From last week…July 19, 2014

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I’ve only been here a few days but it really does feel like forever!!!

My companion is Sister Trommlitz and I love her so much. It’s really weird because you feel way more connected to people after a day than you do after a month in real-person-world. Soon it became apparent though that I couldn’t remember her name for the LIFE of me for longer than 5 seconds. Then I had the bright idea to pray that I’d be able to remember her name. And guess what!!! From that time forward, I still forgot her name every 5 seconds. So I wrote it in my journal and all my papers and say it in my head whenever I’m bored. And today I haven’t forgotten it a single time!!

I was falling asleep during personal study and then came across Matthew 11:28-30: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…learn of me…and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” So I though “Oh, awesome, I can just read some more about Jesus and learn of him and I’ll get the Spirit and be refreshed and have more energy!” So I prayed that would happen. And guess what!!! It didn’t work. haha. I stayed awake but couldn’t concentrate or enjoy it. Thursday it was just hard because we didn’t have gym time and we were sitting so much, so even though I had my donut pillow for my fractured tailbone, it killed by the end of the day. I couldn’t stay awake and I was sick and in pain and just needed a nap. I made it to the end of the day though and got to say, “It feels so good to be tired after a day of hard work.”

Something I didn’t even think would be hard is not knowing any missionaries here! I forgot that I’m old and everyone else is so young! It makes me so jealous of the people who know people here. Sister Trommlitz sees someone she knows literally every 15 minutes. Maybe every 15 seconds in the lunch room. Thursday morning at breakfast in the cafeteria I was really wishing I could just see a familiar face and being kind of sad about it, haha, and then walks in my good friend Blake Northrup!! (he works custodial.) I had to run over and we great-big-handshaked each other and I got a “How the Sister Hale are you?” and it made my day!! I also saw another friend Daniel from my ward right when I checked in on Wednesday. So at least I have friends who work here, if not missionaries. Makes me feel less isolated! I’m used to it though and have stopped looking for familiar faces in missionaries.

So my district! There’s Sister Lundberg and Sister Jensen and me and Sister Trommlitz–all four of us live together and we’re all headed to Knoxville! The Elders in our district are headed to Texas. Our district leader is Elder Taumoe-anga from Tonga. The best thing about our district is that everyone is so humble! No know-it-alls! Elder T (I can’t pronounce his name and it takes too long to type each time haha) is just so humble and speaks softly and from the heart. All the Sisters except me are 19, and all the Elders except one are fresh out of high school. FRESH OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL. Everyone is so young!! So the district is taught together in the same classroom and we eat together. Yesterday was good for us as a district. We had an extra hour, so we all shared a favorite scripture, an experience with it, and our testimony about it. I shared this from D&C 46:

“To some it is given by the Holy Ghost to know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that he was crucified for the sins of the world.
To others it is given to believe on their words, that they also might have eternal life if they continue faithful.”

I talked about hearing Bro. Griffith’s institute lesson where he said there’s a problem in the church when only the “I know”-ers bear their testimonies, because then the “I believe”-ers or the “I’m not so sure”-ers feel like this isn’t the church for them because they don’t have an “I know” testimony. But Jesus himself tells us over and over to believe in him, just believe and follow him. That is good enough if that’s where you’re at. I know that it doesn’t mean you aren’t as good or spiritual or try hard enough just because your testimony is different from others! You are great for being where you’re at! I shared how that thought really helped me when I was an “I’m not so sure”-er. This church is for imperfect people, but even more, for unknowing people. It’s a church of faith and hope and love and belief and service, for those who say “I know” and those who just want to know or want to believe.

Wow I only have a couple minutes left! I’ll finish by telling about yesterday! Yesterday was so much better than Thursday!! We got to exercise so I lead the Sisters in my district in Insanity, haha, and it was great. I had energy for the whole day, we grew closer as a district, and Sis. Trommlitz and I taught our investigator Brother Casey. When Sis. T and I were planning our lesson, we talked about what we wanted to teach–the Restoration. She said we should talk about the Book of Mormon and challenge him to read and pray about it. I said “ehhh I don’t think we’ll have time for that.” Then we had personal study and I felt like we should teach Brother Casey about the Book of Mormon and make sure that’s an important focus, and that we should have him read the last two paragraphs of the introduction after the title page. I told Sis. T that I had a change of heart and agreed with her about the Book of Mormon, and that I felt like we should have him read those paragraphs, and she pointed at her journal and had written the same thing!! It’s so cool to work as a companionship and learn together and see how the Spirit adjusts your plans so that you know your investigator’s needs and have unity.

The MTC is all about love!! It’s a lot different than I expected! Everything that they teach us starts out with learning to love the person in front of you. Every exercise or role-play we do is focused on loving the person and not just telling them what you know. Last night was so wonderful, our teacher Sister Smith is so sincere and so loving. She has taught me so much about loving the person in front of you and really trying to discern their needs. I’m so grateful for Thursday for being hard and for Friday for being awesome! AND TODAY FOR BEING P-DAY.

Quotes of the Week:

“I’ve been in my mind too much today…” – Elder Lindsey

“We can end early cuz I felt the Spirit.” -Elder Taumoe-anga

“Good luck if you don’t have charity for the person!” – Sister Smith

Ok I have pictures but I can’t send them or even open them on these computers -__- oh well it can wait til Tennessee. Thanks for all the DearElder letters!! I got like 6 of them! Thanks Tansy and Jacob and Aunt Lucille and Sandy Heathcote and Mom twice!! That seriously made my day! Ok gotta go! I love you all! 🙂 🙂 🙂

– Sister V. Hale

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