Monday, December 6, 2010

Love, Kristen - Week 6

Hi Everyone!

Well these weeks are starting to fly by. On Tuesday I could not remember how long I'd been in the MTC. I looked at my roommates and said, in all seriousness, "How long have we been here?" They stared at me a moment and then laughed, and said "Five weeks as of tomorrow." So insane. Three weeks til I leave for the Philippines!!! As of tomorrow my district and a couple others who arrived the same day will be the oldest in the zone! That's weird to think about. We're saying goodbye to some good friends today. None of them are going to Iloilo. We will miss them. We write notes in each others journals though, so it helps, and I know we'll all see each other again someday, in this life or the next.

This reminds me. December 22nd is the LAST day the MTC will accept packages before Christmas. So if you're planning on sending me one, please make sure it gets to me before then, as I leave Decemeber 27th.l I don't know about letters. Better safe than sorry. Also, I hope I don't hurt anyone's feelings, but please don't send me food for Christmas. I'll only have a few days to eat it, and my bags are already at the weight limit. I don't want to have to leave it behind. Letters and pictures are PERFECT! Please don't feel obligated to get me anything. I would just love to hear from everyone for Christmas :). (NOTE FROM KRISTEN'S MOM: I will be sending a package to her at the end of this week or beginning of next week if anyone in the CDA area would like to send their letter or Christmas card in our package. I guess our family will just have to eat the yummy treats we were going to send....)

This week was all about Tagalog. We had three "English Fast" days, where we only spoke Tagalog the entire day (very difficult actually. We're not bad at Tagalog, but we certainly can't express ourselves the same way as in English, so it can be quite frustrating, and we're actually pretty quite most of the day, haha). We also taught the First Lesson (The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ) in all Tagalog in the TRC this week. Sister Lyman and I taught Jason Pagaduan again! I love teaching him. He's super nice, but a very good investigator. At the end of our lesson to him, he told us that we did a good job, and that we actually did better than last time--and last time we taught him in English! haha. At first I didn't know how to take that, but then I thought about it and realized we had improved really. We may not have had as nice of a vocabulary, and yes, our Tagalog was broken, but we still focused better on Jason's needs as an investigator (he wanted to better understand the apostasy and restoration), we asked better questions this time, and we used more and effective scriptures. Also, because our Tagalog is limited, we were forced to keep the lesson simpler. He also felt the spirit as we recited the First Vision to him in Joseph Smith's own words (in Tagalog), and bore our testimonies with conviction. So, yes, again, our Tagalog was broken, but because we knew that what we were saying was true, the Holy Ghost was able to bear witness that what we were testifying of was the truth.

I'd like to share a journal entry that I wrote last night. I simply want to testify of what I know to be true. I wrote last night these words: "All week my thoughts have been turend to the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is something that I have gained a stronger and deeper testimony of. Every time I hear the First Vision (, whether in person or in a movie, in English or Tagalog (the only two languages I've heard it spoken in so far), read or recited, spoken or written, I feel the Holy Ghost and I know that it is true. He did in fact see God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ, and they did in fact speak to him. I finished reading Joseph Smith History today and by doing so, have gained more knowledge and appreciation for the prophet Joseph Smith. He truly was a prophet of God, and through him, God restored His true Christ upon the earth today. Revelation was given, priesthood was restored, and the gospel began to be spread throughout all the Earth. Shall I not go on in so great a cause?

I love this gospel. Everything about it is the truth--the truth in it's fulness and glory. Other churches DO teach the truth, but only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints teaches it in it's fulness. Oh the peace and joy this gospel brings to me. Never before have I been as happy as I am now on my mission. I'm learning more about what it means to have the Holy Ghost as my CONSTANT companion. He teaches me daily, constantly, and only when I choose to be in a bad mood and think unkindly of others for whatever reason, does he leave me. When this happens, I do all in my power to change my attitude so that I can have the Holy Ghost with me once again. I need him with me if I am going to accomplish anything in this work. I love this gospel, and have a great desire to share it with everyone, especially those whose hearts are open to it and ready to listen."

Again, that is what I wrote, and I hope it can be of benefit to someone, whether already a member of the church or not. That is why I'm serving a mission though. It's not to have some cultural experience in the Philippines, although I certainly do hope that happens as well :). It's to teach others the truths that I cherish--that God lives and loves us. That he called a prophet to restore the gospel in it's fullness after it was taken off of the Earth with the death of the apostles, and that he has called a prophet today, President Thomas S. Monson to lead and guide this church. I know this to be true. I know also, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I've read it, and prayed about it, and asked God sincerely and with real intent of receiving an answer, if it was true, and received a confirmation that it is. I also know the Bible to be the Word of God, inasmuch as it is translated correctly. I hold it in just as high regard as the Book of Mormon and study from it daily as well. I love those two books that God has given us to be able to learn of him.

I'm so excited to leave the MTC and start teaching people. I hope though that I can be of service still to God, my Heavenly Father, while I'm in the MTC, and help my fellow missionaries in whatever way I can. I love being a missionary. It is a great privelege and a marvelous work that I get to take part in. I am so grateful to everyone who helped prepare me for this time in my life so that I could go forth and share it with others.

I know this church is true. Plain and simple, I know this church is true.

I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!!! Thank you for all of your letters, prayers, and support! They mean so much to me.

Sister Danner