Monday, March 21, 2016

One of the Best Weeks of My Life

Ava with her cousin, Levi Burnett, on his way to Omaha, NE
Hello people whom I love:
This was probably one of the best weeks of my life. Never did I think I could love a place as much as I love the Provo Missionary Training Center. I knew it was going to be intense, that I would follow a rigid schedule starting at 6:30 sharp each morning, study in a cinder block classroom for 10 hours a day, and that there would be strict rules to which exact obedience is expected (at night we hear a creepy voice that says "IT IS NOW 10:15. QUIET TIME" and "IT IS NOW 10:30. LIGHTS OUT." Sister Peck and I feel like we are in solitary confinement). But this place...what a privilege and an honor to wear a badge as a servant of Jesus Christ and work among the finest young people in the world. I have witnessed miracles, and I have seen hearts change and lives transform.
E. Rasmussen--an unfortunate Cheez-It incident

My Zone

I have no idea how the coolest, most eccentric people all got crammed into one district. I wish I could go one by one and just describe each one of these crazy people. Every time we see each other, we say "Tudo bem? Tudo bem!" (toodoo bang) It just breaks my heart because all the people in the zone besides my little district just got their visas to Portugal and leave in a week! These people have changed my life.

My District (a division of a zone)

There is Sister Peck and I, Elder Rasmussen and Elder Hernandez, and a solo elder, Elder Christensen. I have only known them for 2 weeks, but I think it’s pretty safe to say this group of people are my best friends. Since the first day, Sister Peck has recorded a "quote of the day" (which usually comes from Elder Rasmussen). We have cried through our bitter trials, and cried with gratitude as we witnessed miracles. I love these people with all my heart.

Excited to exercise!
On Day 3, we taught our first investigator. HOW NERVE WRACKING! Please remember that we do NOT speak Portuguese, and "Anderson" was from Sao Paulo and didn't speak English. On the second lesson, we had a plan of what we were going to teach him, but the spirit told us "nope.”

Can I just say how much I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ? It is simple enough that a child can understand it, yet complex and deep enough that the most intelligent minds can dig and dig and they will never hear their shovels clunk against the bottom because it's meaning extends exponentially! It becomes more and more delicious to you as you understand the ways of God.

Sister Ludlam and a leader?
It is really frustrating because I have learned so much this week and have had so many life-changing experiences, but I did not prepare well enough and am out of time! I know that there we are children of a loving Heavenly Father, and He has given us His Son and His gospel so that we can return to him. Doesn't that mean everything and make anything else insignificant? I know that joy and in this life can only be found when your life is built upon a foundation of truth. I urge anyone who has not to read the Book of Mormon to do so. I will personally send you one if you want, because I love each and every one of you and want nothing more than you to have the joy only found through this gospel. If you read that book with a sincere desire to know what is true, the Spirit of God will whisper to your heart that it is. I know that with all my heart and soul.

I have a few messages to deliver!
1. MVP goes to Todd and Ilene Garner for sending not just one, but two Dear Elder packages! When I got the first one, I was beside myself with joy, but then I went back later just to check on something only to find I had another package, three times bigger than the last one! The elders and sisters who enjoyed their contents will forever refer to that historic day as “Christmas at the MTC.” Thank you so much, Garners! <3
2. To all those who I wasn't able to call/meet up with in my remaining pre-MTC hours: The day I got set apart was crazy, and all of a sudden my Stake President knocked on the door and I realized I would never be able to say goodbye. I am sorry for poor planning, but I love you all very much.
3. Livi: the lotion you gave me is almost used up because Utah is SO DRY!! Thank you <3 My companion keeps saying, "Skin getting dryer, skirt's getting tighter!"
4. VISA update: looks like I'm going to be at the Provo MTC all 6 weeks. Apparently, they are celebrating "Carnival" where no one works for weeks and my visa paperwork is just collecting dust in the Brazilian Consulate. HOWEVER, I believe in miracles and refuse to lose hope. And to be honest, I do not mind one bit if I stay here in Provo. :)
5. I got 4 DearElders this week. If you send a Dear Elder letter (you just go into the website and basically send an email), I will get a physical letter that same day and can respond easier since I only email for an hour a week. :) Mom, can you insert the link? (sidebar on the left)
6. Taggarts: First off, I am so in love with your daughter. Every time Hermana Taggart sees me, she acts like we haven't seen each other in years and just runs to me! Also, you will be welcoming Elder Quintero to NJ this week. He is an INCREDIBLE missionary. He taught me and my companion so many things and basically raised our baby district. We will miss him so much!


Sister Ludlam

Last week Ava requested a link so you could reference her Elder Bednar comment "But we must be careful to remember in our service that we are conduits and channels; we are not the light. “For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you” (Matthew 10:20). It is never about me, and it is never about you." A link to the entire excellent talk: Seek Learning By Faith

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for being such a beautiful conduit of light and love; an example for us all. Love Always, Brother and Sister Gibson