Sunday, December 29, 2013

One by One

Emma wrote this week with an update from her Christmas in the MTC. She is definitely growing spiritually and we could not be more proud.


Oh my gosh Christmas was so amazing in the MTC!! It is definitely a Christmas I will never forget. We spent the whole day at the main campus. There was about 2800 missionaries there worshiping Christ...can you imagine how strong the spirit was there? It was AMAZING!!

The day started off with us emailing our families, then me and all of my companions ran as fast as we could to our apartment to open presents together by our little miniture tree that someone brought, we all shed a few tears, but we were still so excited to be having this experience! We started out with a talent show, and the missionaries here are so talented!! This boy from China did a magic show that was worthy of Vegas and the funniest one was a kid who did a Yiddish Bottle was not even a real dance he just did weird jerky movements all over the stage with a bottle on his head while singing his own theme was hilarious! We also got to watch the MoTab Christmas program from last year and of course when they told the candy bomber story we were all balling, but it was a very special spirit.

The part that everybody is looking forward to on Christmas is when they reveal which general authority will come speak and it was.....David A. Bednar!!! The second he walked in the room my eyes filled with tears because of the spirit he carries! He taught us that day in a way that has never been done before. He handed out 200 cell phones around the room and we were able to text him questions to his iPad and he would answer them. How cool is that? And he was very trusting to hand out 200 cell phones to a couple thousand kids! But each question he answered he answered with such grace and conviction. That man is amazing. We talked about everything from how can you make is possible to marry an apostle to the atonement and through out it all we felt the spirit teaching us.

As I reflect back and think of what touched me most during Elder Bednar's talk, I think I was most touched on what he shared about his personal feelings towards the Atonement. He shared that he believes that Christ didn't just suffer for all of us all at once, he suffered for us one by one. Just as Christ always taught and lived, he lived to serve people one by one. He shared with us that he believes that as Christ was suffering our face came to his mind and he felt every sin, every heartache, every inadequate feeling we have ever felt. He knows how each and every one of us feel individually, he suffered for us ONE BY ONE. And for me to think that I put my Savior through that much pain hurts my heart. Then after all of the pain we put him through he still asked the Father to forgive us. We are nothing without Christ. But that is why we have the atonement. It doesn't just cleanse us, it strengthens us so that we may find peace and know that if we do our best and give it our everything that Christ will make up the difference. We must give up our lives in order to gain it back through Christ. He is the only was that we can receive exaltation. I know that my redeemer lives! That whole Christmas day my heart was overflowing with love and gratitude for my Savior. Yo sé que mi Salvador vidas.

So my district is all really tall...I'm the shortest by 9 to 4 inches. And they all call me Hermana that name got started I have no idea, but they said I am just like a little cute flower so they all call me Petunia! Ha my "Sistrict" is so awesome!!

I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas! I love you all and pray for you everyday! May God be with you 'till we meet again :)

Con amor,
Hermana Pasley (Petunia)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

We Still Seek Him

As we celebrate Christmas this year, we celebrate the birth of our Savior. Because of the numbers of missionaries in the MTC they don't get to phone home on Christmas. However, they did get to email. We got this little surprise email Christmas morning. A great present.

Feliz Navidad!!

I'm sorry that I didn't know that we get to email on Christmas. I got the notice seriously like an hour after I emailed you! I only have a few minutes to email but I want to let you guys know how much I love you guys and wish that I could celebrate Christ with you guys. But know that I am not sad. I am happy to give up a couple of Christmases to be able to serve God and teach others of the gospel of Jesus Christ. So everyone needs to email me back and tell me what they got from Santa :)

Yesterday we had a devotional from David F. Evans from the Seventy and he encouraged us to be able to bring the spirit into the homes of whoever we are writing to, so I pray that you can feel of the spirit I feel here.

It doesn't feel too much like Christmas right now, not because I don't feel that "Christ"mas spirit, but because it is seriously Christmas EVERYDAY here!! Everyday my testimony and faith in Christ grows and I am so thankful that I am here.

