I’m going to Argentina!

August 23, 2013 – MTC in Provo, UT, USA

Hola Familia!

This was an amazing week! The best best week at the MTC. Not sure if it was because it was my last, but regardless, an amazing week!

First off, I’m going to Argentina! All the Posadas missionaries are traveling to Asuncion since it’s way closer than Buenos Aires and we’re all traveling together.
I leave the 27th. So excited!

Yesterday we had in-field orientation and it was great! Learned a lot! We had class right after and we had literally been sitting for 9 hours straight and everyone was being a wimp about it. Then our teacher came in and said that he got permission to show a Disney movie! All of the Elders were whooping and practically crying from happiness and our teacher is laughing because it’s a total lie. Hahahaha!

So this week I got shin splints! Apparently that’s what happens when you exercise. I don’t know anything about that. Hna. Shurtleff has magic hands (she used to work in the sports department rubbing stuff out) and she rubbed them out. It was amazing! It hurt sooooo bad and then I stood up and felt 100% better. I want to take her everywhere with me!

Hna. Cooper is also the most amazing companion ever and I am going to miss her so much! She has been so good to me and has helped me grow so much! She’s amazing!

We had STL interviews and they were great as always. I learn so much from the girls and I am so lucky that most of them are coming to my mission! They are such strong women! One thing we suggested for them was that we all get priesthood blessings. The MTC has been tough for everyone. I wanted one too, and the first person who popped in my head to give it to me was this one Elder in the district. This Elder a couple weeks ago was the one Elder I had a hard time feeling charitable for. I had been praying to have charity and love for this one Elder and that week I had begun to like him. I began to see all the great qualities of this Elder and he was the one I wanted to give me a blessing. It was such a great blessing and everything I needed to hear from the Lord, as always. I love priesthood blessings! They are so amazing! I don’t know how the men do these wonderful things through the priesthood. I always stand in awe of how the Lord can use one of his servants to speak in His name.

I had an amazing experience teaching the first vision. I LOVE reciting the first vision in Joseph’s words. It brings an amazing spirit immediately to the lesson if the people are prepared to receive it. The Spirit bore such a strong witness to me this week that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and His Son, that he is the prophet of the restoration, and that through him the Book of Mormon was translated.

Also, Dad, we had Via Sikahema speak to us on Sunday. I think you know who that is. I think I knew when he stood up that he was a football player. And also the way he spoke. Yep. It was good!

I had a great experience reading on Sunday. Hna. Cooper and I ended up reading Enos separately then we came together to share our insight about it. Our insights just built on one another and it was such an edifying experience! Wow! One big take away I got from that has really helped me. Learning leads to experience, which leads to a change of heart. By studying the scriptures, we are open to the promptings of the Spirit. When we experience something in our lives, the Spirit can bring to our remembrance something that we studied that applies to it and can teach us through this. Through our experiences, if we allow the Spirit to teach us, we can be changed. But it all starts with study. If you want to change your heart and become closer to Christ and become like him, you have to get down and get to work and really study the scriptures! Then you have to be open to being taught by experience and be worthy of the Spirit. Only then can the Spirit help you change your heart.

This morning we had the great opportunity of going to the temple with our Presidency! Sister Tyler’s (President’s wife) mother passed away a year ago today and so she got to be sealed to her family. So we all did the endowment session together and then got to watch her be sealed. What a wonderful opportunity! I love the temple so much and I’m going to miss it on my mission!

And now the story behind the visas:

To tell you the truth I’ve known since Tuesday the 13th that I would be getting my visa. That was the night of the Tuesday devotional and Elder Scott spoke. As I was walking home, I was absolutely filled with the Spirit. Hna. Cooper and I walked in silence for a while when I was overcome with this feeling. I can’t describe how, but I felt that we were all going to be getting our visas. It wasn’t a voice in my head telling me we would go, but a strong feeling that we were going. I told Hna. Cooper and she was like “Great, keep hoping!” That’s what everyone told me. Keep in mind that it has been months and months since Argentina missionaries have been going and none of us ever expected to go there straight off. But I just KNEW that we would get visas. But I was a doubter, so that night I prayed for the visas especially and I felt that same feeling. I knew that the visas would come. I didn’t know how, but I knew they would!

