I have now been in the MTC for over 5 weeks. AND next week, one week from today, I should receive my travel plans to leave for PARIS!!! (Travel plans usually come 2 weeks before you leave). We'll see what happens. :]
I was happy to hear that Joy's sealing was beautiful and that everything went well. I wish I could have been there with all of you, but the Lord wants me here right now. I look forward to seeing pictures though.
Well, Soeur Stackhouse (the solo sister-companion/roommate) left for Tahiti this week. I will miss her a lot, but I am thrilled that she is finally in Tahiti, and I have no doubt that she is enjoying herself there. This week Soeur Strunk and I are the ONLY sister missionaries in our zone, but next week we will hopefully receive LOTS of new sisters. This Wednesday there are 68 new french speaking missionaries coming to the MTC. We are all extremely humbled at the fact that they will look to us to be there examples, but we have been preparing and have lots of goals to help us become the missionaries that Heavenly Father wants us to be. I am very excited to have new sisters come! I love sister missionaries, not that I'm biased or anything (Haha), but I think that they bring something very special to the mission. :]
My district has been asked to help "host" the new missionaries this Wednesday. I will keep my eye out for the Rowley family-Truman will be entering the MTC that day.
This week I have been especially impressed with the power of music in inviting the Spirit. In almost all meetings at the MTC we sing and if it is a big enough meeting there is a musical number. In Relief Society, one sister sang the song "My kindness will never leave thee". I had never heard that song before and I was deeply touched by it. I felt the Spirit testify to me that Heavenly Father will always be there to help me, because He loves me. He loves all of His children in a very personal way. He wants us to be happy. Then later Sunday night, during our Fireside, a boy sang "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing". I have always loved that song, but this specific arrangement was absolutely incredible! He sang with such humility and you could tell that he meant every word that he sang. I love music! As a result of that those musical numbers I suggested to Soeur Strunk that we start singing in our "Rendez-Vous" (lessons with progressive investigators). One Monday we sang "I am a child of God" to our Atheist investigator and the Spirit was almost tangible! He cried and admitted that he felt something different when we sang. We testified that he was feeling the Spirit. Singing in our Rendez-Vous have changed everything. I am thankful for music.
To be completely honest, this week was a very humbling week! We had several of our progressive investigators not show up to our appointments, the language has been tough, and honestly I feel a great weight of the work that I have been called to do. Although it has been tough, I am grateful for my calling to serve the Lord as a missionary. I am learning to completely rely on the Spirit to teach through me, and help me become a better person and missionary.
I love the gospel! I know it is true!
I love you all! Thank you for your letters, prayers, and support.
Soeur Andrea McClaine