I love you! Week 3 at the MTC was quite agreeable. Some people say the time goes fast, others insist is passes slowly. I would submit another description of time at the MTC: there simply is no concept of time here. All of the days and weeks seem to be one, big, wonderful block of learning and running around and growing and teaching and.. and... and...! Sister Chytraus and I had a fun conversation on our temple walk yesterday. She articulated my feelings exactly when she laughed and said "Well I don't know what I THOUGHT being a missionary would feel like, but I don't think I feel like that!" Haha! We are learning so much and growing, but guess what.....she is still Sarah, I am still Rebecca. I would say that the main difference here is that there is a very real, almost tangible aura of self-awareness. It is SO easy to see yourself clearly at the MTC -- your strengths, weaknesses, when you are working hard enough, when you could be doing so much better.
Our district is getting along as well as ever -- I am particularly pleased that over the last number of days I have had the chance to talk to the sisters in my room (our district and the other Tahitian district) and get to know them so much better. What amazing women!!!!!!!! Wow! Sister Chytraus gave an amazing lesson yesterday on having faith in the atonement that managed to make every missionary in the room tear up AND feel SO positive and motivated at the same time! Emerson said once that "90% of the shadows in this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine". If we compare that to the Atonement, to think of it in a different light, I would bet that 90% of the Atonement is used to heal pain, fear, or doubt that we inflict upon ourselves! We must let go of the worm's eye view, or Satan's, that would tell us anything along the lines of: you are not good enough, you are weak, you are stuck, you are full of doubt, because that is NOT reality. When we take Heaven's perspective and look at ourselves the way that our Father in heaven sees us, we instead see sons and daughters of God, with divine heritage, who have immense faith and indisputable worth. How our lives would change if we took the limits off of what WE think we could do. What does God think you can do? We must stop getting in our own way. I love this idea and have made many goals since this occurred to me. The question that most often haunts people in this world is "What is going to happen next?" Which, if you think about it, is the most ridiculous way EVER to spend energy of mind and heart. Why worry? It does not rid tomorrow of its concerns, only today of its joy. The remedy for doubt, fear, or worry is simple: faith, hope, charity, and....WORK! Forget yourself, serve others, and everything else will take care of itself.
This past week I have been praying to develop a love for the people of Tahiti and for the missionaries in my zone because it is SO essential. Without that sincere love nothing can be accomplished. And guess what? Prayer works! (OF COURSE IT DOES!) I feel that love growing deep roots in my heart and it has impacted my days significantly. With this love I have found increased motivation to expend all of my effort studying and learning, because I know that I am working for THESE people specifically. I so desperately want to help them, to live with them, to get to know them, and to show them (to the extent that a person can) the eternal love that their God -- their Father -- has for them.
President Mengum, our branch president (who I ADORE) shared a wonderful analogy with us. He said that missionary work is kind of like jumping cars. We leave the MTC with our batteries fully charged, and it is our job to jump all of the dead or weak batteries we see on the way. But, how do we keep OUR batteries charged? How are we able to continually serve other? Well, my friends, when and where are car batteries charged? When they hit the road and go and go and go and go and go. The best way to keep up the spirit of missionary work, the vision, the hope, the faith, is to GO. Work! Run! Exhaust yourself, and you will always have enough energy for the next day :)
One final thought that has been on my mind this week (or did I share it last week? I can't remember :)) is: "The blessing of those with faith is to see all around them what they believe." and how true this is! I challenge you all to pay close attention to the world around you in the next week. Do you believe in God? Then BELIEVE HIM. Believe His promises. Believe in His plan for you. You can trust Him. And, when you do, you will see all around you the manifestation of His love.
Wow! I am so full of gratitude and love today for this good news that we have -- for the gospel of Christ and God's plan for us. I know that I am His daughter, because I can feel Him guiding and protecting me. D&C 84:88 -- my favorite scripture - "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." There really ARE angels all around us, going before us and beside us. It does not matter that we cannot see them. What we can see is fleeting. Those things that we CANNOT see are eternal.
Okay, well my time is short today, but the week has been lovely. I am learning so much about our Savior, Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven. Let us remember, as said in Moroni chapter 10, that our God is EVER a god of miracles. He never changes. No matter what the scenery looks like here, whether peace or storm or fire or rain, that will never change God's position, never his power, never his love. Nothing we will do or could ever do would change those eternal truths. Wow! When things seem hectic, and we cannot comprehend what is going on, or how things will work out, I will say this: Do not consider your circumstances. Consider your God.
Fa'aitoito a tous!
Michael -- Do you know an Alec Dover? He says you two were in the same chem engineering class. Weird to think my zone leader is my little brother's friend! haha! But the Elders here really step up when given responsibility, and they are all doing quite well.
Maman and Dad -- THANK YOU for the Dear Elders and the cute little address/keep in contact tags with the little palm trees! So brilliant! I love them and LOVE hearing from you so often :) Keep me updated on China!
Nana -- Yes, you are welcome to use any parts you want for the family letter. I love you and miss you!
Grandma Donna -- Thank you for the Dear Elders! Send me Lauren's email address. I love you and miss you!
email@example.com Limited use to one hour on Mondays
http://www.dearelder.com/index/inc_name/letter_sender/mission/Provo%20MTC/ Delivered daily
(You don't need to log in. Just use Mailbox 174 Tahiti Mission Leaving August 2013)