Sunday, August 4, 2013

Sarah was set apart as a missionary on Tuesday, July 16th by President Doug Aagard (President Brown had a biking accident earlier that day & was unable to make it.)  Sarah was promised great blessings during her service as a missionary.

Our family at the Provo temple shortly before dropping her off at the MTC.

What a fun surprise for Sarah to be greeted by Madi Brophy-a friend of hers from our Stake that she went to High School with.  It seemed so much easier to drop her off with Madi walking her in.

July 24, 2013
So, I sure got two wonderful companions, not many people get two companions. It's been really fun I sure love them both, it's pretty funny, the elder's in our district call us the tri-force. So that first night when I wrote you that letter I actually wrote my companion's name incorrectly it's actually Sister Richardson and Sister Gifford. Sister Richardson is from Las Vegas, Nevada, and like I said earlier she played for BYU's Rugby team (pretty awesome right?) and she is so sweet, she's 23, and I love her to death! Then there's Sister Gifford, she's from Lubbock, Texas and she wants to be an accounting major, and she's a a sweet girl. It was hard at first to call everyone Sister at first. Then it really touched me to think about it and realize that we are all brothers and sisters. We are all children of God. On another note, Sister Richardson, Sister Gifford and I are the only three Sisters in our district. I have come to love my district so much, they are your family in the MTC, we spend almost every hour together. Some fun facts about my district- Elder Cenatiempo (we call him Elder Dinner Time haha) plays baseball for BYU, and I have known one of the elders since 7th grade- Elder Hollingsworth.

Anyway, you know how everyone says that Disney Land is the Happiest place on Earth? Well, they haven't been to the MTC, everyone here is so kind, and you can feel the spirit incredibly strong here. I think what really brings the spirit so strong is that we pray before everything we do. I've learned here, that the spirit really is our teacher, and if we pray to have the spirit to be with us, we will be guided in everything we do. It's neat we've been able to teach investigators, (we don't have the knowledge of whether they are a member, or someone truly investigating the church) we teach a two women, and we come up with what we will teach them on our own. As me and my companions pray, the spirit has really guided us in knowing what to teach. We teach a lesson that we feel will help them draw closer to Christ in their lives. I truly have felt love for these women we have taught, and it's neat to think how it must feel to learn that you are a child of God for the first time, it's neat to see the light that comes to their eyes as we teach them this. 
In almost every one of our lessons we talk about how when we grow in our relationship with God, we flourish in our other relationships. This is why the gospel blesses families so much. We also talked about how Christ is central to every single lesson in Preach My Gospel, and that the Atonement is the key to everything! I absolutely love the scripture 2 Nephi 31: 16-18.  It talks about how Baptism is the gate to becoming closer to God, and once we enter baptism this is the way we start on our path to feeling God's love and getting back to him. This is why we ask investigators about baptism so early on, so that they can enter onto that path of feeling joy and that they can get on the path back to their loving Heavenly Father. 

My favorite day by far this week was Sunday. We listened to a devotional that was given by David A. Bednar about two years ago on Christmas day at the MTC. It seriously changed my whole perspective. It's interesting that you can hear the same simple truth over and over, and still not fully grasp it. He talked in the devotional about overcoming the natural man by turning outward. He said that in life there will be times when we feel sorry for ourselves and get caught up in our own problems and we feel sorrow. He talked about Christ's amazing example of turning outward, he told of the man who had his ear cut off when Christ's friends had betrayed him, and how Christ could have had the attitude of feeling sorry for himself, but instead he healed the man's ear. He asked how we would feel if our friends had betrayed us, would we be thinking of others? Then he told of how while Christ was suffering on the cross he was doing mission work talking to the other two men who were going to be crucified. Then he told this story of a woman who was a relief society president, and she lost her daughter to a car crash. During the day of her daughter's funeral a woman from her ward who was sick called and chewed her out for not sending a meal to her home. On the way to her own daughter's funeral, she brought the woman a bowl of soup. I was so touched to hear of her incredible example. I think I tend to get caught up in my own problems, this really made me want to be better. I decided the mantra for my mission will be - "Turn Outward". I was praying that I could find a way to forget myself, and focus on my mission. This talk was definitely my answer to my prayers. 
It was so fun, on Sunday I saw Kylee Mahlstede, Dallin Wright, Bradley Gregory, and so many of my friends from college and high school! It's been so fun to see so many familiar faces. :) Well, I sure love you guys, and I'm so glad to hear you're all doing so well. I look forward to hearing from you again next week! 
Have a wonderful week, and Happy Pioneer Day! 

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