Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Week 3: Love and Family Abound at the MTC!

Danish phrase of the week: Du kan gøre svært ting! (doo can goorah svair ting!)
Means: you can do hard things.

We are halfway through our time at the MTC! Elder Bradshaw got Martinellis and Starbursts in a package yesterday, so we had a party to celebrate. It was a really classy time.  

I love my district. We have so much fun together. The Elders make everything a competition-right now they're doing a Biggest Loser competition to try to counteract the effects of MTC food. Whoever wins gets to spend a night with everyone else's pillows. They also have a running tally going for who gets the most mail from girls. Whoever wins that one gets to write a love letter to the other Elders' girlfriends. Never a dull moment J

Monday night it POURED rain. We got a little too excited about it-a testament to how little time we get to spend outside. As you can see from this picture, we were completely soaked.

My companion Sister Floyd and I sing in the MTC choir every week, and this last week I ran into Adam! I never see him because he's on West Campus (Wyview-my old freshman apartment!) but the two campuses combine for Tuesday devotionals, and he was in the choir with me! Singing in that choir is something else. There are over 500 missionaries in it at any given time, and it's so powerful to sing with that many voices! I'm not allowed to be alone in a picture with Adam, so our companions are photo-bombing like true pros.   

The MTC is making me really grateful for everything I learned in college. Because of my time at BYU, I know how to retain and use new information, I know how to study, I know how to manage my time, I know how to find a balance between working hard and playing, I know how to be good many life skills. We had a devotional at the Marriot Center on BYU campus last Sunday. THAT was bizarre. 

Sunday night is movie night. This week we watched Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration. I can't even tell you how much I miss movies. We were all so excited to watch a movie-even a church movie. Just ANYTHING with a plot and some slightly cinematic elements. It was fantastic. But really, it was so incredible to watch that movie about the early days of the church. Every time I watch something like that I am blown away by the faith and depth of conversion of the early Saints. The physical, emotional, and spiritual trials they had to endure are difficult to imagine! They couldn't have borne those trials, the church wouldn't have survived past those early years if the gospel wasn't true. It was a huge testimony to me. The very first sacrament meeting had six people in it; and there we sat, watching this movie in a room overflowing with literally hundreds of missionaries preparing to spread the gospel all over the world! It was so powerful to see, to actually be able to visualize, how far and wide the gospel has spread in such a relatively short amount of time. 

AUNT LACEY-sorry this has taken me so long-I challenge you to: 1. Read the Book of Mormon again with a specific question or principle in mind. Get a new copy of it. As you read, highlight everything that pertains to what you are trying to learn. When you are done, you will have a whole book full of answers! 2. Watch a Mormon Message with your family every week and 3. Do at least one random act of kindness every month (alone or as a family). Love you Lace! Thanks for the DearElders!

I love you all so much. I think of you and talk about you guys every day. I love being a missionary! I know that our Heavenly Father loves each of us so much. I know that he has a plan for our happiness in this life and in the life to come. I know that following the example of Jesus Christ is the way to find true happiness. We can be forgiven of our sins, our burdens can be lightened, and we can have peace. One of our "investigators" this week asked how he could find meaning in his life. He felt like his life was empty. We were able to testify that when we have a knowledge of who we are-that we are children of God with infinite worth; we can have purpose and happiness in our hearts even when times are hard. I am so grateful for that knowledge! 

Keep smiling everyone! Life is beautiful! 
Jeg elsker jer!
~Soster Van Orden

P.S. Uncle Matt and Aunt Linda, Elder Bradshaw says Hi! :) 

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