First off, Karlie and Natalie entered the MTC yesterday, and I ran into both of them. It was the best day ever!!! It was a little St. George reunion. Of course, a good chuck of the people who I love most weren't there, but it was the highlight of my day. I also received Vayla’s wedding invite, and I seriously might cry. I am so sad that I have to miss it. So would you please, PLEASE, if you can, go for me. I know she sent you an invitation, which is just the cutest thing ever. She even offered to have Chad be my getaway driver, if I decided that I wanted to go, but they say EXACT obedience brings miracles, so I need all the help I can get. So I better stick with saying here.
I received your amazing package that you sent. So thank you so much. I even got a package from Kort, so this was a great week!! Of course I love all of your letters, notes, and dear elders. I am getting responses back so don't even worry.
I have gotten into a routine of how my day goes, that I don’t even feel like I have much to fill you in on. I LOVE class!! I am always working so hard learning Spanish, or preparing to teach our "investigators". Our teachers are just spiritual powerhouses that keep us going. Speaking of "investigators" which are our teachers who play the part, and trust me they get into it. Anyway, his name is Carlos, from Seattle of course, committed to baptism in our lesson last night. I am starting to get more comfortable with speaking the language even though it’s not perfect, and I can't expect it to be. We have such a strong spirit when we teach. I really am so blessed to have the best companion ever, seriously!! I know I mention it every week, but we get along so well. We have never had the problem of teaching with unity, and love for the investigator. If you don’t have the unity you don’t teach with the spirit, and that is the real teacher. By the way her name is Kathleen Jane Stout or Katie. More and more each day we realize how much we need each other, and how we keep each other strong.
I don’t even know where to start on filling you in with all of the spiritual insights I have had this week. Sunday devotional we had W. Blake Sonne and his wife come and spoke to us about our focus and purpose of this amazing work!! We are servants of God expected to do what He needs us to do. When we are focused on the Savior, we gain a clearer aspect of him, and how to detect the adversary. In class the other day we watched a talk by Elder Bednar. He explained how if the adversary didn't know it
(gospel) was true he would not be fighting so hard to stop it. It made me think about how me, and each person here, has a story of how we got here. Our paths are directed by the Savior.
Bonnie Hammond, our Tuesday devotional speaker, said, "each of you gave up something to get something better." This is just the beginning of the amazing work that is going to come forth. How even bringing forth the Book of Mormon and the Fullness of the Gospel each person has a story of how they came to know of the truth. How the sacrifices of the early saints to gain something much better. That is the good news of the gospel. The Savior is with us every step of the way, especially as we declare his word. What a privilege it is to have the best and more perfect missionary as my companion. More and more each day I know how much I have to rely on the Savior. Living the gospel has never been something I have questioned and I have always had a testimony of the truth or I wouldn't be where I am today. I am learning so much of how to fully rely on the Savior, and put my whole trust in him with everything that I do. I have to work on it every day, and rely on him more than I ever have had to before. It’s not about what I say or do, but how. Doing everything that is in accordance with our Heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ.
I love you all and am so grateful for your support. The more I am here the more I come to learn why I am here. Keep doing what is right, and know I pray for you always. It sounds like each of you are having an amazing summer. I love, LOVED, the pictures. Have an amazing week.
Can you believe it? We are here again!! Time is starting to fly by. It’s crazy, but the other day at lunch we were talking about how we feel like we were born here. Really though, it’s quite funny. Of course, life is amazing, and I appreciate the small things more and more everyday. I have started writing down the little tender mercies I notice throughout the day, even if it is just as simple as the sun is shining, or seeing the temple from the classroom window, or receiving MAIL!! That’s always a tender mercy, so keep it up. It’s truly amazing how the Lord has blessed me, and the spirit that is felt here at the MTC. Sometimes I feel like I may take it for granted how close I really am to the spirit, and how if I rely on the Lord he can give me the strength, and the power to do what I need to do. The other day during personal study, us hermanas were talking about faith. I feel like that is a huge part of what is going to make us become what we can become. Anyway Hermana Griffin said "you know how they say faith can move mountains....well we better grab a shovel." Missionary work is hard work, and it is supposed to be. If it was easy everyone would do it. We are constantly telling ourselves to keep digging. We watched the most amazing talk by Elder Holland that is only shown at the MTC. I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing it was. I have probably 5 pages of scribbled messy notes about it. He mentioned how we are part of a marvelous work and a wonder. In Moses 1:39 it is the fathers will to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. How we are part of bringing souls unto Christ. He mentioned how he didn't want us to miss any minute or take any of the hard time for granted. This is the greatest opportunity you have. You are NOW doing the most important thing in the world, and there is nothing better for you to be doing at this stage in your life.
