The Lord Knows and Cares for Us!
|Quintessential giant map picture!|
Okay! I hardly know where to start AGAIN with everything that's happened this week, and I partly can't even remember what was this week and what was last week! But here it goes!
It was such a tender mercy to see you, Allison, and Kenn at the temple, and I love hearing about all the coincidences that brought us there at the same time! It's funny because my district had initially been planning on leaving half an hour later, so there were "coincidences" on my side of things as well. It was a tender mercy that I needed, and the rest of the sisters in my zone were so happy for me! Hermana Casós (I figured out how to do accents!!) was so happy for me, and said when I asked if it was hard for her that it wasn't, she was just happy to see me happy.
This week has definitely been a little more difficult as far as having a companion goes. It's HARD to be with one person 24 hours a day!! But we love each other so much and we're both really honest and do our best to work things out lovingly and respectfully. It's a learning process, and I'm grateful for such a patient companion who truly wants to do what's right and looks out for me.
|Me and my companion, pointing to our missions!|
The veil is so incredibly thin. The Lord has really let me know that this week. Tuesday night, after I emailed and everything, we had a devotional with Elder Bednar. It was all about how the Lord knows and cares for us "one-by-one," and Elder Bednar kept saying, "Listen with your heart, not your mind." It was something I needed to hear, because even though I know God loves me, sometimes I have had a hard time actually feeling it. But at the end of his talk, he ended by pronouncing an apostolic blessing upon us (which, I mean, how COOL is that?) and he said that, "By the power of the Holy Ghost you will know not just in your mind but in your heart that you are a ONE." It was such a powerful statement, and I truly felt the Lord bless me with that. I've been able to feel His love more than ever before, and I've seen and experienced sacred and miraculous things during my time here at the MTC.
In the temple last week, when they prayed for the missionaries, I felt the spirit surround me in almost a protective embrace. And then, when we were sitting in the Celestial room - our entire zone together - I felt closer to Heaven than I think I ever had before. Truly the Lord watches after His missionaries and supports and sustains us. It's all over the scriptures, but experiencing it first hand is so incredibly humbling.
So, exciting news - I've been asked to join a special MTC choir!! The mission president seminar (which my new mission president will be at) is coming up next week, and as part of the fireside on Sunday a small choir of about 30 missionaries was chosen. We're going to be singing in front of almost the entire quorum of the 12 and the first presidency, as well as ALL the new mission presidents!!! It's so humbling to be chosen, and I'm so excited that I get to be a part of it!! I've also been approved to do a special musical number ("I Know That My Redeemer Lives") if they find a place to put me in. I'm so grateful that I get to bear my testimony through music while I'm here!
The Spanish is coming. I definitely know more than I did last week, but it feels like I'm not progressing as much. Still, I know that the Lord will help me, and it's all a process. Sometimes I'm still lost in class and in lessons, though. Pray for me to receive the gift of tongues!
So, scriptures - SO many I don't even know where to begin! I've been reading in Alma, which is ALL about missionary work, with Alma and Amulek, the Sons of Mosiah, and then the preaching to the Zoramites - it's just full of scriptures that are incredibly applicable to my life at this moment. I'm learning about how to be the Lord's servant as I read these verses, and how to love more deeply.
Dad, I know you love the story of Ammon, so I specifically wanted to share some of my thoughts when reading that this week. When the sheep were scattered, I know one of your favorite things is Ammon's reaction. But verse 32 really stood out to me (in chapter 17): "And it came to pass that they went in search of the flocks, and they did follow Ammon, and they rushed forth with much swiftness and did head the flocks of the king, and did gather them together again to the place of water."
Now, I'm going to retype that, but substituting a couples words: "And it came to pass that they went in search of the flocks, and they did follow [the prophet], and they rushed forth with much swiftness and did head the flocks of the [Lord], and did gather them together again to the place of water."
I'd never before thought about this part of the story of Ammon as allegorical, but it jumped out at me during my scripture study! As we move forward with swiftness and obedience and love for our fellow man and God, the Lord will work miracles! And it's our job to gather his flocks!
Reading about Lamoni's wife made me cry the other day. She was such a faithful woman, and for the first time it stood out to me that she was the first to preach to the people about God - the first to be awoken after they'd all fallen to the earth and the crowd had gathered. And when Lamoni awoke, he said, "Blessed be the name of the Lord, and blessed art thou," as he reached out to her. What a love they had for each other, and what a wonderful example of marriage in the scriptures!
Well, I don't want to overwhelm you. There's so much more I could say! I love you all soooo much!!!
|Elder Shober with his artwork. He's Picasso!|
|Elder West. Don't even know how to describe him other than hilarious and off the wall!|
|Hermana Zimmerman and I have the same skirt, and we coincidentally wore it (and both wore blue shirts) on the same day!!|
|Sunday temple walk!|
"For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their own heads."
"Porque mi alma se deleita en el canto del corazón; sí, la canción de los justos es una oración para mí, y será contestada con una bendición sobre su cabeza."