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Friday, July 19, 2013

July 19: "Being a missionary is phenomenal!"

Hi Mommy!
So many E-mails you've sent, I didn't know which one to reply to so I just decided to compose a new one! 
     Yesterday we had In-Field training.  IN FIELD TRAINING!!!!! AHHH!!!!! There was one point the instructor said that we would be doing this next week and honestly, my stomach felt like it dropped to the floor I couldn't believe it.  So many emotions, I thought there were a lot before entering the MTC but there are even more now.
     I think about how uneasy and scared I was before I got here, and the peace and happiness I felt once I arrived.  I know that's exactly how the field is going to be.  When we're doing what we're supposed to be doing and moving forward with faith in Christ, we are blessed with peace and happiness always.  I think that's one of the biggest things I'm learning while here; exactly what this life means.  We talk a lot about how when we teach our investigators we want to have a commitment that we're looking to reach by the end of the lesson.  Well isn't life the same way?  What we are trying to reach in this life is eternal life and happiness with our Father in Heaven.  That's the commitment we wish to reach.  Our life is just a bunch of lesson and learning that guides us to understand and make the commitment to get there.
     I was talking to the AWESOME SISTERS WHOM I LOVE in my district the other day about how much we feel we grow.  Every day in the MTC feels like a year, honestly.  But not for the reason that you may think.  I feel like between the time I wake up and go to sleep, I have grown in spirituality and maturity so much that I can't remember who I was when I woke up!  It's phenomenal!  Being a missionary is phenomenal!  Spending this much time learning, studying, praying, and sharing my testimony of Jesus Christ is phenomenal!
      I have come to understand who Christ is and what he's done for us so much more than before, and I know that knowledge will just keep growing.  I think my new favorite word in German (right up there with Flugzeug [airplane] and das Nilpferd [the hippo]) is die Sünhopfer.  I don't know if that's how you spell it but that's how we say the atonement auf Deutsch.  I just can't believe it. And yet I know it's true.  I know that Christ paid the price for our sins and he understands us so perfectly and so completely and so wholly.  When I ponder about what he has done, I just feel so humbled and kind of like a small grain of sand on the Oregon coast.  I know that without our Savior Jesus Christ, we are nothing.  And yet to him we are everything.  He knows us and understands us.  We have one person in this whole entire world who looks at us and sees who we really are and who we are to come.  He knows me and because of that infinite knowledge he has of who I am, he has an infinite love of me.  That's one reason why it's so important for us to love others if we wish to share the Gospel.  When we really spend the time to understand and know our fellow brothers and sisters on this earth, we can't help but love them.  When we learn to really and truly love them, we can't help but want them to see the happiness that comes ONLY through knowledge of our Savior Jesus Christ and who he really is.  He's not just a prophet, he is our redeemer.  He hasn't just taught us the way to live, he hasn't even just shown us how to live, because of him we DO live.  I am so grateful for Him and if I gain nothing else out of the entire 18 months I immerse myself in this service, the testimony and understanding of Christ that I've been able to grow will be sufficient.
     I'm going to miss my district so much.  I realized that when I enter the field, I will literally not have a single friend from the MTC coming!  And yet these friends are going to be some of the dearests of my entire life.  I already told Sister Choi that I'm going to come visit her in Australia!  I'll find a way :)
     I didn't attach any photos.  I wanted to but the only computers with SD card slots are in the laundry room.  I'm doing laundry around 3:50 our time and so I'm saving myself 5 minutes of E-mail time to try and send a photo or two but no promises. (It didn't work).
    I GOT PACKAGES IN THE LAST TWO DAYS!!! I have so many Candies and sweets, it's AMAZING!  I got a package from Wendy, the one from you, one from your friend Sister C. in Lindon who didn't give me an address to send a thank you note so I'm going to need that.  Just dear elder it to me.  And one from Michelle and Maggie!  The one from the Roots came today and it couldn't have come at a better time.  I really needed it this morning!  I am just so blessed to have such an outpouring of love and support from so many people.  Everyone in my district makes fun of me because I get so much mail, but I try and let it roll of my shoulders.  I am so grateful for everyone at home.  Ah, you guys don't even know how thankful I am for all of you!
     Our "investigators" are a lot of fun.  We teach Linda and Hartmut auf Deutsch and it's hard not to get frustrated.  I actually had a couple of days this week where I really was frustrated.  I have so much to say and all I can do is say it in this poor, broken, and hässlich Deutsch.  And then people say, "Oh a lot of people speak English over there anyway" and I smile, nod, and try not to get offended.  I want to speak German!  Don't you be telling me that I should use English as a crutch!  But, then something changed in me and I realized that far more than my German is the Spirit.  I am so insignificant in the conversion process.  I just deliver the message and love the people, and that's really it.  Don't get me wrong, it's a lot of work.  But I've just been a little self centered about who I am in my investigators process.  Missionary work is about the investigator and God and helping them build that connection and trust in Him.  So, my German really doesn't matter.  It will come as the Lord sees fit, but I don't need to fear because I am serving him and his purposes. 
     I got an E-mail from Vora!  So I need to E-mail her back.
     Travel Itinerary, I don't know the flight number but we leave Salt Lake and arrive in AMSTERDAM, Then I have an hour until I take a short flight to Munich.  Woohoo!   It's going to be a loooong flight.  But we tracked down the other German missionaries in the cafeteria and it sounds like there's literally going to be like 30-40 German missionaries on our SLC to Netherlands flight and then everyone splits up to their flights for their missions.  It'll be hilarious if there are that many, can you just imagine?  I met some Alpine missionaries and a lot of them are from Finland and Scotland.  There are some Americans too, but it's pretty sweet to have so many Europeans in our mission.  I half wish I were going to Berlin just because I love my district so much.  But I'm sure when I arrive in the field I'll love them too.
     I love writing letters, I'm just thinking about how long this E-mail is but you know how much I love to talk.  Plus, in an E-mail, I am able to talk uninterrupted...muahahaha
     SPENCER IS TALLER THAN MICHAEL!!!!! THAT'S FLAPPING HILARIOUS!!!!!!!  I saw the picture and it almost blew my mind.  That's so funny!  How does Mike feel?  How are things with him and Kelsey?  That's awesome that him and Andy are total bff's, he's awesome.
     Oh, our branch here at the MTC is bigger than I thought but there are SO MANY POLYNESIANS and people from Latin America....It's awesome!  They love me too.  They all live in our hallway and I think they just think of me as the goofy, tall, lanky, white, American Sister.  I make them laugh so much, and laughter is the same in every language so we're all great friends.  There's one sister, I call her Sister T because I can't pronounce her last name, she's from some country I can barely pronounce and I gave her a trolli egg.  It was hilarious, she thought it tasted so weird!  Duh, she's from another culture and has never had that kind of candy!  We both started cracking up.  I love those sisters so much!  Why couldn't I go places with people like them?!  White people scare me!  But I guess that's why I'm going to Europe, huh?
     I should probably respond to some more E-mails.  As far as treats go, everyone has been sending me great stuff.  The Reese's are awesome, the trolli eggs keep comin', and I have a years supply of Starburst thanks to Wendy darling.  Gosh I love you guys so much. You are all so amazing.
     I was thinking about the Kaneens the other day randomly.  I love them so much, tell them I say hi and I love them!
     Well, that's it until next week von Deutschland!  Woop Woop!  Pray for me, being a missionary isn't a piece of cake.
I love you Mom.
Sister Henry