The atonement has been quite the topic this week as we have studied and heard talk after talk about it. It is truly is amazing, and uncomprehendable. It has been mentioned how each of us are going to experience times of hardship, but you will also experience joyful times as well. We have to utilize every minute, and we can't give up. We had been talking about how the savior is the perfect example, and what if he decided that he wanted to give up and not live the last week of his life. There would be no Gesemene, Calvery, or no resurrection which means there is no atonement. In the fireside on Sunday it was mentioned that we TEACH WHO WE ARE!! It’s part of what we know, but the gospel makes us the person we are today. We have to experience feelings of doubt, fear, and repenting, in order to experience love, joy, grace, and mercy. I have learned so much these past 3 week and still have an incredible amount to learn. I am loving every second that I get to be a representative of the Savior, Jesus Christ. I am learning more and more about this powerful, humbling calling that I have chosen to do.
This past week I have met so many elders that are headed to Seattle. In fact, they are there now. Those dang English speaking elders...oh well. Anyway the more I am here, the more I have a love for the calling to serve in Seattle. Not one person that I have talked to has said one bad thing about that place.
Oh, really fast, switching gears. I just have to mention that being a hermana in the MTC is the best. Some one holds the door open for us all the time, we always have elders offer to take our trays, or get advice. It actually has been quite fun meeting so many new and amazing people. I have become so close with our zone, and we have all started to get to know each other well. As well as the district.
Oh, I have to tell you the funniest thing ever. It’s a little embarassing, but me and Hermana Stout probably laughed for about 30 minutes straight. Ok, so we went to the bathroom and we were walking out and she was behind me and yelled "Lindsey, oh my gosh stop" of course she is dying of laughter, but my skirt was tucked in my garments!! Luckily no one noticed, but we could not stop laughing. I promise, me and her are always finding ways to make fun of ourselves. Laughter really is the BEST!!!
Well, I hope you all have an amazing week. Know I pray for you ALWAYS!! We have started SYL, speak your language, hard cord so pray for me!! I am pretty sure I am learning more sign language than Spanish, but its all good. It is coming.
I am sending a memory card home today, so you should havetons of pictures. Hopefully Saturday!!
How was Cars? Steven, sounds like your birthday was the best. Thanks for the package!! I am so blessed to have all of your support.
I Love P-days because I get to write home and tell you about my week. I have so much to say, and since me being the person that I am, I am going into way too much detail. So you get to hear everything.
Dad, I made it through one Fast Sunday.Now we only have a select few more to go!! I love how this has become our thing. Seriously, I thought about you all day.
Well, from your email, it sounds like each of you had an amazing holiday!! I am so glad you did.
Rog and Ranya I love you, and you know I wish I could have been there with you on Sunday. From the sounds of it, it was amazing.
On Saturday night we had a special Forth of July fireside, and it was amazing. They had a few speakers and talked about Joseph Smith, and of course religious freedom. They talked about how the gospel will be shared with every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. How the gospel will go forth noblely, boldly, and independent until the master will say the work is done. Then, on the screen was a huge map of the world. They named off each mission, and put black dots on the map where we have missionaries. One of the coolest experiences since I have been here. Of course, since Washington is towards the end of the alphabet the map was covered in little black dots. It’s amazing how much this gospel has grown, just since the year 1820. The fullness of the Gospel is restored on the earth today. Then afterwards, we were allowed to go watch the stadium of fire FIREWORKS!!! I love them, and have since I was like five, so it was the best. I didn't even have to break the rules to do so. We got special permission to stay up late and watch them. It’s all about the little things, and seriously, that was a tender mercy.
Also, Mom, guess who I happened to see?!! The cute lady we met in Costco. Seriously, I LOVE her and she was sent to me for a reason. Of course, when I went up to her she embraced me with her sweet, amazing, and strong testimony of this gospel. She was cute, and remembered us. She even said I looked so happy, beautiful, and looked the part of a missionary. I took a picture with her so I will send it soon!! The next day, Sunday, she spotted me again in mission conference with everyone. Once again, came up to me and said I can even spot you in a crowd of 2300ish people. Now how amazing is that?
