WOW! Thanksgiving sounds like a blast and a half!! Christian, how did you like the grand canyon? Pretty amazing yeah? One day I will hike it. And congrats on being accepted to LDS Business college! That is so exciting. Two of my MTC roommates went there before their missions, they are from Mexico and Equador. So if you don't find a pretty lady in Salt Lake and wait long enough maybe you can marry one of them, that will be fun! Ryan and Aleesha, how was thanksgiving with the Fife fam? Hope all is well. Weirdest thing happened, I saw this lady the other day with Fife lips... You and all your sisters have the same lips, and the best part of all, this lady looked like Michael Jackson so then I totally thought of your other sister that wears all black and big shades. Anyway. Hope all is well and hope you are loving California and recieved my letter with pictures I sent you! Sisters, how was the PHOTOSHOOT!!! Holy hannah, glad Ryanne waited until I was out of the picture yeah? I bet you all looked beautiful. Hair and makeup professionaly done? I can't even image how pretty you all looked. I really hope Cameron participated and was dressed up like our little sister (remember when we always fooled ryan's friends he was our little sister with make up and princess dresses) Sorry buddy. But Cam how was thanksgiving for you? Glad you had Christian to spend some time with so you didn't have to be the only boy the whole car ride down! I bet seeing Danny and David was so fun!! Sounds like over all is was a successful trip and holiday! Glad to hear everyone is doing good!
Mom- this quote is for you. This should be the scripture you always have with you! "Blessed are those who are flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape." It's a pretty good one, and oh boy, you are pretty flexible! That's what I love about you. I always brag to my friends how my mom always does cheers and kicks above the fridge haha.
There are a couple of stories I would like to begin with. One, remember how my companion let's them rip ALL THE TIME. They smell so bad and are always so loud. She has the worst gas of anybody I have ever met! So I found a whoopie cushion the other day in the give away box and decided to play a prank on her. So, we have 6 girls in our room. First night we started with Sister Smith, from Georgia. We gave her the tooting device and when my comp came back in the room she blew it up like 4 times and ripped them huge! My comp was rolling on the ground with laugher then she was like, OH GIRL I CAN DO BETTER THAN THAT. Then she says, MY GOSH IT SMELLS SO BAD IN HERE. (little does she know it has to be her that stinks). So over the past couple nights we have been passing it around the room and letting each sister take their turn fooling her. She thinks it is the funniest thing in the entire world. And she never fails to say, Oh my gosh girl... get the febreeeeeeze! It smells so bad..... haha! So I just find that pretty entertaining. Especially if she brings it up the next day and is like man, I was really could not breath last night from everybody smelling so bad. But one day to her suprise she may find out she is only punishing herself.
Then yesterday I had the great opportunity of being a host! That means I get to welcome and new missionaries and introduce them to the MTC, show them around, get them to their room and all that jazz. It was great! But who would have ever known that's how it happened, I guess you don't get the special treatment when you're late ha. It was actually harder to watch other people leave their families though. I guess when I was the one leaving I just had so many thoughts running through my head I didn't really notice the looks on everyones faces and if anyone got in the car crying. But it was so sad so see little brother hand his big brother his backpack and look down and start crying, while mom just can't get enough hugs from her son and dad is proud but is really going to miss him. It was really cool to experience it from the other side of things and not actually being in the picture. But the first girl I helped with an adorable sister from Cody, Wyoming. Just a cute little cowgirl that was going to New Mexico on her mission. She was so excited to her here and said she is the 6th out of 8 sisters to serve a mission. Her other sister returns home from her mission in 3 weeks! So I helped her around and taught her all the secrets! Then when we were rapping things up some girl just came out of no where and some elders were trying to help her then they yelled, 'um.... can we get someone that speaks spanish to help this sister.' So I went over and get her stuff and she just looked scared to death!! It was so sad. She is from Puerto Rico and doesn't speak a lick of english. She was such a sweetheart though! She was telling me how she is a convert of 4 years and converted with her 2 little sisters. She said how she really hopes her little sister who is 20 will go on a mission soon!! So I helped her through everything then took her to her class room and gave her a hug, she sat in her seat and just started sobbing. It was the saddest thing in the world. She was so overwhelmed and does not think she will be able to learn english. I was talking to her for a while, then her companion came in the room.... and it was the best thing ever. She was in the exact same boat. She was from puerto rico as well! They started talking and you could see it in her face that she had hope again! It just goes to show how merciful our loving Father in Heaven is and how well He knows us. He gave her exactly what she needed to help her get through. He is so kind like that.
Anyway... Thanksgiving was GREAT!!! We had a man by the name of Russel M. Nelson come and speak to us, anybody heard of him? His wife Wendy gave an amazing talk on how there will be times in life when what the Lord asks of us seems unlogical and we will not have a clue how to do it. You see this over and over again in the scriptures. But you also see that when we say "I will go and do because I know the Lord will provide a way" that the Lord always does provide away, a way that is better than we ever could have imagined. We should never seek to do things after the manner of men, but after the manner of God. We must always seek His guidance, for He will show us how to build a ship or a barge, and how to make tools or provide light, He will show us where to find food and how to build a bow when ours broke and our family is starving. He will show us how to win a battle when all odds are against us. When we seeks to do things His way, He always provides a way. We will always live the gospel when others are doubting, denying and saying this way is better and more fun, it's so much better. But why will we live the gospel, because we form our life after the pattern that God has drawn for us. Then, when the rains come, the storms are fierce, the temptation is strong and the battle is close, we will not be washed away or beated. We will stand strong.