Hi Daddy, everyone was snickering at me because I kept on giggling out loud while reading your letter.
     I hope everything goes well with Mount Saint Helens.  I remember how nervous I was but after getting going I was so excited it was such a breeze.  I'm sure it'll be great the second time.  Yeah, I don't know about Tori doing it.  The motivation of knowing she got to go to the top of Mount Saint Helens while her sissy was gone probably won't be enough to get her up there, but you never know.  The good thing is that when she doesn't feel like doing something, she's not afraid to show it, huh?  I miss Tor glor, I love her so much!  Tell her I love her so much!
     Tehehe sorry but I just couldn't part with my hockey stick and that snowboard is the only one I feel comfortable on!  That's goood you're getting rid of stuff, you can get rid of anything that's mine (except the snowboard) because I have a feeling when I get home in 18 months I won't even know it's missing ;)  I barely remember home already and it's been what, 9 days?!  Haha I love being a missionary, Daddy.  It's just the best.  Oh man is it just the best!
     Keep me updated on the Mike and Kelsey front.  I saw an old coworker today and she's an RM that teaches here.  Sounds like she's getting married soon.  I forgot people date *gasp* and get married *big gasp*.  Why in the world would you get married when you can be a missionary?  But don't tell my married friends that, I always say, being a missionary is great but I'm sure life married is even better since as a missionary all you're teaching is about eternal families.  But what I don't tell them is that I'm thinking, you totally missed out!  But of course, they weren't meant to go on a mission.  But still, I love being Sister Henry.
     Well I wrote a ton when I emailed Mom.
Love you Daddy!!!!!
Sister Henry

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