Saturday, April 26, 2014

Week 8: Easter Sunday and Last P-Day in the MTC

Sunday, April 20
Hey y'all!
I am so thankful for this amazing day today. What a blessing it was to celebrate Jesus Christ's resurrection. I can only hope that you all had a wonderful Easter. I sure had a great experience here at the MTC. One I'm never EVER going to forget.
The Spirit I've felt today was so powerful. I wish you all could have been here and experienced what I have. As a missionary I am constantly teaching others about Christ and bearing my testimony of Him and that He lives. Sundays are a special sacred day. It's the Sabbath. The day to rest from our labors and to focus on and worship God and His Son Jesus Christ. I love Sundays because I can attend church each week and renew my covenants I've made when I partake of the sacrament. Today we had the opportunity to have sacrament as missionaries all together in one room. Probably about 600 plus missionaries... or maybe closer to 900. I don't know. Just know there's a lot. haha It was great though. Surprisingly we finished passing of the bread and water around the same amount of time in a regular sacrament meeting.
What made it even more special was our special guest who came. :) Our Easter Mission Conference was wonderful! It was the highlight of my whole MTC experience. The spirit was SO strong. The special guest was... President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. No joke! (This is not a lie this time) haha. What a great memorable experience it was to have a member of the first presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints come and speak. He gave an amazing talk. I love it so much that I thought I'd share a few things he said.
First, I wasn't lucky enough to get a super close seat, but I did get a close seat. It was on the aisle though. Every time President Uchtdorf's eyes seemed to scan across the crowd, right when he made eye contact with me, I felt the Spirit. How amazing it is to just look at someone and feel the spirit? He is indeed called of God.
I really felt like this was a talk I needed to hear, especially with me preparing to leave to go to Korea this week. President Uchtdorf first talked about Christ's atonement and wonderful resurrection. Then he talked about the apostle Peter. He related it all to us as missionaries.
Each day I put on my name tag, it's an honor. I truly am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I am His representative.
He taught that we shouldn't just take a few sips from a straw but we should drink it all and make our bodies full. Meaning, let the goespel of Jesus Christ enrich our lives. Let all our worries and fears go, just focus on serving with all our might to the best of our ability and potential.
The minute I steop off the plane in South Korea, I want to devote all my time and energy to serving the Lord. To being bold and outgoing by talking to everyone I can.
President Uchtdorf shared a story about an Elder and his senior companion. The elder didn't like the fact that his companion was just so outgoing and talking to everyone and being bold and not being concerned that people may think he is strange or get annoyed. One day he asked his companion about it. Saying he didn't agree, the senior companion's reply was, "I fear no man!" Days or maybe weeks later the senior companion said to the elder, "I know we don't get along and I know why." The elder, of course was curious to know more. The senior companion asked him, "Who are you?" the elder replies with the normal primary answer, "I'm a child of God. Duh, I know that." That's when the senior companion taught that elder a good lesson. He said to him to read 3 Nephi 5:13: "Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been acalled of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life." I am like this scripture. I too am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I fear no man! :) Another thing that Uchtdorf said was this, "If you want to punch Satan in the mouth, preach the gospel." Ain't that so true?! The last thing Satan wants is for us missionaries to share the truthfulness of this gospel.
After the closing prayer President Uchtdorf announced that he'd walk through the aisle (where I was sitting) and make his way around the room. I am so grateful for today. I instantly thought of the Savior as I saw President Uchtdorf begin to walk down the aisle where I was, stopping to shake missionaries hands. I feel so blessed to have been sitting on the aisle seats because I did indeed have the once in a lifetime chance to shake a member of the First Presidency's hand. I almost thought I wouldn't because he went to the other side of the aisle. Thankfully, he turned around and with a big smile he shook my hand and said, um I think "Hello Sister." I was a little busy crying and soaking up the whole moment that I don't quite remember. But boy! I sure felt the Spirit so strong as he shook my hand. I felt not only his love but also the love of the Savior.
As soon as he walked on and we all watched as he went around the room, I just couldn't help but cry. I was overwhelmed by the Spirit. I leaned over to Sister Johnson and whispered, "The Church is true." And it is! I know this because of the Spirit testifying it to me. And the Holy Ghost testifies of truth. (John 14:26; John 15:26; Hebrews 10:15; Jacob 4:13; Moroni 10:3-5)
I've come to realize that "the Church is true" has become my phrase or slogan. I've grown so much while here at the MTC and whenever I have those moments where the spirit is so strong I've noticed I just sigh in relief saying, "The Church is true." Because each and every time I feel the Spirit it's just continually strengthening my testimony. When I watched The Restoration movie about Joseph Smith's life--The Church is true. When I sang God Be With You Till We Meet Again with the natives--The Church is true. When I see my investigators progress and gain their own testimony--The Church is true! You get what I'm saying?
This is without a doubt, whole-heartedly the restored church of Jesus Christ. I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I have a testimony that it is true from experiences I've had. I know the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ along with the Bible because I read it-all of it. From cover to cover. And while reading I knelt and prayed to God asking if it was true and I received an answer. I felt the Spirit testify to me of the truthfulness of this gospel. I felt warm and peace, even and outpouring amount of love in my heart. (D&C 8:2)
I have grown up in the Church so I just wanted to gain my own testimony. And I am so happy to say that my prayers were heard and I did receive an answer. (Jeremiah 33:3; Matthew 7:7-8; 3 Nephi 14:7-8)
I am now serving a mission. I am a representative of Jesus Christ. I have been called by God to teach and share Christ's gospel. (3 Nephi 5:13) Why on Earth would I be doing this and putting my life on hold for 18 months if I didn't know for myself that what I am and will be teaching is true?
Today was so wonderful. I met a member of the First Presidency. My testimony was strengthened and I am ready to go to South Korea. I know I will struggle--mostly with the language--but for my Savior I would do ANYTHING!
I know the Lord lives. I know that it is only through Him that we can be saved. Because of Christ's atonement and resurrection, He broke the bands of physical death. Everyone who has lived on Earth and will live will all be resurrected.
I testify that that is true. And I know that God has given us agency. (2 Nephi 2:27-28; Joshua 24:15) He respects our agency. We all have the opportunity to choose to repent of our own transgressions or not. Christ paid the price of sin, but I will testify that it is our choice whether or not to accept that payment.
All the Savior asks of us is to come unto Him. (John 6:35-38; Matthew 11:28; 3 Nephi 12:20; 2 Nephi 28:32) To repent and keep His commandments. He wants us to be baptized, make sacred covenants and then endure to the end. (1 Nephi 14:14; D&C 98:14; D&C 136:4) Is that too much to ask? NO! We owe all we are and have to our Savior and Redeemer. I testify that is true. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love you all,
Kelly 자 매

