Szervous Family and Friends,
This week has been such a crazy mix of highs and lows. I'll start with the good- Thanksgiving was great. Elder Holland and his family came to speak to us. It was amazing. His grandchildren were there and his wife spoke too. He gave a good awaking as to the reality of what we are doing. We are the day that the prophets have spoken about for thousands of years. There is a lot of responsibility on our plates. He also gave a very beautiful testimony of the restoration of the church. I feel like this week I've learned more about why the restoration of the Gospel was so important and I've become more grateful for it. I've also become more aware of how important the work we're doing is and I really want to be able to do it right.
The language is going well. We had a full "SYL" day on Monday and personally I loved it. I'm amazed at how much we learn every day. We still have a long way to go, but we really need to step it up because we're going to be training a lot faster than normal. Our lovely "Osi" (Accent) group- the older district- leaves really soon and then our "little ones" will be coming. After we go to Hungary, the group after us will have over 20 missionaries. We are reminded almost every day that we need to step up our game because we're going to be leaders a lot faster than normal. We're going to train faster and have younger missionaries coming sooner. We have a lot of work cut out for us in order to prepare in the next 6 weeks.
On a side note- I ran into someone I knew yesterday. I was walking down the hall and a Sister said hi to me, and I looked at her and was like "wow, I know you... how do I know you?" and then she made the connection that she knew me from the Brookhaven word- it was Emily Anderson. She works here helping the Senior Missionaries. I can't even think of the last time I saw her, but it was fun to make that connection. Her younger sister Amy who is my age leaves for her mission to Africa soon.
Okay so now I'll move onto the harder stuff. I realized last night how this whole mission thing is quite literally a refiners FIRE. After the devotional, we review with our district. This review was different this time because we have an Elder struggling right now. It was a cool experience to realize how close we have gotten as a district in just a month, but this isn't easy. And being the coordinating sister, I also have to work closely with the Branch President to help the sisters who are also struggling. Missionaries have very real and very hard trials. And so does the branch president. I think being a branch President at the MTC might be one of the hardest callings. The Lord is refining us in such a way that we have to be 100% ready to- as Elder Holland said "not leave Christ alone in the wine-press". It's not easy to see the missionaries struggle. I feel blessed with the lack of hardship I have had, but I still know that I'll have to be willing and able to as Romans 8 says- "suffer with Christ" and do his will in such a way that I am willing to do anything that will bring me or others closer to Christ. It's not easy. The missionaries really need as much support and prayers as possible.
I'm incredibly grateful for my district. I learn so much from them each day. Sister Chamberlain reminds me of a close friend of mine and I have learned so much from her- she is so good about applying scriptures to herself. Sister Burdick has shown great patience and perseverance and Sister Peterson does a good job of using her talents (music) to lift others. They are all very unique and there is a reason the Lord has chosen them to serve in Hungary. I'm very grateful for my sisters and my elders and everyone else who is involved in our lives here.
I hope you all know that I am incredibly grateful for you all. I am grateful for this work. This gospel is real. I'm so grateful for Christ and his atonement and I hope that I can find a way to do all that I can to be his hands. I have so much love for my district and for the people of Hungary who I haven't even met yet- I just hope I can let God direct me in the way that will help me serve them best.
I hope that as we go into the Christmas season, we remember who Christ is and why we needed him. And why we still need him.
I already challenged my family, but I hope during this Christmas season everyone can find a way to serve someone else every single day. Everyone's burdens (including your own) are lighter when you serve.
Well I'm out of time, but I love you all and am so grateful for you.
Love Always,Curtin Nővér