I want to share an experience I had yesterday. We had to teach another lesson to Benny on Monday night and then we were teaching him yesterday afternoon. So yesterday morning we were suppose to have our study time, but our substitute teacher lectured us instead, which was great, but it was hard to stay positive because I have no idea how to teach a lesson in Spanish, so I need all of the study time I can get. So it came to lunch time and me and my whole "Sistrict" were pretty frustrated and on the verge of tears. When we came back to the classroom we had another teacher there and she shared a video with us which was about a Spanish ward that prunes the church's vineyard early every Christmas morning, and when one of the workers asked a ward member why he does this, he said, because I love the Christ Child. Okay, seriously the most humbling experience ever. Why am I here? I am here to serve the Lord and share the gospel with everyone I meet. I need to forget that I don't know Spanish, forget that I had no time to study and learn to work hard and rely on the spirit to guide me. As me and Hermana Thomas headed into the lesson we were filled with the spirit and were able to teach a lesson. Even though it was in very broken Spanish, Benny was able to understand and you could you feel the spirit during the whole lesson. How grateful I am for the spirit which is with me always in this amazing place.

My last thought, just like the wisemen sought out Christ, we must too seek him out. Not just during this holiday season, but always. What will you do for the Christ child this year? What kind of gifts will you bring him once you seek out the child? Then think, why am I seeking out the Christ child?

I love you all and wish you a very Merry Christmas!! :)

Con amor,
Hermana Pasley

P.S. My P-day is now definitely on Saturday, so be expecting emails sometime on Saturdays while I'm in the MTC. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

We Are They

We received our first letter from Emma at the MTC! She seems to be doing very well. She sent along a letter and 2 pictures of the obligatory pointing at your mission on the MTC map. Here is her letter:

Mi Familia!!!

Como estas? Oh my heck I don't even know where to begin! I LOVE the MTC!!! There is such a special spirit here that is unlike anything I've ever felt. It is so strong constantly which is so amazing because it is hard...really hard!! But I can feel God's love every time I get frustrated with the language or get down on myself.

So I am not on the main campus at the MTC. We are on the west campus, which is awesome because everyone that lives here is going spanish speaking, so everywhere you go, everyone is saying hola, or como estas, its so amazing! My companion's name is Hermana Thomas and she is an awesome companion!! She's very positive and a little crazy, but in a good way :) We have a really good time together. My district is an all girl's district (the 2nd all girls district ever) and we are all going to Mexico. I'm the only one in my district who is going to Villahermosa, but I've met 2 girls who are going there. But I love my district too, they are all fun and very positive. My zone is so fun too!! The Elders always make adventure and keep it light which helps with the stress!

I have so many things I want to tell you that has happened in just these 3 days, but there's just too much! First, me and Hermana Thomas taught our first lesson all SPANISH!! Oh my word, it was so hard and not very good, but the spirit was there and I felt good once we left the "investigator's" house. We have another lesson tonight, so pray for me and Hermana Thomas that we can teach by the spirit and convert Benny!! But the most amazing thing that has happened here happened last night. Our teacher went out of town for Christmas, so last night we had no teacher. Come to find out, 3 of the districts in our zone didn't have a teacher so we all met together and Hermano Wolfe(our substitute teacher, who is seriously one of the most amazing men and teachers I 've ever met) taught us about Christ. Before he even started teaching, he explained to us that this was probably how it felt for the early saints to gather in a small room and talk about the gospel. The second he said that the spirit came in muy fuente!! I seriously wish I could have recorded that lecture and sent it to you, but I didn't so I'll share my favorite parts.

