Monday, March 11, 2013

Crazy, right?!  I can't believe I've been here for 2 weeks already.  The days seriously melt into one gigantic one and there's no sense of time here.  It's crazy.  Also, believe it or not, I really don't want to leave the MTC!  I love it here, I love my teachers, I love my district, and I absolutely LOVE my companion.  I've learned so much since being here, but I still feel like I'm not ready to go door to door in Houston in 2 days.  IT'S CRAZY!!!!!!  I'm kind of freaking out.  Okay, everyone and their mom is having babies right now, and I'm really sad I'm missing all of them.  First Alexis, then Mystie, now Rachel???  I bet Shiloh is SUPER cute.  Um, good for Aaron!  I'm so happy for him and Jennifer.  And as for all the newly called missionaries in Soda...YAY!!!!  Seriously, NOW is the time to serve.  This past week the MTC recieved mored Sister missionaries than ever before.  The ratio was about 50% Elders to 50% Sisters.  CRAZY.  It's so ridiculously cool, though.  We have MTC devos on Sunday nights and again on Tuesday nights, and it's so awesome when we all sing together.  We sang Called to Serve together the other day and I just started bawling.  I'm here for a reason, I was chosen for this in the preexistance.  We are part of the noble and great ones mentioned in Abraham.  I was reading my patriarchal blessing the other day and realized that there are A LOT of places pertaining to missionary work.  I never realized it until now!  It's so crazy awesome how that works!  Tell Kaelyn she needs to get her patriarchal blessing--they seriously help SO much. 
We have sacrament meeting at 7:15 in the morning and they tell all the missionaries to prepare a 3 minute talk because, just like in the Hunger Games, there's a reaping.  We don't know who is going to give the talks in sacrament meeting until the bishop gets up after the sacrament has been passed.  It's really stressful.  I kind of felt like Katniss sitting there yesterday.  Anyway, Elder _____ was chosen to give a talk.  Yesterday the topic was on faith.  He got up and told us that he prepared something else, but that he had some experiences he'd like to share.  During high school, his mom was diagnosed with a form of leukemia, one that the doctors don't understand and that's really, REALLY rare.  He told us that she would have seizures and he would have to hold her head in a strong grip to make things more comfortable for her while she was having them.  He had to take care of the family and didn't think he could come on a mission because he didn't know who would take care of things while he was gone.  He said the reason he came, though, is because he had faith in Jesus Christ and this gospel.  He had faith that THIS, being on a mission, is what Heavenly Father wanted from him.  Then he told us that he didn't have faith that she'd be alive when he gets back. This tough basketball player was in front of all of us, bearing his soul, crying for his mother and saying he wouldn't see her again, but he had the courage and faith that a mission was what the Lord wanted from him. I was in shock while he was talking, but as soon as he sat down, I couldn't stop crying.  He is seriously so strong for doing that.  I thought my problems were bad, but his are so much worse.  There have been times when I feel like I can't be here just because I want to see you guys again, but he's pretty sure he won't have the chance to see his mom again.  I'm such a terrible person.  Anyway, I had this EXTREMEMLY strong feeling that I needed to write this woman a letter.  There are some other pretty strong feelings/promptings I felt, but those are personal at the moment.  I KNOW that I was supposed to hear that story and I KNOW I'm supposed to write Elder ____'s mom.  I have no idea why I'm supposed to, but I can't ignore a prompting as strong as this one is.  I strongly feel like this woman is one of the people I'm supposed to help, even if it is just telling her how much I admire her and admire her son and for all the love he has for her.  Gosh, I'm getting really emotional just thinking about it again, but yeah, a really spiritual experience for sure.  If you want any more deets on this whole experience, you're going to have to hand-write me a letter.  I understand that many people will be reading this, so I'm going to have to keep my thoughts off this letter on the subject.  Although, I'm so impressed with his dedication to the Lord.  It's SO apparent how much he loves his mom, but he's putting his mission above that.  I don't think anyone can have any excuse for not serving a mission after hearing his story.  What a stud he is.
Tell Kaelyn I'm super proud of her!  FINALLY applying to colleges.  If I didn't think she'd be getting married as soon as she leaves the house, I'd tell her to go on a mission instead, but whatever.  I've decided that all girls should serve missions.  THEY CHANGE YOUR LIFE.  Sometimes I get discouraged and want to give up, but I've already changed so much that I'd be even mroe miserable at home than I would be serving a mission.  I love, love, LOVE this kind of life.  I've grown more confident in myself and I've come to love this gospel and to love people I don't even know.  Gosh, I was giong to say something, but the timer at the top of my screen is counting down and it's ruining my train of thought.  Basically, I'm so proud of all of you, especially Kaelyn (it sounds like you're maturing and taking the lead as the oldest sibling again).  I love you all so much, and I'm sorry I could only afford to write one email.  I'll write you hand written letters if you write me one, so Dad, you'll be getting one in a day or two. 
I LOVE YOU ALL SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!  You don't even know.  I have decided that because I can't shower that love on you guys for 18 months, I'm going consecrate that love and time to the people of Houston.  They're going to be getting A LOT  of lovin' from this Sister :)  Gosh, I want to just keep telling you guys how amazing being a missionary is, but I have like 30 seconds left and you're prbably bored to death of my rants.  Tell everyone hi for me and THANKS FOR THE PRAYERS!!!  You probably don't think they're doing anything, but I can definitely feel them helping me out a ton. 
2 NE 4:23-25, 34?  I can't remember off the top of my head, but it's the psalm of Nephi and describes my exact thoughts.  Read it.  Love it. :)
Huge hugs,
Sister Daniel

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