Lots of changes lately, the first of which being a completely new scedule, with P-day now on Tuesdays. Which means.... P-day on my birthday!! (I can't believe I'm doing laundry on my birthday!) So I don't have much to report yet on how it went, but I have very high hopes. I get to go to the temple, nap outside, and then spend the whole day writibng people I love. And then, tonight (P-day ends at 6 technically) I get to go to devotional! Can you imagine a better birthday?? I can't :) Also - quick crisis moment. Can you believe I'm 20?? I feel more like a kid than I ever have!! I feel like I'm in middle school all over again, so immature and naive. But I'm not even a teenager anymore. I guess I wasn't then either though. Maybe the teen-ages were my prime years!! Is it all downhill from here??? Just kidding, I know the best is to come. Especially with the work I'm doing here :)
I'm so glad to hear that the weather back home is improving! It's been BEAUTIFUL here, for weeks now which means great things!! There are soooo many flowers everywhere (I'll send some pictures of the magnolias mom), and we have started having class outside every day. It's so beautiful and it totally changes the mood of everything, and makes it much easier to be productive. Still feeling good about the Russian - I know that's usually a thing people want to know about haha. It's coming! I will probably leave the MTC knowing close to nothing (it seems most of the Russian speaking missionaries do) but I know I'll be taken care of, and I'll be able to tread and learn so much while I'm there.
With the wearther being so nice too, the field has opened. Which means - frisbee and volleyball during gym time! Yes, even for me!! We aren't allowed to keep score here, so no ones wins or looses and it makes the game so much for fun! We don't exactly play by the rules, we just do whatever it takes to get a volley going. It's a miracle, but some of the sisters that play here are worse than me!! The elders get frustrated sometimes, but the whole not keeping score thing really helps. Our district has tons of fun playing. Especially with the new schedule - gym doesn't interrupt classes anymore, it's only in the morning or at night so we just completely let loose. You should see our district in action, we are all crazy. But we've decided, you just need to have a few screws loose to be called to "Donuts". (An ongoing joke about the confusion that continues about our "Russian" mission. Don't ask - - - see what I did there?? ;) )
So obviously I love the new schedule, except for one thing - We wake up at 6:30 and don't get to eat until almost 9. Anyone who knows me knows why this is a problem. I really think I might starve to death haha. And I was doing so good at gaining weight mom, I promise! We'll just see what happens. That's my only complaint! (We just made up a rule here - you are limited only 3 complaints a day. Some girls really need to use them. Luckily I have few things to complain about anymore.)
Also I've been taken care of so well this week!! Mom, Deana, and Dillan I got your packages!! Thank you all so much!!! And my district has been taking good care of me too. Last night we had a "birthday party" (I just opened some presents and we ate lots of candy). Also, there are many of you who wondered how I'd live without it, so I'd like to put your concerns to rest - the ever faithful Sister Walker has been willing to snuggle me on many an occcasion. Told you I'd find a way :)
Alright quickly, I've been thinking a lot lately about something I want to share. It's hard to be here without a good reason why, and I've been trying to nail down a good reason for me. Something to think about if times get tough. Just a purpose. Since conference I've been thinking about Jeffrey R. Holland's talk. He talked about the man who came to Jesus and asked Him to heal his son. He talked about the toll the boys sickness must have taken on his family. He talked about how desperate he was when he finally heard of Christ, and carried his son to Him, and pleaded with Christ to heal him. Christ's earthly ministry is over, but HE STILL HEALS. Today we have modern medicine. We see miracles every day - the blind recieve new eyes. There are devices that make the deaf hear. We don't need the same miracles that we did then. But there are sicknesses that are not of this world. There are things that only faith can heal. There are people, like that man, whose families are burdened with terrible trials. Some of them have never even heard of the Savior. That's why I'm here. I want to be the person who passes on the word to people like that man. They might not believe right away, but they can still go to him with their burdens and take that little bit of faith they have, and begin to be healed. That's all it takes. Go to Him, tell Him you know that he can help, admit you might not have the strongest faith, but then plead - "Help Thou mine unbelief." Then will the blessings of heaven and healing be opened to you.
I've had the opportunity to act as an investigator a lot lately. It's interesting thinking as someone who hasn't been raised in the church. I realized - lots of this stuff doesn't really make much sense when you hear it! I've been coming up with questions in this mindset that I had never thought of before. My teacher, after acting as a missionary and teaching me one of the "discussions" says to me - "You are the girl with doubts!" I've been thinking about that lot since. As I said in my farewell talk, I've struggled with many points of doctrine. But I am so grateful with my doubts and struggles, because God always answers my questions and quiets my fears. And then those doubts turn to a testimony, and my testimony becomes knowledge. I know that this is the True Gospel of Christ. I have come to know Him, and my Father. I know that they love us. The Creators of the world, the most supreme beings in the Universe LOVE US. God did not create the world and then take away His hand. He still touches our lives, daily. Everything He does is for the saving of His people! That is a question I am still struggling with, is WHY someone so perfect could possibly care about things like us. But I know He does, and for that I am so grateful.
Thank you to everyone - all my friends and family - for your love and support. I haven't always been clear about what I'm doing or why I'm here, but now you know - this is the thing I love the most! I know I am where I need to be, but more than that, I am where I WANT to be.
I love you all so much.