Kako ste? We've been busy this week. We haven't really had time to take a lot of pictures, so I'm only going to send a few from this week a little bit later today. We have set up a lot of goals to up the ante and to help stay more focused.
We had the wonderful broadcast on Sunday (Mom, I still have no idea how you were able to find me on the camera, but good job!). I saw President and Sister Causse there and tried to get their attention, but was unsuccessful. They are so awesome, though. It was great seeing them even from afar. Also, I waved and smiled at D. Todd Christofferson and he gave me the biggest smile and waved back. Truly made my day. The announcements were huge and definitely unexpected. I'm not so sure how I feel about all the social media and technology for missionaries, but the push for missionary work is very exciting! We haven't received any instructions yet on what all that is going to entail, but I'll definitely keep you posted.
We also had a really great devotional on Tuesday from Janice Kapp Perry and her husband. She is hilarious and so wise. I loved putting a personality and a face to the name of all the piano books Jenny and I used to play. She talked a lot about music and also about being strengthened even when we have nothing left in our tanks to give. She's such an example of a valiant latter-day Saint.
This week instead of telling you about my classes and progress with the language (which are both going well), I want to bear my testimony:
I know that we are here for a reason. I know that the people in my life today were deliberately placed to be here to help us learn and grow from each other.
I know that we will experience sadness and times of grief, heartache and despair. I know that through faith and understanding in the Atonement and prayer, we can come to understand our purpose and find meaning and joy in this life and the next. I believe that God does not point his finger when he thinks we need a trial to help us grow, rather, I believe in a loving and compassionate Heavenly Father who weeps with us in times of sadness and rejoices with us in times of triumph. He knew this life would be difficult and trying, but he let us come on this earth to learn and come to a knowledge of Him so that we can live with Him again.
I've been thinking a lot about what it means to feel the Spirit. In the past, I would frequently equate crying to feeling the Spirit, but I know that the Spirit can also bring such joy, comfort and understanding. I know that I can feel the strength and power of God more often here than I've ever been able to before, mostly because I feel like I'm living worthily (maybe the most worthy I've ever felt in my entire life), and I know that the Spirit will guide me if I'm always trying recognize and follow its promptings. "Though weak, yet were they strengthened by the power of God."
I know that if we pray sincerely to know Heavenly Father, He can become our closest friend and confidante. He knows our weaknesses, strengths, fears, concerns and loves, and only wants our greatest success.
I have come to know Christ. I know He is my Savior and Redeemer. I know He atoned for my sins and understands my every thought, doubt, question and pain. I love the imagery of Peter faltering in his faith as he walked on water, and how Christ was immediately at his side to help raise him back up. We too can find that support, encouragement, and even joy in repentance.
I have experienced sadness, heartbreak, despair and loneliness. I know the joy and happiness I can have through the little I know about the gospel. I draw strength in the knowledge that with God, I can do all things. When I feel the Spirit working through me, I know my Heavenly Father is pleased with me.
I am comforted in my knowledge of the plan of salvation and to know that if I live worthily, I can see my earthly father again. I am so grateful to him for his constant example of optimism and faith, even at the end of his life when his body was weak and in so much pain. I can feel his love and awareness of me everyday, especially when I'm in the temple. I know he is rooting for us on the other side!
Over my time here at the MTC and during my time at home preparing for my mission, I've come to know that, if applied to our lives, the gospel will bring so much happiness! I love the laughter and joy that I'm able to experience in the little moments. You are all such wonderful wonderful examples to me. Thank you for all your love and support! I feel so truly blessed. Bear your testimonies! They not only strengthen those who are listening, but they also grow when you share them.
(Sorry, I tried to make this e-mail as coherent as possible, but with limited time, it may not all make sense.)
I love you and hope you have a wonderful weekend!