Saturday, October 3, 2009

Letter #3 - October 2, 2009

Editors note: On Wednesday, Sept. 30, Michelle was informed that she will be transfered to the Guatamala MTC on Tuesday, Oct. 6th. She was told that she could make a 5 minute phone call home to let her family know. It was great to hear her voice :)

Hola hermosa familia!
I've been in a bit of a daze since the news that I'm leaving so soon! I agree with Dad when he wrote me that he wasn't sure he was quite ready for me to be sent out of the country already. It feels like I just barely got here and I'm just getting cozied in. I'll be leaving some incredible friends that I just met although it feels like we've known each other forever. I'll miss the goofy elders in my zone although, I'm sure I'll have new goofy elders to make me feel right at home. All of the sudden I'm having "lasts": my last P-day in Provo, my last gym time, my last temple trip, my last time singing in choir, my last devotional. I wasn't ready for "lasts" yet. But I am excited for a whole lot of new "firsts."

I went to the temple this morning. It was wonderful and I tried to soak in every second. I was disappointed it wasn't Grandpa's film but it was still amazing to be in the House of the Lord. In the celestial room I poured my heart out to my Heavenly Father for the gift to be a missionary. It's the most frequent and powerful feeling I have, this overwhelming gratitude to be a missionary. I can't describe it and I'm not sure that anyone who hasn't been a full time missionary could fully understand. After the session, we went down to the cafeteria for "celestial breakfast" with the rest of our zone, but then instead of heading back to the MTC for personal time, Hna. Johnson and I decided to do initiatories. It was wonderful. The first time I've done them since I did my own. I just love hearing those beautiful blessings. I really needed that added comfort and strength before embarking on my latest big adventure this coming week.

I had an interview with Bro. Robinson again last Sunday, and again he spoke right to my heart and helped me see beyond my own weaknesses. He asked me as soon as we sat down, "do you know what some your strengths are? You have some very unique strengths." He proceeded to tell me about a few things he's noticed about me and my desire and ability to uplift others. He told me to "go with my strengths" and to stop spending so much time focusing on all of the areas where I feel like I'm weak. That way, he said, you can do the most good with what you've been given. That was exactly what I needed to hear because it's so easy to focus on all the things you need to work on and then feel overwhelmed and incapacitated by the mountains of things you want to do. But it really helped me focus this week and to relax and do those things that I'm good at and that come naturally to me.

I've been working on having more faith this week and I've recognized how much my faith has grown in such a short time. When I first got here, there were so many things that seemed so scary to do, things that were out of my comfort zone. But as I've put faith in the Lord and jumped into doing those scary things, they have become fun things! The ordinary things I do on a daily basis were the things that scared me the first few days and now I have a whole bunch of new things that scare me so my faith just grows and grows as I exercise it and trust in the Lord, that I really can do all that I'm asked to do. It's such a blessing. Our teaching went really well this week and I know it was just a fake investigator but I'm learning to really focus my study and teach with the spirit, backed up by true doctrine. Now, if I can just learn the words in Spanish... :)

One of the things I am really looking forward to and also one of those scary, faith growing things is the fact that next week everything will be in Spanish. Wow. I don't feel like I know enough but I know that the Lord will help me and that my language abilities will grow so much faster being immersed in the language so soon, so I am really grateful and excited. My the time Christmas rolls around, I'll dazzle you all with my Spanish! You won't even recognize me on the phone. It was fun to talk to Mom and Ali for a second this week. I'm glad neither of you started to cry. That would have been hard. I can always count on Mom to be an emotional rock ;) and to get straight to business... Just kidding mom, I love you so much and it was perfect to talk to you.

Aunt Barbara: Thanks so much for writing. It was great to hear from you. I never found out if Sister Dittmore was related to Boyd Dittmore... Way to go on your cardio rehab. :)

Also I saw Ashley Christianson, Sister Hunsaker, Sister Baum, and Sister Criddle at the temple this morning. And Brother and Sister Hardy from our old ward even though I didn't say hi... but that was fun.

I love you all so much. I'll try to get my new MTC address to you as soon as possible. For now email or keep using dearelder. BYE!

Con mucho amor,
Hna. Crosland

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