Dear friends and family,
This is officially my last day in the MTC. It is a little crazy, a little scary, and really really exciting. I feel as though all of the hopes and dreams of my life are sitting before my face waiting for me to embrace them--and in about 15 hours I will be embracing them! The MTC has been wonderful and I have learned much, but I am more than excited to actually preach the gospel of repentance through the Atonement of Jesus Christ (to those who do not now enjoy its blessings) and not just learn about it.
For those who wondered what I did for Thanksgiving, it was excellent. They ran out of turkey so I had fried chicken for my Thanksgiving dinner--which delighted me because it will be a funny story to tell later. (Those of you who have been lucky enough to take part in some of my stories might understand why horrible things-or things I can make sound horrible-might delight me. :) We also did a humanitarian project, assembling 10,000 first aid kits, and had about 5 firesides. All in all it was almost like any other day-preparing to bring the world salvation through the Savior, and so forth. :)
And now that I have officially bored most, if not all of you, for those who have continued reading I will share some personal thoughts. Several people have written me letters since I have come to the MTC and asked what I thought about serving a mission--or more specifically, they were thinking about serving a mission (sisters) and wanted to ask a "real" sister missionary her process of decision making. I feel that perhaps sending some of my thoughts during the past 3-4 months might be helpful to all. Just a warning, though--this letter might expose some of my weaknesses, so if you think I am perfect you can just delete the rest. :)
Being on a mission has exposed many of my inadequacies and fears, and most of all has set me outside of my comfort zone. Perhaps it would be helpful to understand how a mission might take me out of my comfort zone. Many of you, including myself, might have thought that all mission activities were "inside" of my comfort zone--after all, I have been preparing for this for more than 21 years now! But I have come to see that these things are outside of my comfort zone:
Sitting at a red light in Taiwan on my bike and knocking on someone's window, giving them a pamphlet and bearing testimony and asking if them want to meet with me and my companion, and then taking down their phone number--all before the light turns green. Definitely outside my comfort zone, but something I was recently informed will become a recent occurance in my life.
Making phone calls. I have hated talking on the phone all of my life and used to have anxiety attacks if I had to call someone. Obviously I have overcome this in a large way but here at the MTC we get to go to the Referral Center and talk to people on the phone about the gospel--and try to get them interested in the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ even if they are hard core Catholic and tell you that as soon as you answer.
People pointing out my weaknesses. Thank you very much, I already am quite aware of them. But here at the MTC, pointing out weaknesses is vital to progression. Even if it is painful for me-the tears are gone by at least the next day and one day perhaps I will laugh about what people have told me. :)
Heat. And humidity. Definitely outside my comfort zone. (If you don't understand, check the weather for Taipei.)
Companions. I could perhaps do everything else with only a little grumbling, but companions are way outside of my comfort zone. Those who have served missions might understand, but let's just say that I am not afraid of speaking Chinese or living in a foreign country or even contacting through car windows as much as I am afraid of my companions!
Well, the mission has brought me outside of my comfort zone on many other levels and with many other things, but I think that list will suffice. I share this list with you because I want you all to know that I came on a mission in spite of all of these things--and that being on a mission has brought me more happiness, even here at the MTC, than I have ever experienced in my life. It is a happiness that comes from living the law of consecration and telling others about the gift of salvation that comes through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and it is different than any thing else I have experienced. And so to all of you who feel you have weaknesses (especially to those of you who are thinking about going on missions), I would say that the Lord doesn't care about your abilities right now, only about your desires. Which is a big comfort to me now, because I feel that my desires outweigh my abilities in quite a large way!
I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My next correspondence will be from that blessed paradise, Taiwan. Have a wonderful week,