Sunday, April 21, 2013

MTC Dropoff Pics

Hugs from Mom
Checking it All Out
Hugs from Dad


So, the last couple days have been unbelievably amazing!

Tuesday night I had the opportunity to sing in the choir at the Tuesday night devotional. We were all seated and singing the prelude music, when all of a sudden everyone starts standing up. It took me a second to realize what was going on, but then I saw that Elder Richard G. Scott had walked in!! I was so excited! We sang an amazing arrangement of Nearer My God To Thee. It truly sounded at one point like angels were singing with us. When we finished, Elder Scott stood up and said, "I almost feel as though I've died and gone to Heaven." It was so good. The talk that he gave was just amazing. It was so comforting and uplifting. He also remarked a few times about how amazing it was to look out and see so many sisters. He told us how much this will bless our husbands and our children. Then after he had ended his talk, we sang, and he ran back up to the pulpit and told us more. It just touched our hearts. But please go online and watch it this Sunday. I'm in the choir and you get to see me more than once ;) I'm wearing my glasses and I'm on the very right hand side of where the sisters are sitting. 

Afterwards we met as a district and went over what we heard. Our branch president and his wife and one of his counselors and his wife met with us. We each went around the room and bore our testimonies of something we heard Elder Scott tell us. I was so touched by the spirit, I was crying as I was talking. I bore my testimony about how my biggest drawback of serving a mission was that I wouldn't be able to teach this important message with the right words, etc. I bore my testimony that I was praying for help with that before I left on my mission, and the first day I was here, I came across that scripture in D&C 68:2-6. I have read that scripture every day since being here and it was exactly what I needed. Then Elder Scott also told us that the Lord will never abandon us. HE DID NOT CALL US TO FAIL, BUT TO SUCCEED MIRACULOUSLY. I know this to be true. This has been my biggest testimony strengthener while being here at the MTC.

So, yesterday was truly a day of miracles. I will try to explain this the best I can. Monday we met for the first time with what is called a TRC investigator that we had to teach. Her name is Lawanna, and she had a very hard time growing up and now has cancer. It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. It was for both me and my companion. Afterwards, we felt like we had been spiritually torn apart. It was not a good feeling at all. Tuesday we met with our progressing investigator that we have been meeting with since we arrived here. It also did not go very well. By the end of this, I felt drained, exhausted, and inadequate. After that, I gave myself over to prayer. I begged to be able to see these investigators as God sees them. I prayed for charity, the pure love of Christ. I gave everything up the Lord. I told Him that I cannot do this on my own. I do not know these investigators. I don't know how to touch them. I begged that He would work through me and Sister Lavata'i to touch the hearts and minds of our investigators. I repeated this prayer over and over. 

Yesterday we went to teach our TRC investigator again, and were dreading it every step of the way. But, I encouraged my companion that we had to go, we had to do our best, and that we would always regret it if we didn't go back. So we went, and prayed again before knocking on her door. This time, the atmosphere was totally different. We gave her a simple message of God's love for her. We bore our testimonies and told personal experiences that would relate to her. You could see the Spirit touching her heart. You could see it in her eyes. She told us thank you so many times. She said she knew God had sent us to her, and she told us she likes us, which...was NOT the case after our first meeting. ;) She gave us hugs as well. When we walked out, we were spiritually drained, but for an entirely different reason. We had to just sit down for awhile and talk about what had happened. 

Sister Lavata'i had made a connection with her in there and after we walked out, she turned to me and said, "Sister, what just happened?" I answered her, "You saw her as Christ sees her, and a miracle happened." We've been told many times that this would happen, but it finally did. 

So, after that I prayed again that I would know what Damitric (our other investigator) needs. As I was sitting there pondering, the entire lesson came to me, word for word! When we went in to teach him, the Spirit guided me the entire time. It was amazing. It touched his heart and mind, and when I asked him if he would be baptized by someone holding the proper authority, he said "Yes, absolutely."!!!! It was incredible. It was amazing. I will never forget how that felt. After, when we evaluated with our teacher how it went, (as he is acting as the investigator), he told us, "Something special happened today sisters." It truly did. It was a day of miracles. 

Afterwards in class, we practiced doing some roleplays, and Sister Lavata'i and I were one-on-one with our instructors because the others in our district were welcoming the new missionaries. My teacher (Brother Stanley, as it happens!) after each of the 3 role plays, he couldn't believe how well I had done. Especially after the last one, he put his arms in the air, and said, "WOOOOOO!" ;) haha That sure felt great! He said I nailed it, and that that was EXACTLY the fundamental that our lesson was about. That felt so great. I bore my testimony to him that when you truly rely wholly on the Lord, He works miracles. 

It was truly a day of miracles, and I am so incredibly grateful to my Father in Heaven for making it all possible. I have grown an unbelievable amount since being here. I knew I would learn a lot, but the rate of learning here is unprecedented, and it truly bears witness to me that this is the Lord's work. I have been called of God to succeed, and He will never leave me alone, as long as I strive to do all I can.

Sister Stanley
Washington Everett Mission