Dear Family Zoo,
I can't believe Parker is turning 17 in a couple of weeks. What is this?! So, Dad goes to the raddest places ever. He is so awesome and the pictures of Beijing are awesome! But, my favorite pictures are the weekly ones of you all. I love those faces.
Okay, so here is the situation. At dinner this past week we have been sitting by different districts in our zone. The Slovaks are like our other halves. They are so great! We were eating and someone snaps out a Lord of the Rings quote and my head shot up. That was it. My day was 100 times better than it already was. Apparently the Slovaks re-enact scenes from Lord of the Rings and go through the whole story during their gym times. Ya, I know right... Why wasn't I invited? Well, we went all geek and started applying Lord of the Rings to the Gospel. I was impressed.. .To finish up supper we all sang Pippin's song. "Home is behind, the world ahead, And there are many paths to tread, Through shadow, to the edge of night, Until the stars are all alight. Mist and shadow, Cloud and shade, All shall Fade, All shall fade...." THAT WAS A GOOD NIGHT.
Everyone wants my StarWars shirts. So mom... Thank you for sending me them. I was hesitant to put them on, but now that I have it's hard to get back to my dress clothes. It's nice to reconnect with these homey shirts.
The new Polish group came in this week. It was so incredible to welcome them in and get to talk to them all. The Zone Leaders and I got to be alone with them and discussed just how great they are and will become as missionaries. They have a great spirit about them. The Goldies always do. Plus, there is one from England. So we have a nice mixture of accents going around.
Can I just say I love studying outside and hearing the BYU bell towers. It's like the best sound in the world... Or am I just deprived of music? No, on LDS.org site for youth there are two songs... That are literally the best songs ever. They pump you up. You should check it out one is called "Glorious" and the other is "All times, all things, all places". So good. Check it out Mom.
I love our Branch Presidency especially the wives. They are so great and good to us. I told all the new Polish group that they need to just have open arms when they meet them, because they will give you plenty of hugs! Just what we need sometimes.
My language is coming along! All the prayers are felt and I know I am being strengthened by the spirit. The language is coming so much easier. I am finally getting the hang of it. Yesterday, I thought. " Hey don't take in anything into your lesson except the BOM, no notes." Why would I tell myself that!!!!! But I did it.... I was speaking in Slovene paragraphs!! Like actually getting the sentences correct in form, cassings and conjugations. The spirit guided me and I could completely understand our investigator. I was so happy afterwards. It's such a realization though that our confidence and faith should be in Christ not in our selves, because we always put doubt into our own heads. We are so human and we can often think that we are less, but with Christ - anything is possible. He is working in the vineyard with us and he ain't stopping! I seriously believe we have to lead with the faith we do have. Run with it. Let it grow. We will find out we have so much more success if we just have the spirit there. Let it guide you, let it take it's course. It kind of reminds me of this quote someone said from one of Elder Holland's talk this week...
"Come to the edge, he said...
No, we will fall.
Come to the edge, he said...
No we will fall...
Come to the edge, he said...
So we came to the edge and he pushed us
... and we flew."
I love that, because we (I am) are so scared, we are comfortable only within our boundaries and want to stick inside our bubble, we are scared that we will fall, fail. Oh ye who have little faith! We must go to the edge. Man's excuses are God's abilities. You've got to go out there and go to work. Like my Mama always says. "Take that step off the edge.".... Make your-self known, be thy brothers keeper, search those to love, to bring to this gospel... and you will fly...
I love how every time I pray now whether it's personal, companion, or in large gatherings... I say it in Slovene. It feels so right and the best to be speaking from the heart... and it be in Slovene. It gets me every time that I can actually do it.
I can't remember what day but there was a girl in our building that was bawling her eyes out. She wasn't apart of our zone and so we didn't know if we should get involved because the Door was shut. But the spirit was prompting us that we should go over there. We found out she was very sick and couldn't walk. She was in so much pain. Her companion didn't know what to do. So Sister Merril (Amazing Sister I love her so much) Ran outside and grabbed some Elders and told them to get oil and come give this Sister a blessing immediately. They booked it! They came back with a bunch of Elders and they surrounded this sweet Sister. The Elder's (who gave the blessing) hands were shaking because he was so excited to use his Priesthood. When he started praying, it got so quiet. The spirit was so strong and the Sister stopped crying and she didn't hurt anymore. It was incredible to see all our faces when we looked up from the prayer and there was just this glow. I can't get over the fact that if we ever need a blessing. That every Elder... Every guy here can give us one. How blessed are we? And how excited they are, how worthy they are to hold that gift and want to share it. It's amazing how much power is in that. These elders here at the MTC... are so amazing. I can't tell you how many times they have brought the spirit into our lives and how great it is that the power of the priesthood isn't a power for them selves. But it's a power for everyone else. It's a Christ-like Attribute in and of its self. Christ always turns outward, while the natural man turns inward. By having this power, you get the power of God - thus it's a power to turn outward. Incredible.
The Germany Frankfurt missionaries left this week. My comp and I were getting so close to them!! They all had to bare there testimonies to us before they left. They loved chilling with us at devotionals and make jokes in German. It was so strange how much we all connected so fast. I guess I am meant to live somewhere that speaks German. And that is that. But seriously.
Like I said before, my favorite miracle is the Change of someone and the Grace of our Savior. I can't tell you how many times it gets brought up, but it's amazing to me how much Heavenly Father and the Savior have for us. That we are not perfect and it's okay. That we must live happily. Find our balance. Find what we know to be true and stick with it. To grow each day. To know we are all beginners. Thus, meaning we can mess up and fall down as many times as we do... As long as we always get back up and try to be better the next time. God's Grace is sufficient. Jesus's Grace is sufficient. It is enough. It is all we need. Don't quit. keep trying. Don't look for excuses and escapes. Look for the Lord and His perfect strength. Seek for Christ and as you do, you will feel the enabling power and divine help we call His amazing grace. How true is that? I feel so much more full when I have my Savior in my life. The Spirit makes things just all around the best.
I love Heavenly Father. I know he already knows that, but I just think we need to say that out loud a little more. Make it sink in... Make it get to you. I notice the more you say things the more you think and revolve your self around just that. Try it out. Make Heavenly Father... Jesus Christ a part of your life.
There will come a point in your life where you don't just do the commandments because you will be blessed, or because you want to just be obedient because someone said so. But if you keep striving to be happy to live this gospel to love with every fiber of your being, to turn outward, to be more like Him there will come a point where you love Him enough that you won't care if there is a reward. You will wake up one morning and want nothing more. "Life... Doesn't it go by in a blink." So live it. Have no regrets. Become the person you want to become. Don't look back at the person you were because you keep yourself stuck in the past. Your future is bright. Go to work and have fun. Believe in success because it's inevitable. You are what makes my story a success.
I love you all. Now go out and astonish somebody!! (Mosiah 27:11-12)
Love Sestra Cuthbert