We had a devotional on Tuesday night. Which by the way, I live for Sunday and Tuesday night devotionals. Anyway, we had Cree L. Kofford come and speak with us. He talked about how there is a special spirit at the MTC . Then later he said, no offense it’s not you.We are just mouth pieces in the Lord’s hand to perform His work. He mentioned how each one of us were foreordained in the grand council in heaven to be serving mission and how each one of us needs to maximize our potential. He later mentioned how the essence of the spirit is not learning the doctrine but it's the feelings of the Spirit. It’s that feeling that changes lives, and lets others know your love for them and the gospel. To end his talk he said, “you represent the answers to the question, Where are the Mormons? You are sitting right here now, and they are still YET to come. How amazing is that?! That the Lord has called me to Seattle because there is someone there who needs to hear the gospel, and has been prepared to do so. Then, because of them making the decision to come unto Christ, they will then have generations follow behind.
The MTC has been the most amazing experience. It’s crazy how fast the weeks go, but the days seriously feel like weeks. I am starting to really appreciate my time here and realize I have so much to learn. The MTC is quite a humbling experience. You come in thinking you have certain qualities or know about the gospel, and don’t get me wrong I do. Then at the same time, it’s a place to learn and grow. The only way we can do that is by knowing what we need to improve on. There is ALWAYS something you can do better. The hermanas were all talking at lunch the other day. Hermana Griffin shared an amazing example of how when Peter walked on the water, it’s not necessarily that he lacked faith. I mean, come on he did walk on water, but he doubted in himself and started focusing too much on the storms, instead of on the Savior. I am guilty of doing this myself. I think as missionaries we all can be at times. I am slowly starting to realize that I have to have faith that the lord will get me through, but I have to Trust in myself that he really can help me. I still get discouraged because of the language, but I have to take a step back and think about everything I do know.
Hermana Stout and I did a door approach and I understood every part of the conversation about his family, friends, beliefs, and religious background. How amazing is that? I mean, I have been here for only two weeks. I still have to work on learning how to say everything I need to, but it is surely coming.
Another thing this week, I don’t want to be prideful because that is no good, but we got our first investigator to commit to be baptized. Which the investigator is Jose, really "our teacher" but they get into character and act the part.To the point, we don’t get feedback or anything. Anyway, we were the first ones to get him to commit to be baptized!! It really was a testimony builder because my Spanish is not good. Hermana Stout does pretty good. I found out she lived in Mexico for about a year when she was in her early teens. I know it was a while ago, but she has the general idea and pronunciation down. Well, really we were not expecting that at ALL!! He mentioned how he could feel our spirit and love for him, and he knew it was true. It made us realize how it’s not us who converts people, it’s the Spirit.
Now, like I promised last week ,I have to tell you about my Hermanas. Like I mentioned we are the only ones in the zone, so all the elders come and talk to us!! I have never felt so popular before. It is kind of funny. The elders in our district our quite protective and give us a hard time when any other elders come talk to us. They always say page 33, which is the page in the missionary handbook that talks about elder and sister relationships. Personally, I just think they get jealous that we talk to other elders.
Hermana Prince walked into class the first day wearing one of those special Jody dresses. You know what I am talking about. Anyway, she really does have a cute style. It was kind of funny. She is the definition of a sister missionary. She always is very to the rules which is great. Never ever complains, vents or anything. It’s like she never shows any other emotions except for I am on cloud nine all the time. She has an amazing testimony, and I work each and everyday to not let her bug me. I love her though.
Hermana Dunlop is going to Ash's mission. Very quiet, go with the flow type person. Never really shows her feelings. where me on the other hand,does quite often. She works so hard, and will be amazing. Hermana Griffin is like the mom of the group in the sense that she always gives the best advice, and sincerely knows how you are feeling. She gives the best hugs. We call them momma hugs. Now mom, nothing beats a hug like yours, but you know, I will take what I can get. I LOVE LOVE her, and she is amazing. Hermana Stout is m y new best friend. You know pretty much all about her. We were meant to be, and keep each other strong. We compliment each other really well.
Dad, no, she doesn’t have a southern accent. She is going to Seattle, so I will have a travel buddy, and we keep praying we get to be companions one day, in the field. I have to get going, but I loved the package. You know me all too well. Mom, thanks for the amazing verses in the scriptures you sent. It was perfect.
