This week was so great. I miss all of you very much.
I would NEVER leave my favorite people in the world behind for this long if it wasn't for something THIS important. This work changes LIVES and in a week I get to witness it first hand in Portugal. It is necessary that every soul hears this message so that all of us as Heavenly Fathers children can return to His presence.
EPIC story of the week....ELDER NELSON AND ELDER HOLLAND CAME AND SPOKE TO US ON TUESDAY. I almost died. Literally. It was the 50th anniversary of the MTC so many general authorities were here. Since there were many visits only a couple hundred out of 2000 missionaries were allowed in the gym so see them speak and the rest had to go to the over flow and watch from a screen. We didn’t want to wait in the 2 hour line so we just hung out and studied in the basement until the doors opened. So when people started going in they only let like 50 in at a time and for some reason we were way in back and did not think we would get in the room. Then a bunch of elders yelled LET THEESE FOUR SISTERS GO! And I was like huh? And so they parted the crowd and let us be the last missionaries in the room. I said no that’s too nice but we literally got shoved in the door. We were split up but then they decided to bring in a couple more to fill the floor so my companions and I booked it to the floor and found seats together that were 15 feet away from the apostles. Irma Walton and I were squeezing each other for a good 15 minutes. Elder Holland bore a very powerful testimony about our obligation as missionaries to honor those who came before us. And Elder Nelson spoke on the history of missionary work and the MTC. He then rededicated five buildings on campus. I think this was the first time I had ever heard an apostle pray. It was amazing and very beautiful to hear. Definitely one of the highlights of my stay here.
Well, my health is good, the language is coming along, and I'm ready to leave for Portugal. I'm nervous but ready. Nine weeks is a long time but I've needed it. Our branch President said they are starting a pilot program here where they delay all the missionaries three weeks that are scheduled to be coming in this week and are only keeping them here for six weeks. They want to see if six weeks would be better than nine. They think by six weeks you can't speak well but you can communicate. I'm really curious to see how that works out.
Well I love you all with all of my heart. This Gospel is so true and perfect and I'm so honored for this privilege to serve. Our branch Presidents wife made the sisters of our branch this book mark and I’m obsessed with it! It says...
"Many young women are serving missions. Many are preparing to serve. Not because they aren't married or have nothing else to do; but because they have a desire to serve and therefore are being called to the work. The reason so many are going is because in the next generation, Heavenly Father will be sending His Priesthood Army to the earth and wants to send them to Mothers who have been properly trained and taught in the Gospel. What better training can a young woman have than that of serving a mission?"
-Gordon B. Hinckley, Brazil Maceio Mission, 2000.
This is what it's all about. If any sister is reading this and is considering to serve please pray and seek confirmation from the Lord to serve a mission. I've only been here eight weeks but it has been the most rewarding and satisfying experience thus far in my life. I'm in love with the Gospel and women are such powerful missionaries.
Thank you for your wonderful examples and prayers. I love each of you individually.