Dear Family and Friends,
Thank you for your prayers and support! I am so grateful for them! Thanks for the emails and DearElders too!
I have a lot to tell you guys but I guess I’ll start with the funny stuff: My district calls me “hechisera” because we were working on our vocabulary one day and someone asked me what some other word meant and I guessed “sorcerer”… and so now I am “la hechisera” which, being interpreted, means “the sorceress.” (I actually prefer it to my old name which was “Hermana Nazi”—which, in Spanish, means “Sister Nazi.” I still don’t know why they think I’m the Nazi, I know they all want to be exactly obedient too!) It’s been really fun working together though, we all get along really well and laugh a lot. My companion and I laugh too much I think, actually. I became aware of this when one of the missionaries in my district introduced my companion and I to some of the new missionaries in our zone and he said, “This is Hermana Cardon and Hermana T., and they are the funniest missionaries in the MTC.” I would much rather have been introduced as “the most diligent” or “the best Spanish-speakers,” but I guess it gives us something to work towards!
My companion and I were introducing ourselves to some missionaries the other day and when they asked her where she was from she said, “The MTC.” I laughed so hard, but I feel that way too! It’s not that I don’t remember life before the MTC, but Hermana Cardon was definitely born and raised here. Not to mention I am constantly learning and relearning things I thought I knew here. I am constantly being humbled too… which makes me feel like a child. Not to mention that the past two weeks really have felt like a lifetime somehow. Anyway, it’s been fun to laugh about how she and I were born and bred in the MTC.
I’m running out of time but I would like to close with a short story and my testimony! Before I came to the MTC I understood what it meant when people said, “Come unto Christ.” We come unto Christ by excercising our faith, repenting, making/renewing our covenants, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. (Boom, gold star for answering the Sunday School teacher’s question right.) I think I am coming to really understand these principles since being here and sensing my need for them, however. These are not arbitrary steps that, if taken, will take us to a place spiritually that happens to be near Jesus. I think I actually used to see the Gospel that way, to some extent. But here and now, as I have been confronted with my own weaknesses every day here (because I am actually not as patient or diligent or smart or as good at teaching as I led myself to believe or as I ought to be), I have come to recognize the two choices I have in response to life’s challenges: I can despair, worry, get frustrated, leave, etc. or I can come unto Him. And this is where my understanding has been enhanced. For the first time in my life I am excercising faith, repenting, thinking on and renewing my covenants, seeking the gift of the Holy Ghost, and doing my best to be true and faithful because of the great need I feel for Him. It’s a literal hunger, and for the first time I recognize how satisfying His light and His help is, the light and help I gain access to by coming unto Him. I’ve always wanted to be good, and for the most part I have, but now I want to be better and do better not because I want more blessings or because I want my parents to be prouder or because I want people to see what a good girl I am but because I want to be near Him. I need His light, I need His presence in my life, and I want to do everything I can to avoid what takes me away from Him and to do what draws me close to Him.
I am totally out of time now but know I love you and yo se que Jesucristo es nuestro Salvador!!