Ok... so this is my LAST email I get to send you from the MTC!!!!!!!!!!!! AAAAHHHHHHH!!!!! I head to California on Tuesday, 19 April! This last week has been incredible so far, and it's not even over. It's been a crazy schedule since all of our Elders had to take trips to Seattle to get their visas for Mexico. AND we've had lots of different meetings in preparation for our departure. Oh, yeah, and we got a new teacher this week, Hermano Cragun. We all miss Hno. Gillis, but Hno. Cragun is just as awesome, so we can't complain!
So have I told you about how my district is so fantastic?! Cuz they are! They make me feel right at home... I still my my brothers, but they definitely take the sting away! They may or may not call me Hermama Blackburn sometimes... hmmm... and there is this running joke about the generation gap between us... which actually doesn't exist, but it's still so hilarious! But it gives them a creative outlet that they don't do anything stupid with, AND it makes me feel right at home. It's a win-win. I wouldn't let them say anything, even in jest, if I didn't already have the confidence that they respect me as a woman and as a fellow servant of God... but they do. So I told them to not apologize and to bring it on. Anyway... they've had some awesome comments this week, and we've pretty much laughed our way through our stress... SO GREAT. Laughter really is the best medicine!!
Our devotional this week was incredible. Elder and Sister Ronald A. Rasband of the presidency of the Seventy... he gave us a formula on how to always keep the companionship of the Holy Ghost with us... are you sensing a theme here at the MTC? Yeah... that's because it is KEY AND CORE to EVERYTHING we do. This really has NOTHING to do with me. This is GOD'S work!!! And thank goodness it it, because otherwise all 52,250 some missionaries world-wide would FAIL. MISERABLY. Anyway, the formula is this:
1) Bridle all your passions.
to bridle our passions is to learn to yield to God, to go where He directs, and to not give way to the natural man which is in each of us.
We are all asked to give up things that we love, our passions. Leave them behind while you are a missionary.
2) Let Virtue Garnish your thoughts unceasingly. (D&C 121:45)
Garnish: to make beautiful with an adornment...
Article of Faith 13
Quote by President Hinckley: "We cannot lift others to higher ground if we are not there ourselves!"
3) We must ask for the Spirit by the prayer of faith!
ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS ask for the power of the Spirit
Ok that's a pretty good summary of that devotional. There is one other thing I wanted to share with you though mom. I know you and Bob have been thinking about going on a mission. DO IT. From the same experience that Elder Rasband shared in Priesthood session a couple general conferences ago, it was asked to President Eyring if he had time to assign some senior couples to missions. He asked, " How may do we need to assign?" --"30."-- "How many do we need?" --"300."-- Seriously. You are so needed. And so valued. GO!!!! :)
Oh yeah, and mom, thanks for passing that information on about all of our loved ones. All their names have been added to the prayer roll in the Temple.
Erika, thanks for all those notes from your students!!! It made me SO HAPPY!!!
Tanner, ARE YOUR PAPERS IN YET?!?!?! WRITE ME!!!!
LOGAN AND LIZ... BOY OR GIRL?!?!?!
Love you all so very very much!!!The Church is so very very true! God is so very good and merciful to all of His children!!!