My dearest family and beloved friends,
I cannot even begin to describe the jumble of feelings that are going around in my brain right now. I don’t even know where to begin. I guess that I will start from the beginning…
Leaving the MTC was one of the hardest experiences that I have ever had to do. I had developed so many eternal friendships that I did not want to leave. I wish that I could tell you all of the experiences that happened to me at the MTC, but I consider them sacred and dear to my heart. When we meet again, maybe I can tell you everything that happened. Suffice it to say that it changed my life. It was really hard for me to leave my teachers. I look up to them so much, and they have truly strengthened my testimony beyond words. Sister Clark (one of my teachers) and I are going to room together at BYU when I get back, and I’m going to work at the MTC. I truly hope that happens! 🙂
We left the MTC at 3 o’clock in the morning. It was way too early for everyone, but we were all so excited to get to finally go to our respective missions. We traveled by bus to the airport, and then waited in line for 3 hours to be able to get through security and to our gate. Our plane was delayed, and we barely made it on before we left. I sat by another sister in my zone, and we basically slept the whole way to Denver (our connecting flight). The scary thing was that because our first plane was delayed, we only had 5 minutes to catch our flight to Toronto. Luckily, the gate was right next to the one that we got off on. That flight from Denver to Toronto had a LOT of turbulence. No mi gusta. We got off, and had a TERRIBLE time going through Canadian Customs. They made a sister cry, and basically interrogated us for an hour. It was a little scary. We go to go pick up our luggage, and we find out that about 8 missionaries in our group had missing luggage, and so they had to go fill-out paperwork, and it was just a nightmare. We finally saw our mission president and his wife and they both welcomed our group (36 missionaries) with so much love and kindness. We then went on another bus to a hotel, where we would sleep for the night and have interviews with President Scott. I love President Scott and his wife, they really look after us missionaries. That night, I was asked to sing “The Spirit of God” at the new missionary devotional. It was an amazing experience.
The next morning we were assigned our companions and our area. I was assigned to serve in the Simcoe area with Sister Wester as my companion. What you probably don’t know about the Simcoe area is that it is brand new. Sister Wester and I are opening this area to missionary work. Opening up a new area on your first transfer of your mission is…well…to say the least….challenging. We don’t have any current investigators, but we are working hard (through tracting and contacting and referrals) to be able to bring some children of God to the knowledge of the truthfulness of the restored gospel. There is so much work to be done here, that sometimes Sister Wester and I just look at each other and say “Oy vey”. It is going to be really difficult and challenging the first couple of weeks, BUT we know that this area is prepared to hear this message. I can’t wait to tell you all about our investigators…once we get some. haha. 😉
I want to testify to you that Satan is REAL. He is a real destroyer. Please keep yourself close to Jesus Christ by reading your scriptures and praying daily. That will strengthen you to resist temptation and ban Lucifer from your life. I know that if you reach out to Heavenly Father that he will strengthen you in all things. Phillipians 4:13.
I just wanted to tell you all how much I miss you. My companion started singing “Nearer My God to Thee” around our apartment, and I just burst in to tears. I miss hearing Adam and Katie sing that at the piano. I miss Caleb’s sweet smile. And I miss my Mom telling me to “open my eyes bigger” and helping me get through a hard day’s work. I miss my Dad’s laugh and “stomp plie”. I miss my friends. I miss everyone! HOWEVER. This is the work that I have been called to do. This is the work that the Lord has prepared me for. This is what I am supposed to be doing. Press forward, Saints!
Thank you all for the beautiful letters that you wrote me in the MTC. They buoyed me up and helped strengthen my resolve to learn as much about the gospel of Jesus Christ that I can. Communication from home truly just lifts your spirits and lets you know that you are loved. It helps…a lot. 🙂
Please, PLEASE know that I love you all so very much. My heart swells with gratitude when I think of all that you have done for me. I am so grateful for the refining influence that you have had in my life.
I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is my responsibility and duty to proclaim the truthfulness of this work from the plains to the mountains! I know that this gospel is true. I feel like Joseph Smith, I knew it, and God knew it, and I could not deny it. Please gain a testimony for yourselves. If you feel as if you haven’t received an answer, become an honest seeker of truth. Pray with all the energy of heart to know if this is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Without that knowledge, you can become lost. Hold to the rod!
I love you all, and pray for you everyday.
p.s. I am preparing my “Things to Know for the MTC” list. I will get it in the mail today or tomorrow. You should be getting it soon. Mom and Dad, will you type it up and post it on the blog? I know that’s a lot of work, but it might help someone. 🙂
p.p.s. I love you.
p.p.p.s. I didn’t call you at the airport on Saturday, because I didn’t have time too. We were all running around and trying not to get lost in the airport. And…we weren’t supposed to email our families on Saturday. I was following exact obedience. 🙂
p.p.p.p.s. Romans 8:18