Thursday, February 28, 2013

Big event- Elder M. Russell Ballard

28 Feb, 2013

Hi Mom and Dad, family and friends!

Sister Hall, my companion, and Me!

Gosh there is so much to say. Life is great here. I love the MTC!

Guess who came to speak to us at our Tuesday devotional? M. Russell Ballard. NO BIG DEAL, just an APOSTLE of the Lord. It was amazing. He promised so many things to us that lined right up with my Patriarchal Blessing. It was honestly incredible. He told us that the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve have a prayer circle every Thursday on the fourth floor of the Salt Lake Temple, and every single time they pray for the Missionaries, and then he told us how much he loves us. Etc. Mom, you could FEEL his love. Then he gave us some sweet counsel on how to be the best missionaries. He said our numbers could swell to 80-90,000 strong (we just reached over 60,000)! WHY? Because 1- The world DESPERATELY needs this message. People need to be happy, and be able to find joy. They need the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. 2- The Lord is preparing this generation to carry this church into the future. Heavenly Father is preparing us. He needs to be able to trust us not just for 2 years, but for our lifetime. That was interesting to me. He said we will be the ones to lead and carry the church in the next 20-30 years and that we need our missions to change is forever. He also said that he would have never thought in a million years he would be an Apostle. But he knows that it was on his mission that the Lord started to trust him, and that is how it needs to be for us too. I sang in the choir when he was here. It was incredible!
Me and Hermana Hall

I have also learned to feel the Spirit when I am happy and laughing, also, when I am singing. AND, it doesn’t even matter what I am singing! I just love it so much. Elder Pahulu asks me all the time, “Hermana, will you sing me ‘I Am a Child of God’?” , or, “Hermana, sing something for me.” Sometimes the Elder’s make requests, so I just sit in my chair and sing while we study, work, or chill (on the very rare occasions that we can chill). Sometimes people sing with me, which is great, I just like to sing. I’ve discovered this weird joyous, happy spiritual feeling it brings, and I’m digging it!

Enjoying some sun after spending time in the Provo Temple.
Elder's from my District.
There is so much to tell you about the people I’ve met here.

Elder Williams is the beautiful black one. He is from Portland, Oregon.

Elder Dohner- is the one in the bottom right front with the same photo-bomb cheese-ball face that I always make. He is the man-form of me. Not kidding. I absolutely ADORE him. He pretends not to like me, and picks on me. Bless him. It’s kind of hilarious.

Elder Barkdull, Elder Pahulu, Hermana Barnes, & Hermana Dodge
21 Feb, 2013
Elder Pahulu is the Hawaiian one. He is my Brotha…not brother…bruthah.

Elder Barkdull- is the one in the black glasses.

Elder King- is the one on the far left.

The only other one is Elder Bennett- and I’m not sure where he is in the photo…I forgot. Oh gosh. Well, I will send a better picture of us next week, with a better caption.

Elder Pahulu & Elder Dohner are my favorites, and Elder Williams (obviously). Don’t’ get me wrong…I love all the Elder’s in my District, but those ones are the bomb-diggity. Elder ‘P’ is Hawaiian, his dad is Catholic, and his mom is inactive. He has lived a HARD life. We get along so well because we are so nice to each other. I know it’s because he doesn’t scare me with his crazy stories. The first or second day we were here he mentioned he had been down some very scary roads and I said to him, “Elder, I don’t care where you’ve been. I care about where you are, and where you are going. You’re here with me in the MTC, and you’re serving a mission for The Lord, so that’s all that matters. You’ve utilized the Atonement and have made covenants in the Temple. You are doing pretty dang good in my book!” So now I can see that he really trusts me. He’s honestly amazing. He has such a great testimony. He is just so happy to be here, and be alive.

Elder Dogner is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. We both love the same TV shows, and he is smart too! He was the kid in all the advanced classes in High School who goofed off, and all the super nerdy kids hated him because he never did his homework and still got A’s…basically ME! LOL! He played baseball growing up and in High School and loves it. Him and Elder Barkdull throw oranges around sometimes. LOL. He has 2 older brothers who are not active in the church, and a little sister who IS active. His parents are both converts, and he’s from Springville, UT. Don’t worry, I’ve already cracked some Springville jokes, because let’s be real…Mountain View is better. His brothers are really special to him and it REALLLYYY hurts him that they have fallen away. I can see the pain in his eyes when he mentions it. Which is like, twice. I mentioned I have a big sister too that I love very much in a similar situation, and he cried. Blessedly, we have had some stress management classes and have been learning ways to give our concerns, struggles, and fears over to our Savior while we are in His service. These classes are super spiritual, and give us ways to focus and glimpse a tiny particle of how much our Savior must love us, our families, and our investigators. Inviting others to really come unto Christ, and bring them back into His fold is what it’s ALL about. So they can partake of the love, peace, and hope of God’s plan for them.

Oh- I have been meaning to tell you this. The Spirit is so strong here I can even feel it when we are in the gym playing, or working out. Like...amazing. We really can have him as our companion ALL the time. :)

I love this work. My mission is about inviting people to come unto Christ. I cannot be distracted by anything. I am willing and ready to sacrifice anything, and everything I have and am for the Savior. I am consecrating 18 months to the Lord. Done. In 18 months I want to be able to say I gave everything I had to The Lord. Kinda like Dad always saying, “Leave everything on the mat!”

These Hermana's are so great!

The Hermana’s here are fantastic. Hermana Clifton is 22 and she reminds me of Kristi. She is so sweet. Hermana Barnes is awesome. She’s my long lost buddy. She is SO FUN! Erika and I are BFF’s forever though, don’t worry. But H Barnes, and Clifton keep me going. My companion Hermana Hall is awesome too. We definitely are different, but we balance each other out pretty well. She is really nice and she works hard. She was sent to me, I know it. I couldn’t handle anyone else in my District. Not in a bad way but I know myself and if I was companions with anyone else we would talk too much. With Sister Hall I can focus and get things done. She is a blessing.
Me, Hermana Barnes, and Hermana Warren

I am so glad you got the blog going Mom. I am so glad people are actually interested. Hah! OK- I’m almost out of time. I have exactly 2 minutes left. Just enough time to tell y’all…I LOVE YOU! Tell Grandpa & Marilyn I said hi and thank you so much for offering to get me some Toms. They can’t be all sparkly, just a plain gray would be awesome. Size 8 and ½. Thank you! You are so good to me. XO

Hermana Dodge

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