm still meshing really well with 3/3 (we call each other a third because you can't just say 'hermana' - so I'm 2/3. Kind of weird but it works.), and still able to love 1/3. But 3/3 is struggling to get along with 1/3 because she's older and very independent and has a different opinion on how lessons should work than we do. But 3/3 and I had a heart-to-heart last night that I think will really help things. We both know that we're in this tripanionship to learn something important, so we're going to focus on humbling ourselves and working on what we can change. So we're going to look for ways to serve 2/3 and cut out any negative feelings towards her when she starts to get... whatever. Hopefully this is all just the right amount of vagueness. Just remember our tripanionship unity in your prayers.
And to all you future missionaries - I can promise you right now that you won't be able to teach with the Spirit if you can't plan your lessons with the Spirit, and you won't have the Spirit if you have any contention in your companionship. It doesn't matter if one of you thinks the investigator needs to know every detail of the whole Gospel before they can even be invited to baptism, and you think that if you can just get them to feel the Spirit strongly enough they can start to build their faith and act on it. (You can find a million reasons why not to join the truth - but if the Spirit testifies that it's the right thing to do and you identify the Spirit for the investigator, it works. At some point everything can't make sense and you have to make a decision based on faith. But whatever - I guess you know my opinion now.) It doesn't matter. You have to find that middle ground without hurting any feelings or causing any contention. Because nothing makes the Spirit leave faster. I can promise that. And I don't want it to sound like I know everything, but I have learned this one lesson pretty well. So from day 1, start good companionship study and inventory habits. Because having that open communication will really help when things start to get difficult later. Then you can discuss things openly without being hurtful.
Anyways. I'll get off my soapbox now.
The temple this morning was awesome- we did initiatories, which is my absolute favorite. Especially after how stressful last night was. But afterwards, while we were waiting for 1/3, I told 3/3 "How hard can things really be after you hear all those promises? What really matters?" And she seemed to like that. And it's true. It reminds me of my favorite scripture - 1 Nephi 11:17 when Nephi is talking to the angel. Something like "I know that God loveth his children, but I do not know the meaning of all things." I don't know how to be the best missionary I can be yet - I've only been one for 3 weeks. But I know without a doubt that God loves me, so what else really matters?
So about the temple - I couldn't find my recommend this morning so I had to talk to the recorder when I got there. Besides some crazy flashbacks to Becca Chesley's sealing, it was fine. And guess who the recorder was? Brother Woodbrey's older brother! Small world right? He saw I was from Queen Creek and asked who my seminary teacher was. I told him that you would have a hard time finding a better man than Brother Woodbrey, or someone who cared more about his students. So that was a nice little piece of home.
Anyways. I'm running out of time, but let me have one more little rant. It's snowing. I want to die. Last p-day we laid out on the grass and got sunburned, and today I just want to curl up in a closet and never come out. But whatever. It's Utah. Just know that I'm miserable. Just kidding. But seriously...
Wait I forgot to write about the TRC!! How could I have forgotten my most powerful spiritual experience of the MTC so far? Okay real quick. We taught a returned sister Shauna who served in Costa Rica and comes every week because she loves missionaries and to practice her Spanish. We were all pretty nervous because she was a real person, but she was just so friendly that we forgot all about it. The conversation was awesome because we were each participating and even though the Spanish wasn't fantastic, we were able to understand each other and feel the Spirit. And I know this might sound bad, but I haven't cared about any of our fake investigators like I did with Shauna. She was a real person with real needs and I just wanted more than anything for her to be happy and know that God loves her. She wasn't pretending to be an investigator or anything, so we were just talking to her, for her, about her. It really was awesome. The Spirit was so strong, and I feel like I finally got a taste of the joy of missionary work. All you missionaries know what I'm talking about, times infinity. And I'm not going to just wait until I get to the field to feel that love and desire to serve - I'm starting now (well last Saturday I guess) to be the Lord's sharpest tool so He can use me just as much as He can. So yeah. Missions are awesome, the Church is true, and there is nowhere else I would rather be.
All right, that's it for now. I love you all and thanks for all the letters. (I promise I'm going to write you back Emily and Shannon and Alaina and Lauren (and whoever else)!!)