Monday, January 17, 2011


Alright, so this is crazy, but I am halfway done at the MTC! I think I forgot to tell you, but our 12 weeks have been cut down to ten because our mission president is going to be away when we were supposed to go, so we're going early. We leave on Feb 16th! I am so excited but SO SCARED! We spend so much time asking our teachers about it and I just get so excited and scared.

So, the definite highlight of this week was having Elder Jeffery R Holland come to speak to use at our devotional on Tuesday night. It was so intense. He is probably the most powerful speaker out of all the general authorities, especially when he's at the MTC cause he doesn't hold anything back. He was literally yelling at us for parts of it. It was great. His main message was that we as missionaries need to develop testimonies of our own because we no longer have a script to follow. We have to know this gospel, and we have to know that we know it and believe it. He also really emphasized how crucial it is to gain strong testimonies so that we don't come home and go inactive. Over 50% of missionaries do, which is just sickening to me. I don't understand how a person can teach this and help people change their lives so much and bring so much light into others' lives and then just turn their backs on it. I can't imagine that! Elder Holland also talked a lot about Peter and how when Christ died he didn't know what else to do, so they went back to fishing, because that was all they knew until Christ came. He then related the story of how the apotles had not caught any fish all night, when a man (Jesus) on shore suggested that they cast their net on the other side. When they did, there were too many fish to even bring the net up. At that point Peter recognized the man as the Savior and was the first and only one to jump out of the boat to swim to shore, to his Master. Christ then asks the question "do you love me more than these" (or something to that effect) three times, and Peter answer yes each time, but on the third time it finally comes across. As Elder Holland spoke these words it was as it Christ was speaking to me personally, asking me if I love Him. It was so overwhelming and powerful, but wonderful when I could say yes. "Then feed my sheep" was Christ's response. Leave your nets behind and do my work. I have left my nets behind and I am preparing to feed His sheep. And it is not only for the next 17 months that I am feeding His sheep, Elder Holland was very clear that if we truly love the Lord we will cast our nets aside and feed His sheep forever. For all eternity. That is what we commit ourselves to when we are baptized, and in return we gain salvation and exaltation, "which are the greatest of the gifts of God". And not only are those our gifts, but we are also helped in our daily struggles and trials. We are blessed with the Spirit to comfort and sustain us. We are blessed with loving families to encourage and support us. This Gospel is so awesome! It is so true. Elder Holland is a true apostle called of God. And the craziest of it is that he is in Sister Burnham's ward!!! That lucky girl has talked to him on several occasions and he knows her by name and has hugged her. Not that he is a celebrity or anything, but  he is an incredible and powerful man.

Ok, so other than that, here are some other highlights from the week;
I got to be a host missionary yesterday for some of the new sisters. It is crazy to think that that was me just 5 weeks ago. They all looked to scared and unsure. i remember freaking out, but I love it here now.
TRC this week went well. This week I worked harder on the language and it definitely payed off, but I seriously need to do better. I still get so frustrated because I can't say what I want to say. But at one point last night I was bearing my testimony of families and God's love for us, and I felt the spirit so strongly. It was so cool.
In less good news, I have been having some problems with my knee since Christmas. It really isn't anything too bad, just some achyness. I went to the physiotherapists here for a couple of weeks, and I just went to the doctor and he's gonna get me all fixed up. He thinks its just my patella from running too much. I have faith that it'll be fine, so Mom, don't freak out,

Alright family, I love you all! I keep you all in my prayers and I am so grateful for each one of you. Lilke Brother White says every time he leaves "Be diligent" (but in armenian).

Yes seeroom em dzez!
Kooyr Smeet!

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