July 26, 2014: Hello out there!

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Today is P-day which means relaxation and spare time day….or so I thought -__- haha. We have been runnin around all day and still have so much to do! So I’ll maybe have time to finish this email…

The week was overall wonderful, I’ll try to recap it the best I can but honestly it’ll probably be in no particular order. but hopefully will make sense.

I’m now used to being called Sister Hale, I haven’t forgotten Sister Trommlitz’s name for almost a week, and I’ve mostly stopped checking for my phone in my pocket! Adjustment is good.

One of mine and Sister Lundberg’s goals at the MTC was to play basketball at some point. The main gym has been closed but it finally opened and we got to play today!!!

We have gotten to go to the temple twice while here, today was my last day for 18 months I guess! I really missed being able to talk to Daxson and Christy about things today, and I know that’s gonna be hard for me, but I’m so grateful for how many times I’ve been able to run over to their apartment while in Provo and talk things through or just vent. Shout out to you two, hope Germany is so wonderful for you! Send me pictures!!!!!!!

Going to the temple as a missionary is so fun because the workers are so excited to see Sister missionaries there. Last week when we got done and were getting ready to leave, I kind of had a bigger realization that I’m a representative of Jesus Christ. I stood up straighter, and thought about how this means I really need to see people the way Christ sees them. I had only ever thought of representing Christ in terms of rules/obedience, like missionaries need to act mature and respectable so that they give their church a good name. But it is way way way much more than that. I am constantly reading scriptures and praying (seriously this place is the grand central praying station, I’ve never prayed so much in my life) and thinking about my investigators and through all this I am learning to look at people the way Christ does, with love and with concern and with a desire to serve and help people. So we were leaving the temple and I was just so grateful for the opportunity to be a Sister missionary and to represent Christ. And then I thought of who to write down on the prayer list and I started writing down girls from my treatment center and just started bawling, haha. I just love and miss those girls so much! And I want them prayed for!

So I was kinda wondering when the way things are would cause problems with my snarky feminist attitude, and that started happening this week. haha. Luckily for my companion it was confined to just a little sarcasm during our Sisters dress code meeting (“oh I thought ‘attract attention’ was kind of the definition of attractive” after being told to be attractive without attracting attention) (no wonder all these Sisters are confused about how to get dressed in the morning). Or me righteously indignantly helping rearrange chairs after the “lovely Sisters” were told to “exit first and make your way to the next room while the Elders move the tables and chairs.” Or the Elder who couldn’t just keep walking….. “PLEASE let me BE a GENTLEMAN for you” (no really I’m already holding the door open, um just go through, okay thanks. um okay, now you’re pushing me through. it’s fine. just–just stop.). Also I was wondering when/if focusing on the good of the gospel would be a problem for me, like if it would bug me to be ignoring tricky stuff about the church. All these things have been a little bit of a problem but honestly being here is wonderful. It is wonderful to focus on the good of the gospel and I’m so grateful for this time, because the core of the gospel is why I’m here anyway. Faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end…these are the five things they brainwash you into remembering here!! Actually these are the things the Spirit teaches you here! I’m so grateful for the experiences I’ve had at the MTC. I’m so grateful for my district and teachers. I’m so grateful I get to wake up before 6:30 every morning and not nap at all because I’m learning so much and it is wonderful. For those couple days that I kind of had a bad attitude/sad attitude about a few things, I realized I could keep picking things apart and being upset about it, but I’d be missing out on the things I get to learn here. Every good day and good experience I have with my companion or roommates or district or myself make it worth it.

Quick story about Elder Lindsey in my district: he has had a heart defect for a long time and got sent to the ER earlier this week. They told him they have a nodule (sp?) in his heart and needed heart surgery Friday (yesterday) night and that he’d probably be sent home. We want him to be able to serve in Texas SO BAD. We made a plan called Operation Miracle and fasted for him and prayed lots and learned a lot about faith–God has a plan for us of course but he wants us to pray to him, and there’s things that just won’t happen unless you pray for them. When he went yesterday, they did more x-rays and there was good news/bad news. The nodule was gone!! But he has problems in his lungs now and will need more faith and a miracle for those, too. For now, they said he’ll have to stay at the MTC an extra week but hopefully get to go on to Texas. Wonderful.

I’m not here because I think this is probably a good idea, or because I’m trying out something I don’t have much confidence in. The hard experiences and moments are hard enough that if I didn’t think God and my Savior were for real, I’d be out of here. But God has been good to me and He teaches me through the scriptures and He comforts me with the Spirit and these things are real. I still have my things I have to work through but I am sustained by the things I’ve been blessed with.

OK I have got to go. Still can’t send pictures, hopefully next week!

See you in Tennessee!!

– Sister V. Hale

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