Sunday, December 5, 2010

my heart feels as if it's going to burst at the seams...


The following is a letter that Lindsay sent to us last week.  It was so wonderful that I thought I would add it to the blog. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Hi! Can you believe that Elder Holland came for Thanksgiving?? It was so amazing.  Such a great surprise.  His talk was mind-blowing and incredible, as usual.  He talked about three things:
1. "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost know us individually by name.  It is important for us as missionaries to know we are not collective - we are individual.  He knows us by our name - by our first name.  Think of the significance of names in our church.  "One of them spake unto me, calling me by name..." If that doesn't make your mission personal, who knows what will.  "All things are present before mine eyes.  Mine eyes are upon you.  I am in the midst of you.  Behold, the kingdom is yours."  This is a personal mission.
2.  "The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost have always had compassion for the poor.  We retain a remission of our sins by being conscious of the poor.  We must have compassion.  We live in the most abundant, blessed time in the history of all mankind.  Today, let us all remember where it came from."  
3.  "The Father sent His son to perform the Atonement alone.  The most important event in the entire world was accomplished alone. One by one, the people left the Savior - All the disciples forsook Him and fled.  Jesus knew this would happen.  He knew it had to be done alone.  He did know, however, His Father would never leave him.  He was alone, but not alone. "I do nothing of myself... He that sent me is with me."  He was left utterly alone on the cross and there uttered the most painful cry in human history: "Oh God, why hast thou forsaken me?"  It is almost impossible to comprehend the cost that came from the Father as He had to watch His child hurting and for some divine reason, not be able to respond.  Jesus had to to do it alone. He saved our souls. He gave us eternal families.  But there is an obligation that comes with that price - if we compromise His expectations, His example, His love - then we are utterly alone.   "In all their affliction, He was afflicted.  The angel of His presence saved them.  "The reason we serve a mission is so He doesn't have to keep doing this alone."  
WOW, right? So powerful. I wish you could have been there with me! I absolutely loved when he said: "He that sent me is with me." Gah! So perfect.  Anytime I feel alone or discouraged on the mission, I will think of that.  I love it so much.  I feel so very lucky to have seen so many apostles!  The MTC is the best.  I just love it here - it's going by so fast! I'm so excited to go to Paris and get to work.  It's coming up quick!
On Wednesday, Soeur Larsen and I taught at the TRC in French for the first time.  It was so great! We are really good at teaching together now.  It's a tricky thing to get used to, but we definitely have the hang of it now.  The "investigator" we taught served her mission in Montreal.  After we finished teaching and she could stop being an actress, she told us we both have beautiful French and we taught very well!  It was such a good feeling.  I am so ready!
Every week in Relief Society, a sister talks for a few minutes and shares her conversion story.  It's so cool to hear how the gospel touches everyone so individually.  Last week, a sister from Pakistan shared her story. Pakistan! It's so amazing.  She's going to temple Square, of course. There's another sister, Sister Burns, who is also going to Temple Square. She's from Tahiti and her French is gorgeous!  You should go find her in a few weeks:) She is darling.  She speaks cute broken english.
The other day, Soeur Larsen and I decided to watch a talk during MDT (Missionary Directed Time). We watched the talk Pres. Uchtdorf gave at the April 2010 Young Women Meeting - "Your Happily Ever After".  You have to promise me you'll watch it!  It's the cutest thing ever. Don't read it... watch it, for obvious reasons:) I love to go back and watch general conference talks.  Sometimes we go watch mormon messages too - we love to watch the nie nie one:)Also "Lessons I learned as a Boy" and "Your True Identity". Oh, goodness. haha. My life has become very small.
So, there's an elder in my district, Elder Blank. I swear he is the 19 year old version of Richard.  He's a total germophobe - it's so funny.  He has absolutely perfect table manners, he has a matching pocket square and cuff links for all of his ties, and he loves Pride and Predjudice.  But best of all, he is a food snob!  He laments over the cafeteria food with me and  says things like, "What would I give for some good chocolate right now" or, "Soeur Williams, what's your favorite variety of cheese? I love a good gorgonzola".  It is hilarious.  I told him he's invited for Sunday dinner when he gets home and I'm pretty sure he is counting down the days:)
Our whole district is planning a little post-mish reunion... we're already sad that half of us are going to Paris and the other half Montreal.  I hope we are all still best friends when we get home.  I want you to meet them! I especially want you to meet all the Soeurs (have I mentioned that yet?:)
I'm sitting on the floor in my room watching Soeur Baxter pack.  She leaves for Figi tomorrow and I am so sad.  I love her so much.  She is seriously amazing and she is tailor-made for Figi.  It's so amazing how the Lord knows each of us so well.  I'm so grateful for that.
The first time I went to the Temple here, Soeur Larsen and I did a session.  As I passed through the veil and into the celestial room, there was a gigantic portrait of the Savior right in front of me, His hands outstretched.  I immediately felt this wave of overwhelming love wash over me.  I sat on the couch and started crying.  I have never felt the Savior's love for me as strongly as I did then.  He loves each one of us so very much.  A Book of Mormon lay next to me on the couch.  I picked it up and opened it right to this verse:
"And blessed be he that shall bring this ling to light, according to the word of God; yea, it shall be brought out of the earth, and it shall shine forth out of darkness, and come into the knowledge of the people; and it shall be done by the power of God." Mormon 8:16
That's why I'm here: to bring the gospel to light.  As I've been at the MTC, I've come to know more and more that I had my mission call long before June 1st. The Lord called me to be a missionary in the pre-existence and I accepted... it just took a little while to figure that out:) But I am oh, so grateful I did! My mission has already changed my life.  I can't imagine what the impact is going to be after a year and a half!  This is the best decision I've ever made.
My heart feels as if it's going to burst at the seams... my testimony and my desire to serve the Lord grow with every passing day.  I can see His hand in my life, guiding me along the way.  I'm just so happy!  In fact, my roommates said I was giggling in my sleep the other night.  That's how happy I am:)
Favorite scripture of the week: Alma 32:34-35
"...for ye know that the word hath swelled in your souls, and ye also know that it hath sprouted up, that your understanding doth begin to be enlightened, and your mind doth begin to expand.
O then, is it not real?  I say unto you, yea, because it is light; and whatsoever is light, is good, because it is discernable, therefore, ye must know that it is good."
Well, sure do love you and miss you! Thank you so much for your support.  I can't wait to call you from the airport on the 20th!

love, love, love,
your little mish

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