Oh hello, my beautiful friends and family! I have had quite the eventful week! And it's only getting better!
So this week...man. The Lord will have a humble Sister Biorn. Either I can choose to be humble, OR Heavenly Father will make me humble. And I tell you what, I have had my fair share of chastening...and I love it, don't get me wrong. But it's been a little rough. BUT despite the rough, I've learned SO MUCH. So stinkin' much it hurts my brain. My " " is really because P-Day (Tuesdays) is like ...so anyway, my week, meaning from last Tuesday til now, has been intense. It started with Viktor. Viktor is really our teacher (Brother Wells) acting as an investigator he taught on his mission. After each lesson he gives us feedback on how we can be better and stuff like that. So, we taught Viktor all about prayer and testimonies and stuff like that. I felt like the lesson went so well! I was speaking Russian and understanding him! He actually even prayed in front of us right there and it was BEAUTIFUL! I felt the Spirit so strongly. But then, afterwards, Brother Wells was giving us our critique and he started talking about the importance of testimonies. I said I felt like Viktor didn't quite have his own testimony yet, and then Brother Wells looked into my SOUL and asked, "Well...what is a testimony good for? Why do we even need one? What do we use it for?" And I SHUT DOWN. I had no answer. I had no idea what to say. In that moment I said to my self, "Sister Biorn, why IS a testimony important? Is it some celestial currency that gets you into Heaven? Do you have to have one to get into the Celestial Kingdom? Why do we need it? I mean, I HAVE one, and I know it's important, but why...?" And I looked at Brother Wells and I said, "I don't know." Because that's all I had. My soul felt barren and I felt like I was going to vomit. I had no answer. In that moment, I felt like Heavenly Father was saying, "Sister Biorn, you know this. You just have to go remember it again." So that's what I started to do. I DUG through the scriptures, I listened to talks, I watched video after video after video about testimonies and I relentlessly searched for an answer. This is what I have so far: A testimony is a shield against the forces of evil. In this day and age, Satan has the hearts of many of God's children, and the testimony I have will keep me safe from that. A testimony is also hope. It's hope that things will get better and that, in times of utter distress and grief, we can KNOW that we're never alone. Because really, a testimony is just what you know. It's what you know to be true. And if we don't believe that the things we're taught are true, then how can we ever expect to have hope for the future? I know that answer isn't complete yet, but neither is my research. I KNOW that testimonies are important and that if we obtain one, and stay true to things that WE KNOW are true, then life will turn out just fine for us in the day that we meet our Maker. If any of you have any more thoughts on this, please feel free to share them. I would love to hear from any of you!
I'd also been having a hard time controlling my anger and frustration. I felt like I was having a really hard time loving people around me when I was so irritated and mad. These are unusual feelings, especially for me, as you know. So I was wondering what was making me so angry. I felt like I couldn't love anyone here because I was just mad ALL THE TIME. So , President Cranney (branch president) pulls my companions and me into his office to talk to us. This is when he asks us to be the new Sister Training Leaders for our Zone. My heart almost EXPLODED. It was SO CHUCK FULL of love and peace and I almost wept. I felt instant love for each and every one of the people in our branch and I could hardly contain it. It felt like Heavenly Father was showing me just how much love was required for this calling. I now had to be in the position to love people unconditionally, as Christ does, and to serve and love them without holding back. It was incredible to feel such love for these people that, not two minutes before, I had been frustrated and hateful towards. It was AMAZINGLY humbling. So I have a new extension to my calling! My companions and I are now the Sister Training Leaders for sisters going to Russian and Ukrainian speaking missions! How exciting! I CAN'T WAIT. I love them all so much.
And then (yeah, it gets better!) yesterday I had a little medical incident. Let me preface this section of this entry with a few things: 1) I DID NOT PASS OUT. I say this because I know how much you love to remind me of that. 2) I AM 100% FINE. 100%. No need to freak out. 3) I DID NOT PASS OUT. I DID NOT PASS OUT.
So, last night, while playing volleyball, I started to have incredibly sharp pains in my chest. I felt like I was going to vomit or die...or both. So we went back to the main campus from the MTC fields and the elders in my district gave me a blessing. As soon as the blessing was over, I felt so much better. I felt the power of the Priesthood immediately! It was quite amazing! I could hardly believe it. But it happened. Despite this, however, my companions wanted me to tell someone about it. So we told the front desk and they made me go to the ER. ONLY BECAUSE a doctor wasn't available. We went to the ER, they said it would be about 3 hours until I could see anyone. So we sat and waited. We talked to people and stuff...but then I felt 100% better, and so after an hour and a half, I told my companions we could leave the hospital. So we did. End of story. Hahaha, my chest pain is completely gone and I have every confidence in the world that it is because of the Priesthood blessing that my worthy elders gave to me. I am going to the health clinic to get an EKG (is that what it's called...??) because Dustin has a history of heart disease. So that ought to be fun. Anyway, those are the adventures for the week!
The only other thing we've been doing is teaching and learning, learning and teaching. It's been amazing to be a tool in the Lord's hands to build up the kingdom of Zion. It's been truly inspiring to have to COMPLETELY depend on the Spirit for guidance, especially when you don't speak fluent Russian. ;) The Spirit is real. The gift of tongues is real. I know it because I live it every second of every day.
I love all of you. I'm so glad to hear all good things from all of you! I love you! Keep writing! I love your letters and your pictures! Don't hesitate to send me anything either. Clothes, cookies, scarves, kittens, ALL welcome. ;) I love you. I pray for you. I miss you! Take care, my friends.