It was so wonderful to read your emails. Try to send handwritten ones or use Dear Elder so I can read them for more than just one hour on P-days. My mission home address is in a letter I've mailed to you, so it's coming. I so glad that things are better and going well back home. Also, I forgive the lack of my candy bar. I'm just glad that you're all healthy and doing much better. Please keep writing me, it gives me peace of mind and encouragement.
So, as I mentioned above, you'll be getting a few hand written letters from me in the mail soon. Scan them please! I hate rewriting stuff and want to be able to include a copy of them in my journal after my mission. I really am striving to be the best I can be. My companion and I are so opposite it's hilarious. She's letter of the law, and I'm spirit of the law. She's quiet and calm and likes to treat people with kid-gloves, whilst I'm blunt, can be loud and crazy. We've had some disagreements, but we've gotten over them because we love each other, and we've recognized that the issue was stemming from miscommunication. We've both grown and are continuing to grow so much from this experience. We are both getting very important experience and practice that will aid us later on when we encounter the same situation; and because it will aid me outside my mission as well. It all depends on the ability to love, to have charity. Also, on praying for understanding and patience. We are a totally killer teaching companionship. We trust each other and our differences make our lessons even more spectacular than if we were similar. Our weaknesses are made up for in each other. We have unity because we have worked, prayed, and strived for it.
I wouldn't trade Sister Faulkner for the world!
The power of the Holy ghost is truly miraculous, and the missionaries are the carriers and causers of miracles, as our faith is sufficient and it is in sync with Heavenly Father's will. The MTC is full of miracles.
By the way, "Who is Jim Staff?" Cuz they told us that if someone gets hurt in the MTC gym, you can't help them and have to go get gym staff. So, my district and I asked "Who is Jim Staff?" We've asked pretty much EVERYONE that ISN'T a General authority; but NO ONE knows who he is. I'm hoping that you might know the answer.
I have a lot of pictures to send you, but I need an SD drive that converts into a USB, in order to get them onto the computer. They have some here, but it's like Russian-roulette; it may or may not wipe out the SD card. I don't want to risk it, so please send me one to the Mission home. Also, thank you for the sheets and stuff! I'll need it! And thanks for finding my glove, I had been sure I'd had both when I'd left; but, apparently that wasn't the case :P.
I leave around 11 am on Tuesday to my mission, and will have the opportunity to call ya'll's from the airport. I'll be using a minuets card they have here for sale at the MTC, so the phone number will be wonky I believe. So, on that day, answer strange numbers please, because the card takes a ton of minutes off for every timeI redial.
This past Tuesday Elder Cook of the 12 Apostles came to our Tuesday NightDevotional. Sister Faulkner and I joined the MTC Choir, so we got to sing a beautiful arrangement of the "First Noel" for the devotional. The Devotional was broadcasted to other MTCs around the world, and was recorded. I have more written about this in one of my letters that I've sent to you, so I won't spoil anything else ;P !
It seriously feels like a time-suck here, and I can't remember a time where I didn't know my district or companion. It's crazy how quickly we've all developed and changed. The Elders are all going to the WA Vancouver mission, so we're all really sad and going to miss each other. We're all also annoyed that the Provo temple's been closed, because we all wanted to go there together; but we've all agreed we'll do it after all our missions are over. I've made true friends here; almost family really. We've laughed, stressed, taught, learned, sung, teased, and cried like little babies together. It was having the love and support of each other that truly blessed our time here at the MTC. Just another blessing to add to the long list that's been compiling rapidly.
I have another scripture to share with you. In D&C 97:8 it talks how if we sacrifice, then we are accepted by God. Read it, it really impresses me on the importance of sacrifice, not only in general, but in regards to its importance in missionary work. I and all the others serving, are sacrificing 18-24 months of their lives to our Heavenly Father; because it's the least that we, who are able, can do to try and repay Christ's sacrifice to give us the Atonement. Why shouldn't EVERYONE know the truth? The should, and that's why I and the others are here. I testify that this is our work and purpose; and as missionaries this is the only time in our lives that our purpose is aligned exactly with God's, "For this is My work and My glory-- to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man".
We also had a thing called "In-Field Orientation" yesterday, all day... it was fun and informative... but very, VERY long. There was one lesson about faith that really stood out to me. We were talking about the obstacles which stand in the way of conversion, whether it be a problem with the W.o.W., or something other. Regardless of what it is, everyone has them. Our instructor told us a story about a 6ft giant tumbleweed on an interstate in the countryside of AZ:
A lifelong inner city man is driving in his car, when the tumbleweed shows up and he swerves to miss it, not knowing what it was. His car skids on sand and rolls. His car is destroyed but he walks away with only lacerations and shaken. in comparison, an old farmer from near by is driving that same road and that same tumbleweed. He grins and steps on the gas. He hits it and the tumbleweed goes "POOF", bursting apart. The point of the lesson was that there are and will be obstacles in our lives are scary, intimidating, and seemingly unsurpassable. However, all we really need to do is have faith, and run them over. It's then we'll discover that it was only an intimidating "looking" tumbleweed, which disappeared upon being challenged with our faith that the strength and power of God is on our side. So, my other grain of wisdom to you, is that with faith in our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ, ALL life's "tumbleweeds" ARE surpassable.
So family, don't worry over the tumbleweeds which will ultimately roll your way, just press on the gas and run them over. I know that our Father in Heaven and His Son, Jesus Christ, are watching over us as we excersize our agency to choose the right. With our faith in Him, all things are possible. It may seem like all the bad stuff keeps happening to good people, and vice versa, but it won't matter in the long run; because everyone will have their turn at the judgment bar of God to answer for their works, whether good or evil. I bear you my testimony of God's love for His children, and of the power of the Atonement. I bear you my testimony that true and everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth thru Joseph Smith, a true prophet, who translated the Book of Mormon. That reading the Book of Mormon and abiding by its precepts is the only sure way to make it back to our Heavenly Father and the Celestial Kingdom. I also bear testimony that President Monson is called and ordained of God as a living prophet to lead the living Church and receive revelations therefore. And I say all these things, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.