Tuesday, February 7, 2017

February 7,2017 Email:D

Subject: Canada Bound!! ...wait...what?! :O 

Hi all!

It's crazy to think that I am leaving the MTC at 3:30 tomorrow morning! (And not just because of the outrageously early departure time!) I have loved every minute spent here, and have grown so close to my district and Heavenly Father. I am sad to say goodbye. There is such a sweet spirit at the MTC...so many missionaries united in the same purpose filling the halls. :) We keep joking that tomorrow we will be "real missionaries in the real world." But something Sister Clark pointed out to me the other day sticks with me. The feelings you feel in the temple, at church...the things that the Spirit testifies to you; those are the real things. That is the real world. :) I am striving to live my life as much as I can in the real world. 

Like I mentioned last week, I was able to "Host" on Wednesday for the arriving missionaries. Sister Clark and I were assigned two Korean Sister Missionaries who are from South Korea, going to South Korea on their mission...speaking Korean! It's cool that they get to come out here to come to the MTC! They were so sweet, and we got to take them around to various places to get travel in order, check in, get clothes, and doctor visits. Because one of them needed an X-ray, we were able to take a short field trip to the Health Clinic about a mile away. We were ecstatic!!! FIELD TRIP!!! It's the small things. ;)

On Friday, we attended the Infield Training. 9 Hours of lecture and workshops on how to street contact and work with members in your area. It was actually not bad. :) At one point, we were gathered in a big assembly room about to begin another meeting. They called out a name of an Elder with a paper for him (happens a lot) and when they gave it to him, they said "Your mission president called. You are supposed to fly out Monday, but they need you now. We are going to excuse you now to go pack your bags." Everyone started clapping and cheering as he got up and walked out. The look on his face was priceless! Turns out, that was just part of the play they then put on for us and he actually isn't even a missionary...but golly! They put on a good show! :D It made me really excited for tomorrow!! Tomorrow I am going to be in the field!! AHH!!!

Yesterday we had an extra amount of study time and decided to do one last Book of Mormon read as a district. It was bitter sweet, but really good. :) We read the account of Abinadi and King Noah. The spirit was so strong! Mosiah 14 really had an impact on us, and we discussed it for a good amount of time. To think of all that Jesus Christ has done for us..."But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." I am so grateful for my Savior. :) My testimony has grown so much teaching investigators of the wonderful gift of the Atonement and all that we have in this life..it really is a blessing! A sister in Relief Society used the analogy that when Christ suffered for us, he gave us a gift card with an infinite amount of money on it. When we don't use the Atonement, we are starving ourselves for groceries when we have an unlimited use card in our hands. I'm not really good at explaining things..but the concept has really stuck with me. :) The Atonement is such a blessing! USE IT!!! It will bring you closer to Christ and Heavenly Father. In the Sunday Devotional, the speaker was talking about how Heavenly Father pours out blessing upon us, and when we try to pay Him back, he gives us more! He gives us bread and we give bread back and he gives us TOAST!! And then we give toast back and he puts BUTTER on it! And then we finally work to give that back and he gives it back with JAM!! Hahaha :) It was funny, but really true!

Did I ever mention I love my district? The Elder in our district never get mail, but us sisters do. XD There is one Elder that actually has never even gotten a letter...so Sunday night us sisters all wrote them a letter each, full of inside jokes and gratitude for them magnifying their Priesthood. We all signed them, put them in envelopes, stamped them, and when the Elders came back with the mail for us, we had mail for them on their desks. :) It was a sweet moment. :) Tonight they are giving each of us a blessing before we say goodbye. The blessings they have been in our lives the past 3 weeks has not gone unnoticed. We spend a lot of time talking as sisters that we really have the best district EVER. There has been no drama. Everyone has the perfect companion for them in learning and teaching styles. We all get along so well, nobody is left out, and we have the two best teachers ever! We took cheesy pictures this week that I will send separately. :) 

Well! I love you all so much, and am so grateful (still) to have the name of our Savior on my chest! We talk about how us missionaries represent Christ. But we were talking (Sister Clark and I) the other day..and when you are baptized, you take upon yourself the name of Christ. So you may not have a fancy badge, but you too are representing!! Chin up and arms out everybody! We have some work to do!!

Lots and lots of love,
Sister Alissa Van Valkenburg

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