First of all I just want to say how much I love you! I am so thankful for my family. For Sabrina, Tom, Carrie, Jared, Neal, Paulette, Hope and the nieces and nephews. I'm so thankful for you, mom and dad. I love you all SOO much.
There is a reason I live the gospel. There is a reason I'm on a mission. The reason is because it is TRUE and it is the only way to happiness. There is purpose in our lives, and it is hard to believe that so many people don't know or don't understand that purpose. When I first entered the MTC, I thought I was making a sacrifice--sacrificing opportunities I could have had in the next 18 months, sacrificing time with friends, sacrificing a few semesters of school, sacrificing things of the world. It was a sacrifice I wanted to make, but nonetheless I thought of it as a sacrifice. But now, I don't at all. I'm the lucky one. This is the biggest blessing. It is a privilege to be a missionary. I feel overwhelmed with gratitude every day for my mission call. I would say that my time at the MTC has been one of the happiest times of my life if my life wasn't already one big happy moment.
This is my second and my last prep-day at the MTC! Next email you get will be from PARAGUAY!!!!!! Yee haw! I leave the MTC on Monday at 11:30 and fly from SLC to Dallas TX. I have only an hour layover there until my flight to Buenos Aires (a 12-hour flight) and then I have an 8-hour layover until I fly to Paraguay. We're allowed to call home from the airport, so if I find a cheap calling card I'll probably call you on Tuesday the 24th while I'm killing time in Argentina. So, be home. :)
Also, the last Dear Elders I'll get will have to be sent by Friday at noon.
Last prep-day we went to the temple (we did today, too at 7 a.m, so nice!) and we barely made it to the session we were trying to get. Guess who I see walking into the same session? Matt Price! So crazy! There was no way we could have planned that. All we could do was say hi and shake hands, but it was so nice to run into him.
On Sunday we had a great devotional by Elder Ballard. Elder David Archuleta also sang as it was his last Sunday. He sang the Spirit of God, and man! The Spirit WAS a fire burning. So powerful.
Speaking of fire, a couple nights ago we were shocked out of our beds by the fire alarm. I figured it must be 6:30 but it was actually 1:30 in the morning. We all freaked out of the building and went outside in the cold. No one knew why the alarm went off. Niels Wankier (remember him mom from the UN trip?) was the security guard who let us all into the gym to wait while they made sure everything was ok. In retrospect it was pretty fun. When else will we get to be awake at 1:30 a.m.? Never again. :) Everything with my companions is a blast, even rude awakenings. Every single day I double over with laughter over something.
For some reason, it came up that I was homeschooled. My comps couldn't believe that. Hermana Johansen said, "What?! YOU are so NORMAL! I'm like 77% more weird than you and I went to public school! This is blowing all my pre misconceptions of homeschoolers!" It's been a joke quite a bit in the past few days. Now everyone knows I was homeschooled, and I'm proud of it.
Yesterday I counted how many times I prayed, and it was about 15 times, not counting the ones in my heart during every single lesson begging for help with Spanish.
A while ago, Cameron Geiger sent me a Dear Elder after he read an email on my blog. I wrote him back, and he sent me another Dear Elder. He also sent me a package of healthy snacks that you can order from Dear Elder! I couldn't believe that! Those packages are not cheap! It was so kind of him.
Carrie, thanks for the letters from your boys and the money. I sent you a letter yesterday.
Tom, thank you again for buying me shoes and stuff for my mission. I really do think of you and your generosity when I wear them. You're so great! I love you!
There is a skirt that gets passed around among the sisters at the MTC. It's like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but with a skirt and everyone signs it on the inside. It's my turn to wear it today. I think it's pretty ugly, but whatever.
This week was a little challenging in the beginning because everything just hit me that I am not nearly the missionary I want to be. One night some teachers demonstrated an example to us of a lesson and it was so good! The Spirit was there, they were teaching according to the investigator's needs, they caught the vision-- it was everything! Then we taught one of the resource teachers, Bro Gamez, who is a miracle worker. I was struggling so much to teach him the restoration for some reason. He broke character to correct me a few times, which they don't usually do. I sat there just wishing I could convey how I felt about the first vision and the restoration. THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST IS EVERYTHING TO ME! And I felt completely incompetent in sharing that that is how I feel. I wished my testimony could be communicated, but my Spanish skills and missionary skills were so lacking. Bro Gamez could see I was pretty sad and took me to a different room. He shared some scriptures and quotes from Preach my Gospel. I felt the Spirit so stongly that even though I'm not what I want to be right now, I can change, I can become. It was just what I needed. I just want to be a good missionary SO BADLY. That's my one desire in life right now, to be the missionary God wants me to be, the missionary I want to be, and the missionary I know I can be. But it is so much harder than it sounds or looks. The gap between the missionary I want to be and the one I am now is so huge. It was a humbling week. But I'm thankful for it. Jacob 4:7 applies perfectly here (I feel like such a missionary when I use scriptures in an email..haha). I know God will help me and I need to be patient, but at times it is so difficult to believe that you can ever be who you want to be. Elder Bednar reminds us that it is not what we say or do, but WHO WE ARE that spreads the gospel. I have to not just do missionary things but BE a missionary. And I can do that. Even if I can't speak the language perfectly or have the missionary impact of Ammon, I can build my testimony every day and strive to have the Spirit with me so others can feel how I feel about the gospel.
Read Romans 8. I love it. If God be with us, who can be against us?
Well, time is up. I had a million more things I wanted to share but I don't remember them. I will talk to you next from the southern hemisphere! I'm honestly the most blessed girl I know! I feel so supported by the people I know and by Heavenly Father.
Your Sister Missionary,
Hermana Faith Goimarac