I am so excited to get out there, but no matter how well they prepare you in the MTC, you can never really know what to expect in the mission field. I'm really just relying on the Lord and trusting that he'll help me in his work. My knees are bruised from praying so often and for so long. But the Lord really does answer our prayers, in his own way and in his own time. Most often, our prayers are answered simply with a feeling of peace, comfort, and love, or through other people. There's no way I'm strong enough to do this on my own, and I know he is supporting me and blessing me with those people and experiences I really truly need.
It's really hard not to get discouraged here. It's really easy to beat yourself up for not being a good teacher, for not having enough faith, or for just not thinking you're cut out for the work. But discouragement NEVER comes from God. The spirit only brings peace, joy, charity, and comfort.
Elder Christofferson spoke to us this week about missionary work. That was amazing.
Now onto a crash course of what I've learned at the MTC:
1) Turn outward. When your selfish side is telling you to throw yourself a pity party or worry about yourself, that's when you most need to serve others. "The difference between testimony and conversion is turning outward." - Elder Bednar, Character of Christ
2) EVERYTHING is about Christ. Literally everything.
3) We don't teach. The spirit teaches.
4) The gospel is true. It changes lives.
5) Fear is the opposite of faith.
I can't wait to meet the crazy awesome people of Louisiana!
"Elder T lost his leg to cancer a couple years ago, and we like to make leg jokes. We had a competition. One day during gym he took his prosthetic off and used it as a headrest, so I was like, "I can do better." and I put both my legs behind my head. (If you've never seen Rachel do this, you've missed out!) I win. He's really cool. And I'm a big fan of making it a fun thing instead of a sad thing, Take a sucky thing and make it a way to laugh."
Note from Rachel's mom: Elder T was in Rachel's district in the MTC and he's her "absolute fav person". He's serving in San Jose, which is our mission! I'm really hoping we have a chance to meet him.