Tuesday, January 24, 2017

January 24,2017 Email :D

Subject: I'M A MISSIONARY!!!! 

The title of this email has been a reoccurring realization every day. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a missionary!!! I have loved every second of it!!! Okay. Maybe like one or two seconds have been a bit sub-par...like when my alarm goes off in the morning...etc. ;) But in all seriousness, nothing I have done so far in my life has filled me with so much joy and purpose as my calling as a missionary. I absolutely love it!

Coming to the MTC was so crazy! I got dropped off, collected some packets, and Ipad, and my BADGE, and was straight in the classroom!! WHAT?! Speaking of the Ipad...I can only use it when I'm here at the MTC...but it makes it so I can read emails any day, but just can't respond until Tuesday. SO feel free to email any time!!! I absolutely love my companion!! Her name is Sister Clark, she is 6' tall and plays Volleyball for Laramie County Community College. She is so sweet, filled with the spirit, and I love being her companion! We teach together so well! She is committed to drinking water 24/7 and is trying to convert me! Hahaha we will see!! 

Something I wasn't prepared for with the MTC was so many stairs! I'm some people have it easy, but Sister Clark and I have class on the top floor (5) of one of the buildings, and our bedroom is on the top floor (4) of another! We climb stairs A LOT!! 

Something interesting: For sacrament meeting, nobody is assigned to speak. Instead, we are all given a topic and are to come prepared to speak. Missionaries from your zone are selected at random to speak! It's really cool!

I've been told many times just to "Make it until Sunday." Oh man...it is so AWESOME!!! You would expect the usual rest for a Sunday, but not on your mission!! It's a full 15 hour Sunday! But it is a day filled with the spirit!! The devotional that night was by Stephen Allen, the manager over all the mission stuff! He told a story about a drinking fountain. You know how you can change the water pressure of the other drinking fountain by holding down your own at the same time? He told of how he did that to a poor little kid...but compared it to something really cool. The little kid never realized that the reason the water kept going away, then splashing in his face was caused by someone right next to him. He compared it Satan. There are many buttons of yours that Satan tries to push to get water splashed up in your face. He wants you to give up. We need to acknowledge that it is coming from him, that he is right next to us, and most importantly to never give up.

A story told about having the character of Christ was told by Elder Bednar in a talk we watched Sunday night. He told about how the natural man wants to turn inward, calling it the "Cookie Monster" and that Christ turns outward. In every situation we are to turn outward and serve. To love others. He told about a woman, who called him when he was a stake president. She was calling to say that there were 3 girls who had been seriously injured in a car accident. At the same time as she was on the phone with him, she was on the phone with a nurse on another phone and he could hear the conversation. One of the girls was dead, and was identified as the woman's daughter. She instantly turned to Elder Bednar's phone and said that he was to contact the other moms, make sure they were okay, and to go identify the girls when they reached the hospital. (she was too far away, hence the call) In the instant she found out her daughter had died, she turned outward and was instantly conscerned about the other mothers. Elder Bednar continued to say that she was the Relief Society president, a single mom, and that the girl was her only child. On the morning of her daughter's funeral, a lady from the ward, not knowing about the death of the woman's daughter, called her to complain that she had been sick and nobody had brought her any meals! On the way to her only child's funeral, that mother dropped off a homemade meal to that woman. THAT is the character of Christ.

I have so many more stories, feelings, impressions and more...but Unfortunately I have zero time left on the clock!  Know that I love all of you, and that I love this gospel. I know that the church is true. And I am so grateful to be here learning and loving every step of the way!

Lots and lots of love,

Sister Alissa Van Valkenburg

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