So on Friday [16th] I was a little confused when we got the paper that says no visas, even though I knew it was expected. I was totally fine with it too! I had been preparing to be reassigned. I took it that maybe I just felt good about my reassignment, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that the visas were still coming. Then on Monday, mission by mission, Argentina started receiving visas! How exciting! We all got to email home and tell you! So it ended up that all the Argentina missionaries got their visas except Posadas on Monday. They didn’t come on Tuesday. I started thinking that it would be really awkward if I had said that I was going to Argentina and then we didn’t end up going. On Wednesday they didn’t come and everyone was starting to freak out. Every mission except ours. We went to the travel office and they told us that they hadn’t decided to send us yet. Everyone was heart-broken, but I knew that ours would still come and I was absolutely filled with peace about it. I kept telling everyone that they would come and not to worry about it, but everyone was still pretty heart-broken. I was beginning to doubt that maybe I had taken the wrong idea from that impression I had received. I didn’t have enough faith and trust in what was revealed to me.

At in-field orientation they had a short presentation on faith. One phrase stuck out to me about how faith can change the course of things. Because of faith, the brother of Jared could not be kept from seeing through the veil. There are so many great examples of faith in the scriptures that I love! The Spirit had confirmed to me that we would receive our visas and I had absolute faith that we would. I couldn’t get that out of my head the whole time. I gathered all of the Posadas missionaries together and I told them that I knew they would come. All we need to do is have a little bit more faith. I proposed to them that we should have a special fast. I knew if we exhibited our faith that the Lord would provide a way because He wants us there. I felt that so strongly! Just as I said that the district leader came running up with travel plans in his hands! We were going to Argentina!!

What a blessing this experience was for me. It really taught me to trust in the Spirit. I really feel as though I can recognize the Spirit when it comes to me, and now I know not to doubt! I feel so blessed to have the Gift of the Holy Ghost. We are so lucky to have that gift! The Lord knows everything and He knows how it will work out. We really need to trust in Him because He can provide a way in all things. Faith really can change the course of our lives. Faith opens the windows of heaven and allows us to do things through the Lord’s help that we cannot do alone. I know it is through the faith and prayers of the church that Argentina was opened up!

Questions:

Are all the missionaries in your district going?
EVERYONE got their visas! Only Posadas is leaving on Tuesday. Everyone else in Argentina is traveling together on Monday.

How was the last week at the MTC?
Best week!

Are you feeling ready?
Yes!

Are you happy with your service as a STL? What has it taught you? Anything you’d do different? Anything you still want to do before you leave?
I loved every minute of it and was grateful for the opportunity. It taught me to love and care about others in a capacity I haven’t really had before. You get really tight being together 24/7. I wish I could help them go through their trials more, but they are their trials and they have to overcome them. It’s tough to watch them have hard days and be sad sometimes, but I am grateful that I can be there to cheer them up and support them.

What was your highlight for the week?
Getting my visa!

What was the most important thing you learned at the MTC?
Patience and being sensitive to the Spirit.

What was the most important thing you learned about YOU at the MTC?
That I have the faith to do anything the Lord wants me to do. I think that changed my life.

Has the MTC been what you expected? If not, how?
I didn’t really have an expectation. No one talks about the MTC because it is so shadowed by the MISSION.

Any advice for future missionaries?
The MTC is what you make it. You can learn and take advantage of the Spirit here, or you can have a bad attitude and hate every minute of it. I am so grateful for my time in the MTC and all that I learned even though it was a really really long time. The MTC is all about attitude and it is an amazing place to learn.

Sorry, out of time again. This was an exciting week!
Mucho Amoro, {for you Mom-may or may not be mocking 😉 }
Hermana Camille Anderson

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