Hi friends and family!
I am leaving in 6 days! That's so crazy! We got our travel plans a few days ago. Our flight is at 5:00 PM direct from SLC to Paris on the 21st (Monday). There's 20 of us that are going to Paris that day that will all be on that same flight. Soeur Johnson and I are the only sisters though. I'm so excited! And yes, I get to call when i am at the airport! i think it will be sometime between 2:30 and 4:00. (we leave the MTC at 1:30 and can call when we get to the airport, through security and everything.) And I will call dad too on his cell phone (that's a long business trip dad!) and I will call on Mom's cell phone.
Heather asked what my favorite part about the MTC is right now. I would have to say it's on Sunday when they have the conversion story spotlight for the sister missionaries. They have a sister missionary who is a recent convert share their conversion story and they are always incredible stories. This last girl was from Albania and she met with the sister missionaries and had the discussions about 8 years ago and then had forgotten about them. 8 years went by and she was in a school class and people in the class started talking about how proud they were they could prove there was no God. It continued and she got so passionate about it she stood up and started drawing diagrams on the board about how she knew God lives. She started asking them questions about the purpose of life and God, etc. and they went quiet and couldn't answer. She went home that night and prayed to God and thanked Him for all the blessings He had given her and asked Him how she could help Him. (This is before she was a member). She remembered the missionaries she had spoken with 8 years earlier for the first time and began being taught by the missionaries again and was recently baptized. She's going to Germany on her mission now. She came to our dorm room door a few nights ago looking for some sisters and knocked on the wrong door so I was able to talk to her for a few minutes. She is amazing. She speaks 6 languages and said, "I feel like God had blessed me to learn so many languages because He wants me to share my testimony with everyone." Anyways, that's my favorite part of the MTC.
My other favorite part is the apostle devotionals at the MTC. Not only when they actually come speak (Elder Scott came which was so cool) but we can also watch the rebroadcasts here and they are only available to missionaries in the MTC. Soeur Johnson and I watched one of Elder Holland's on Sunday night and i loved it. I love him because he gets so passionate and down to business with every single thing he talks about and he just lays it out how it is and basically the message I got from his last message was: suck it up and do it well.
He talked about a poem that I really liked: (i will probably butcher it but that's okay it goes something like this):
"Come to the edge."
"No, I'll fall."
"Come to the edge."
"No. I'll fall."
"Come to the edge."
So he went over the edge. And he pushed him off the edge. And he flew.
Elder Holland said, "Man's extremity is God's opportunity." And how our missions are a chance to come to the edge in everything we do so that we can truly be instruments in God's hands. I love thinking of it that way.
Devotional on Sunday was one of the MTC presidency again. Last time he gave a talk on the law of tithing. People were joking he would give the same talk again. And then.... he did. He got up and said, "you know, I never ever repeat a talk twice. But I have felt so inspired that I need to give another talk on teaching the law of tithing to your investigators." AT first I thought that he had literally said just about everything there was to say on tithing. Then he gave his talk and it was incredible. It was incredible because this time he was much more focused on the eternal perspective of the blessings we receive from tithing. It's cool to think that every other baptismal commitment question is based on principles you already have needed to be living. This one is the one principle investigators will not have yet lived. It is something they will be doing their entire lives and something they must do in order to be sealed as families in the temple. He showed a clip from the District (missionary discussions that they film in the field and show as part of training in the mTC) of two sisters teaching a family the principle of the law of tithing and committing them to live it. Then it showed that same family a year later (January of 2011) going to the temple to be sealed as a family. it was so cool to really think of tithing in that eternal perspective like that.
Along with temples, today is my last temple day! I am going right after I send this email for the very last time until I get home. I realize more and more every week I go what an incredible blessing the temple is to have in our lives. It's THE most important blessing we have in our lives and what a blessing it is to have so many so close to us. So here is my challenge to Dad, Mom, Danielle and Hez (as much as possible): try to go to the temple every week for the next year and a half, and I promise that it will bless your lives in so many ways if you do that. I know that by going to the temple we are given strength to do things we can't do on our own and it's the best thing ever.
I love you and will talk to you on Monday!