03 February 2009

Old Habits Die Hard.

I am having a hard time figuring out where to begin this letter. This week has been busy, exciting, stressful, knowledgeable, crazy, the happiest, the most overwhelming, the every type of week you can have crammed into one. (Some of these words probably are not a proper way to describe a week, but I did it anyway.) But... It was the best. week. ever.

We will start with an explanation of a dance party. 8 o'clock AM, laundry room, one church music filled iPod, two mini speakers, two dancing machine missionaries. It was meant to be a dance party for all, but turned into "let's watch Sister Carroll and Sister Nelson get their dance on." It was quick, it was a delight!

Now on to the serious "stuff." I still really enjoy being a missionary, and a Sister Missionary at that. (Being a Sister gives you a couple special privileges. Such as, getting an extra 2 dollars on your card every week, which I don't spend often but it is there; having Anziani [Italian for Elders] clear your tray upon finishing eating, having all Anziani stand when you approach the table with food in hand, and you get to be called Hermanas by the Spanish speakers which makes me feel closer to my sister who was an Hermana and will always be my hermana.)

There is an Elder in my district who is one of the most positive people I have ever met. I am striving to have his attitude. Every day last week I was able to respond to his typical question, "Isn't this just the best day ever?" with a "YES!" I will continue to do so. All we have to do is wake up, whisper to ourselves "this is going to be the best day," move forward and make that whisper a controlled scream.

This week I decided I am most grateful for the answers to prayers. Not just one prayer when Heavenly Father feels like it, but EVERY prayer. Sometimes I forget to be mindful of the timing and He always knows what is best for me and when I should be receiving answers, but needless to say, He never fails to give me an answer. I am learning every day more and more about how to recognize the Holy Ghost in my life and the way I receive revelation or guidance. I was blessed with the gift of the Holy Ghost when I was confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but I LOVE the fact that we all are granted the Light of Christ in which we can receive guidance as long as we desire and are striving to live in accordance with gospel principles.

I do not mean to make this a boring letter, I just had a number of spiritual experiences this week that will forever change my mission and the rest of my life. I learned what I am doing, why I am doing this, how I will do this, and when (meaning now and the rest of my life). It all started with an experience during MTC choir that lead me to understand that if I am going to do anything at all, I must do it with my whole heart or not do it at all. As I wrote this down and strived for it throughout the week my entire experience changed. Even when I hit the rough patches, which yes rough things happen in the MTC (the happiest place on earth), I was able to confront them whole heartedly. Not always easy, but I guess you could say fun and an incredible learning experience.

Then I learned the importance of people in my life and that sometimes, maybe more often than not, the Lord speaks through these people to me. As a district we were given the opportunity to study one Christ-like attribute and teach it to another in the class. I taught my companion who then after she taught me. Her little lesson was something that I absolutely needed to hear, and will need to hear over and over and over again. The atonement is something I have a dear dear love for and know that literally no one can live without it. "And behold, I am the light and the life of the world; and I have drunk out of the bitter cup which the Father hath given me, and have glorified the Father in taking upon me the sins of the world, in the which I have suffered the will of the Father in all things from the beginning." (3 Nephi 11:11) Sorella Rossi compared ourselves and our missions to the Apostles who were to pray while Christ submitted himself to the will of the Father. (This can be found in Matthew 26, which I highly recommend reading). After she finished reading the passage the thought came to her mind, "can we not wait one hour with the Lord, can we not give him one hour of our lives with all capability of heart, can we not serve for this short amount of time with all our might, mind and strength? If we but do this, we will be able to have our rest. Now he needs all of us." He needs all of me, no less. He actually needs all of us to go forth and help bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man Moses 1:39. This is the first moment in the MTC where I learned that the Lord uses everyone around me to teach me something new. He also gave me my companion for a very specific reason of which I am slowly realizing.

I gave myself a challenge to read the Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price while here in the MTC. I am reading about 20 pages a day during personal study time which has been perfect. My testimony has been completely strengthened through reading the scriptures and I am grateful for the example of you my family who has been faithful and diligent in scripture reading. Keep up the good work. (There is a little goofy missionary challenge for you!) While reading the past couple of days I was able to learn of the dear love that I have for Mosiah chapters 2 through 5. King Benjamin being the mouth of the Lord. I wish I could proclaim this wonderful word the way he did, but since it has already been done and so graciously recorded, we can all have the message!

I am very quickly running out of time in this e-mail but also in my time at the MTC. One month gone, surprise! Happiest day, I love you so much! I could not do this without you!

My sentimental heart,
Sorella Frederique Stone Carroll

No comments: