Saturday, July 27, 2013

Emily sent us the following email on Friday, July 26, 2013:
Two days ago I went into the MTC gym  and one of the gym workers came over to me and asked me where I was going.  I said California.  I asked him where he was going and he said California too.  Based on the amount of connections that I always have to California, I should've just told him that I knew which mission was his and that it was San Fernando, but instead I said I was going to San Fernando and he told me that that was his mission.  We chatted about that for a moment and it was just crazy how all the connections work out!  
Sometimes I feel like all these little things happening are little tender-mercy-confirmations from Heavenly Father that I am going to the place that He called me to go. It took me a second to believe that, but now I know it.

Earlier that day was the day all new missionaries arrived.  I got to be a host.  I helped one girl get to her place and the rest of the time, I went around to all the cars that were pulling up and just hugged the moms.  Sisters host for sisters and elders host for elders and sometimes, the elders just stand there awkwardly and don't help everyone feel like it's going to be a positive experience.  There really is an art to hosting.  One of the moms that I took care of had her older son take a picture of me with her because I was helping her so much.  It was a really touching experience.  I actually cried about 4 times during the host part.  Which is actually terrible because I am supposed to look super happy, but I would see families saying good bye to one of their kids and all the other kids would be crying and I would start getting all teary.  There was one family of all red heads and they were so cute and all the little red headed kids hugged their brother that was leaving and then I started crying because it's like our family!!..and yea.. The Lady that was over our group came to check on me.  She told me that the more you feel the spirit the more tender your heart gets and so crying is a lot closer to the surface.  She had a daughter on a mission right now..IN SAN FERNANDO CALIFORNIA.  So yes, what are the chances! 

Emily is pointing to "San Fernando" on this map.
She will arrive on location Monday, July 29th!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Emily sent us the following email on Friday, July 19, 2013:

Hey Familia that I love so much!

This week for our devotional we had Richard Hinckley (Gordon's son) come and speak to us.  He mostly talked about keeping rules and being obedient and keeping an area book.  You know who they should come and have do a devotional...BOMPA!  He could come and do a flossing demo and they could have the camera's focused in on his hand positions.  He would probably have figured out some way for all the missionaries to reach under their seats and have a package with all the necessary tools assembled and ready for them.  

I placed another of Bompa's flossing technique papers to another sister in the Bathroom.  I reeled her in with the gospel analogy.  I'm astounded everyday at the intimate relationship I see between flossing and the gospel.  I think it is because both are eternal truths.  People know that flossing is good for them.  They have heard things that tell them that.  They are searching for truth and they desire progression.  They may not know that there is a one true way out there.  We have the fulness of the  truth and we desire to impart of it unto them.   We need them to understand that we have what they have been searching for whether or not they realize that they have.  It is natural that they would want it, and once they give it a chance, because it is good, they will only have their conviction strengthened.  Anyway, I told her I had something that would make her life better and told her how it was like the gospel, and she was very excited when I gave her the paper!

We watched another Mormon Message: None Were With Him, by Jeffrey R. Holland.  
It was so so good!  I want you to watch it and really think about the feelings that you get.  There are a couple of things that I realized pierced me as deeply as in times before.  
  • He says that Christ knew what he was doing, but that he hadn't quite anticipated it emotionally and physically to the extent that it happened.  This brings more meaning to the cry He makes to the Father asking him if he can take the bitter cup from him.  (Skibs, think about Dumbledore here..this comment isn't meant to be blasphemous)  
  • Did Heavenly Father know that Jesus was going to leave him?  He cries out to the Father and asks him why He has forsaken him.  That must have hurt Jesus so much when he felt that his father was leaving him. 
  • We are able to make it through all our trials and hardships because we have Heavenly Father and Jesus, but Jesus didn't have his sacrifice to lean on and he had to have the Father withdraw from him. 
  • Jesus felt the whole burden of the suffering and justice.  There was no one who could be on his side and no one who knew what he was feeling.  The great and infinite atonement couldn't save us....He is the great and infinite atonement.
  • Jesus stood and suffered so that we would never be alone and he stands by us always.  When I watched this clip, I wished that I could've been there to try to help Jesus and comfort him.  He stood by us, and now we must always stand by him at all times and in all things and in all places.  He is the great redeemer and he is our brother and our Savior.  
  • You really just need to watch the clip.  It is incredible.

One more thing that I wanted to share that I've thought about a lot:

There is a scripture in Ether 12:4 and it says 'Hope, which cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men.  Sometimes having faith is difficult.  Sometimes, because I am so logical, I find myself really relying on hope, and that is why this scripture is so special to me.  It almost makes it sound like hope is stronger than faith.  It is the anchor to the souls of men.  Maybe it isn't stronger than faith, but maybe it works in a different way and is just more reliable.  Or maybe it IS stronger.  I know that my hope at least can never fail me and my hope for truth is an anchor for my soul. Hope is a lot and hope is very strong.   
This is Emily with her cousin, Josh Christensen.
He entered the MTC July 3, 2013.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Emily wrote us an email today, Friday, July 12, 2013.  It is quite long, so I will share excerpts:  

Ok, so remember how I told you that I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon: audio version?  Well that is still the truth!  Use your phone and the little black converter-cord-thing to plug your phone into the speakers in my room.  Sit in the chair and follow along in your Book of Mormon as you listen to it!  You have to follow along in you BOM or it won't work, but will will be AMAZED how much more you are able to get out of your time!  I swear, you testimony of the BOM will grow just because you will see how enjoyable and exciting the story is!
I know some people really dislike the war chapters, but I like them a lot!  I like finding the subtle bits of humor.  Lots of the situations and letters are quite amusing and enjoyable!  You read them and you realize that the prophets are so cool!!!  They are so intune with the will of the Lord, that they cannot fail in battle as long as they are obedient to him.  Do you realize how cool it is that President Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God.  He talks to Heavenly Father and he is the leader of the army of saints on the Earth.  As long as we follow him, we can't be lead astray.  We will trash the nations.  The war against evil used to be hand to hand combat, but that technique is so medieval.  Wars of the world used to be combat wars, but now we fight wars with information and technology.  That is exactly the stage that our war is entering.  The brethren receive revelation from God so that we can adapt and be competitive.  Don't you think that is soo cool?  The brethren are so intelligent and so righteous.  We are blessed to have these people on the Earth to lead us. 
The MTC is an interesting place:
It is so different from the world that surrounds it on every side.  There is so much righteousness.  It really is a little bubble; but a safe, enjoyable bubble.  It is a different world in here; incredible to experience.  Sometimes I think that this is what it must feel like to live in the city of Enoch where everyone loves everyone just because and people walk around singing. 
  • There are missionaries here that will be sent all over the world.  We go around sharing our testimonies and are blessed to meet lots of people.  We meet a lot of people learning Japanese and I am always amazed that so many missionaries come here to learn the languages of the world.  And then they are sent into the world to declare truth.  That is about all that many of the missionaries (even the ones that are about done with their stay at the MTC) can say.  I feel the spirit so strongly when I talk to a Japanese or Tagalog learning sister and I know that all they are saying is: I know that God is loving.  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer.  I know that God hears our prayers.  These simple testimonies pierce me to the heart and make me teary because they really are going into the world with nothing except their firm witness of true, pure truth.
  • There is no where else on the earth that can match the amount of singing or praying that takes place within these gates.  The showers are people's favorite place to sing.  On any given day in the morning, or after gym, or at night, you can walk into the bathroom to hear some of the most interesting harmonizing you have ever heard.  The sisters in all the different shower stalls sing these collaborative songs so you can hear many high harmonies and many many other lines.  Usually I get a kick out of it because sometimes the entertainment is a little more original than usual.
  • Going to the temple is like going to Disneyland!  People look forward to it all week long and take their cameras and it is like the biggest tourist attraction!  Welcome to the real happiest place on Earth!  Probably because it is the bridge over the gap from Earth to Heaven. 
  • Mormon messages are everyones' favorites!
  • One of the most exciting events of the week is the Sunday night movie!  I have seen 2 really good ones: Bednar's Character of Christ and Bednar's becoming a missionary. 

 If you haven't heard these before, you really should.  The Character of Christ is more applicable to you guys, but becoming a missionary pertains to me.  In there he said some things that are really motivating to me.  He is very bold and said that we need to become missionaries, not just go on missions.  He said that it would be a pretty sad thing if when we return home we get back to usual after just a few days.  He said people like this didn't change and we are sent on missions to change and become missionaries.  This motivated me a lot.  I have been talking to Heavenly Father and asking him to help me to actually become a missionary. 
George D. Durrant and his wife were our devotional speakers.  They were hilarious!  His wife was the first woman religion teacher at BYU and you can tell that she is good.  He got up and told us a story.  When he was in high school, he was dating the prettiest girl.  Her name was Louise or something.  She was his girlfriend, she just didn't know it *audience approval* (he was a real crowd pleaser.  He used old-man words and I loved it!)  He told us that everyone wanted to be named Don because girls liked to say hiiii Daaaawwwwnn, but just a 'hey George!'  *more  laughs!*  One day he had a note from Don that asked George to ask Louise to the movie on Friday.  He had always been too scared to talk to her before, but with the note from Don he was able to tap her on the shoulder and ask her what she was doing on Friday and if she would like to go to the movie.  She replied, 'I'd love to, George'.  Then he said, 'Great because Don would love to go with you'.  He was able to be bold when he had a note from Don.  He aren't on our own errand, we are on the Lord's and we need to be Bold.  He just kept saying that we needed to be bold and just be good old people.  He just tries to be a good old guy.  We almost felt bad for his wife because he was so enjoyable to listen to.  She got up and she smashed him!  She was a hoot!
I love you!  I have to go!
Until next week!
Love, Em!!