MI QUERIDA HERMANA Haley (my dear sister Haley),
This letter is moreso directed to you today, but I figure we'll share it with the family too...
I was thinking in this last week about what I would like to tell you before you went into the mtc this Wednesday. I thought of a few talks, and a few other random things I wanted to share with you. I want you to know that these (almost) 2 years have truly been the best of my life, I have learned so much and grown (not physically) a lot too. Even with many trials and faith-breakers, the Lord has always watched over me. I know He lives, and answers our prayers. I am grateful for those who pray for me, and us as missionaries. I don't know if there's a group of people more prayed for in the world, except for the prophet! I feel these prayers, and surely have needed them many times. The mission has been a testimony to me that the very best things require the very best effort. I'm grateful for this lesson, and especially for my parents who also prepared me by teaching me since forever ago. Haley, we surely have been born of goodly parents. NEVER forget that...
First of all, I want to share a few talks with you to study a bit: (Print them out and take them with you too..)
What I want my DAUGHTER to Know before SHE leaves on HER mission -James E. Faust
Becoming a Preach My Gospel Missionary -Elder David A. Bednar (I can't find it on the internet, and I only have it in spanish, and on a CD in english. you could ask a missionary there at home and maybe they'll have it, a lo mejor sí. If not, I will swiftly be sending you a good package of nifty things when i get home. I just can't send a lot of things now, for fear that you or i may never see them again... hahaha) But look for it! It's awesome!
Act in All Diligence -Henry B. Eyring (Its a priesthood talk, so it doesn't entirely apply to you, but amazing because he talks about the atonement in such a beautiful inspiring way)
Second, a little list that I myself made... =) with a little help from elder randolph (sorry my capitalization sucks, but my keyboard is really sucky at this ciber)
1. Make every moment count, whether you've got 2 years, 1.5 years, or even a month and a half... Because you will want it back. Don't you take a minute for granted!
2. Don't even think about going back home (unless your mission president tells you to go early, of course) You will be so much better off in the mission, I promise, even if its "just for a few weeks/months"
3. Learn to share EVERYTHING with everyone... Life is just a whole lot easier this way. Trust me. Learn it quick, and just be ready to share, always.
4. Be yourself! Always! Because there's no reason in being fake. and be your BEST self! Let the mission, not so much "change" you, but rather "cut off your rigid edges" (See PMG ch.6)
5. Get everything as small as possible. Everything smaller is better. Transfers will be a nightmare if you don't. play it safe, prepare, and get the small stuff.. :) I hear they sell some cool little preach my gospel now, i wish they had those when i started the mission, because i always have to carry my big one aroudn to district classes and on buses because it doesn't fit in my bag. But simply, just go small, for the better. (Alma 36:6-7) hehehe
6. Learn to discern. whether it means discern the truth from lies, or the spirit from the adversary. The Gift of Discernment is a Gift of the Spirit. seek for it, because it is an incredibly useful tool in the work.
7. Love your companion, and be willing to have fun with them. Do not judge others, especially your companion. Love those who despise you. I wish I would have known this earlier in the mission with a certain companion, would have made things a whole lot easier. now i understand, but too late...
8. Study the scriptures EVERY day. Sundays and P-Days too. it can be hard sometimes (well at least here) but it changes your whole day's experience)
9. When you write to your Mission President, imagine you are writing to the lord. He is a representative of our Lord, and when we report to him, we are reporting to Him. =) sometimes i even write "Dear Savior" or something similar before i write, and then right before i send it, i change it to the president's name. it helps me to remember for who I am working every week.
10. Write your brother every week. Never fail.. =)
I love you so much Haley, and I am so ridiculously proud of you. I tell everyone that my sister is going on a mission, and they are all praying for you too. You have so many people who love you, who appreciate you in their lives, me being one of the first. I may not be the perfect missionary, but I wanted to share my thoughts with you, they are my personal suggestions for my sister.
May God be with you 'til we meet again. Who would've known that when you dropped me off at the provo mtc february 2011, we would be saying "Hasta luego" until another 3 1/2 years? Its a tad bit long, but worth it in the work of the Lord. He is our Savior and Lord. He is the great Jehovah of the old Testament, and the profesied Mesiah of the new testament. He died for us on calvary, He lives, and is watching over us as we prepare this earth for His pleasant return. may be be ready. Serve Him, my sister. There is no greater joy for the soul. And soon enough we will be laughing about how true it all is.
With all my love,