Elder Nelson also tied his talk into this. He told us about how the church was first established in Russia. He and a member of the 70 went over there and were yelled at many people from the government saying, your church has no chance here. You will never meet any of the requirements, so just leave. But 4 years later, after ALL they could do, even though they didn't know how to do it, after being kicked out and rebuked, the Lord put His hand in and opened up the doors of Russia. He said, "You are on a mission. You don't know how to do it. But after you have done the best you can, after the manner of the Lord, not the manner of men... The Lord in His loving kindness puts His hand in the picture and makes up the rest."
Then we continued the day by making like 8,000 humanitarian packets to go to Sudan. That's what we did all day. They were medical/emergency kits. It was the best thing ever. We should start this tradition in our family.
My two favorite things I have learned this week. 1-the true meaning of "keep the commandments." Our branch president always refers back to the hebrew defenition of words. He said to keep means 'to build a protective wall'. Then the word commandment meants 'to establish the appointed pattern.' So KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS means "to build a protection around the patterns which the Lord gives us." Commandments are only a pattern of living that the Lord gives us, he shows us the pattern that we may establish it in our lives and prevail again the devil, these patterns become a protection against evil. And you want to know the best part... Every pattern the Lord establishes brings blessings. Every pattern, chastity, honestly, tithings, attending church and the temple, partaking of the sacrament, reading scriptures, and praying brings blessings and a closeness to God. We gain strength, confidence before the Lord, confidence before your fellowman, trust in relationships, health in the navel, the windows of heaven are opened, you are clean and are able to obtain guidance and direction in every decision in life, and the best of all, we have the constant comfort and company of the Holy Ghost. We must trust the Lord's ability to bless us and we follow His patterns. Any weakness in a pattern we bring unto Him, He will make it a strength.
The next thing I learned was in a workshop we had yesterday. We read in the bible dictionary the definition of CONVERSION. Read it. Read the scriptures that go along with it. Conversion isn't a one step, boom, I know and I am converted for life. He (Christ) says, "It is a continued process of Christ blotting out our sins through the atonement, refreshing us in our daily struggles and trials, old things are passed away, old sins are forgotten and you can become a new creature in Christ. I have prayed for thee that thy faith faileth not, and when thou art converted, convert thy bretheren. AND I WILL HEAL THEM."
Conversion is changing and coming unto the Lord and being better than we were yesterday. We are continually converted as we overcome sins, trials and struggles in our life. It is a mighty change in our hearts and lives that brings about a new person. We can be healed and refreshed. We can become a new person in Christ, be closer to Him and more like Him than we were in the past. The best part of this activity was that I had to write down my own conversion story. Yeah, I was born in the church, but through out life I have had to be converted, to know Christ is my savior, that I can always rely on Him, that His ways are better than my way and most importantly, whenever I fall, no matter what mistake I make or how far down I am, the Lord can lift me and heal me. This process of conversion will continue through each of our lives, until and end of our lives! I love it though. It was portrayed in a way I have never imagined, and it's a beautful thing. Such an amazing gift the Lord has given us.
My lovely companion and I attended the temple this morning. I JUST LOVE THE LITTLE OLD COUPLES. They are so stinking adorable. And we found out a great secret... Temple food is WAY better than MTC food. So every p-day we eat breakfast, do the temple stuff, eat lunch. My soul and stomach are both filled by the time I leave. It's just so amazing the strength that comes from being in the temple. This is the best pattern we can develop in our lives, one the brings the richest blessing.
Millions of other things have happened this week, but my little fingers just can't quite type fast enough. Although we did talk to Jamie in the travel office at church headquarters... and she said Spain just sent her NEW APPLICATIONS to apply for visas, because they just went through elections and got a new government. So she is in the processes of reapplying all the visas! Come on spainards, get it together. So I will leave the MTC December 13th and who knows where I will end up for christmas or the next couple months. Who knows, maybe I'll just have to go visit spain after my mission! But one of the sisters on my floor was telling me when she did study abroad to spain the sister missionaries got arrested and taken to jail overnight for leaving a BOM at someones house. Secretly, I would love if that happened!! Don't tell them that. Crazy though huh!
Some good news, Natalie Sargent turned in her mission papers! I am waiting to see where she is going, but am SOOOO stinking stoked for her!!! Madison Beyers has a KILLER wedding dress and wedding plans. That will be a wedding not to miss, wedding of the year is the rumor I started about it. Brooke Shoko Foster is heading over to China/Africa/Thailand for the next couple months of her life. What fun things are happening!
Everyday I am just so amazed at how true the church it. It's all so simple, but for some reason we make it so difficult for ourselves. The Lord has provided this marvelous plan for us to be successful and happy... so take part in it! Soak it up cause it's the best thing in the world. I am so grateful for the personal relationship we can each have with Jesus Christ, and when we rely on Him, all things are possible. If you don't know this for yourself, you to know Him- you won't be dissapointed.
I love you all. Send a little more snow down this way to the provo area. The land is as dry as could be..... Hugs and kisses from the sister missionary.
Love, Hermana Marshmellow