Monday, July 4, 2011

Reflecting on Joseph's Sacrifice and other Spiritual Nuggets

Missionary Training Center
Provo, Utah

Monday, July 4, 2011

Hello Moms, Pops and everyone else!

What a week it has been! I love the MTC so much, I can’t believe I will be starting Visitor Center training this week! On Saturday, we get to go to the Salt Lake Temple [Square] to practice. I’m so excited! I got my departure date for San Diego — I leave Tuesday, July 12, FYI. So mom, if you could send my bedding to the Mission Home this week, that would be great!

Mom, Thank you so much for the package, my whole district loved the treats! I am so happy that school is out for you; I bet that’s a relief! What are your plans for summer? I’m sorry I won't be there to help you with the garden. Just remember when the rototiller doesn’t work in the fall, make dad pray: prayer works! I've lost so many things here, every time I pray, Heavenly Father helps me out. Dad would be laughing at me so bad with all the things I have had to pray to find!

Thanks for the Jimmer update. You saved my elders from escaping the MTC to find out where he was drafted! How was trek? I loved your BYU alumni letter. Great job! Did you get the camera card I sent? Let me know so I can stop worrying about it:)

Sara, Happy Birthday in 2 days! I sent you a card, but forgot that the 4th of July there is no mail, so you might get it late, sorry! I can’t believe you are almost halfway done with school. CONGRATS SIS! You rock my world! I want to hear more stories from your psych rotation! How is it? What's it like? Tell me everything!

Nick- Congrats on getting your story on MSNBC! You are such a great writer-thank you for writing me so much. Your letter was the first I got at the MTC and I needed it so much. And thanks for the letter on June 27. I cried reading about Joseph Smith I almost forgot that that day was the day of his Martyrdom. Good luck with school, keep telling me how things are going if you have time — sure do love you brother!

. Thank you so much for your letter!!! I loved hearing from you so much. I needed that letter! I wrote you back, but you didn’t put an apt number on your address so I don’t know if it got to you? Let me know!

Grammy Morgan,
Thank you so much for all of your love support and all the letters you send. You are such a great sister to Aunt Lori, I hope you had a great time! You are an even greater grandma, I don’t know what I did to deserve you! Will you tell grandpa happy birthday on Wednesday and that I love him to the moon and back? I forgot to get a birthday card to send him, so I guess this will have to do.

- Congratulations! I'm so excited for you to be a mommy; you are going to be so fantastic! I was jumping up and down when I found out! YAY!!!!!!

Kim and Ray
- Hope you are having a great time in Hawaii!

Well, I thought for today, I would write you another page of my journal and then answer some questions you all have been sending. If you want me to write something else, or you have other questions, just let me know. As a missionary, it's hard to remember what I write and how detailed I am. I’m so used to how things go here that I don’t even think about the things you may wonder about.

June 27, 2011

Wow, what a day.

You know, as hard as I try not to be homesick or miss my family, it is so hard when my whole message, what I am learning to teach, is based on how families can be happy and live together forever. It’s not a bad homesick — I am grateful for it, for being away from home has reminded me once again what an amazing family I have, and it has helped me to rely on my Heavenly Father one hundred percent.

It was funny, tonight I got some "dear elders"(Letters sent through from family and just started crying. I wasn’t even sad at all, but I feel so much love all around me, it leaks out of my eyes sometimes. I feel love from my family, from my teachers and leaders and especially from my Heavenly Father.

I used to think I knew what love meant, but I realize I have barely skimmed the surface. I don’t think my heart can even understand how much love my brother, Jesus Christ, and Father in Heaven have for me. After I got out of the temple this morning, I was standing up and looked across into the mirror and the reflection of Jesus Christ with His arms stretched out towards me was right there — right in front of me! I felt his loving arms around me and the comfort of His spirit telling me that He was proud of me. I really needed to be reminded of that today.

My thoughts have also been thinking about Joseph Smith today, as this is the anniversary of his martyrdom. What an amazing man he was: to have enough faith, courage, diligence, long suffering and love for Christ and His church that he would endure trial after trial, heartache after heartache, and still lay down his life for the building up of Zion.

I know that Heavenly Father is not asking me to die for His gospel, but I want Him and anyone else to know that I will give my all to live everyday for it. I am a servant in His kingdom. I wear His Son's name literally everyday on my shirt, and I have promised to serve Him with all my might, mind, heart and strength. Being on a mission has helped me realize what a great work this is. There are God's children all around us hungering and thirsting for something they cannot remember. Helping God’s children remember who they are and where they are meant to be brings me a joy I cannot describe in words. It fills my heart and my soul with happiness.

If Adam could bear facing a lone and dreary world; if Ammon, Aaron, Omner and Himni would leave their lands to serve a people who hated and despised them; if the pioneers could face trials and hardship to find a place they could worship in peace, I know that I, Sister Newman, can be a warrior in this wicked world to fight Satan with the truth. I know that just as Adam, the sons of Mosiah and the pioneers did what they did, I too can do this. Because they had just as I do, my Savior walking by me every step of the way. What a comfort that is and something I know to be true with all my heart — that with my Savior walking right beside me, I CAN DO ALL THINGS!

Okay, Just for some random questions and answers:

  • I play volleyball with the San Diego Elders- Sis, you would be so proud, I actually served and made it over the net three times in row!
  • My favorite foods here at the MTC would have to be the tortilla wraps and the oatmeal raisin cookies-yum:)
  • Sister Brandley and I got our investigator (not real) to commit to baptism! It was our teacher acting as his dad and he told us we were the only missionaries he has had get his dad to commit to baptism in three weeks. I’m so grateful for Sister Brandley and for the guidance of the spirit!

  • We had an awesome Fourth of July celebration, and the MTC president, President Brown, let us all go outside and watch the Stadium of Fire fireworks —IT was a blast!
  • I got my pioneer clothes fitted today. They are so cool! I’ll have to send pictures soon:)

Something I learned today:

We talked about making church worthwhile. We talked about how we teach our investigators the importance of getting revelation at church. Our teacher asked us how we did that, and I honestly could not tell him. I think I have been lazy in that category. So this week, I tried it. I prepared with prayer and wrote down two questions that I was wondering about. Heavenly Father answered those prayers through the speakers and testimonies shared. I love these principles. If you don’t already, here is a challenge for the week. Prepare to receive revelation at church next Sunday. Prepare with prayer, and ask Heavenly father to answer some questions you might have. I promise he will answer! Let me know how it goes!

Well, my two-minute timer is going off. I just want you all to know how much I love and appreciate you. You are all such an inspiration in my life. Keep being amazing and sharing your light with the world.

I don’t know the next time I will get to write or anything, but I promise I will once my new P-day comes!

Love ya to the moon and back!

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