As always thank you so much for the pictures, emails, & packages. I'm grateful for so many thoughtful friends & family. You are all amazing!
I loved hearing that about Brooks saying his testimony in church on Sunday. & about reading the Bible and Book of Mormon for two hours! Holy moley that's awesome. I still remember one morning before I left, reading the scriptures with Braxton and Brooks and being amazed by how much they know. Keep it up!!
That's neat too about Julia Hapgood's baptism. There is always a neat feeling at baptisms. The Spirit is always really strong testifying that the person being baptized is coming closer to Christ.
In response to the question
"What I feel we did in our home that best prepared me for my mission" for Mom's talk in Stake Conference, I wrote a couple thoughts I'll copy & send for this week's spiritual thought.
"Every day I am amazed at the strength of the testimonies of each of the missionaries I serve with at the MTC. I'm grateful to have been raised with five brothers who also have strong testimonies to prepare me to now join an army of 80,000 full time missionaries.
One of the biggest motivators for me has been understanding why I'm here - my purpose for being on a mission and my purpose in life in general. I am grateful that you taught me at very young age, answers to questions many people wonder about for a lifetime. I know that we lived with God before this life; we are here to learn how to become more like God and Jesus Christ; and we can live eternally with Him and with our family. Of course my depth of understanding of these principles grows every day, but the simplicity of the Gospel is always constant. Through Jesus Christ we can return to live with God again. He is perfect, and therefore, through Him, we can be perfected. We keep our covenants with God through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, and receiving (an action word) the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Being a part of a family has also helped me understand the relationship I have with God and others. We are brothers and sisters and He is our Father. It's amazing to me that we can talk to God, as we talk to our own father, whenever we want to. He is always there.
When I listen to the insights of Elders in my district I'm reminded of the simple, powerful testimony meetings we had as a family during Family Home Evening. I often think back on the way I felt during these times when I need a reminder to stay focused or work harder.
Another important principle I'm glad is learned is work. Before my mission I learned that work is enjoyable. No moment in the mission field or MTC is ever wasted. Having a very tight schedule through high school prepared me to use every moment of the day productively on my mission.
I remember when I was young (younger :D I will always be Young) you and Dad would praise us when we were obedient. Every time after family prayers I looked forward to running up the stairs and getting ready for bed because I knew I would be rewarded with a bedtime story and praise for being obedient. I'm learning that God blesses me in similar ways when I'm obedient on my mission (getting to bed by 10:30, etc.).
Regular family scriptures study was one of the biggest influences in preparing me to serve a mission. I always loved when Dad would take the character of Captain Moroni or Lehi & use apples, ice cream, napkins, and any object he could find to act out Bible and Book of Mormon stories. It made me realize that the Gospel is fun to learn about. It's fun because the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a Gospel of joy. Jesus Christ is the only way to be truly happy. I'm grateful to have learned that at a young age."
It has been a great week. Even though we do similar things every day, we make each day different. I love it.
Tryouts went really well. I am going to tryout again on the piano this week and sing "I Stand All Amazed."
Also, I saw Elder Palmer for the first time this morning in the temple! It was so neat to see him there; he's staying at West Campus, so that was the only time I could've seen him before he heads out next week. I'll leave the 14th of October for wherever I get reassigned. I'm actually really excited to serve in the states for a while until the Visa comes. I'll let you know if I find out. They'll let us know the Thursday before the week I leave where I'm reassigned, and I should be able to email you to let you know the details.
Eu amo voces muito,
|Just having fun!|
|Celebrating Brooks and Braxton's Birthday. My district all sang Happy Birthday and we ate cinnamon rolls.|
|My favorite drink in the MTC -poweraide and cranberry juice|
|A lot of carts are all around the MTC because of the construction going on|
|The view from my classroom window. I love Utah weather!|
|Elder Richards (Lehi) and Elder Young (Nephi) as they moved their sheets to a new residence|