Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A week and a half left in America

Wow what a great and wonderful week here at the MTC! Just to give you an idea of how blessed we are here, last Tuesday Elder Anderson came and spoke to us, Sunday President Uchtdorf came and spoke... AND SHOOK MY HAND!!... TWICE!! And then yesterday Elder Oaks came! We have been spiritually fed that's for sure!

I want to share a little bit of what each of them shared and the great Easter weekend we had. 

Elder Anderson:
Okay so I changed notebooks after he spoke and I don't have it with me... so stay tuned and I will tell you what I loved about his talk next week :)

President Uchtdorf:
Wow. This was an experience I will never forget. Before he spoke we had the privilege of taking the sacrament with President Uchtdorf and the entire MTC. You can imagine the spirit that was there. Wow. Then he talked about the resurrection of the Savior and the story of Peter and how fearless he was after he saw the Savior living again. His whole message was about being fearless. I am a representative of Jesus Christ, "I fear no man". He also talked about being bold. If we are loving, we can NEVER be too bold! I love that! One of my favorite things he said was "If you want to punch Satan in the face... preach the gospel." Haha, President Uchtdorf is so awesome! How powerful it was to hear a Prophet of Jesus Christ, who I represent, testify that this is the true church. That Christ lives. That I shouldn't fear. Afterward President Uchtdorf said he would walk around and shake some hands. He got to the choir (that I sing in every week) and Sister Briggs and I were sitting in the 3rd row. He was only shaking hands up to the second row but I wanted to shake his hand so badly. The thought came into my head "I fear no man" so you better believe I stretched my arm nearly out of the socket to shake his hand. He had to step up on the bleachers but he looked me right in the eye and said, "Thank you". I can't describe how amazing that felt. My hand went straight from shaking his to wiping a tear. He radiates with the spirit. I couldn't help but feel closer to my Savior just by shaking a Prophet's hand. 

After the meeting we went and had a Testimony meeting and then had lunch. I was eating my salad when I looked up and said, "Hey, there's President Uchtdorf!" He came over to west campus to visit with the missionaries at the Cafeteria!! Are you kidding?! There weren't very many of us there, most of the missionaries had already left. So he got to visit with us for a little while! We couldn't take any pictures with him but I got to shake his hand again. Ugh it was so cool. After we had a district meeting with our Branch Presidency. President Shallenberger said never in his life has he heard of a member of the first Presidency come visit with the missionaries at the cafeteria. That was a one in a million opportunity. That was another testimony to me that I need to be here right now. It's so assuring. 

Elder Oaks:
Such a classic doctrine based talk by Elder Oaks. I loved it. Here are some of my favorite parts. He shared 3 challenges of a missionary.
1. The challenge to change
2. The challenge to achieve 
3. The challenge to become 
I am in the process of becoming someone. "To BECOME a missionary I need to have a MIGHTY change of heart." It won't be easy but Heavenly Father has a great plan for each of His children. Where I am and where I will be is very far away. That is why it is a MIGHTY change. I loved what he concluded with. We are the only true church because of, 
1. WE have the Fullness of His Doctrine.
2. The Power of the Priesthood
3. Testimony of Christ
It is so powerful to hear an apostle testify of Christ. I have learned so much from these great men. And feel so anxious and ready to testify of Christ to everyone I meet. 

President Dowdle told us we were given a blessing in heaven. Hands were laid on our heads and we were blessed to do the things we need to do. That hit me so hard. That is why serving a mission feels so right. He said there were people in Heaven that we promised we would find one day. That is why my call to Salta, Argentina feels so right. I am supposed to be here. I am supposed to serve for 18 months. I am supposed to learn Spanish. I am supposed to teach. Then I am supposed to come home and do whatever Heavenly Father wants me to do next.
A lot of my teachers have told us to read Elder Bednar's "Increase in Learning" So if anyone is looking for a good book to read I would recommend that one :) Sorry for the random thought. I have a note card I keep in my pocket all week and write down things that I want to write home about... So it might get pretty random. 

Today we got to do sealings at the temple! That was cool and new experience for me! I'm glad we got to do that. I've seen a lot of people here now! Elder Haws is here and a lot of other Lone Peak friends, I saw Spencer and Jake (friends from Liberty Square). And the Thaynes from the ward! It is a little tender mercy when I see people I know! It won't be like that forever. 

Here are some HAPPY BIRTHDAYS!!!
Happy birthday to Aunt Karina, Avery, Rylee, and my dad!!! Love you all!

Here's a quote for the week:
"You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have." Be strong and FEAR NO MAN!!! 

Hermana Hammond

 Hermana Briggs and Hermana Hammond

 My District

 Easter strawberries from Grandma Nina

Our bus to devotional!

President Uchtdorf visits the cafeteria!

Friend from MTC - left for Mexico Monday

 At the temple

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