We mainly discussed the pure love of Christ. The all mighty, the king of kings, is the mighty servant. Everything he did, he did for us. Becoming like Christ is one of our greatest gifts we can give him and the best way to honor him and it has everything to do with faith. How we choose to act when adversity, like my mission, comes is what builds our faith. When we come to him in sincere prayer he will testify to us of his truths and will turn our belief into faith. Christ had the power when he was in Gethsemane, to stop his horrible pain, but he didn't because he loves us so much. He kept his promise to us, which stemmed the belief we are born with. He has felt every temptation we have felt, he knows what we are going through. You feel the pain of temptation the most when you resist it, he resisted EVERY temptation, think of the pain he knows because of our weaknesses. My favorite example Hermano Wolfe shared, of Christ's redeeming love, is when Judas brought the soldiers to Gethsemane and betrayed Christ. As the soldiers came to arrest Christ, Peter cut one of the soldiers ears off and Jesus healed the soldier. Even though they were arresting him and sending him to his death, he couldn't bear the sight of one of his brothers being in pain. When he was upon the blood and water came out of his side, which medically defines a "broken heart". Right before he died on the cross he plead with the Father, "Forgive them for they know not what they do." We are they. I had always believed that he was talking about the Jews, but he was talking about us. We are they. He did all of this for us, because he has the most pure form of love for us. After all the pain I have put him through, he still asked Heavenly Father to forgive me. My heart is so full of love for my Savior. My mission is just the beginning of my true mission in life. All my hardships, homesickness, and rejection are to build my faith in my Savior, who truly, I could not be here on my mission without. I love my savior with my whole heart and I owe him everything. I am giving up everything, so that I may see a glimpse of the love he feels for me.

That lesson brought me to tears. Oh how I love my Savior!! I challenge each and everyone of you to kneel down and pray to your Heavenly Father and ask to feel of his love, so that your belief can turn to faith.

Yo se que Dios es muy amoros y mi Padres Celestial. Yo se que Jesucristo es my Salvador. yo se que el Libro de Mormon es verdadero. En el nombre de Jesucristo, Amen.

Con amor,

Hermana Pasley

Friday, December 20, 2013

Of Snow and Farewells

December finally arrived and with it the chance for Emma to have her farewell and make final preparations for leaving on her 18 month mission to Villahermosa Mexico. It has been a long 4 months of waiting. The day of Emma's farewell was December 8th. The weekend arrived, along with grandparents and aunts and uncles. Unfortunately so did a freak snow storm. On December 7th, sunny St. George received 8 inches of snow. This was more than our poor little city could handle. It was announced that night, at the ward Christmas party, that church would be cancelled the next day because of the weather. Emma took the news in stride and we simply held a small get together for those who could make it.
After a long cold week, Sunday came around again, this time with sunny skies. Emma finally got the opportunity to give her talk in Sacrament and did a fantastic job. Afterwards we had another small get together with neighbors and friends. After being set apart Monday evening, on Tuesday the 17th we loaded up Emma and all of her stuff needed for the next 18 months into the van and headed to SLC for one last visit with family that couldn't make it the week before. Emma got to see her Aunt Jeana and Jan as well as her cousins Sarah and Josh and Josh's wife Cami. Josh also brought his friend Colton along to liven up the party. The next morning came and the time arrived to leave for the MTC. One last hug was given to Grandma and Grandpa and off we went. On the way we needed to stop and exchange some slippers for Emma at Kohl's. Much to her surprise she ran into Aunt Kathryn (Joan's sister). A tender mercy to be able to see one last beloved family member on the way. Tears and hugs were shared by Emma and Julie and then off we went. We arrived in Provo a few minutes early and pulled into the parking lot of the Provo Temple to say our last goodbyes. Things have changed in recent years when you drop off your missionary. Gone are the days of sitting through 30 minutes of the equivalent of spiritual water boarding. Hearing talks, singing hymns of the restoration and watching Home Front commercials in a room full of weeping families and their missionaries has been replaced with goodbyes across the street and curbside missionary drop off. Not high on emotion, but easier on the future therapy bills. We pulled in and each member of the family got a picture with our future missionary. When it finally came time to leave for the drop off, Emma said that there would be no individual hugs, just a family hug. She thought that would be easier on all concerned. She was ready and just wanted to go with as little sentimentality as possible. Perhaps we shall call her Sister Mary Poppins.
We then made our way across the street to the MTC. We pulled in and were greeted by dozens of smiling, happy missionaries. We pulled to the curb, where Emma, Julie and Kyle got out and gave one last hug and goodbye. She was then swept into the MTC and off on her 18 month adventure. Although the family will miss her, we know that she is truly about her Father's business. We felt the Spirit of the great work she is embarking on and know that what she is doing is right. Via Con Dios Hermana! Till we meet again.