Hallo jullie! (Make note..this email isn’t specifically for a Julie (Sorry Julie). “Jullie” means ya’ll in Dutch) This was one heck of a great week. The greatly experienced and seasoned 2 week-missionaries always told us that if you get through your first week, the MTC is so much better. I was kinda confused because I didn’t think the first week was that bad…but it definitely got better than I could have imagined! My favorite thing about being a missionary is that your whole life isn’t about you at all. I truly believe that the key to happiness is being completely selfless. You can’t worry about yourself when you’re busy learning Dutch and the gospel to teach people about the most important things in the universe. I am so blessed to have this opportunity. This week was super eventful, but I’ll just outline some awesome things that happened.
On Sunday, Zuster Tulaga and I woke up to, “NO FREAKIN WAY, COME LOOK OUTSIDE!” It had snowed that night! Zuster Tulaga has seen snow before, but not very often since she’s from New Zealand. It was super fun to have a winter wonderland! I hope it snows again before I leave for tropical paradise on December 12th.
Sunday night devotional was one of the most powerful spiritual experiences I have ever had. A singing group whose name I can’t remember came and sung about Jesus Christ. It was a constant flow of tears for me as I thought about all our Savior has done for us. The Savior’s goodness and mercy is endless! I am so excited to teach people about Him. His sacrifice for us enables us to change in miraculous ways—ways I need each day! The Savior’s grace is endless.
We met a couple that is serving in our mission! They aren’t Dutch speaking, which is sad, but they might pick us up at the airport! It was so awesome to talk to them; they were so loving. I can’t wait to be a senior missionary. Zuster Tulaga and I always joke that our “da man” (husband in Dutch, which I think is hilarious) better be down for serving as a senior couple. We also got to show around new senior couples at the MTC. Turns out they have a nice, cushy, hotel-like area for the senior couples at the MTC. I wonder if one of them can adopt me as their daughter so I can live in luxury 😉
Something I have learned this week is that you don’t have to lose your personality to be a missionary. The first week I was so worried and uptight about exact obedience that I stopped being me. This week I’ve learned that God gives us special gifts to serve his children–one of which is our personality! I can be bubbly and goofy and still be a good missionary. I am super grateful for Heavenly Father’s patience with me through this long learning process, especially because I have a lot to learn. He is so patient with his children.
My testimony of the prophet President Russel M. Nelson and the apostles was greatly strengthened this week. Gary E. Stevenson came to speak to us on Thursday, and it was awesome. I learned so much, including that I need to be doing more to study out of Preach My Gospel and the missionary handbook. The next day in personal study, I got the prompting that I needed to read some of President Nelson’s talks. I’m so grateful for his counsel and encouragement. I know that he is a prophet of God. He receives revelation for the whole church. If we heed his counsel, our lives will be so blessed. I encourage ya’ll to read the words of the prophet, President Nelson. I promise you will feel peace in your life as you follow his counsel to read the Book of Mormon, serve others like Christ, and pray earnestly to Heavenly Father.
The last and saddest thing I saved for the end: Zuster Tulaga is leaving in 2 weeks! I will get a new companion(s) for the last 2 weeks. Something is up with her visa. I’m super sad, but I know we’ll probably be companions again in the mission since there’s only around 4 sisters. I’m so thankful for her and everything she’s taught me about how to be a good missionary. We have been fasting and praying for her to learn all the Dutch she needs before she goes out. I have no doubt she could leave right now and still preach with power, but I know she’s nervous. I hate seeing her worried, but I know everything is going to work out like it’s supposed to.
I hope ya’ll have a wonderful week! Ik houdt van yulllie een tots zeens!
These are the girls I’ll probably be companions with! We just moved into their room. I love them! One of my favorite things about them is that they stay positive.