Life at the MTC is still fantastic, especially because of conference. It was fun to watch it with a whole bunch of missionaries. You should have seen & felt the intensity during Elder Holland’s talk. Everyone stopped looking at their notes and looked up with their eyes riveted to the screen. He spoke with such power, such conviction ,such boldness. I don’t know how you could hear that and not believe that the Book of Mormon is true. I’ve already watched it again and again. It gave me the chills. My other favorite talks were Pres. Uchtdorf’s about love and Pres. Monson’s about service but it seemed like every talk had at least one tidbit that was meant for me. I’m really excited for the Ensign to come out so that I can re-read and study all those wonderful talks (especially Elder Oaks because it was too deep for me to grasp in one hearing). For me, the big take home message from conference was love. Love is why I’m serving a mission. I love my Heavenly Father. I love His gospel, and I know He loves me. I want to share this love with all God’s children because it feels so good and brings such happiness.
One of the big things Sis. Allred and I are working on is getting to know people. We need to not be so shy and also step out of teacher mode so that we can really get to know the people. Only then will we be able to help them see how the gospel can bless them in their unique situation. And the best was to do this is through questions. One example would be, “How will the atonement bless you?” That way they can make connections on their own and find meaning for them personally. Sister Porter (a teacher) had us practice this as we taught lesson 2 by pointing at us when we should ask a question. Amazingly, good questions kept popping out of our mouths. The promises in D&C 84:85 and 100:5-6 are real!
I can’t believe how quickly my time at the MTC has gone by. In just one week I’ll be in Nebraska with my trainer doing real, alive missionary work! I’m excited but a little nervous and a little sad. Sister Allred will be in New Mexico and I don’t feel very ready. I’m not the only one that feels this way though and I’m sure it will all be just fine.
I’d like to conclude this letter with my testimony. I know that God is our Heavenly Father and that He loves us. He wants us to be happy and enjoy all the blessings He does so He provided a perfect plan for us to become like Him. Jesus Christ is at the center of that plan because it is only through Him and his atonement that we can repent and be forgiven. I know that Christ suffered everything that we will ever suffer so He understands us perfectly and knows exactly what we’re going through. I know that the true, full gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth through the prophet, Joseph Smith. If we follow this gospel, by having faith, repenting, being baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end we will receive eternal life and live with God forever. The Book of Mormon is true. I know that God answers every sincere prayer we offer.
Sister Bailey Mortensen