Friday, September 2, 2016

Week 5 - T-Minus 9 Days: Madagascar Bound

Manahoana! Salama ve ianareo? I hope you all are doing great and had a good week! I had another great week here in the MTC! One week from Monday I will be leaving to head to Madagascar! I cannot believe that! It still does not seem real! We are all so excited to go! This week was a good week. Lots of learning and still trying to understand this crazy language haha. I am definitely improving everyday at the language but I know it will be a struggle the first little while when I get to Madagascar to try and understand what people are saying. I am just working hard so I can be as effective as possible when I get to Madagascar! We get our flight plans today!! Most likely it will be over 50 hours of travel so that will be crazy. Not much happened this week..I had to get a haircut and lets just say I am glad that will be my last haircut in the MTC. They do not give you many options on your haircut. They make you cut it way short for some reason. I got it as long as I could and it is still shorter than I have ever had. Oh well. I got to play basketball and lift a lot this week! I love having an hour of exercise time everyday and it is definitely something I will miss about the MTC. A lot of Elders in our Zone now know I played basketball for Bingham and we won state and all of that so they wanted to play me. I couldn't pass up and opportunity to give these great Elders a lesson on humility :) haha. The devotionals this week were very good too! Sunday night was Tracy Watson who basically wrote Preach My Gospel! He gave a really good talk on the purpose of missionary work and I learned a lot from him! Tuesday night was President Maynes who is in the Presidency for the Quorum of the Seventy. He gave a great talk about Joseph Smith and also told a really cool story about his mission that is too long to share but it was good, just trust me. Well as I mentioned before we are all really excited to go to Madagascar! Sister Wenyi (our teacher) showed us some really awesome pictures of her mission there! One picture hit me so hard. She showed a picture of some people they taught and their house was literally one room and the walls were cardboard boxes...the house probably fell down in the rainy season and they would have to find a new place to live during the rainy season. It hit me so hard that in just over a week I could be sitting on a dirt floor in a house made of cardboard teaching this amazing gospel to people who so desperately need it in their lives. I want so bad to help these people who I have not even met yet. Our teacher wouldn't even show us some pictures as she said they are things we need to experience and see while we are there. It is so crazy to think about being there in 9 days and being able to help these people. I cannot wait to get to work and I hope to be the best missionary I can to bring this joy to these people. Next time you are shopping and you buy a big appliance or t.v. or something stop and think about what it would be like to have that box be the walls of your home. It was just a picture and I am sure it doesn't do it justice but it made me realize how lucky I am and how two years of my life is so little in comparison to what these people have to live with everyday. My spiritual thought for the week is an amazing quote our Branch President said in Sacrament meeting last week,"There is no burden you will ever have that cannot be lifted through the power of the faith." Being in the MTC the last month has definitely made me realize how much faith I truly have. A great scripture to go along with that quote is 2 Corinthians 12:10. I do not have my scriptures on me or I would type the whole thing but go read that scripture and pay attention to the footnotes. The last line in the scripture says something along the lines of,"for when I am weak, than am I strong." If you look at the footnotes the word weak can mean humility. When we are weak, or humble, and we have faith in the Lord that is when we are strong. We are made strong by our faith in our Savior and Heavenly Father. I know that there is nothing we will ever face in this life that we cannot overcome if we have faith. I love that quote by our Branch President and am grateful for this last month as I can definitely say my faith has been tested at times and as I got through those times I have realized how much my faith and my testimony of this gospel has grown. I know this gospel is true! I know Joseph Smith is a true prophet of the living God. I know our Heavenly Father and our Savior love us and they are mindful of us in whatever we may be going through. Our Savior suffered and died for us so that we can be forgiven and have joy and return to live with our Heavenly Father again. There is nothing in this life that we cannot overcome if we have faith because there is nothing that is too hard for the Lord! I love you all so much!! Thank you for the many letters and packages! I wish I could thank you all individually! You are all in my prayers! I hope you have a great week!! Tiako ianareo! Veloma!!! Pictures: me with the district doing the moose sign (if you don't know what that is don't ask) our district with our Madagascar shirts we can buy here in the MTC, a selfie with Elder Baggs ft. my bald head hahaha. Have a great week!!!!