Friday, May 24, 2013

One week down and only 6 more days to go!


First off, I just want to let you all know how blessed and loved I feel from all of your letters and words of love and encouragement.  I love to hear how things are going back home and what wonderful times you are having! It brightens my day up. They have been tender mercies and answer to prayers.  So I just want to let you all know that you are amazing and inspired! 

Oh there is so much I could tell you but so little time! I LOVE my companion, Sister George!  The more we get to know each other the more alike we are!  She is from Wyoming, and is the sweetest and most caring person.  It has been fun to get to know her more and have a buddy that will be with you every step of the way in this crazy experience.  The other two sisters in my district, Sister Dalley and Sister Lore are so amazing!! We all have so much fun and laugh together! Laughter is the best medicine!  I don't know what I would do without these lovely sisters!  My district is awesome!  The Elders are all hilarious and fun to be with. It is so cool to see how being a servant of the Lord really changes you within a couple days!

We are in class all the time. Usually it's 7+ hours a day.  My teachers are all amazing and inspiring and they make me want to do my best to work hard!  We do lots of role plays and practice inviting our companions to commit to baptism, etc. It is so cool to see how those role plays are applicable.  It is so amazing to feel the Spirit testifying of the truthfulness of the messages we are saying. 

One quick story...Yesterday we did a role play focusing on listening to the Spirit to let us know what the missionary we were talking to really needs and what the Lord wants him to feel/know.  I was paired up with an Elder in my district.  As I asked him a question and was listening to him, I could just feel of the love that Heavenly Father had for him.  We had a couple minutes to prepare what we were going to say.  The 5 minutes went by and I didn't know what I was going to say. But as soon as I decided to just start speaking, words came out of my mouth that I hadn't ever imagined saying.  I just KNOW that because I put my complete faith and trust in the Lord, I was able to do his will.  It took a lot of work and diligence on my part, but I want to be able to do that all the time! It was such a blessing to know that it does happen, and it can happen all the time!

The MTC has been a wonderful experience so far, but it is definitely a place where you really learn to rely on the Lord and turn yourself over to HIS work.  For example, our first few lessons went well.  I mean, they went as well as a first lesson could. They don't really tell us much but just go in, get to know them, love them, show them that you love them, and then teach them what the Lord would teach them. In the first lessons with our investigators (which are our teachers, just role playing an investigator that they taught or knew really well) we just went for it.  Our teachers said that they could definitely feel our love for them.  But as we have been trying to help them receive their own personal revelation, it's a little more difficult. They feel that we care, but they don't feel the spirit testifying to them that it is true.  And that is the most important part! We want THEM to be converted and come unto Christ because THEY WANT TO! Not because we as missionaries or friends want them to.  Missionary work is all about humility and patience. As I have realized how much I don't know, I have been diligently trying to rely on the Lord for guidance as to what I should study for my investigators and what I should say during a lesson.  It's not my message, it's the Lord's. And I have learned this from lessons that have gone drastically wrong as well!! At first I was super frustrated with myself and discouraged, but of course that doesn't get you anywhere! So I decided to just work hard and rely on the Lord for guidance and assistance.  The MTC is like the refiner's fire.  I have so much to work on and what better way to start working on it then messing up and finding a better way to do it! I am also learning every single day that my expectations aren't the Lord's. These past few days I think I have been a little too hard on myself. Shocker, right? haha But I know that the Lord has confidence in ALL of his missionaries! So my goal for this week is PATIENCE with myself.

I know that this is where I am supposed to be! I am loving every moment, even the hard ones because it will help in the long run. I only have 6 more days left here in the MTC.  We leave Wednesday the 29th at 3 am for DC!! Can't wait to soak up all I can before I leave for the field! So exciting but also crazy to think that this wonderful experience will be over soon! I just have to work hard and dedicate this time to the Lord!!!!
Oh. Last thing!

 WE have been reading in the Book of Mormon as a group. Verse by verse and pausing whenever we have a thought or inspiration.  It has been simply amazing to see how the Book of Mormon applies to us all in any possible situation.  So I challenge you, my family, to read it as a family with the faith and an open mind to know that the Book of Mormon can and will answer your questions. So write down and question and see if it's answered by the end of the reading.  Just start from 1 Nephi, or wherever you feel like starting, and go for it!!  I know the Book of Mormon is such a blessing in our lives and will help us through anything!! So do it!!!! 

Love always!
Sister Udall

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