Hello my dearest family!!
Thanks for the letter about Thanksgiving! I loved reading about the fun events of your week! BB KING and MARK MABRY?! Lucky Lucky!!
The thing I am most jealous about is the Double Cream Blueberry pie though!! I did get some blueberry pie, but it wasn't the same!
Our food was pretty good! They take care of us here, but it wasn't family style of course! We did get turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, pie (they had many different ones but I just had apple and blueberry!) green beans, rolls, etc. It was yummy! I got to sit with my friend Sister Jenny Bullock (from my single's ward) so that brought home a little closer at least!
The day was INCREDIBLE though...We did indeed get to hear from Elder Jeffrey R Holland and his wife, Patricia, in our Thanksgiving devotional! They are such an amazing couple. Sister Holland spoke about our potentials and how God knows us each individually. How our calling as missionaries is a holy calling. That we are holy. That we were made by His Holy Hands. It was really good.
Then Holland came up in tears from the Spirit his wife and the musical number had brought and said, "Thank you Honey" Followed by the sweetest testimony of a man in love that I have ever heard about how grateful he is to have an eternity with the dear woman he has been sealed to. It was precious! He gave us many divine words of advice, but I want to share something with you that really hit me and will stick with me my whole mission. He talked about how the thanksgiving and Christmas after his oldest son got home from his mission were some of the sweetest moments because of the reunion of family members. He told us we SHOULD be homesick because we SHOULD love and miss our families. He said when we get home our joy will be immense when we reunite. Then he said that God is feeling homesick for his children all the time. He wants them back. And that is why we are serving. We are going out to bring His children back to their loving Heavenly Father. I am so so so SO grateful to be apart of that reunion in whatever way I can be.
We were also blessed to have Elder Dallin H. Oaks and his wife, Kristen, here for our Tuesday night devotional...WE ARE SO SPOILED!! It was also amazing! The biggest message I took from their talks was that we have a mantle as missionaries to represent Jesus Christ. That means we need to be striving each day to be like Him. It is a weighty calling, but we are promised that He is with us. That as we have the Spirit with us, we can say what He wants us to say, and that he will make us into the amazing individuals He knows we are meant to become.
It has been a great week. But I AM homesick especially as they put up the Christmas lights on the MTC campus and I think about the holidays. I miss you guys tons! I am excited for the sweet moment when we are reunited just as Holland talked about. It will be wonderful!
Other points of interest:
One of our teachers was gone this week for Thanksgiving so we had a substitute from another district. His name was Brother Silva and he served in Rome, Italy. He had an amazing story about his mission. He went and came home early many many many times because of health reasons but knew he needed to serve so he kept going back out. Finally he was able to serve the full amount in Rome. He shared some amazing experiences with us and just has a great perspective on life. About our visa troubles, he said, "The work is going so well in Brazil that Satan found another way to slow it." I thought that was pretty funny/true!
I still havent talked about my teachers or the Elders in my district yet, have I? I'm slacking!! They are WONDERFUL though!! We have so much fun together. I will talk about them in my next email...hopefully! I also have a new mission motto from Hebrews 12:1--"Run with patience the race that is set before [me]." Isn't that amazing?! I'll explain it more in my next email.
Anyway, I hope you are all well! I love you so much!!