March 24th 2010
Wow, I cannot believe I have only been here for a week. The days seems to last forever here at the MTC but at the same time they have flown by. We can only write on our P-Days, which is Wed for me. And I am striving to be obedient with exactness, so whatever I can get done today I will send you in the mail tomorrow.
Ok, first let me tell you my companions are AMAZING. First, there is Hermana Williams. She is from Delaware and a convert to the church. Her testimony is strong and we have a lot in common. Other than the fact that she was a cheerleader and doesn't like sports too much haha. She is great though! I love her.
My 2nd companion is Hermana Miller. She is from Hawaii. She has such a big heart and such a fun and spicey personality. She too has a very strong testimony of the gospel. They both will be serving in the Salt Lake City Mission and will be speaking Spanish. I'm excited for them.
I already mentioned in my letter home that within 24 hrs we developed such a strong bond with one another. I seriously feel like I've known them forever and we are getting closer and closer with each day that passes. There was a scare that Hma Williams might have been transfered to an intermediate Spanish class, because she understands alot more than Hma Miller and I do....but the Lord has put her here for a reason. She received confirmation that she wont be moving as a few days ago, and it was such a huge blessing for this companionship. We all have different spiritual gifts and strengths, and lean on one another for strength. I love them so much!
Hma Williams has a heart condition, and there is a possibility she will be getting heart surgery from a specialist here in Provo while we're here in the MTC. It's amazing how we came to find out about all that. It's alot of info so I will try to put it as simply as I can before my time is up. The 2nd counselor in our Branch Presidency's wife, Sister Jensen had a similar condition and similar symptoms as Hma Williams. Hma Williams has had the condition since she was like 16 and the doctors out in Delaware havent been able to offer a way to fix the problem. So with the hand of the Lord, we are seeing one of the many reasons why it is she was called to this District in the MTC and this Branch. I know the Lord is aware of us and our needs. I'll keep you posted with everything that happens with that as best I can. For now, please keep her in her prayers.
Ok, now as for me. I really do not even know where to begin. The spirit here is soooooooo strong here at the MTC. I can feel the Holy Ghost as my constant guide more so than I have felt in my entire life. We are constantly on the go, constantly studying, learning, and being stretched in ways I never fully comprehended. My testimony has grown and is growing every day. Yesterday we had a devotional, and my companions and I sang in the MTC Choir for it. There may be a possibility we might sing a musical number just us 3 and one other sister for one of the meetings. Never done that before, but I do love singing and Hma Williams has an amazing voice so it could be something fun to do. The language is coming, but it is very hard. My second night here was really hard for me. I was feeling very broken, overwhelmed, inadequate, and weak. I was intimidated about learning the language and afraid maybe I didn't have enough knowledge about the gopel. But I know, that the Lord was humbling me so that I can rememeber to always rely on Him. I know that is what I am going to have to do in order to be fluent in Spanish by the end of these next 18 months. I'm grateful for that humbling experience though, because it taught me a great lesson. Since then I have been great! I have been walking these halls with a new confidence invested in the Lord.
Yesterday, my district and I had a special experience with the Priesthood. Our teach felt indpored to ask the Elders in our district for a blessing of comfort. There are 4 Elders in my district. Elder Nelson, Schvaneveldt, McMullin, and Matthison. It was way good. The spirit was strong! Then our teacher asked if anyone else needed or would like a blessing. Elder Matthison asked for one and then I did. The reason I am sharing this w/ you is because my own personal testimony of the Priesthood was strengthened. Elder Swanny gave me the blessing, and I know that it did not come from him. One of my main concerns lately has been my family. I pray for you guys day and night, every single prayer and trust me missionaries pray ALOT! And the line that stood out to me the most was something like this. "Your Heavenly Father wants you to find comfort and knw that your family is Safe and they are already being blessed for you serving the Lord." It hit me hard, and I know that you guys are being protected and watched over. I have all the faith in the world in this.
I love you all! I know that I am where I am supposed to be right now and I have the faith that the Lord will provide the way for me to be an effective tool in His hands.
Hermana Vanessa Riggs