Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving - Testimony of a Missionary

Hola everyone!!! Can you believe Thanksgiving is tomorrow?? I am super excited and the MTC has a way fun day planned for the missionaries to celebrate!

So much has happened this week but I don't have tons of time so I am just going to keep everything brief!!

Dallin H. Oaks came to our Tuesday Night Devotional last night and talked to us all about missionary work.  I was in the choir and we all got to sing 'Nearer, My God to Thee' to one of the 12 apostles, it was AWESOME!  My favorite part of Elder Oaks talk was when he asked us two questions. Why are we missionaries? and How are we being missionaries?  I love these two questions because not only do they apply to missionaries, but they also apply to members in the church.  Why are we members? and How are we being members?  I don't know about you, but these questions really get me thinking and remind me that I should have an answer for both.  Do I have a testimony?  Why am I a member of this church?  Am I being a member missionary and preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone through my words and actions?  Anyway, just a little thought!

Thanksgiving is going to be wonderful in the MTC.  Our schedule for the day is: breakfast, choir practice, devotional with a General Authority (we don't know who yet but I am super excited), Thanksgiving lunch (yes I am praying for some gluten free Thanksgiving food), time for letter writing, Humanitarian Center program, Thanksgiving music program, dinner (we get sack lunches for dinner...), humanitarian service project, movie!  Rumor has it that the movie will be Meet the Mormons but who knows!! Either way I am super excited for tomorrow and I feel so blessed to not only celebrate Thanksgiving, but do a service project for people in need!  For the General Authority devotional, the choir is singing 'Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.'  We practiced it yesterday and it is going to be INCREDIBLE.  The spirit flooded the room right as the organ began playing and it was just the practice!  I can only imagine the power of the Spirit when we sing it for realtomorrow.  It is an 8 part song, I am singing in the second soprano section (I don't know much about singing and to be honest I could be an alto for all I know...but I just take a seat, smile, and sing), and it is absolutely amazing!  Look up the lyrics, they are powerful.

We got our flight plans last Friday!!!! Literally it was like Christmas. We all ran to the mailbox, and then read our flight plans all together in the classroom!  Such a happy moment and we are all going to our countries!!! Woohoo no one is being sent to Kansas or something like that because of visas. Yay!  Our plane leaves December 1 at 11:45 and we fly to Atlanta, Georgia.  After that four hour flight, we have our second flight which will be 13 hours, and then we will land in Buenos Aires, Argentina on December 2!!  Then comes the fun part, we aren't sure, but from our research we think that we will have a 17 hour bus ride to Neuquen after, booya!! Two days straight of traveling.  Good thing I like to travel.

Last week we had our last lessons with our investigator, Marco.  I wish I could tell you all more, but I just want to say that he is one of the most incredible people I have ever met.  Such a strong disciple with a beautiful heart and testimony.

One of the highlights of the week was when we got to Skype with members from other countries!! Hermana Houston and I got super lucky and we had the opportunity to Skype with Sebastian and Veronica who live in Neuquen, Argentina!!! They were so so sweet and we shared a message with them about how we can be converted to the Gospel, not just have a testimony.  At the end of our Skype lesson, Hermana Houston and I were smiling from ear to ear.  It was SO awesome and it made me even more excited to go serve in Neuquen!!!

Alrighty well I am almost out of email time and I need to get packin my bags! Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I hope that we all take the time to tell the people we love how thankful we are for them in our lives.  Also, don't forget to take a minute to think about all that our Heavenly Father has given us.  Because of his son Jesus Christ, we too can one day return with our  Father in Heaven, with our families, in never-ending happiness.  I am so thankful for all of you.  Truly.  I am thankful for your love and support and I feel your prayers each and every day.  I am thankful for my family.  I'm sure you are all surprised that I didn't run away from the MTC because I miss and love my family so much.  I'm surprised.  Still here though :)  I am thankful for my friends.  Both my friends serving in the mission field, and my incredible friends at home.  I am thankful for the opportunity I have to be a missionary.  I love it.  I am already 1/18 of the way through and it is already going way too fast.  I am thankful for my companion, Hermana Houston.  She has taught me SO much and I have been blessed with such a devout disciple of Christ by my side.  I am thankful for this Gospel.  I love it with all my heart and I cannot wait to share it with the people of Argentina.  I am thankful for my Savior.  I know that he suffered for me and through him, only through him, I can live with Heavenly Father again for all eternity. I am thankful for each and every day, because I know that each day is a new start, and a second chance to become more like my Savior, Jesus Christ.  One more time, I am thankful for my eternal family. My family is the biggest blessing I have been given in my life and I love them with everything in me.

The story below is one of the many reasons why I chose to serve a mission.  I love this story. I cannot wait to find my friends in Argentina, the ones I promised in Heaven, that I would one day share this beautiful Gospel with them.  I love being a missionary. 

Testimony of a Missionary

The following event took place in a ward in Salt Lake City in 1974. It occurred during a sacrament meeting and was told to me by a Regional Representative of the Twelve who was in the meeting. A young man, just before leaving on his mission stood in sacrament meeting and bore in essence the following testimony:
Brothers and Sisters, as you know, the past two weeks I've been waiting for my mission call. During the time I was waiting I had a dream. I knew it was not an ordinary dream. I dreamed I was in the pre-existence and awaiting my call to come to earth. I was filled with the same anticipation and excitement that I had before I received my mission call. In my dream I was talking to a friend, and I felt a special closeness to him, even though I've never met him in this life. As we talked a messenger came and gave me a letter. I knew it was my call to go to earth. In great excitement my friend and I opened the letter. I gave it to him and asked him to read it aloud. It said: "You've been called to earth in a special time and to a special land. You will be born to the true church and you will have the priesthood of God in your home. You will born into a land of plenty, in a land of freedom. You will go to earth in the United States of America."
My friend and I rejoiced as we read my call, and while we were rejoicing the messenger returned. This time he had a letter for my friend. We knew it was his call to earth. My friend gave me the letter to read aloud. His letter said: "You've been called to go to the earth in circumstances of poverty and strife. You will not be raised in the true church. Many hardships will attend your life. Your land will be fraught with political and social difficulties - which will hinder the work of the Lord. You will be born in Costa Rica."
We wept, my friend and I, as we read his call. And my friend looked at me with tears in his eyes, and said, "When we are down on earth, you in your choice land and me in Costa Rica, my friend, please come and find me."
The this young missionary, with tears in his eyes, said, "Brothers and Sisters, I have received my mission call. I am going to Costa Rica."
There is a sequel to the story. About a year after the sacrament meeting, the bishop received a letter from the missionary in Costa Rica. The letter had one sheet of paper in it and on that sheet written in capital letters were four words:

the end

Hermana Van Boerum

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