Oct 31 at 2:58 PM
Terve perhe!!! (Hello Family) I cannot believe that another week has gone by. There is so much good stuff going on at the MTC!! I honestly don't know where to start. I guess I will first start off by saying thank you SO much for the letters and support! I can honestly say that I feel your prayers for me. I hope you can feel mine for you cause I pray for each of you every day. Honestly though, whenever I start to get frustrated, I just get this feeling that you all have faith in me and are praying for me and it makes it totally worth it so thank you so much for that! Mom THANK YOU SO MUCH for the Halloween package. Sisar Thayne and I have been devouring the muddy buddies...don't worry, we work out...and the Sour Punch straws almost made me start crying so that's good :) I love getting letters from you guys. I am sorry I don't always respond very quickly, just know that I read them and think about you guys every day! I can't wait to see pics from the Halloween party! It's going to be so great! Dad, you and mom will be so cute!! I am so excited to see how your costume turns out! haha
So let's see, two weeks down at the MTC. Did I tell you that I am in the MTC choir? I don't think I did. Honestly BEST DECISION EVER. It is so much fun and it is so great to have a break from the monotony. We also get great seats for the devotionals on Tuesday and Sunday so that's awesome. So I woke up on the first Sunday that we were going to be able to sing and my voice was totally gone. I couldn't talk at all. It was so crazy and funny and everybody made fun of me but it was hilarious. Don't worry, I am great now but it was pretty hysterical! So you know the "We are as the army of Helaman" song? So in the MTC we sing the words differently and I LOVE it so much! So we say We are as the army of Helaman, we have been taught in our youth, and we are now the Lord's missionaries to bring the world His truth. I love singing that song. Gives me chills every time. Being on a mission is hard, but it is such a great time to be a missionary!
So let me tell you about Finnish....I decided this week that the Finnish people from the tower of Babel were the most evil because their language is the hardest. Heavenly Father was really trying to teach them a lesson! :) I have a confession to make though...I have kind of been frustrated with myself because everyone I talked to before I came and everyone I have talked to here has just been like "oh, the language will come, don't worry about it." I guess I took that too literally, and so did Sisar Thayne because we have not taken it as seriously as we should have. I feel like we could be a lot farther along than we are, but it's ok because we have evaluated our language plan and we have a good thing going from now on so we are going to have to work hard but I know we can do it. Oh my heck Joce I have been so excited to tell you this...so apparently one of the creators or writers or something from Lord of the Rings was FInnish so Elfish is basically Finnish. NBD I can just talk to my BF Legolas now. Isn't that hilarious? I have been dying to tell you. So next time you guys watch Lord of the Rings, that's what I'm speaking!
So let me tell you what a typical day is like here at the MTC. So we wake up at 6:15 and have about an hour to get ready. Then we have breakfast from 7:15 - 7:30. Then we have class from 7:30 to 10:15 and then personal/language/companion study from 10:15 to 11:20. We eat lunch at 11:20 then usually have class again from 12:05 - 3:05. Then we have language study from 3:05 - 4:20. We eat dinner at 4:20...I feel like I am in a retirement home with how early we eat. It stinks though cause then after dinner we have gym, Computer time, and then personal study so by the time we get back to our room at 9:15, we are STARVING!! It's kind of a crazy system but at the same time you are so exhausted by the end of the day, you don't even think about how you haven't eaten in 6 hours!
So this week has been a little bit crazy! We moved from West campus to Main campus on Monday and it is SO MUCH BETTER AT MAIN!! Everyone we had talked to kept saying how crappy main campus was, but I love it so much more. It feels like I am actually a missionary now instead of a college student in spiritual prison. Me and Sisar Thayne have our own room again...we have seriously lucked out in that regard and we each have two closets and we both get bottom bunks so life is pretty great right now! haha Dad in one of your letters you said how much you look forward to meal time and it's so true!! The food is actually really good...coming from me, that's saying something cause Mom spoils us like crazy, but it's not half bad. Me and Sisar Thayne help each other out and don't let each other eat too much. We are determined not to gain weight so we run and do ab and leg workouts pretty regularly. I love having a companion who is an athlete!
So on Tuesday I got to go to L.A. for the day to sign my visa at the Finnish consulate. We had to wake up at 3:30 on Tuesday morning. We got to L.A. at about 9:30, walk out to meet up with our driver and guess what? No driver. Ya apparently there was some confusion so we had to pay for our own taxi. So six of us are in the taxi and all of a sudden the taxi driver starts talking about religion and asks us about our church. SO don't even worry we basically taught him the first lesson and totally gave him a book of Mormon. The spirit was so strong in that little taxi, I thought it was going to burst. It was incredible. L.A. was nice and warm but it was such a weird feeling to have people staring at you cause you're repping the missionary nametag. It was so crazy cause we just kept thinking, "This is how people are going to be looking at us for 18 months." But anyways, we got everything figured out and ended up making it home.
Sisar Thayne went to L.A. on Tuesday. I know right? They split us up! How rude. We seriously were so happy to see each other again. No homo, but I legitimately was almost crying I missed her so much. It's crazy how close you get to someone when you spend every hour of every day with them. We get along so well. Who knew that my best friend lived in Provo my whole life. It's so awesome how things turn out! :) Minun toverini on Sisar Thayne...My companion is Sister Thayne. Just wanted to show off my Finnish skills a little bit! :)
So my spiritual thought for the week totally changed my life and I hope you all love it as well. We have been talking a lot these past two weeks about having faith in Christ. My branch presidency told me that everything I want my investigators to go through, I am going to have to go through myself...kind of scary but extremely helpful when you actually start asking questions yourself that investigators might have. So I was thinking what is there to have faith in? What is there to hope for? In Moroni 7:41 it talks about having hope through the Atonement of Christ, through the power of his resurrection, and hope to have the opportunity to be raised to eternal life. THose are pretty incredible blessings when you stop to think about it. After I read that I started thinking about hope. In Ether 12:4 it talks about how hope is an anchor to the souls of men. If we have faith and hope, we will inevitably have a life of discipleship. Faith and hope will make us steadfast and sure, always abounding in good works, and we will be lead to glorify God. But, we can not have faith and hope unless we are meek and lowly in heart.
Meekness and lowliness of heart are so crucial and will lead us to have charity, or the pure love of Christ...my teacher called it "everlasting love". I love that. The savior wants us to receive his love and he wants us to share it with others. In all of our relationships, we should look to the Savior as an example. We need to love with unfailing compassion, patience and mercy. THose are things I KNOW I can work on. In True to the Faith there is a quote about charity that I love that says, "As you continue to receive the Savior's perfect love and as you demonstrate Christlike love for others, you will find that your love INCREASES. You will experience the joy of being in the Lord's service. The Holy Ghost will be your constant companion, guiding you in your service and your relationships with others. You will be prepared to meet the Lord at judgment."
Anyways, I am sorry this is so long and so all over the place, but I have learned so much by being here in the MTC and I want to share as much with each of you as I can. I think we can all work towards being more like the Savior, especially in our relationships. Life is all about relationships. They make or break your life so why not make them the best that we can. I am so grateful for the relationship I have with each of you and I am so grateful for the growing relationship I have with my Savior and Heavenly Father. It's crazy how a mission literally breaks down every weakness and shortcoming we have and builds you back up. I guess that's not just missions, but life if general. We have to continue in Faith and Hope and know that the Lord will build us up in the end and make us a much better person than we could have ever imagined. I love the gospel and I love each one of you so much! Mina rakastan sinua!!
Love, Sisar Bitner