Thursday, March 13, 2014

Okay literally I feel like I've been in the MTC for a week. Anyways, off to Mexico!

This week was pretty awesome, as are all weeks in the MTC. MoTab has been fulfilling my classical music needs in Music and the Spoken Word every Sunday (never thought I'd say that one), including quite a bit of Handel, and some Bach. Sadly, I'm probably going to send my Baroque and Romantic piano books back home, along with my Hanon, because even classical music can be distracting on a mission. *sigh* I'm keeping my Chopin nocturne music, though, because there's no way I'm going a year and a half playing only hymns. 

That was a weird way to start a letter. 

Speaking of music, one of Tricia West's students, Hannah VanWagner (or something like that), entered our zone today! So that's pretty cool. I also see Hailey Heumann (Hillcrest) and Quincy Rassmussen (bishop's niece, Alta) at West pretty much every day. I also saw Corinne Parry (Hillcrest) on Main! Julia Orellana (Hillcrest) was also here on West, and she left for Tennessee on Monday

By the way, Russia is at war with Ukraine? Or Ukraine is having a civil war and Russia intervened? What's up? Unfortunately, my cravings for international events has not been curbed here at the MTC, so someone let me know what's going on! Soon WWIII will have broken out and I won't even know it.

Well. I promised I would be more spiritual in this letter, so here we go. While at the MTC, my life has been completely turned around. It's kind of amazing, really. There are a bazillion beneficial things that I have learned here, and I can't put one thing above another, really. But one thing that has been infinitely helpful to the development of my character has been the concept of learning how to implement the things I believe. Before I went on a mission, I knew a lot of things about the Gospel, and a few things about life, but I can't claim I ever fully implemented them. My grades were mediocre not because I wasn't bright, but because I didn't know how to work and act. I could sit around and philosophize about the Gospel, and I believed it, but when it came down to serving my fellowman and actively living the Gospel, I just sort of rode along at the back of the train. 

So. One of the greatest things I have learned in my time here is that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is about Becoming. We take the good things we have, and we turn them into great things through Christ. We learn to live up to our full potential and actually LIVE our lives. I've realized here that I have never lived my life before. I've studied many things, but I've never lived them. And so, this week, I go out into the world to live all the things that I know to be true. One of our teachers talked to us about intelligence, knowledge, and understanding. We all have intelligence, through which we gain knowledge. And then with that knowledge we seek for understanding, which brings us to a higher intelligence. I have some knowledge (and I also have the knowledge of how to gain more knowledge), and now I am going out into the world to truly understand. And through true understanding, I can truly become something; it can be ingrained as a part of my being. 

So I'm really excited. I'm excited to go out and really understand faith. I'm excited to learn about prayer and becoming more converted to the will of God, and less to the will of myself. I'm excited to become more like the Savior and help others become like Him too. I'm excited to be changed, I guess, and I'm excited to watch others change. If there's one thing that I've learned in the MTC, it's that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to fundamentally change people more than any other power on earth. True to my calling as a missionary, I challenge everyone reading this to try to understand how the Gospel of Jesus Christ can truly change them, for if you let it, you will never be the same. It is never too late, and it is also never too early. 

On a slightly different note, I've been thinking a lot about the concept of Evil, lately. Someone here somewhere mentioned that money is the root of all evil, which of course we've all heard before. I would like to politely disagree. Selfishness is the root of all evil. It may seem harmless at first, but it is poison, and the exact opposite of all that Christ stands for. Money, of course, stems from selfishness, but I think selfishness is the core. In the pre-mortal existence Satan wanted the glory and the power for himself. He wanted all that the Father had, and he didn't want to do any work for it. The more I look at Satan, the more I see how he embodies selfishness. He is so selfish that he can't even leave everyone else alone; he wants everyone to be as miserable as he is. Selfishness is thinking about what we want instead of what God wants for us, and His other children. So. As I examine my life, I have noticed that the aspects in which I am not happy are the aspects in which I have been thinking about myself. As I look outward and focus on helping and lifting others, everything seems to melt away. I cannot express how excited I am to devote my entire life to being unselfish, both on my mission and beyond that. I shall surely fail sometimes, but the good thing about the Atonement is that Christ makes up for our failures as we strive to come unto Him.

Well. I'm about out of time, but I love you all and hope everyone is doing well. :) I have yet to figure out how to attach all the pictures I've taken, but someday I will.

Love, Hermana Day

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