Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Week 6...? 5...? Bueller...?

Hello my beautiful family and friends! 

Boy, this week has been pretty interesting. So much happens during the day that it's almost impossible to tell you everything. But I've had some pretty great experiences this week and I wanted to share them with you! 

I've been thinking a lot about the Spirit lately and why we feel the Spirit more in some instances than in others, and why we feel the Spirit in a particular way. Being here at the MTC, I've heard people say that we become so "comfortable" with the presence of the Spirit that sometimes we feel like He's not there, even though we're still having help from Him. Does that make sense? So I've been thinking about that, and why and HOW we get so comfortable with the Spirit. This made me think of the idea that when we're so close to something beautiful for a long time, we often overlook or become used to the beauty of it, and the beauty is diminished a bit. Seeing a beautiful landscape can be breathtaking at a first glance, but sometimes, if we drive by it every day for 30 years, the beauty may become regular or normal to us instead of retaining its beauty. The same can be said about the Spirit. Sometimes we take the Spirit for granted, or it becomes "normal" to us, and we let ourselves become accustomed to its beauty. So it's not that we're NOT feeling the Spirit, the Spirit is still there...it may be that we've just become accustomed to the way the Spirit works within us. Anyway, just food for thought.

We also taught our "investigator" named Sasha this week. He was SO receptive! It was AMAZING! We taught him the First Vision and then asked him that, if he found out for himself that these things we had taught him were true, would he be baptized? He thought about it for a minute and then said, "I don't want to make a promise with God that I can't keep." We then tried to explain a little bit about repentance and the Atonement. He still isn't completely 100% for sure with it all, and hasn't committed to baptism yet, but the Spirit was SO strong will he read the First Vision out loud. We can tell that he really wants this. He's trying to understand and he is definitely making sure that if he's going to commit to this, that he's going to do it the right way. Man, he's such a good example!

We also have been teaching Viktor a lot about going to Church these last couple of weeks. I don't know if I told you, but he came to church with us last week and this week! He's actually coming to church! Wow...it's amazing to see our investigators progress, even though it's not REALLY an investigator. They're both making some pretty great progress and we feel like we're heading in the right direction.

Another thing that happened on Sunday was the President Cranney told us that we're 100% for sure going to move over to the West MTC Campus next week. I was kind of bummed about it. I mean, you all know how attached I get to places and people. But it will be a good change. The MTC wants all the Ukrainians and Russians in one spot, so they're sending us over to West Campus. That means that when we make the move I will have a NEW MAILING ADDRESS. I have NO idea what it's going to be yet, but I will let you all know as soon as possible.

And the last experience I wanted to share happening REALLY early this morning. I told you all about my companionship being called as the Sister Training Leaders, right? Well I have come to love all the sisters in our zone SO much over this short amount of time. But sadly, ALL of our Ukrainian sisters, and 4 of our Russian sisters left for the field this morning at 3:30am. My companions and I said goodbye to them last night at 10, but I couldn't bare sending them off without seeing them one more time. So, I set the alarm for 3:10 and I woke up to see them get on the bus. Man, my heart almost exploded because of the love I felt for my sisters. I was so sad to see them go, but I felt an overwhelming happiness knowing that they are going exactly where the Lord needs them to go. It's amazing how strong the relationships we are developing here are gettnig, even in the short amount of time.

One thing that I have been thinking a lot about this week is RUSSIA. Go figure, right? But seriously. Amidst the MTC hustle and bustle routine, you kind of get sidetracked and lose sight of the end of the MTC. Somedays it feels like we're NEVER leaving the MTC. I keep forgetting that there is actually something that comes after the MTC. But recently I've been thinking about Russia a lot. Somedays it feels like I'll never get there, and then somedays, when I realize what the actual date is, it feels like I'm going there TOMORROW. But I know that the Lord has a time and a season for everything He does.

I have learned so much this week. I've learned to have unconditional love for everyone I come in contact with. I've learned that in some instances, we have to exercise EXTREME patience, but the Lord will always bless us 10 times more than what we've sacrificed. I've learned that sometimes you just have to sacrifice things. And yes, sacrificing is hard, especially when you feel like it's all you do. But that's just the way it works. We have a Savior who sacrificed LITERALLY everything for us, so why can't we sacrifice a little time, effort, or comfort for someone else? I feel incredibly humbled to know that Heavenly Father trusts me with this calling, even though He knows that I can't do it alone. He loves me. And He loves every one of you, too. I love you all! Keep the emails and news coming my way! I love you all!

- Sister Biorn

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