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Monday, March 25, 2013

I'm feeling the love!

Just wanted to thank you all for your fervent prayers in her behalf!  She was struggling, and as you can see, your prayers and support have helped her pull through!

~ Linda (Mom)

The Sisters are in her district, the Elders are two that they met during gym, they left for Taiwan today. (clockwise) the cheeser is her comp, Sis Bray, Elder Taiwan, Elder Taiwan, Sis P (?), Sis Lindsey and Sis Hogge

I have so much to be grateful for this week! 

Thank you so much for sending me little reminders of love and support. I've definitely needed it! Grant Gunnell sent me a quote saying "I never said it would be easy, but worth it." I can't remember who it's by at the moment but it is so true. The MTC is hard, a mission is hard, and hard is definitely an understatement. There is no way to describe the emotions of being on a mission. All you can say is that you definitely learn to become best friends with the Lord and literally "cry" unto him like Ether did. My relationship with my Heavenly Father has grown so much, and I feel like if I ended my mission this week, I would be okay with that. Because my testimony has grown more the past few weeks than I could have ever dreamed it would. But how exciting that this is only the beginning. If it can grow this much in 2 weeks, imagine 18 months. Wow!

I got so many letters this week! One day my district leader came in with 20 dear elders for me! Please know that anything I receive, EVER, is appreciated. I wish I could write you all back, but we have 18 months to stay in contact so I'll get to everyone eventually. I'm sorry I left you all with the feeling that I was struggling last week. I'm okay! I promise. My job is to come out here and work my hardest, then the Lord will bless me. Like I already said, it's hard work being out on a mission. I know all you returned missionaries understand that, and to hear from you and to hear you went through the same thing, is so comforting. Thank you all for sharing your wisdom with me. Every word of advice made it into my advice journal that I started this week, to look back on while I'm out and remember that I'm not going through this alone.
This week I got to play an investigator (meaning someone who the missionaries teach about the gospel...not a detective) and my companion got to teach me (this is how they practice teaching, especially since they are learning a new language). Guess who I was? Casey :) and I got an amazing letter from her that same day. I am so grateful I got to be a part of your conversion Case, you are such a great example, and I'm even more proud that you're so strong and so active. I just wanted to take a moment to tell you I love you and appreciate you. Salamat Kaayo! (Thank you very much)
I got an amazing letter from Becca too, and this may embarrass her, but I shared it with my district. This was our last week teaching our investigator. We got about 4 lessons in before we found out we were done teaching her. We were all crushed, and we all wish that we could have that last lesson just to tell her how loved she is and tell her more about the gospel. But we couldn't. We were all crushed, ** and one of the Elder's was getting down on himself, so I shared Becca's letter with him and the whole class. What an amazing little sister I have, her advice was so strong and powerful, everyone was shocked that it came from a 14 year old girl. She explained to us that we are going to touch the lives of many, but that doesn't always mean that they're gonna all get baptized. But she also expressed how okay that was. Here's what she said, "I think that when you're having a hard time, and your investigator changed their mind, or didn't get baptized before you left, you need to remember that you could have been one of the greatest blessings in their life. And if it weren't for you, meeting them at that time in their life, maybe their life would've been different." We all need to remember not to be too hard on ourselves. A quote that we have on our board is, "Do your best and the Lord will make up the rest." We need to work hard and show the Lord our love for the people around us, and the rest is in His hands. We are just his instruments in the work. Becca, thank you. You helped more than just me. You strengthened our whole district, even our teachers. Thank you for being so in-tune with the Spirit at that time and telling me that. It's exactly what we all need this past week.
I have such a big support group. I can feel all of your prayers and all of your love. I don't know how to express my gratitude enough. The extra prayers were definitely felt this week. I've got my head in the game and am working hard to keep it there. For all those planning for a mission (Jackie, Kindra, Jasmine, Karlie, Andrew, Spencer, etc.), remember to take things one day at a time. One hour at a time even. Make goals you are able to accomplish, and I promise you can make it through anything! Mission life is so much easier if don't push yourself too hard, but push yourself enough. Struggle builds strength :) So struggle!

So much happens in one week that I feel like this is all a jumbled mess. I have 4 left weeks here, which sounds like nothing to you all, but it's a big deal here. I get more excited to get out in the field every day. I heard that once we get there, we'll be speaking Waray Waray
 instead of Cebuano. So I'm learning a language that I may not ever use. Pray for me! I'm going to work hard this week to learn as much Cebuano as I can so that I will be able to learn the next language quicker. But for what it's worth, learning a language is fun. I'm enjoying it! 
I love you all! While you're praying for me, I'm praying for you too! All I need/want is pictures. Of everyone! I probably won't want much junk or anything until I'm out in the field and packages are like $70 a just send me pictures of anything!
Ayo Ayo!! (Bye)
- Sister Hogge

**speaking of the "investigator" that they were crushed not to be able to teach the MTC you invest so much time and study into teaching your "investigator" that even though it is essentially acting, you get attached to the people and feel the Spirit guide you as to what to say to help them progress...its ends up being a very positive and emotional learning experience for all involved.

Look how many friends Katie has in the MTC!!

Sister Mullen! She is heading to Thailand!

Elder Case, Katie's cousin, is going to the Czech Republic

Elder Verdoorn, going to Mexico!
Stephanie Muncy, a good friend, works at the MTC! Lucky Katie! I know that was a much needed hug!!

Katie is kind of a dork about sentimental articles of clothing...this is one of Christian's shirts that she is SO glad she brought with her! :)

Katie's companion, Sister Bray!! She is full of life and keeps the MTC interesting for Katie!
Sister Bray got to see a "dog" on the temple walk! She was so excited!
One of the sister's brother sent her this blanket with the flag of the Philippines! Not the best picture of Katie, but I thought it was pretty fun!

1 comment:

  1. I love this blog! you are awesome nicole, thanks for the updates on a pretty blog!