Emma's first letter of 2014. No photos this week, but a great letter!
Happy New Year everyone!! Can you even believe it's 2014?? So crazy!! I hope you all had a fun holiday! Christmas looked so fun :) I hope you all have a year filled with love for your fellow men and for our Savior.
So as I was looking through the emails, the whole FIRE thing caught my attention!! What the crazy, I wish I would have known sooner. Kate you are so strong to still be so positive about everything. The fact that the only thing left was the picture of Christ is so amazing! That is such a testament that this work is true! So Kate I wish you luck with everything and hope things can become normal again! I love you :)
Our New Years was so fun! Hermana Houmand's parents sent us sparkly crowns and we toasted to the New Year with a bottle of sparkling cider! But don't even worry we went to bed at 10:30 because exact obedience brings miracles! But the best part was we had a devotional by Stanley G Ellis from the seventy and he talked to us about voluntary repentance and what we can do to become to be the "best" in 2014.
As I've been pondering my life and what I want to change, it's been different this time. My goals have changed from what must I do to be better to what does God need me to do to be better. This week has been challenging and sadly I've become pretty discouraged at times. But when we feel our lowest Jesus Christ is always there to lift us back up. And I have experienced that miracle first hand this week.
As the week progressed I was slowly becoming more and more frustrated with my spanish. I felt like I was working hard and studying the best I possible could, yet when I got in lessons I felt loss, which got me discouraged which obviously drives away the spirit. And I let that discouragement effect me spiritually and I was pretty down on myself. But God works in mysterious ways. As I felt like I was falling Christ came in and caught me with 2 amazing lessons this week. What would I do without my teachers here in the MTC? I am so grateful for them! Thursday night we were taught by Hermano Wolfe again, and through him the spirit was able to teach us that we are Daughters of God. He had us sing I am a Child of God then sit and think about what that meant to us. As I was thinking of the the time in Primary when I was doing singing time and we all decided to sing I am a Child of God in a whisper, I remembered the feeling that was in that room as 30 kids sang those words softly and the spirit testified to me that we are all children of God. As I looked into all their little trusting faces, how could we not be? And as I thought back on that week, I had forgotten that, I had forgotten why I was here and who I was. And the week just gets better! Yesterday we had Hermana Kitto and she taught us about faith, hope and charity. Faith is the believe in God and Jesus Christ, hope is to believe in ourselves and charity is to believe in other people. So as I sat down for PSC last night I thought I would study these two subjects and figure out my goal for this golden year of mine. And I decided on one word which will help make me the best missionary that God wants me to be. Believe. To not only believe in Jesus Christ but to believe in myself and in others. I had felt that I had lost confidence in myself this week, so I first studied hope and in my Preach My Gospel it says under hope, “The unfailing source of our hope is that we are sons and daughters of God." And in that moment I knew without a doubt that I am a Daughter of God and that through him I can become the missionary I can be, I just had to realize my identity. I knew that, I just had to dig deep down into my soul to find it once again. I had finally regained confidence in myself. I literally felt the discouragement and doubt in myself drain. The MTC has made my faith in Jesus Christ grow enormous but faith is not just to believe, it is a principle of action. So I committed myself to out my faith into action and what better way than to put all my effort into my mission. Then the talk from Thomas S. Monson called Living the Abundant Life came to my mind and I want to share a few clips from his talk with you. To have the abundant life is as easy as ABC. A is for Attitude, we must do our best, give everything our all and then BE HAPPY. B is for Believe, believe in yourself, others and in the gospel principles. "You can achieve what you believe you can." C if for Courage, " Courage is required to make an initial thrust toward one’s coveted goal, but even greater courage is called for when one stumbles and must make a second effort to achieve.Have the determination to make the effort, the single-mindedness to work toward a worthy goal, and the courage not only to face the challenges that inevitably come but also to make a second effort, should such be required. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says, “I’ll try again tomorrow.” I know that trying to learn spanish I am going to have to make a million efforts, but I must have the courage to try again tomorrow. There are people waiting for me and how could I be so selfish as to stop the gospel from changing their lives as it has mine. I continued to study and I realized that if hope was knowing I am a child of God then charity is knowing that others are children of God. As I studied more I could feel of God's love and I could feel my heart swelling with his love for all of his children. Charity is in our divine nature, but we must work towards obtaining that gift! So as I go forward this year, I am looking with a forward with a vision of hope and a knowledge of who I am. I am bearing the Savior's name over my heart confidently because I know what his gospel can do for God's children. How grateful I am for this knowledge and for the peace it brings into my life. I love you all and wish you a Happy New Years!
P.S. Jill, I can feel Drew's strength everyday as I pray, I can feel him cheering me on!