Wednesday, September 21, 2011

MTC Week 5: An Invincible Summer

Hello everyone!

This sounds so cliche, but "I can't believe how time flies." It's so crazy that I've been here for over a month--we celebrated our one-month/halfway point the other day with candy and watching that documentary about Thomas S. Monson, "On the Lord's Errand." It was great, I love that man. It's so crazy to think that in four weeks, I'm going to be on the other side of the world. I'm so excited. I'm constantly thinking about Malaysia and I have already begun to love the country so much.

So the Elders going to Indonesian were all friends with us Singapore missionaries, and they helped us with the language a lot. They left two weeks ago or so, but before they did they said that week 5 was when the language clicked for them and they felt it was a miracle. We were all hopeful and hesitant at the same time, because this was our week 5 and we didn't feel any different. But since Saturday the language has just been a lot easier somehow. The last few lessons we've taught, I didn't even think about the language, and I was so much more aware of what was really happening because of that shift of focus from the language to what the person was experiencing. It's been great. We've been told here at a devotional that missionaries often come high in attribute, but low in skill. I'm working on both of those but my skills are especially lacking. I think I've said this before but being a missionary, for me, has made all of my flaws and shortcomings glaringly obvious. I'm learning how to rely on the Lord, and learning how to repent constantly. I'm so grateful to be here at the MTC, I feel like I'm learning so much! I'm determined to hit the ground running.

On Saturday, a volunteer came in and we taught her about effectively studying the Book of Mormon (she was a member). She had a lot of cool insights and had a sweet spirit with her. Oh, and did I mention that she was a native Indonesian? And did I mention how I understood what she said? It was awesome. The Spirit was there in our lesson and she said it made her want to serve a mission (she's been considering it). It was super cool.

It's been interesting because as I've strived to come closer to the Spirit and deepen my testimony here, I've felt that I become more and more comfortable within myself. These gospel principles, sincere prayer, etc. are all familiar. There's this quote by someone I don't remember and it says something like "When the dead of Winter had began to pass, I discovered to my surprise that within me lay an invincible Summer." (Albert Camus) I feel that way about spiritual things for us as children of God, because as such, we are spiritual beings. That's something that is constant and eternal and will never change. Whenever I renew my testimony of some gospel principle, it feels so right and nourishing and natural that it reminds me of Where I came from. Spirituality has a place within each of us, because spirituality is our core identities--we are spirits!
Read John 10. I've developed such a love for the Bible since I've been here. There are so many precious things to be found, so many insights into the gospel and into the life of our Savior. Also I read Romans 6 the other day and was really impressed with/spoken to by the insight offered there. OH! And read the October Ensign!!!! So so so good!!!

I'm sorry this email is shorter! I will write a better one next week. I love all of you and pray for you often. I am loving the MTC and learning so much. My companions are huge blessings to me, and so are my teachers. It's hard, but I KNOW that I'm in the right place. I know that God lives and loves me. He loves each of His children, everywhere. He remembers the isles of the sea. The Atonement can be a real part of our lives and is key to everything good that we can hope to obtain. We owe everything to our Savior, and He loves us so deeply and completely and truly. He is real! God is not far away. Don't pray as if Heaven is miles away--Heavenly Father is RIGHT there. It's not a "long distance relationship'' kind of thing. Pray and remember that He is close to you. ''I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you." I know this is true!

Sister Gopinath

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