Linnea a letter is on the way. Keep me updated I love you!!
B I told an Elder to write you, and I talked you up like CRAZY!!! Write back, he needs more mail. He is in my zone, funny, and super nice. I also have a letter on the way for you. BE HAPPY.
Steven, why the heck have I not heard from you?!!
Mom and Dad, I love you. I heard this amazing quote and I thought I would share it with you. "I am sacrificing my family for 18 months, so others can have theirs for eternity." How amazing!
Thanks for all your love and support. Letters are on the way.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY STEVEN AND STEF on SUNDAY!!!! I love you both! Be good!
Enjoy every moment, and know I pray for you.
ALWAYS Simpre Amor, Hermana Grimes
I may or may not have figured out a way to cheat the 30 minute timer so sorry it’s so long, but its every detail from the linds you all know and love. Please save my emails!!!
ONE WEEK!!! Can you believe it?! This has been the most stressful overwhelming, exciting week ever. There so many adjustments all at one time. I want to thank you for all the dear elders, seriously. I want to kiss who ever invented that AMAZING program. I love getting mail it really is the highlight of my day. It feels like christmas morning at lunch and dinner! Thank you for all of your support.
I am finally getting into the swing of how the whole MTC works. It really is an amazing place!! I am loving every second. It is really hard work! This week has been about all the above when it comes to how I have been feeling. Its amazing that even when your doing the Lords work satan really know us and knows how to push our buttons. When had a fireside on sunday and Stephen B. Allen was the speaker. He talked about how the adversary pushes our buttons. It was the most amazing talk ever!! He talked about how satan wants to stop us and tear us down because the adversary knows exactly what we are about to do, and all the people who will be brought into the gospel. Stephen B. Allen read a scripture in Alma 26:27 he talked about how he was depressed, and then he found success. He asked each missionary who has ever been depressed or lonely at the MTC to stand up. I kid you not every person in the room stood up. He said congratulations your missionaries. He mentioned how we are going to feel alone, but if we put our trust in the lord he well get us through. The joyful times will far exceed the challenges. He also talked about what each of us had to sacrafice, give up, or miss out on things in life in order to be here. He talked about how the Lord knows every part of who we are and what we had to do in order to be here. We are going to be blessed more than we will ever know if we fully commit our 18 months to him. We can't let the adversary win this game, and he is going to try and tear us down. For instance this week we had to teach our first lesson in spanish. AHH!! I am so overwhelmed. It is so fustrating because I have so much I want to say I just don't know how. After we taught our first lesson in spanish I walked back into the class room and put my head on my desk and was laughing and crying all at the same time. Of course it was kind of funny because I was being a little dramatic, but I was so mad!! Everyone in my district was laughing with me because all of us stuggle with our own things. I just have to focus on what I do know, and try to not get discouraged because guess what, that is the adversary pushing my buttons. I can pray and bear my testimony is spanish. Its sound like I am in primary, but Hermana Griffin who is in my distict gave me the best advice. She also gets just as fustrated as I do with the language because we both have such a desire to teach. She told me Christ taught that we need to become as little children. Even if are prayers or our testimonies aren't as profound as we would like the lord knows are efforts. I just have to put my faith in him. I thought I was a faithful person, and I am but it comes after the trial of our faith. Now on to my amazing district. We have become so close this week its crazy, but I love it!! Its going to be hard to say goodbye. I should be used to goodbye's these days, but that doesn't mean I ever have to like them. Anyway our classroom is on the 5th floor, so the top. I have to walk up 5 flights of stairs multiple times a day!! I cant complain because we have the best veiw in the lobby. It looks over the whole valley, and our class room window looks right at the temple and the mountains behind it. It's awesome. Okay so there are six elders in my district, they are pretty funny. five of them are super quiet-they but they are warming up. There smart, and kind of nerdy but I love it. One Elder gets like 50 billion letters from girls each day, and dresses really nice. so we tease him. Like "Mr. Popular" in high school. B, he looks like somebody you would be intrested in. I will see what I can do. He is so funny!! Now for the sisters there are 5 of us including me. We are the only Hermana's in the zone so needless to say we are quite popular. I will have to explain each of them next email because of this stupid 30 min timer I am so bugged it erased half my email!! I love you so much, thank you for everything. Have a fun weekend. Watch some fireworks for me because they are my favorite! Love you tons. Hermana Grimes