Today is officially the month anniversary of my mission! And what a life-changing month it has been. I don't feel like I am the same person that walked in to the MTC a month ago. My testimony has grown so much! I know this mission will continue to change my life as I serve the Lord with all my heart, might, mind, and strength!
The highlight of my week was getting to "host" the new missionaries that came to the training center on Wednesday. My district, along with several others, lined up on the curb to greet the cars that came in to drop off their missionaries. I watched all the teary-eyed moms hug their sons and daughters goodbye for 18-24 months and I knew exactly what that felt like. After each missionary said their goodbyes, we took them to their residence, picked up their books, and walked them to class. I hosted three sisters- one going to the Philippines (speaking Tagalog- what??!!), another to Jackson, Mississippi, and the other to Tulsa, Oklahoma. I enjoyed getting to know each of these sweet sisters and calm their fears about the MTC. We get to host next week too! My cousin Rex and my old roommate Rachel are coming next Wednesday and I am super excited (if either of you are reading this, I can't wait to see you!!!).
Elder McArthur, one of the elders in our district, was lucky enough to get his visa yesterday! He's probably the most prepared out of all of us so it's definitely not a coincidence. He leaves Monday November 4th straight to Sao Paulo! So excited for him. All of us who haven't received visas yet will get our temporary reassignments this Thursday! So stayed tuned for next week's email to find out where I'll be serving until my visa comes! I can't wait! It's like getting another mission call!!!
Okay I just have to mention how beautiful the weather was this week! AH I love fall and the mountains and the different colored leaves on the trees. Those of you in Alabama... I heard about your little cold spell... bundle up!
This week I've been studying a lot about Christ-like attributes. I really like Jude 1:22 that says, "And of some have compassion, making a difference". The ultimate example of compassion is our Savior Jesus Christ. Matthew 9:36 says, "But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them... because they were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd". So what did the Savior do? He encouraged us to pray that He would send forth laborers because the "harvest truly is plenteous"! We are those laborers. He wants His lost sheep to be found. That's my purpose as a missionary- to invite others to come unto Christ and to care about that one lost sheep! Christ is our shepherd.
I also like the account of the Savior visiting the Nephites in the Americas in 3 Nephi 17. As He looked around the multitude there, He said, "Behold my bowels are filled with compassion towards you" and then He blessed the sick, afflicted, and all the children. He "did heal them every one" (v.9). I testify the Lord has compassion for each one of us and He does in fact heal us. We ALL have need of His healing- we all have struggles, pains, worries, stresses of life. Christ has so much compassion, love, charity, and mercy for us. With this compassion, we can make a difference. We can see others through the Savior's eyes. We can be a source of healing and love for someone else. We can make an impact in the world for good!
Thanks for the many letters and emails! I know I say this every week, but I truly am so grateful for all the love and support. It means so much to me! I love you all!
Have a wonderful week and Happy Halloween!!!