Thursday, April 24
Well, this is it. I wake up at 1:30 in the morning to head off to South Korea. Can you believe how fast 2 months went by? It's already time for me to head off and into the mission field. To be honest I actually am excited. I have completed change my feelings about going to South Korea as compared to when I first opened my mission call. I couldn't be more excited to go somewhere! It'll be hard, especially I only know a little bit of the language, but I am so ready for the adventure. I've such a great time here in the MTC. I've had the blessing of having 3 apostles (Neil L. Andersen, Dallin H. Oaks, and president Dieter F. Uchtdorf) come and speak to us! I even shook one of their hands! How often does that ever happen? It's been such a great experience. One I will never ever forget. I know I will look back on my experiences from my mission for the rest of my life. So far, it's been good right? I've been able to tell you some great stories. Hopefully I will have much better ones once I'm in South Korea though.
I haven't packed yet unfortunately. I needed to wash all my laundry. Don't worry mom I shouldn't be overweight. There's a scale in our residence hall so I can weigh my luggage. I hope you aren't mad that I kind of splurged. I bought some white undershirts here at the MTC. Sister Johnson and Sister Van Weezep were getting more garments and when I saw the shirts I decided I needed them, I guess I kind of convinced myself. Hopefully that's ok. It's not like it was super expensive. However, I also had to buy a new journal because I finished the one I brought. I thought I might just wait since I have a few days left, but I already know that I will want to write in it because Elder Holland might come on Sunday. If not Sunday I think he is coming on Tuesday. Hopefully he comes on Sunday so I will be able to see him. That would suck if he came just after I left. What a bummer.. ok let's not think about that...
This week actually went by a little slow. Each day we were busy doing stuff, but it's been slow for some reason. Maybe because I am so stoked to finally leave to go to Korea. Who knows?! haha On Sunday was a special Easter mission conference that was broadcast to all the MTCs all over the world. Then on Tuesday night we had Elder Dallin H. Oaks come. I was 3rd row and straight on few for his talk. It was awesome. Then yesterday I hosted for my very last time. We also got 3 new sister missionaries. They are all going to Busan, Korea. It was nice getting new sisters but I feel bad not really having a chance to get to know them. It sad them coming right before we are going to be leaving. I realized I haven't talked much about our natives this time. I love them a ton! The two sisters are so sweet. Kind of quiet, but so nice. The elders are cool. I wrote Dad about how Elder Holley's dad is a famous comedian in Korea. He is such a cool guy. His parents even sent us all donuts! It was so nice of them. Elder Ostermiller's parents are also so nice. They sent every single of us in my district a easter package with candy and treats. It was nice, but I didn't end up eating much of it. I'm still trying to cut back on the sweets. On Tuesday we said goodbye to the cambodian missionaries. It was so bittersweet. I loved them! Thankfully we all got some pictures today. Also, on Wednesday I had the chance to be the missionaries who go and demonstrate How To Begin Teaching for all the new missionaries who came that day. It's that teaching experience thing I talked about that I did on my first day. So it was cool being on the other side of it. It was actually very short and brief but it was still a good fun experience. This Friday we have our in field orientation. So I'm pretty excited about that. I'm more excited about being about to call you all from the airport. I'm sure I'll end up only talking to mom though because it's so early in the morning. That's really annoying but at least two weeks later I can skype home for mother's day. I'm thankful for you all and your support. I can't wait to call you! Only 3 days till Korea!!!
Take care!! I love you!!
Sister Kelly 자 매

All of tried to match our clothes

Me with my itinerary for South Korea!

Us as a district praying. In Korea we kneel for almost all prayers.

We visited Elder Steadman (Cambodia) He got his tonsils taken out. Sadly the day before he was suppose to leave. So he is delayed two weeks. We like to go visit him in the health center since his district already left. He's hanging in there.

Us and Brother Perriton. He is in the branch presidency. He's awesome!!!!

Sis VanWeezep and I

My Zone

My sister met up with me at the temple on my last Sunday at the MTC

My District

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