Well, here I am - I've been here in the MTC for 21 days! It's crazy how quick it's gone - as we say say here 'the days are long but the weeks are short'! And it's so true! Today is my last day and then, tomorrow, I'll be on a plane to Virginia to meet President and Sister Perry! Talk about exciting!
I feel like this has been the most intense 21 days of my life! I mean, I've had great and spiritual experiences before but this is completely different. Each day, I can see myself changing into the type of missionary I've always aspired to be and each night, as I get on my knees and give Heavenly Father a report of my day, I barely recognize myself! It's tough to explain... it's not that I'm a different person! I still like to have fun (in fact, some Sisters in another district going to Virginia have made me a quote book called 'The Book of Pelham' - maybe I'll share some quotes at my homecoming?), I still say stupid stuff sometimes and, every now and then, I would give anything to play my guitar and watch 'How I Met Your Mother'! But, I can see how, slowly and surely, God is 'refining' me into the missionary He needs. And that is amazing to see.
After all, the most important convert on your mission is YOU! Because if you're not constantly trying to improve yourself (through repentance which isn't always saying sorry for sin - it also means to change into the person God wants you to be), then why should your investigators, right? So, it's vital that you constantly seek for ways to become more perfectly converted. The Bible Dictionary (yes, I've been reading the BD - we get a lot of study time okay?!) states that conversion is achieved 'through much testing and many trails'. And that's true - before I got here, I seemed to think that as soon as I became a missionary, I would never have trials again - just blessings ha! In reality, I have never been so intensely tested in my life! There are moments when it all seems too much, when you just want five more minutes in bed or you just don't want to have to reprove a member of your district. But, I've discovered something... when you can't bear to do those things but you do it anyway, YOU ARE BLESSED! And it's that simple! If you don't believe me, try it - you won't regret it, I promise :)
Anyway, I had to stop this e-mail for a devotional... Elder Neal L Andersen and his wife came and spoke to us! WOW! Talk about an amazing spiritual experience - he shared a few thoughts about missions but what really came across to me was this: that Jesus Christ lives! Those times I've felt lonely and prayed for comfort... it was Him; when I wanted to give up and prayed for strength... it was Him; when I felt inadequate and pleaded to be made better... it was Him! How incredible is that?! That Jesus Christ, the Saviour of all things living, cares and loves me enough to hear my prayers! And I get to share that with people... I hope you can feel how excited I am?!
I love this Gospel! It is the way in which we can change - it truly is the mechanism of transformation! I know that, as I work hard, I will be a blessing to my family, past, present and future :) I miss you all but not because I want to be at home with you - I want you to be here with me, seeing true faith in action. I'm excited to continue learning - 'to learn is to grow' after all! I hope you can see how hard I'm working and can be proud of what I am doing right now - I've worked my entire life to be here! And that's not me bragging or trying to make myself look good... that's me testifying that, if you want something enough to turn your life to Jesus Christ, it can and it will happen! I am a witness of Jesus Christ and it is Him that defines me... everything I have is because of Him! And I love my Saviour for that...
I share these things with you - my friends and family - in the name of our Redeemer,